Final Y2K Compliance Test. Sure I could have penned this in time to meet the Editor’s end-of-year deadline but then we would have had to wait another three months to see if my class column writing skills were Y2K compliant; so here we go into the new millennium!
More Friends In High Places. Expect it is covered elsewhere in the magazine but thought we should begin with a salute to our five new BGs – Doug Fraser, Perry Lamy, Al Peck, Steve Redmann, and Dale (Muddy) Waters. From all of us to each of you, congratulations on your achievement/recognition! As of this writing I’m not able to tell you much about exact timing and/or any changes of command (location) that might be associated with the promotions (although I’ll be waiting to hear from any of you with “gory details”!). On a partly personal note, was hoping to also share results of this FY00 USAFR O-6 Promotion Board with you in this column but the list is still going through approval cycle; but by the time you read this we should certainly have something posted on the Class website.
More Recognition. Was happy to get the chance to have dinner with Chuck and Roxanne Holland while in Washington DC several weeks back. As I’ve noted before they are in language and “diplomat” training enroute to Chuck’s assignment as Defense and Air Attaché in La Paz, Bolivia. During our “years in review” discussion I discovered that in last year’s (Jun 99) Air War College Academic Year Award Ceremony our class “cleaned up”! Secretary of the Air Force Leadership Award (top student award) went to Mike Anderson and the Muir S. Fairchild Educator Award (top faculty award) went to Chuck! On top of that Chuck was recognized as Advisor for two of the fifteen Research and Writing Awards given to students. Again, congratulations on your achievements/recognition! FYI, Chuck and Roxanne will be off to Bolivia in May/June after Chuck gets a quick checkout in the C-12.
The other instance of meals-and-musing came on “home” turf as Rich Chanick was nice enough to take me to lunch just before the Holidays. He and Mary are still here in Phoenix and continue to do well with their employment agency (in a good example of networking, Rich noted that Willy Cosby had occasion to use their business as he was doing some recent hiring). Rich has done a fair amount of traveling and has become significantly involved in the political scene here in Arizona / the far West.
As You Give So Shall You Receive. Have to believe this truism is applied on a macro scale not on any specific aspect of our lives – otherwise, I’d never get any Christmas cards/letters! And the ’75 Faithful came through pretty well this year. If you know Jon and Diane Turner you won’t be surprised that theirs was the first card to arrive (postmark: 27 Nov!). Maybe it’s because they’re “empty nesters” now although that would seem to be offset by building and moving into a new home on north end of Colorado Springs. Jill is in Senior Year at CSU and Ric is in Rookie Year at the Zoo. Jon is 737-300 Flight Ops Supervisor at United Flight Center in Denver and Diane has taken a break from outside work world to focus on finishing touches in the new house. Like the Turners, Mark, Lucy, Scott, and Ann Donnelly made a local-area (Washington, DC) move last year. Individual and family routines remain pretty much the same (although it’s hard for me to imagine “routineness” in being chief pilot for the President of the United States).
Mike and Diane Buckley are still in Anchorage where Mike continues as 737 Captain for Alaska Airlines. Am sorry we don’t have a picture to document one of the major highlights of their year as, during a fishing trip to Aleutian Island of Unalaska, Diane became a International Game Fish Association (IGFA) Line Class World Record holder for the 242-pound Pacific Halibut she caught! (Mike assured me that he caught “his share” too; their total catch for the day was over 480 pounds.) Our other Alaska Airlines – Christmas Card connection is with Brian and Teri Barnes who are still in Seattle where Brian is number four on the F.O. seniority list (“gets to fly where and when he wants”). Teri has given up her Real Estate license in order to give more focus to other business endeavors and to her work with Reserve Officers Association Ladies Clubs (she is President for State of Washington and National Historian).
