Seasons Greetings! Whatever season it happens to be when you read this. As I write this it is “Open Season” on class scribes who never get their article in on time; am currently five days late so this will be quick and to the point. Good/bad news is that you’ve made it a challenge what with the Christmas cards, e-mail and all.
Scribe’s Rights. As a long-time Scribe I will assume the privilege of discoursing on what’s happening with me and my family here in sunny Arizona first (before I lull you to sleep). Have emotionally and financially survived Tiffany’s first semester of college at Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff campus is actually at an elevation higher than the Cadet Area)! She did great and has gone “active” with Delta-Delta-Delta Sorority (many similarities to a cadet squadron). American Express just celebrated Deb’s 10th anniversary there; all parties looking forward to continuing the relationship, She’s now a business partner (aka program manager) in Corporate Card Operations. From my vantage point as program manager for inter-divisional work done in Mesa for other components, I can tell you that the change from McDonnell-Douglas to Boeing hasn’t been much of a change at all; and that’s good cause I’m enjoying the job. On the Reserves front, I’m still at Ogden Air Logistics Center (F-16 SPO “West”) and got Air War College completed just before the Holidays.
Close Encounters Of The CWDS-09 Kind. On our way to the Las Vegas Bowl (had a wonderful time except for the game) we happened to bump into Dave Haugen at the Phoenix airport. He was just coming off work (flying 737s with America West) and looking to hop back home to Colorado Springs. Dave’s still in the Reserve C-130 unit at Peterson AFB. Amazingly l believe the Hacketts were the only ‘75ers at the game.
This Year’s “Grinch” Award Goes To: Dale Meyerrose who sent a lovely card (picture of the three girls in front of what I’m guessing is the quarters at Langley AFB) with “Peace on Earth" and signature at bottom and no other words/news. I’m guessing my former roommate will respond to the shame of this reward and get us some greater insights prior to the next article.
Greetings From USAF And Commercial Cockpits. Got a card from Mark and Lucy Donnelly. They also included great shots of the kids (FYI please remember the magazine has a general restriction on publishing pictures that do not include a grad’s ugly mug) and a letter. Think we already shared most of the news on Mark already (Air Force One #1); Scott and Ann are both in middle school and active in sports, Lucy is active with volunteering at school and her own sports endeavors.
Under that smooth appearance you see in the picture of the Turner family lies the heart of a Road Warrior. Was not all that surprised to hear that Jon has replaced flying C-130s in the Reserves (retired this summer) with driving his new Harley around the Pike’s Peak area. Still teaches / flies with United. Diane is in 10th year as preschool director. Jill is in sophomore year at CSU but will study at Keele University (two hours north of London) this semester. Ric was one of the varsity football captains at Air Academy high school this year playing linebacker and tight end and was in National Honor Society too.
Wayne and Amy Willis passed along "Feliz Navidad " from Albuquerque. More active kids: David returned from mission in Brazil and is now at Ricks College in Idaho (“totally immersed in football with a little academics on the side”), Scott and Brian are in high school, active in football and track. Lisa’s in eighth grade and was New Mexico state gymnastics champion in her division. Wayne’s now with Delta Airlines (737) out of Orlando and Amy “continues to be out anchor and keep us on an even keel.”
Brian Barnes expects to move to the captain’s seat with Alaska Airlines in '98. He and Terri had a busy ‘97 as she moved from real estate to become a distributor for some Japanese (high tech) health-care products. A few short trips and a big one to India for Brian consumed other “free” moments.
Two Sides Of the World – Two Christmas Letters. One side of the paper included in the Rayburn’s Christmas card had a letter from Bentley penned in his tent at Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia; he’s settled in (if that’s possible in that tense environment) as commander of the 4404th Wing and offered some interesting insights on the first half of his tour of duty. Other side of the paper had Debbi’s letter from Utah; she and the kids have certainly been active before and since Bentley’s departure. Spent much of the summer in Colorado and St. Louis with family. Twins are home-schooling this year. Moriah is in her senior year, co-captain of cheerleaders and preparing to go to Wheaton College next year. Micah is “super busy” with school, soccer, basketball and skiing (not necessarily in that order).
