Checkpoints               Jeff Hackett

Winter 1986

Rain! Can you believe it, first “game” of the season we got rained out… or maybe it was snowed out or maybe these players are just minor leaguers. I suppose some of you will cry foul simply because the people who publish Checkpoints (who are different from the people who set Class News deadlines, who you will recall are different from the people who schedule Homecoming, who…) anyway, they are almost a month late in getting the latest edition out. And since I had said that the deadline for inputs from all MAC and SAC folks was 15 December which had already come and gone, y’all did the Cadetly thing and rolled over in bed and waited for the Form 10 to show up on your valet. Well you don’t get off that easy; WRITE YOURSELF UP!

GBNF. Although we never got the game started we did have the unfortunate opportunity to pause for a moment of silence. I can’t personally eulogize Mitch McVay, but as I said in the Reunion article last time, about 300 of us recently got a chance to enjoy the fruits of his labor at the Jabara Banquet and Ball. No, many of us in ’75 didn’t suffer a personal loss here but we do sense another void in our common lives. Based on the little I know, Mitch hit a lot of home runs in many people’s lives; he’s just moved on to another league.

For I Am Their Leader! I recognize an opportunity to extinguish myself when it comes along so I will quickly pass on to you some concerns that have been made known to me. Perhaps you noticed in the summer issue of this magazine where the Class of 1975 is a rudderless vessel in the sea of the AOG business (i.e. we have no class officers). Being graduates, as opposed to cadets, note that we are not given specific guidance on how to handle this requirement; nay, not even what the precise requirement is. As small thinkers (read “civilians”) and based on the fact that the reunion was a resounding success without any ordained officers, a few of us have concluded that what we really need is a President, Class (1 ea) and a Treasurer/Embezzler (1 ea). Self-nominations for these two positions should be mailed or called to either the AOG or me NLT 1 May 1986. (If you really want to run for some other position see if you can unseat some liberal congressman). We’ll put together some type of ballot to mail out to the class and print the results in the fall Checkpoints. As the scribe I will fulfill the secretarial duties but I’m telling you right now I don’t make the coffee.

It's Those Change-Of-Address-Cards Again. Even if these guys didn’t really write or call me directly as far as I can discern they are part of the MAC and/or SAC contingent and, after all, this is “their issue.” J. D. and Diana Barrowclough are now living in the greater Belleville, IL metropolitan area where he is making headquarters decisions for MAC. Willy and Sharon Drow moved “down the street” somewhere in the Far East, their PSC Boxnumber changed and they went nine-digit on the zip code; personally I think it was a ploy to get mentioned in this article (moral of the story: IT WORKED)! Bill Estelle jinked out of another Grand Forks winter by moving on to sunny California; and you thought engineering majors were “egg-heads!” After getting Educated in Industry (Boeing) Ed Sienkiewicz is back in the fold in Oklahoma (Altus?).

Scores And Highlights Of Other Games. I’m not divulging any great secret when I tell you that those TAC guys and the airline pilots are consistently interested in getting their names in print. In some of the only first hand news I can deliver I’m glad to say that our class was certainly well represented in the 1985 Thunderbirds. I caught the Holloman AFB rendition of the show and it was phenomenal. Dave Commons and Buzz Masters did themselves proud as pilots and as ambassadors in blue; did they teach us all that slick-talking-to-the-masses stuff in MT220? Other fast-movers on the move include Steve Duresky from MacDill to Misawa in F-16s. Now, Steve Pitotti according to the change-of-address card used to be in Florida and he and Sarah are in Las Vegas now but the Register of Graduates says he’s at Edwards. This is weird, Steve. Please call or write  and make an honest man out of yourself! Scott and Becky Hammond made a local move near Eglin where Scott flies F-15s. (They now have a “Bluewater Bay” address…I’m impressed, maybe Scott could be the class treasurer!). My sources at Northwest Orient tell me that no less that 15 of our comrades are there in Minneapolis including Bob Thompson, Gary Whitfield, Eric Buhyoff, Bruce Correll, Bob Allen, Jerry Wallace, Paul Kent, Mark Stickney, Greg Gieser, Sam Hollins, Bill Schuessler, Dave Pratt, Jack Storer, and Todd Zedlik. How about a group photo guys? I gather that People Express can claim a similarly large group but I only have direct knowledge of two, Bob Morrison who has been with them quite some time and is a 747 captain and Brad Lindsey who also spends time with the Reserves up at McGuire.