I get the feeling from Mark and Charlyn Fantasia that they feel like they’ve moved at least a hundred boxes that weighed more than the aforementioned fish during their move to San Antonio where Mark has taken a post-retirement job “teaching and consulting” with USAA. Two kids in college (Shauna – BYU, Devin – Rick’s College) and Tiffany is a freshman in High School.
Clearly Mike Lischak is a man of the spoken (as opposed to “written”) word – he and Joan didn’t have a lot to say in their card but for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Joan, they did include a picture from their April 99 wedding. There was also a “let’s get together” invitation so perhaps there’ll be more in the next column.
Bentley Rayburn’s card/letter came as he was moving into his new assignment as ACC/XP; he’s excited and hopeful that there might be a little less travel in the year to come (in addition to doing the IG thing last year, he spent a couple of months on Joint Task Force-Noble Anvil staff helping to run operations in Serbia and Kosovo). Debbi, in Bentley’s words, “continues to be the glue that holds this crew together.” The “crew” includes Moriah in college (Covenant College – Tennessee), Micah in High School, and Cassandra and Carrissa in elementary school. Yeah, that’s a mix that might need a little tender, loving glue!
Better Late Than Never. The “late” part would be Christmas card from Wayne and Amy Willis (postmark: 27 Dec) – and the “never” part as I said earlier would be my Christmas cards. It’s only the two of them and daughter, Amy, calling Albuquerque home now. #1 son, Dave, is in Provo, UT in college; Scott is full time missionary (temporarily home for some medical treatment but expecting to return to the field soon); and Brian is in USAFA Class of 2003 with Ric Turner. With the reduced home population Amy has decided to strike out on her own (Interior Design) and was happy to see the project she did for Albuquerque Parade of Homes take top honors. Wayne’s still on 737s for Delta out of Orlando and says he will not be growing up nor getting a real job in this (or the next) millennium.
“Shocking’ News From The Electronic Mailbag? Just after I submitted last column for publication, Dean Spraggins zapped a note to announce his retirement (19 Nov). Fellow STRATCOM buddy and classmate, Gary Shugart was to officiate at the ceremony. Dean was pleased to have had the opportunity to see the Branch he “stood up” (Network Analysis & Infrastructure Support) buck the dreary draw down trend of the past decade and actually grow under his leadership. Retirement will find him and Jean in Hill City, SD.
It’s another technology test! I’m going to include digital photo file sent to me by Mike HEIL in my submission to the editor although I'm not sure it has the proper resolution for publication. If it made it, check it out; if not, imagine you’re looking at 75ers now serving in senior leadership positions at AFMC. From left to right are: Col Mike Heil (Commander, Arnold Engineering Development Center, Arnold AFB TN), Brig Gen (s) Pete Hennessey (Vice Commander, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, Tinker AFB OK), Col Jim Dill (95th Air Base Wing Commander, Edwards AFB CA), Brig Gen (s) Perry Lamy (412th Test Wing Commander, Edwards AFB CA), Col Bob Gambrell (72nd Air Base wing commander, Tinker AFB OK), and Col Jim Heald (Air Force Research Laboratory Vice Commander, Wright-Patterson AFB OH).