In the interest of reinforcing appropriate behaviors I’ll give credit to Chuck and Roxanne Holland and Dennis and Leslie Brooks for their Christmas cards although I think we covered all the highlights in previous articles.
Electronic Updates. Got a number of e-mails over the past several months. First came from Tim O’Connell with a short report on the USAFA-San Jose State football game; a sad game I guess but “we won the fan contest, however. I think there were more grads and their families than San Jose fans in the stadium.” His only classmate sighting was of Bill Murray who also sent an e-mail. You’ll recall that Bill and his crew were recently reassigned to McClellan AFB where he is chief, Space & C3I Management Division for the Air Logistics Center. In the interests of time and space I’ll also mimic his "Highlights" intro to electronic Christmas letter: “Move to Sacramento, CA continuing with the Air Force; promotion to colonel, Christmas in Hawaii, selected for Senior Acquisition School next fall, Rozi moves into a condo as a sophomore at Baylor, Evie is a sophomore at Capital Christian, and Judy begins substitute teaching in California!”
Greg Schmitt sent a note from Annapolis, MD where he is network administrator for the Joint Spectrum Center (DOD). In the way of updates Greg noted, “I’ve been out since ‘82. Met my wife, Carol, on at flight into Eglin AFB, FL She was the weather observer on duty when I was filing my flight plan. She told me the weather was too had to fly so I asked her where we were going to dinner. The rest is history which includes two sons, Eric and Kirk."
Our class homepage master Jim Carlson passed along (excerpts from?) a note he got from Chris Budinsky which said, “retired USAF 1 Sep 95…hired by FedEx 1 Nov 95 as 727 first officer…living outside Memphis (Melvis) with wife, Penny, and six children: Jason, Sean, Jessica, Rebecca, Rachel and Joseph.” Six kids – I’d say it’s a good thing he got a nighttime job!
Rini Bosma’s address update to Jim was barely more than a change-of-address card! All I can reliably tell you is that he and Ginny are in Tipp City, OH where he is VP of Engineering/Operations for a machine and tool company that bears his surname.
Final email came in just this week from Ollie Lorenz. He and Cathy had just ("sort of”) finished moving into a house in Tucson. “A hectic few weeks, especially with the holidays, moving, retiring, and having relatives visit, all at the same time. But, we managed and are getting along just fine."
AHHH…The Oxymoron! So I leave you with my traditional reminder that “it’s later than you think!" Which seems like a funny thing to say as the sun is coming up! (No, I didn’t stay up all night, just got up early to finish this).
In Spring A Man’s Fancy Turns To…OK, we can be honest with one another – writing the article wasn’t at the top of my list of things I’m anxious to do on this the second day of Spring in the Valley of the Sun. But hey, if I’d tackled this earlier in the week, I could’ve gone to the ASU-Cal baseball game today. I’ll try not to blame you for my procrastinating ways (besides, I shouldn’t be out in the sun that much). Really shouldn’t be to daunting a task anyway – not a lot of correspondence came in; probably something also we can blame on El Niño!
Salute To My Old Roommate. For those of you still living in that phone booth the upper classmen asked us about in ‘71/’72, it’s my pleasure to be the first (in print) to congratulate Dale Meyerrose on his promotion to brigadier general! Hint to Dale; I think there’s a very positive correlation between additional stars and getting the Class Scribe a picture or two of the pin-on and some exclusive insights on how you got there and where you’re going now!
As “Tall” In Character As He Is In Height. For the Nth time Terry Young wrote a letter with words (and pictures) about a number of classmates…and nary a word about himself! From all of us who have the pleasure to call you classmate, Terry – you da man! I’m thinking we should all get together some Saturday morning in the near future at The Bagel Basket in O’Fallon, IL, perhaps we could persuade the owner, Gary Vosburgh, to give us a group rate. Gary and Becky’s new “hobby” is doing well and keeping them busy since his retirement from the 932nd Airlift Wing (associate Reserve C-9s) in January. Although there was a more close-up picture of Gary and Becky I’m choosing to include the one with daughter, Torrye. (I’m a father myself)!