The “Student and Staffer Group” also did a little shuffling around recently. Mike and Christy Marro made a PCS to Montgomery, AL so that Mike could impart a little knowledge to future squadron officers. Mike, if you’ll send me some of the answers I promise I’ll finish SOS 9by correspondence) this time! On the student side of the house, my predecessor, Joe Stein, is burning the ACSC midnight oil at Maxwell. Eric and Alice Lewallen have finished serving their time at Maxwell and are now living in Illinois (Scott AFB?). The life of a civilian student is something that Tom and Cindy McKee have forced themselves to get used to. Tom is studying at the University of Virginia. I’ll include a cryptic message on Danny Burkett at this point because frankly I have no idea what it is he’s doing. He and Elizabeth left the Pentagon and he now has a mysterious “SD/YNS” after his name and a P.O. Box address in Los Angeles. Color me clueless. Another hard-to-classify person is Mark Lenci. If you were at reunion, he was the guy in the very dark (read “black”) suit with all the gold on the sleeves. The suit was dark but Mark was pale; I guess that’s the way you stay when you’re a crack U.S. Navy submariner. Bev is stationed in Connecticut. The Navy occasionally let him visit.

I wish everyone could have seen the news release I got from the Mayo Foundation announcing Dr. Ron Kirschling’s completion of graduate work in hematology/oncology. VERRRY impressive. And even though this job can be a pain in the keister I’d like to assure the next sucker waiting out there in the wings that it does have rewards. Jim Carlson and I have had a chance to get reacquainted through this and it’s been a real treat! Jim is out in the L.A. area working as a consultant for Price Waterhouse. He informs me that Steve Lerum and Kip Fong are also out there. Steve is the state director for a recruiting and training firm and Kip is an attorney with “just the right qualifications” for numerous business trips to the Far East.

Go Ahead...Make My Day. Two simple requests for the days to come. Number one: TAC and airline pilots, forget firm calendar dates for getting your stuff to me for the spring issue. Just repeat after me, “now that I have the winter issue I will call/write Jeff in the net 20 days.” Very good, now take your seats. Finally, for all you lazy people who only know how to write change-of-address cards, I know of no federal law which forbids you to write personal notes in the margin on the one you send to the AOG. I’ve just about maxed out my Dick Tracy decoder ring and my Register of Grads.

Remember to fly safe and hug the ones you love; it’s later than you think.

 


 

Spring 1986

Team Meeting: We’re not that far into the season guys but I’m starting to get a little concerned about our lack of punch. I received one letter and one phone call this time…O-N-E! In case you don’t remember I was not the top academic (nor, apparently the most popular) grad in our class; my creativity is being stretched to the limits. Okay, maybe my game plan to have rival factions challenge one another in each issue was goofy (read “Cadetly”) and perhaps Checkpoints publishers have made life tough by getting every issue out after my deadline for the following magazine. But heyyy! This ain’t no game! We’re the Class of ’75! We’re not going to give up, are we?!? I mean it’s time to get our skivvies and shower clogs on, go out in the hall, throw down our towels, and show people what we’re made of!

Tell you what I’m going to do; the TAC folks and the airline pilots get a reprieve this time. I’ve done enough business flying to know that I should expect airline pilots to be “unavoidably delayed due to equipment problems.” And how can we blame our “Fighter Aces” who have probably been too busy to arrange orders for an exchange tour with the Navy on board the next boat to Libya? We mere mortals will cut you guys some slack,push back the schedule and wait to hear your tales.