I believe Bill Murray’s latest e-mail qualifies as an electronic Christmas card/letter – complete with another digital photo file (this one appears to be much higher resolution and 75% of the subjects are much better looking than our AFMC comrades). Bill and Judy are still living in Sacramento but will move somewhere else this summer as McClellan AFB finally closes. Both girls are at Baylor University in Texas; Rosemary’s a senior, Evelyn, a freshman. Judy is still substitute teaching and continues to really enjoy it. Bill says work keeps him busy and that he and Judy miss having the girls close by, but that they’re starting to realize that the "empty-nest syndrome" is a well-kept secret
Practicing What I Preach. I used the Class homepage to chase down Bill Spencer right before the Holidays and reminded him that I was approaching another deadline. He came through in spades! Bill’s in Washington as Legislative Liaison for the Academy and claims to have the best job in the Pentagon (“the boss (Vice Superintendent) is 1800 miles away, I make my commute home on time every night, no one in the building really knows who I am or what I do, and if they want something from me, they ask really nicely”). Bill bumps into Mike Anderson and Gil Braun out of the SecAF Legislative Liaison Office and they routinely work with John Sullivan who is a professional staff member on the House Armed Services Committee. “On the personnel side, Dale C. "Muddy" Waters sits in front of me at AF/DP staff meetings and seems to be enjoying it more since being announced as one of our new BGs. Ran into Joe Stein the other day–invited me out to Dyess where he's in charge. Jim Burling (at AFSPC/Peterson AFB) and John Loucks (working for SAF/AA) have bumped into me once or twice in the hall. And, David Anhalt's locker is two down from mine at the Pentagon Athletic Center–but I've never seen him (that's what happens when you get assigned downstairs at OSD). Duane Jones was in the building not too long ago and I passed him as I was going home and he was waiting for his (1700 hrs on a Friday afternoon!) meeting to start. He was hoping to get home to Robins on the red-eye out of National.” Thanks for all the news, Bill!
Call For Help! Mark (D.) Holmes copied me on long E-mail he sent to Jim Carlson. Mark detailed a good bit of the extraordinary path he’s taken since the late-eighties (I may be a little off in the timing there, some of his commentary made reference to events that I’m sure Jim knew chronology of but I wasn’t completely certain). Sold the business and three shops he owned and moved from San Diego to Los Angeles where he got involved in acting (still receiving residuals from part he played in Hook with Robin Williams) and “keep-your-sanity” work in a Harley Davidson shop (he later fused these two interests into a more “complete” job as a TV / movie motorcycle stuntman!). Unfortunately he found out about the same time that he was HIV positive and that they thought he had had it since 1984. Lots of challenges, setbacks, and (temporary) victories bring Mark to the point where he’s been stable for about two years (“T” cell count around 600, “viral load” around 12,000 although not in check) but disease has become resistant to virtually all “conventional” drugs. “I'm only one drug away from going back into the twilight zone and really don't want to go there again, at least not until I've lost all my teeth and live in Happy Acres or something.” Mark assured Jim and I that, although he didn’t want to make it “too heavy” he wanted to solicit any help we or any of you might provide in networking paths that might lead him to “new experimental therapies, studies, medications and so forth”. And he promised us that it was firmly in his plans to be at the 25th Reunion this fall (that will be a beer I’ll gladly buy! JH)
Y2K Resolution. By the time you read this I’m sure some of mine will have fallen by the wayside, but for now I’m still sticking to the “spend more quiet time with family” one – hope you’re all having a great year. And don’t forget to start planning for 25-year reunion (27-30 Sep) – it’s later than you think!
Over The Top..That’s “Top”…Not “Hill!” Will selfishly start with news from the home front. Nine members of our class, including yours truly, were on this year’s USAFR O-6 list. The others were; Dave Commons, Max Dellapia, Steve Keen, Pete Marcuzzo, Mike McClendon, Phil Meteer, Mike Weininger, and Fred Whitican. At this point I can tell you that we’ll all be pinned-on by the Fourth of July (me one month ahead of Dave… and that’s what really mattered to me) but can’t tell you anything for certain about assignments yet – more, I’m sure, in the next article (you’d hope if these guys can get promoted they can manage to write a short e-mail or make a call to the Scribe).
The Value In Planning... yeah, I know what General Eisenhower really said but in the case of our reunion, it turns out that it was valuable in that it gave our committee something to throw in the trash! Reunion Committee deserves an award (or several) for their responsiveness in re-planning this Fall’s get-together after the Mountain West Conference football schedule was (finally) released effectively sabotaging “Plan A”. But now we’re reset for 15-19 November with a home football game and a little more time to prepare for the festivities. Mark Wells wanted me to be sure to let all of you know that much credit for our ability to replan goes to AOG in general and Jock Schwank in particular.