I Thought This “Contest” Was Over! Terry reports that Todd (and Mary Jane) Zejdlik have vaulted into the lead on the “Last Classmate to Sire a Child" contest – we're awaiting birth of their second child in February! Personally I can’t decide if my one word on this is “Wow,” “Congratulations,” or “Are You Nuts? Would tend to lean toward the latter based on the additional insight that Todd is still skating in several intramural hockey leagues with his brothers there in Minneapolis. You’ll recall that he is flying for Northwest, as is Dave Pratt who also lives in the Twin cities area. Terry also let us know that Larry Fariss and John Gaughan are on the other end of the “father” journey; Larry’s son is a “rookie” at USAFA and John (who is waiting for an O-6 pin-on date) has a son at Holy Cross.
This past Fall/Winter also marked retirement time for two more classmates at HQ AMC, Wes Routh and Chuck DeMoisey.
E-mail Via Pony Express! The Internet gods confounded Chris Glaeser’s attempt to contact me enough times that he finally just printed the darn thing and dropped it in the mail. (Believe we traced this down to the fact that it’s a small case “L” in the middle of my e-mail address, not the number “1”). Chris is another retiree, he from the reserves – but he went out with a flourish! Last day in uniform he was the supervisor of flying at Edwards AFB during their 50th Anniversary airshow; ate lunch with Chuck Yeager and Colonel Jimmie Doolittle III. By the way, Chris was the only guy to throw his hat in the ring to take over as Scribe (is there a message in here?) – have to say it’s pretty tempting but with all the other upheaval currently in my life, I’m inclined to remain anchored to something even if it’s this quarterly pain-in-the-rear! I will not forget your gracious offer though Chris (as I’m sure those dying to “impeach” me won’t)!
Real (Long) E-mail. The first conventional e-mail (think about what I just said – these are changing times we live in) came from our faithful correspondent out at McClellan AFB, Bill Murray. In fact, I deviate from my “general rule” to avoid mentioning a classmate in two successive articles only because I thought it was worth passing along Bill’s recent “near-miss” with the medical world. You really need to read the whole harrowing five-page e-mail to appreciate the story but suffice it to say that a severe case of pneumonia and a staph infection took Bill literally to the brink back in early January. Some “oops” and “wahoos” from the medical staffs at several hospitals he visited probably acted against him but he and Judy’s abiding faith appear to have been more than a match. By the time you read this a hopefully-healthy Bill Murray will have pinned on his eagles!
Real (Busy) E-mail. If I attempted to paraphrase Roy Rice’s (Jan ’98) e-mail you’d miss the rapid-fire, tell-you-everything-in-25-words-or-less quality (it wore my eyes out reading it…would surely kill my fingers typing it). So here’s the cut-and-paste version (with minor edits for clarity): “…retired in ’95 and work for a company called Teledyne Brown engineering in Huntsville, AL. I do a lot of DOD work and run into lots of ‘75ers from DC to LA. I see Rod Gunther in DC quite a bit. He works for a company called Whitney, Bradley & Brown out in Tyson’s Corner. I saw Wayne Willis on a recent Delta flight. Also ran into (had a beer or twelve with) Jeff Neumann; he’s also flying with Delta. Jeff and John Saxman and I ran into each other at Brian Duffy’s last launch. Talked to Duff the other day; he’s back in the Astronauts’ Office (acting deputy director of the Johnson Space Center working on keeping the Space Station afloat). He and I got together one night in DC last year when we were both on a TDY…what a hoot. I’m having lunch with Dale Bugbee on Friday. He also lives here in Huntsville and we see each other often. Saw Stan Gorenc before he left the Joint Staff and went to be the wing king at Sheppard. A month or so ago I briefed Jerry Levesque on some work we’re doing with ACC; he’s commander of the Studies and Analysis Squadron at HQ ACC. Called Dale Meyerrose last week to congratulate him on his promotion to BG; he’s ACC/SC – sounds like he’s doing great but busy as a one-armed paper hanger. Saw Ralph Rhye about a year ago. He is retired in Prattville, AL. I talked to Jim Burling out at Space command a couple of months ago. Sounds like he is really enjoying life back in Colorado Springs. Also talked to Jim Heald at Eglin (46th Test Wing) a few weeks ago – he also sounds like he’s busy as can be. Last Friday, a bunch of us grads went to see the USAFA Hockey Team play the University of Alabama-Huntsville here in town. UAH hosed USAFA but we had a blast and the Falcons never gave up. They didn’t score their first (only) goal until 2:00 left in the final period but they were checking the other guys into the glass with a fury the whole way. Makes you proud to see teeth and blood fly at a sporting event!” (Scribe’s note: Roy just might be a “closet Scribe”)!