And Then There Were… two less than last time I wrote. By now I’m sure you’ve all heard that Dave McCarthy and Ed Mallo have passed from our ranks. I got the phone call about Ed in late February and was only slightly recovered when I saw the local newscast concerning Dave’s mid-air the first week of March. It’s a strangely positive/negative thing to be with a classmate at a Memorial Service; it was good to see Byron Huddleston, Mike Biederman, and Buzz Masters at the off-base service for Dave.

Make It Stop Mommy! You all remember the scene from The Exorcist. Well I think Deb will testify that my head spins around on my shoulders every time I pick up a change-of-address card. Nonetheless here we go: Carl and Karen Van Pelt are moving on up (possibly in more ways than one) from Armed ForcesStaff College in Hampton, VA to assignments unknown in Arlington. Whatever leadership void may have temporarily been created by Carl’s departure from the Tidewater area was quickly filled by Mark Schoning who escaped HQSAC for (HQTAC?) Norfolk. In the “Where were you the last time I got pulled over?” department we find Jim Marburger and Roy Goodale who are both attorneys here in the Phoenix area. Got change of addresses on both of them (moving uptown of course!).

Speaking Of Reading The Fine Print. I got a change of address on Don Henney and looked into the Register of Grads to try to sort out the story. Did you miss it your first time through too! Don’s been toughing it out as an associate professor of aerospace studies at UCLA! Dirty work but someone has to do it. I must have nodded off during the lesson in MT where they explained how a guy like Jim Heriot could go from Captain, USAF to 2Lt, USAFR. I think you allowed yourself to be used in one too many med school experiments Jim.

If You Wrote Me Yourself I Wouldn't Have To Use Your Full God-Given Name! Stratford Bannister has done the Florida shuffle going from Orange Park to Naranja (isn’t that where Grasshopper moved when Kung Fu went off the air?). Walter Schell also made a local move, in Omaha, and if I read the card correctly he’s picked up a wife along the way (Majorie, an ’80 grad). Martin R. Stytz apparently couldn’t stand it quite that close to “home” and has left Colorado Springs for Minnesota.

Alone, Unarmed And Out Of Sumter. One new airline pilot did take the time to let us know that he had escaped 9AF, Shaw AFB, and Sumter, SC. Ralph Paul is based in Boston with Delta these days.

And the lone-letter award goes to JT and Meg Wolter who claim that it was truly their creativity and not their procrastination that led them to send Valentine letters instead of Christmas letters this year. Right. Guess they and the kids are enjoying their new house off-base at Grand Forks and are somewhat reluctantly expecting reassignment in the not-too-distant future. I think they may have been in on some of Jim Heriot’s med school experiments.

Warning: Do Not Operate Heavy Machinery. If I don’t get some letters and-or calls from the airline pilots and TAC guys I will devote the entire next issue to stories about my personal ‘75er friends (both of them) which will surely make the normal person drowsy. Pick up the pen or phone today you toads. Get really radical and send a picture! Don’t put it off ‘till tomorrow; it’s later than you think!

 


 

Summer 1986

Rally In The Bottom Of The Ninth Inning! We came back in glorious fashion folks; eight letters, two phone calls and real live visit! Not to mention (and believe me I don’t like to) twelve of those %#@& change-of-address cards. All of that and, thank God, no more bad news of fallen comrades to convey; I ought to be the happiest guy on the face of the earth. Only I’m not. Remember those eight-page English 430 papers you’d blow off till the night before? Well, this is two nights after the night before and I’m having to bring back those create/write/edit-while-type talents. One more thing I used to be better at!