In This Case…You’re Forgiven. Not a lot of inputs to pass along, which on this occasion (but not others!) is very much appreciated. Got a couple of E-mails from Bill Murray; big news is that he’s on his way to Ogden Air Logistics Center (Hill AFB, UT) to be Director of the “Mature and Proven Aircraft” SPO (A-10, T-37 & T-38, and a number of FMS planes to include F-5s, F-4s, OV-10s, and C-47s). He expects to arrive in early June which I find unfortunate as I’m pretty certain that my promotion will take me away from Ogden (after twelve plus years!) in April or May.
In another e-mail Bill included photo taken while he was at Edwards AFB earlier this year working on Safety Investigation Board.
Had a nice phone call and am looking forward to a visit sometime soon with Don Byers. Don still lives in Fresno, CA but gets over to Phoenix on occasion to visit his parents. Still on the 757 with US Airways out of Philadelphia (now there’s a commute) and noted that he sees Duane Lodrige, Rick Benbow, Craig Fedderson, and Brian Gomes on occasion. Don retired from the California ANG in ’97 but manages to somehow stay busy with four teenagers!
Virtually A Star. With an appropriate eye on his heritage, John Kambourian’s wife bought a pair of stars at an Army Surplus store on the occasion of his promotion to Senior Executive Service in early January – this virtual rank was pinned on (his bathrobe!) in an informal promotion ceremony held at the house. They’re expecting one more overseas assignment (their eighth!) to come next year, back in ’04, and then just two more years until he’ll look forward to “joining the shuffleboard crowd”.
Not sure that’s what Bruce Fritzsche is doing when he’s not instructing at the Peterson AFB aero club but he did say, “there is a good, if not a better, life after the Air Force.” His major news flash was that Bob Thompson finally tied the knot in late December, married Cheryl Bell (attorney from Chicago) who is “a real gem”. There was an after-the-Holidays reception where Ed Zerambo, Jerry Wallace, Joe Debes, and Todd Zejdlik also got to confirm the change in Bob’s marital status. Wasn’t clear whether Bruce got updated on Rick Odegard at the party or through some other channel but Bruce said he though Rick was Deputy Ops Group Commander at Mountain Home AFB. “Now the unique aspect of this update is that during the past year Ode has gone though two hip replacements and is the first Air Force pilot to return to flying status with the BHW (Bionic Hips Waiver).” Greg Sheridan sent a quick e-mail last month noting that he had also retired in ’97 and is now a sim instructor in the C-17 program at Altus AFB.
And For The Rest Of Us There’s Our Very Own Class Website. This is my regular reminder to each of you that our class website is truly a remarkable piece of work and that we all owe Jim Carlson a huge “attaboy” for continuing efforts he invests to make it even better and more useful. If you need the URL, give me a call or e-mail me (and as long as you’re contacting me, you might as well give me some inputs for the next article!).
Whoosh! Sorry for the brevity – think I gave all I got. And if it was a little under developed I hope you’ll understand that personal/work/USAFR dynamics are working in synergistic and overwhelming fashion right now – Wow! It really is later than I thought!
On March 7, 2000, I had the distinct pleasure to dine with two of our classmates: Colt Mefford and Terry Kemp. All of us are CS-33 Cellar Rats and it was a treat to go over old times and catch up with each others' latest professional and personal adventures. I've been in touch with Colt fairly regularly since graduation and witnessed his steady career growth from a young scumbag DOD consultant to a senior scumbag DOD consultant in Washington, DC. Along the way, he's moved from a couple of apartments in Maryland to become one of the landed gentry in Alexandria with a lovely home complete with his charming wife Penny and a large canine protector named Wanda. It was to this Chez Mefford that I found myself invited earlier this year to be treated to one of Colt's many and renowned culinary feats inseparable from his warm hospitality. As an added plus, Terry was in town. It turns out that Terry is assigned to the Pentagon for the next two years and this might be his last hurrah before a well-deserved retirement.