Quoting Another Informed Source. When, Jim Carlson wasn’t tending to the Class Homepage he fired in the following, “... got an e-mail from Col Jim Fellows several weeks ago; he’s the US Transportation Command liaison to the US European Command, Stuttgart, Germany and works at USTRANSCOM J3/J4. He came from Charleston AFB where he was deputy commander, 437th Operations Group, Air Mobility Command. He assumed the rank of colonel on 1 Oct 97. He's married (Mary) and has two kids, Matthew and Lauren.” [Scribes note: no wonder I didn’t give this up! It’s easy when I let you guys write it].
From The Better Half. Spouses take note of the Scribe’s glowing accolades for Lisa (Clint) Waltman’s delightful and touching e-mail. She penned the message on the eve of Clint’s pin-on to one star as they were reflecting on the too-recent (Sep 97) passing of his father, former POW Col Donald Glenn Waltman, who was such a “true hero and mighty warrior and yet a tender father and grandfather.” Clint, Lisa, and their boys Rob and Matt are in Montana (“home of Ted the Unabomber and the Freemen”) where they’re enjoying the Big Sky country and settling into command of the 341st Space Wing.
Hot And Cold. This would describe the weather adjustment Jed Vandendries and family have endured as they departed Okinawa, Japan for Elmendorf AFB, AK. Jed is there on a “joint job" serving as the director of Operations for Alaskan Command. At the time he wrote, their family was still celebrating the USAFA appointment for #1 son (Class of 2002).
Down Under. Kind of literary eloquence on my part don’t you think, to put news on Kent Traylor, who’s down under in Australia, here at the bottom of the article? OK, so maybe his letter just wound up at the bottom of the pile! Anyway, Kent's been doing a lot of traveling as they move toward the end of their tour and prepare to come back to the States. He pinned on O-6 in March and will be taking over as ops group commander at Beale AFB, CA sometime this summer. Carol and Meagan are doing great.
Now Comes The Hard Part. Something tells me that this writing task will prove to have been a “snap” compared so what else must be done tonight – pulling together inputs for my (USAFR) OPR. Talk about your necessary evils! But as I close I’ll tell you once again (see several poignant paragraphs above) – take care of “business" with those you love – it may he later than you think!
I Don’t Think So! Made a passing attempt to convince my daughter that writing this article for me might actually qualify as some kind of extra credit assignment for her English 101 class. Alas, I’m thinking we over-taught the “use good judgment” and “don’t let people take advantage of you” lessons. But, even though the editor’s deadline has once again fallen into some kind of cosmic alignment with a fevered pace of WA-HOOs at Boeing, y’all have been good/bad (point of view is everything) and provided minimal input. Bottom line: this isn’t likely to be much more entertaining than that little gold Contrails book we were thumbing through about 27 years ago.
Final Score AOL – 7, USPS – 0. Another quarter of purely electronic inputs (I’m going to recommend that the Smithsonian come pick up my mailbox, spider and all, and put it in the “Unused Relics of Yesteryear” section). Herewith the “cut and paste" highlights:
Bill Lyerly is still “slaying bureaucratic dragons in Washington DC " and chasing "emerging infectious diseases” / "complex humanitarian emergencies" all over Africa. As if that isn’t enough, he’s also traveling the CONUS as an adjunct faculty member and USAID representative at the U.S. Army`s John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (“visa and shots not required to go to Fort Bragg – but language training would be helpful”), at the Armed Forces Staff College, and at several other DOD-type academic institutions, When in North Carolina, Bill has visited Col Mike Lischak who has been serving as the 4th Medical Group commander (Seymour Johnson AFB). Mike will be PCSing this summer to become the Medical Group commander at Luke AFB, AZ (a local phone call from the Scribe). Bill notes that Mike has completed four masters degrees, in addition to his M.D. degree and wondered if this is a ‘75er record for graduate degrees?