A Three-Budweiser 'Business' Dinner. Debby and I went out to dinner with “Boo” Butalla when he was up a Willy for physiological training. After five years of “racing” (read droning) around the Arizona skies in the Warthog, Boo and family are leaving Davis-Monthan for the 4450th TFTng Group at Nellis. At the risk of being a defendant at the next spy trial I’ll admit that Paul told me that he will be joining Mike Gill, Rod Kallman, Mike Steward, Dave Ruddock, and Stan Schoener. Honest, I didn’t ask what they do! Our Southern border remains protected from tank attack by Ollie Lorenz, Karl Gabrys, and Bill Carrothers who are still at DM teaching little Hoglettes how to become real A-10 PIGS! Those of you in the extreme Northwest may also rest easy as Boo said Hoss Erving and J.P. Owens were ready to cut off any Russian tanks at Eielson AFB, AK. Mark Skattum left DM right before Boo and is now flying F-5s at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia (don’t grade me on spelling, I almost flunked geography). On the medical front, Paul said he had run into John Stapley who was finishing up an AFIT “hardship” (hospital administration) at U of A and on his way to Brooks fro a job with the AF surgeon general. Boo also related that Bill Weiderman is the OB/GYN at Williams AFB these days.

Returning Past Favors. Since the Donnelly family introduced me to the lady who’s now my wife, I’ll relate the news from Mark’s letter first. And speaking of “families,” Mark and Lucy now have a daughter, Ann, to go with their son, Scott. All went well and they’re mostly settled at HQ MAC where Mark is an operations research analyst. Mark mentioned that he was surprised by the absence of a few ‘75er names on the major’s list. As a non-player, I’m somewhat in the dark. Mark had these other updates: Jim and Sharon Hamilton are on their way to the Pentagon where Jim will be in Studies and Analysis (can there be this much to analyze)? By the time we read this Mike Heil will be a PhD and, if all goes as planned, will be remaining at Wright-Pat. Steve Watson is just getting started on his PhD work. Pete and Eve Blatchley have also stayed on at Wright-Pat where Pete’s a logistician. Bob Walden is rumored to also be in Dayton. Mark mentioned that the Flyright Club has been known to host numerous ’75 mini-reunions on Friday nights. When Mark wrote he was anxious to meet up with Joe Bryant, Gary Vosburgh, and Jim Fellows, who are all reputed to be in the Scott AFB area. So Mark, where are the mini-reunions going to be held in Southern Illinois?

More Letters. Jim Foreman called and wrote to give me the update from Eglin AFB. Jim, Le Anne, and the two little ones are “bearing up” to beachfront life while Jim works as deputy test director for AFOTEC. Jim says that last he knew, Dave Kovach was at MPC testing the sense of humor of those with a 49XX AFSC [Communications-Computer Systems Officer]. John Janson has a trucking company in the Midwest. And Mike O’Shea is teaching at USAFA. Dave Sprenkle wrote from Santa Fe, NM where he and Janice have lived since early this year. “Mister” Dave is working for an engineering/architectural firm that’s doing work to support Los Alamos National Laboratory. “Major” Dave is still with the 140th CES/Colorado Air National Guard.

More Smart Guys. If you’re ever in Adrian, MI and cut yourself on a broken beer bottle (or something) you’re in luck. Marty Stytz’s wife, Gayl, is an emergency room doctor there. In the meantime Marty is getting a PhD in comp sci at Michigan. He’s due to finish up in ’88 and hopes to go back to USAFA. In lines that are not attributable to this author (his wife said it) Dave Beck is “a man who stands behind his patients.” Dave’s about to finish a fellowship in colorectal surgery! By July Dave will be on General Surgery Staff at Wilford Hall as the chief of colorectal surgery. Dave has twin daughters with another one (?) on the way. Dr. Beck was gracious enough to “hang out his shingle” to any ‘75er with a surgical or colorectal problem.

Delta-Delta-Delta Fraternity. Got letters from Jim Dearien and Bill Rohde who are both Delta Airlines; Jim out of Dallas and Bill in Chicago. Jim’s been busy since leaving the AF in ’81. He got an MBA from SMU, got married, went with Delta, and he and Julie will soon be having a baby (seems life I left something out). Bill made an open invitation to his place in Lake villa, IL and related the following assignments: Charlie Sargent, Jeff Neumann, and Ken Finn – Delta; Mark Isabelle – People’s Express. Dave Pratt wrote to let us know he’s getting married to a Northwest Orient Airlines flight attendant. It’s one of the hazards of the job. Dave’s a DC-10 second officer based in Minneapolis!