I've seen Terry on only two occasions since graduation, both during the reunions and all too briefly. Despite all the years in between, within 10 minutes, we were all talking and kidding around and going on as if graduation was only a few weeks ago. All this, despite the fact that (except for Terry) we were wearing old men's faces and matching bodies. I'm nearly bald and Colt sports some mighty fine silver on an enviably hirsute head. We probably can't do beer ball as fast nowadays, but we talked as though we just had a squadron function out in the Black Forest yesterday.
The meal was tasty and abundant as usual and Colt's wine collection provided a mellow ambience to the occasion. Penny was out of the country on business on this particular evening and so 3 bachelors (2 geographic and 1 real one) had a good time bragging, lying, bitching, denigrating anyone not present in the room – all without driving anywhere or puking. Sometimes there's a real advantage to being a grownup. But not a heck of a lot, really.
All in all, I was glad to reconnect and re-cement with 2 of the closest friends I made at the zoo. There are others, but the camaraderie of this night was something I hadn't realized until then that I missed so much.
Go Cellar Rats
Understanding How The World Works. Let’s see; 1) this will be the last column you’ll read before our 25th reunion, 2) you just might run into me in the hotel bar, 3) many (most?) of you will be (or at least should be) dealing with a guilty conscious about your failure to correspond regularly… so now is the time to start practicing, “Hey Barkeep! Get my friend the Scribe another cold amber ale while I tell him what’s new in my life!” I’ll be sure to bring a notepad.
Yes folks reunion time is just around the corner and you’re reminded that twenty-fifth year classes get “the stage” all to themselves, not like the twentieth where we could get lost amongst the really old farts (Class of ‘65) and/or the snot-nosed youngsters (Class of ‘85). This will be our chance to make a singular impression on today’s cadets, the staff, and each other (why do I think vastly different images are forming in your minds?) But whatever the headlines (or Security Police blotters) say, you’ll want to be a part of it! As of this writing it looks like advanced registration won’t run out until 16 October, so GET ON THE STICK and make arrangements to be there!!
Getting The Recognition He Deserves – For Whatever Reason. Carrying on my “advertisement” for the reunion, I’m inclined to tell you that this is a picture of Mark Wells being honored by a General Officer for his work as ‘75 Reunion Committee Chairman. But you’ll probably look closely enough and notice that’s BG Wagie (the Dean) and remember that I told you a couple of issues ago that Mark had been nominated for Permanent Professor – it’s now (as of April) official! But I’m sure if General Wagie knew about the reunion thing he made mention of it and probably put a couple extra bucks in Mark’s paycheck.
Oops! But He Did What I Wanted Anyway. I’ll confess the Scribe did not do all the homework that I should have and now the record must be publicly corrected – Dave Commons pinned his eagles on before me. But it was a “good” mistake to make as that one line in last quarter’s column got me an e-mail from both Dave and from Steve Keen. Turns out they both were approved for pin on as soon as the list was approved by the Senate in February because they were already sitting in O-6 positions; Dave as Commander of the 701st Combat Operations Squadron based at March ARB and Steve as 452 Air Mobility Wing Support Group Commander also at March. When Dave’s not making sure his unit is ready to augment the Korean Air Operations Center in the event of a conflict, he’s still flying European routes as a 767ER First Officer for Delta. In that vein he gave the following updates: Charlie Simmons is training to be a MD-88 Captain at Delta and is moving to TX. Jim Corrigan is a 727 FO with Delta living in Alabama. Bob Turner is flying the MD-88 with Delta and is living in Atlanta. Brian Duffy is training as the Commander for the joint shuttle launch with the Russians. Rick Layman married a lovely lady, Diana, and is living in CA. She has turned him into quite the entrepreneur in the wine business. Special for fellow Niners: Dave and Barb got together with Lonnie and Harleen Alexander recently; they’re doing well as “Colonel A” appears to be on the road to recovery after a run-in with prostate cancer.