Other odds and ends that Bill had to share: heard second-hand that John Saxman will be leaving the Joint Staffs J-5 (Global and Multilateral issues Division) and go fly for the airlines. Bill has “taught” (Bill’s emphasis) several '75ers at Armed Forces Staff Colleges Senior Seminars, the most recent being Jim Fellows, who is the USTRANSCOM liaison officer to the USEUCOM in Stuttgart, Germany. Also ran into the, now, Mr. Al Colley at the State Department where Al recently retired while assigned to the State Department’s Political-Military Affairs Bureau (Office of International Security and Peacekeeping). Al is now serving as a senior technical advisor on the SECSTATE’s Counter Terrorism Staff as a contractor with the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. By now Ted Hilbun will have PCSed from his job as executive officer for the USAFA superintendent to a deputy operations group commander job at Randolph AFB. Dave Hickman is the president and CEO of General Business Services of Tampa Bay, Inc. (Dave’s wife, Marie, is the special projects reporter and TV Anchor at WTOG Tampa Bay).
On the home front, Bill’s daughter just finished her freshman year at Clemson University where she is studying international business (decided that she wanted a career in the international arena like her dad, but didn’t want to be “poor” like her dad – didn’t want to work for the government or military). She also is the president of the Clemson University’s Women’s Lacrosse Team.
Twenty-Three Years Later – The Real Air Force. Dick Dye wrote to say that the job he’s had for the past two years, Lockheed-Martin’s project manager for MILSTAR software and database Maintenance Team at Peterson AFB, is a more operational job than he ever had in the AF (“Four years at USAFA where they told us this isn't the real AF, one year at UCLA right after graduation, three years at Hill AFB where l was the only blue-suiter in 750 civilians, then back to the zoo to teach for 2.5 years where they already told me it wasn’t the real AF"). So that he gets appropriate credit I’ll quote Dick's assertion that, “I've been married to the same wonderful woman, Denise, since two days after graduation." Denise has her own bookkeeping business supporting several small businesses around Colorado Springs. Their son, Chris, is in college at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
Back In Good Health With Good News To Share. Bill Murray wrote to say he was feeling fine now and was the first of several folks to let me know that our classmate Matt (Kip) Fong won the Republican primary in this year’s race for California’s US Senate seat! He’ll face Barbara Boxer in the November general election.
On an only slightly less conspicuous note, Bill lets us know that Corrie Kundert is now a bona fide PhD in pharmacy from the University of Pacific in California. And from the still-on-active-duty side, John Scherer is vice commander of the Air Mobility Warfare Center in Ft Dix, NJ; Sam Ryals is at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, where he is F-117 system program director; and Mike Heil has moved on (from position as AFMC/IG) to new assignment as commander of Arnold AFB.
Bill ran into Frank Garland in early June. Frank lives and “works” at a golf course in Sacramento; he’s also a Lt Col in the Reserves. Bill also had a short visit with Jerry Wallace early in the summer while Bill was on a flight to Dayton. Jerry, a 747 captain for NW was on his way to work in Minneapolis (he resides just east of Sacramento). Jerry advised that Mark Stickney is also an A-320 captain with NW, and that Walt Pekarsky is in the Sacramento area, still plays a mean game of golf, and is in the pharmaceutical business.
Take Care Of Business. There you have it! Another column in the (electronic mail) bag. Let's crank up the input for next time – go “crazy” – maybe even send a picture or make a visit/phone call. Can you believe next column will be the first in the 14th year of me writing this...it's way later than you think!
Fall Is In The Air Here In Arizona. That is to say that the temperature appears to have settled into the less-than-three-digits thing, we’re putting in the winter yard, college football is in full swing, and it’s time to write the class article again (my how the seasons come and go)! May just be that I'm working in the after-the-editor’s-deadline-mode (for the Nth time) but it seems like there’s plenty to share so let’s get to it!
Thinking About Mess Dress Or A Tux. Wish l could go to all events I'm getting invited to/hearing about these days. A couple of months ago there was change of command for 9th Operations Group at Beale AFB as Kent Traylor took the reins. Carol sent some great articles out of the base newspaper, including a photo of Kent donning full pressure suit for one of his U-2 orientation rides. But I opted for the “family" shot that was taken just before they left Australia. Can tell you first-hand that all are doing well as we were lucky enough to see Kent, Carol, and Meagan on their short visit to Phoenix in July.