The %#@& Cards. Charles Molzon, local move at Plattsburgh AFB. John Sullivan, Kadena AB, Japan to Nellis AFB. Jeff Prater, local move at Mt. Home AFB. Doug Fraser, local move at Bergstrom AFB. Scott and Becky Hammond, local move in Marietta, GA. Pat Ash, Altus AFB to Elmendorf AFB. Collin Flynn, Barksdale AFB to Offutt AFB. Craig Matt, Clark AB to Robins AFB. Randy Mason, local move at Wright-Pat. Raymond Barbera, local move at Keesler AFB. Pete Marcuzzo from Reno, NV to Oakland, CA. Mike Goyden from Naval Grad School (Monterey) to USAFA.

Some Guys Never Learn. We’ve had an absolutely underwhelming response to the call for nominations of class officers. To date it looks like this: Jim Carlson, president; Dave Pratt, president or treasurer; Jim Dearien, president or treasurer. It might be a little embarrassing to get the AOG involved on this scale guys so I’m willing to give the office of choice to the first guy to get to Phoenix to buy me dinner or to the first guy who volunteers to write this article for me next time I’m two days late!

Which Brings Us To The Bottom Lines. Keep those visits, calls, and letters coming. Turns out it doesn’t make it easier, just more enjoyable! And, of course, as Debby just said (it’s 1:15 AM). “Turn that damn computer off…it’s later than you think!”

 


 

Autumn 1986

Extra Innings In Another Park. This will be a quickie folks as Debby and I have been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and I can’t even spell S-P-A-R-E-T-I-M-E any more. Four letters, a number of calls, another dinner get-together, a picture, and 13 moving violations (change-of-address cards!). We’ve sure come a long way since I started writing the article one year ago this issue. Keep ‘em moving!

Correction To The Previous Announcement. Ed Sienkiewicz joined the large group of people on the planet that find cause to correct me. I was only using literary license when I said (in the Winter issue) that he was being “educated in industry;” you of course knew that I was talking about the “Education with Industry” program. What I had really screwed up was where he went afterwards. The truth is that he is at Hanscom AFB, MA where he is a deputy director of Manufacturing and Quality for Strategic Systems. Ed said that another EWI veteran, Chuck Demoisy, went to the B-1 SPO at Wright-Pat after his time with McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis. Ed also reported on former squadron-mate Chuck McLucas, who is a C-5 driver at Dover. Chuck and his wife Karen were just blessed with #2 son. Mom, baby, brother, and even Chuck doing fine!

Airline Pilots Are Easier. To write about, I mean! Paul Kent sent a “thank-you” for getting his name in print for the first time in 10 years. Now that I’ve mentioned him again, he’s good till ’96. Additional info from Paul: Steve Barber flies for American and the Reserves at Dover (C-5). He lives in Connecticut. Jim Kochevar has gotten married and flies for U.S. Air out of Pittsburgh (it can’t be all good news!), and Chuck Woods works for Pitney Bowes in Denver.

Why Do You Think They Call It Write-Patterson AFB (sic)? Either life is very easy in Dayton or they give extra-credit for writing letters to class scribes. I have received more letters from guys at Wright-Pat than anywhere else. Bob Eaton really gets kudos since he wrote a letter providing details on his change-of-address card that had arrived a few days earlier. Bob was finishing up AFIT and was on his way, with Cathie and two other girls, to SPACECOM in Colorado Springs. Other recent AFIT grads: Rock Bottomly (staying on at WP), Jay Wallace (to HQ MAC), Steve Blackburn, Dave Noble, and Rod Reay (destinations unknown). Bob mentioned a few ‘75ers who have not yet escaped the confines of Offutt. Guys like Collin Flynn (HQ), Frank Dubuisson, and Tom Peterson (both in E-4s). He also reported that Jeff Krumeich and Dudley Hancock are out and with the airlines.