Steve Keen is a full-time Reservist (Air Reserve Technician, ART) and earned his way into his current job after being detailed there in July ’95. He helped the unit “smoke” an AMC/AFRC ORI five weeks later, got the Deputy Commander’s job later that year and the Commander’s flag in April ’97. All of this followed Steve’s retirement from days as a KC-135 Instructor/Evaluator in January '95 when he was medically grounded after undergoing quadruple heart bypass surgery (“bad genes”)! Steve reports that Tim Wrighton beat us all - has been a pinned on Reserve O-6 for at least four years. Tim went to AWC in residence, was the DO at the 349th AMW at Travis for a year or so and is now on a stat tour as AFRC liaison to the AMC/CC at Scott.
Also heard from two of the other O-6 promotees, both at Wright-Patterson AFB. Fred Whitican is Senior IMA in Special Operation Forces System Program Office at. His active duty boss is our classmate Sam Ryals. Have to confess that I can’t find my notes from telephone conversation with Mike McClendon but I’m certain he told me that he was headed to a job as Senior IMA in one of the AFRL Directorates at WP.
And me? Well, after over eleven years at Ogden ALC and a lifetime of being around airplanes I’m into some career broadening as Senior IMA in the Test and Evaluation Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center. My desk and boss are at Kirtland AFB but expect to regularly get to other places the Directorate employs IMAs; Johnson Space Center, Schriever AFB, Los Angeles AFB, and Vandenburg AFB. I’m very pleased and have already secured an invite for Mexican food at Wayne Willis’ house in Albuquerque!
The Short And Long Of It. Got a number of “one-liners” which I will, on principle refrain from detailing (be proud and give me a little more to work with please). O.K., I make one “sort of” exception for Gernot Pomrenke who wrote to say he has “moved from the DoD to the civilian side of the house when it comes to S&T (Science & Technology).” That’s the entire body of the message but I include it only to note that Doctor Pomrenke’s signature block took up 3/4 of my computer screen! Something about “Program Director: Electronics, Photonics, and Device Technologies Program”, “Integrative Systems Program” and a whole bunch more. I knew there was a reason he was our Squadron Academic Officer.
Doug Miller had a little more to say. Writing in April from Dyess AFB where he was 317 Airlift Group Commander (C-130s) but was in receipt of assignment to be AMC chair at Air University. Doug’s son Ryan is part of the Class of '03 at USAFA. Doug also noted that our classmate, BG Joe Stein is also at Dyess as the 7th bomb Wing/CC.
Making Good Use Of Spare Time? Paul Kent who is a pilot with Northwest living in Washington used a little Excel wizardry to merge/sort AOG and NWA databases to generate this not-quite 100% guaranteed list of our classmates who are with the airline: Bob Allen, Mike Banker, Art Billingslea, Eric Buhyoff, Bruce Correll, Mike Crider, John Daly Richard Duhachek, John Fouts, Karl Gabrys, Greg Gieser, Chris Glaeser, Mike Gudmundson, Scott Hammond, Sam Hollins, Paul Kent, Richard Kim, Alan Krukowski, Charles McLucas, Steve Nichols, Gunnar Ohgren, Jim Osteen, Dave Pratt, Dave Schmitz, Bill Schuessler, Mark Stickney, Jack Storer, Pete Strunk, Bob Thompson, Steve Vargo, Gerry Wallace, Steve Weilbrenner, Gary Whitfield, John Wissman, and Todd Zejdlik.
The Old Fashioned Way. Actually got one of those good ol’ envelopes in the USPS mailbox from Chuck Molzon letting us know that he retired about a year ago and is now flying with American Trans Air. He, Donna and the kids now live about 35 miles South of Indianapolis.