This coming week is a big one for two other classmates. Time and distance will make it impossible for Debby and I to attend Dale Meyerrose's (one star) pinning-on ceremony tomorrow (5 Oct) afternoon at Langley AFB; am confident that our well wishes will be felt and that there are enough other ‘75ers in the area to share the cheer. Would especially hope that ACC IG, BG Bentley Rayburn, will be there. I’ve gotten one e-mail from Bentley since he returned from an “exciting and rewarding tour” in the desert" (you may remember that F-16 HARM missile shot in late June, Bentley's last full day of duty)! Then, day after tomorrow, there’s an Arizona reception for U.S. Senate candidate (California), Matthew Fong. Have been keeping somewhat abreast of the campaign through his web site and also happened to catch article in USA Today (27 Aug).
Apparently I’m Not The Only One Who Stayed Awake In Eng. 111. In fact it would be presumptuous of me to put any of my idle musings in the same class as Bill Spencer's final column as editor of Airpower Journal. I urge everyone to chase down a copy of the Spring 98 journal (Volume XII, No 1) and read his piece on pages 2 and 3 – it is quite simply brilliant.
But As For The Rest Of You With “Only One Side To Present.” (You'll have to get a copy of that Airpower Journal to understand that). Believe Bill Lyerly could work on one of those investigative TV journal shows, he seems to know more stuff about more classmates! This time it was brief but nonetheless appreciated. Bill recently “saw Colonel Bob Dorsey who is on the Air Staff in the Pentagon. I understand that Colonel Jerry Macken is also in the Pentagon on Air Staff, but l missed him."
Jim Carlson is of course busy doing way more than his share in keeping our class home page up to date and interesting (if you haven’t visited in a while, suggest you "surf" by and check it out). In his other life, Jim recently endured the hardship of four-week visit to Brisbane, Australia to take a summer abroad course in comparative international law…“fun, but expensive.” On the way back, he was planning to drop in on Joe Kajiapo in Hawaii for a few days so we'll look for more on that in the next article. Jim also sent me a copy of e-mail from Dr. Rudy Roth who carries on as king of dermatology at the Travis AFB Hospital. In that note Rudy wondered how many other classmates could lay claim to a 23-year career that included only seven assignments (3.28 years per assignment). Seems like a good question: for those who made it to retirement or are still on duty – if you think you’re at either the low or high end of the “years per (PCS) assignment” metric, drop me a note. Rudy's family summary "happily married since 1985 (Virginia), have three children (Michael, Christopher, Jennifer), all of us enjoying California!"
Checking For Those Snowballs In Hell. Now that Jon Noetzel has written there really can’t be much of an excuse for any of the rest of you. Must be that the pace of life at Hickam where Jon is division chief for PACAF Ops Plans, that has made him nostalgic. That, or visiting with Ed Kasl whose desk is 20 yards down the hall (Info and Space Division Chief). Jon also noted that Jack Barton recently stopped through for a visit. The Noetzels (Lacy, Brittany and Jared) have been in Hawaii for about a year.
Had I met the editor’s deadline you would have waited till Feb 99 to find out that Jim Dearien is in Dallas, flying for Delta. Jim's been married 13 years (Julie) and has two daughters. His oldest went to Falcon Sports (basketball) Camp this summer and, in Jim's words, “she did in one day what I never did in five years – have a good time at USAFA. What a change in one generation!"
Expecting To Tap In On Local Resources. Hoping that next article will include pictures and copious anecdotes from two classmates who have moved to Phoenix in the past few months. Mike Lischak was still grumbling about the heat when he called last month (and this was a mild summer). You’ll recall that Mike is now medical group commander out at Luke and has recently made significant strides in settling down by buying a house and a 1930 Model-A. Brent Hall, who flies for Southwest, made a quick call just last week to let me know that they have relocated from Las Vegas to a home about three miles from where we live. If the Falcons make it on TV any Saturday soon, I’ll expect to "gather the troops” and get an early start on next article!
As That Fat Little Guy Says At The End Of The Cartoon Says: Take good care of yourself and the ones you love, folks – it may be later than you think (or something like that)!