Accelerated Consumption Of Strohs Cans (ACSC). That’s Chip Diehl “working” on his ACSC! I assume this was all some type of special preparation that you have to go through on your way to C-141s at Norton or simply normal routine for a guy whose wife just had a third son. The photo and the news were courtesy of Joe Stein. Who listed other recent ACS grads: Mark Holmes (to Colonel’s Group at MPC) and John Ladieu (Maintenance Squadron commander in Korea). Joe and his wife Patty are deep in the _ _ _ _ _ of Texas where Joe is enthusiastically learning to fly the B-1. He mentioned that Dave LaFave has come down from USAFA to be an academic instructor there at Dyess and Tom Skillman and Dean Spraggins will be going with him (Joe) to Ellsworth early in ’87 to form the new squadrons.

Reaching Out To Touch Someone. Jim Carlson called to say he’d had enough of that keeping track of money (Price Waterhouse) and he’s now going to help people (and himself?) make some; passed all the exams and is getting started as a broker at Shearson-Lehman. Ken Smith dialed me on the McDonnell-Douglas circuits. He’s with McAir in St. Louis enjoying the single life again and working on the advanced tactical fighter. I was in St. Louis myself recently and talked to Chuck Holland’s dad. Chuck and Kim are back in the CONUS at Carswell AFB where Chuck will be getting back into the B-52. Those who knew Chuck will be interested (but not surprised) to know that his fervent athletic endeavors have yielded another broken bone (a leg this time in a “friendly” game of softball). Randy Mason left a message at my office, something about F-16s and Europe (my secretary does not speak fluent Air Forcese). My answering machine does understand Air Forcese but is not idiot-proof. I inadvertently erased J.T. Wolter’s message wherein he volunteered for one of the class officer positions. J.T. was calling from USAFA but I never got the number.

Local Boy (and Girl) Make Good...Very Good! Debby and I had dinner with Rich and Mary Chanick last night. The employment agency they started five years ago last week now ranks 13th in the nation in billings. Why didn’t I major in econ!?!

The Envelopes Please, Anything But the Cards. Short distance movers: Tom Summers–Fullerton to Anaheim, CA, and Alan Krukowski–around the corner in Burnsville, MN. Long distance comings and goings: Bill Murray–Cannon AFB to Dallas, TX; Tom and Candy Calhoun–Clark AB to March AFB, CA; Steve Vreeland–Colorado Springs to Montgomery, AL; Richard Grasso–Boca Raton to Stamford, CT; Steve Pitotti–Nellis AFB to Edwards AFB, CA; and Don Langford–North Pole (no kidding-it says North Pole, AK!) to Vacaville, CA. Most interesting were the two from Bentley Rayburn. On the 27th of May he moved from Leavenworth, KS to Colorado Springs. On the 30th of July he moved again, this time to Korea! By the way for those of you who may have temporarily been off the planet, Bentley made Lt Colonel.

Its Your Article But I Get To Write It. And it is therefore legal for me to “plug” my business. If you happen to be job-hunting Debbie and I think we’ve come up with the “better mousetrap” in the world of resumés and interviewing. Give a call. Until the next time, keep it careful but dare to dream, it’s later than you think.


1986 Album

     
 

1. Dave McCarthy, with Cindi, Laura (6) & Lisa (2) in 1986. (Lisa McCarthy-Maxwell, 2015)  

2. Bill Estelle on Wake Island. (January 1986)

3. Perry Lamy: I joined the B-1 Combined Test Force (CTF) in Aug 1984 following graduation from Test Pilot School and remained on the team until I departed for Armed Forces Staff College in June 1987. This assignment was surely the culmination of school boy dreams and aspirations. Truly a dream come true! There was a long (aircrew) line at the CTF and it took over a year before I checked out in the aircraft, but I did get to fly the F-111 (we used it for chase) and the T-38. Can you imagine triple qualified? Life was simple in those days…the toughest daily decision was “should I fly one time or twice today?” It was a great team and I did some fun flying and projects.

4. Sketch by Dennis Brooks.


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