And I talked with Kent Traylor on the phone last weekend (while I was in Northern California to compete in a 24 mile in-line skate race). He had just received word that he’ll be off to new assignment at the Pentagon at the end of the summer; I think he said he was going to AF/XPX but brain cells containing that information may have been damaged by over-exertion in the race (or possibly wiped out in Post-Race-Thank-God-I’m Still-Alive celebration). Also must acknowledge a call from Mike Buckley in June. Big news from Anchorage was that he and Diane were in the process of moving to a new house (local move).
Keep Up With Me Here. Please note that along with new home address and phone number, I’m now going to try having you use my home e-mail address for all of your future correspondence. Please give it a try real soon! And with that, me and my summertime cold will shuffle off to bed and remind you to start picking out those clothes you’ll be taking to Reunion – it’s closer than you think!
The first CS-33 Hoo-Hah was held in Washington DC (actually Arlington, VA) on 8 May 2000. CLAIM: The biggest roundup of same class, same squadron in one place. Can anybody beat that?
As Viewed by Roy Rice:
"Seems 8 old, fat, bald guys walked into a bar. One says to the other 7 . . . ."
As I recall . . .
Johnnie C. emailed me in April and told me that he and Jill had you and Terry over to their house for beer, B-B-Q, and lies one weekend. I told
him that I thought that was probably a HOOT. I also told him that I would
be coming into the DC area around the first week of May. Johnnie suggested
we contact you, Terry, and Colt and see if we couldn't make a big back-yard
bash out of it. He e-mailed you guys, I e-mailed Duane, you guys e-mailed
Dean, then I called Rod....talk about C3I...we have mastered the electronic media. We couldn't make a decision on WHERE to have the convention, so John and I
boldly stepped out and declared "The Carlyle Grand"...then we all had to get directions. The conversations that night included:
– Where were old squadron-mates?
– Where were old classmates?
– Who was still in?
– Who was out and what were they doing?
– The last couple of Class Reunions
– The upcoming Reunion - Golf - A-10s
– Who had roomed with whom
– Our Prowess on the Intramural fields ("Fields of Friendly Strife")
– Form 0-96s (fast, neat, average, friendly, good, good.)
– Golf - Various assignments - Wives and kids - Travels - Golf
– CDBs, tours, confinements, various infractions and violations
– Bud Calloway, Ralph Rhye, Dick Park, Nark
– We only lost one '75er in 33rd CS the entire tour there - Jim Hartney - 100s Night
– Ring Dining-in/party - Graduation - Golf - Let's do it again
– And a good time was had by all. – R2
Roy ran into Jim Hartney (CS-24) on the way to the restaurant men's room. Jim was in the same restaurant with wife Ardis, sister Mary Guthrie, and Air Commodore Barry Thornton (friend from Royal College of Defence Studies in London)
As Viewed by Dean Cox:
Some of my observations: The ones who typically did the talking when we were cadets did the talking at the dinner. The ones who typically were quiet and listened. Some things don't seem to change. Of those in attendance at the dinner, the gamut ran from those who got out
"early" (Colt) to those still in as 0-6's (Terry), yet, in many ways, we all were "winners". The class of 75 had, to my knowledge, the highest attrition of any class in the Academy's history (46.12%, I believe), which made anyone graduating in the top 54% of the entering class, by default. Yet we did not lose one class member from our squadron from [the end of] our sophomore year on, even though we were sent to rebuild a squadron decimated by an honor scandal. Not one of those gathered at the dinner had succumbed to drugs, alcohol,
or financial failure. We all would be viewed as "successful" to the majority
of the US and the world. We also all met as individuals who shared a
"trying" experience long ago, and left as closer friends, wanting to meet
again. We served our country during the cold war, Desert Storm, and are
still serving. Not bad for kids who grew up during the 60's and the
protests of Viet Nam. We gave up "college" and attended a service Academy
when it was not popular, and helped bring the US military from an
institution despised by a generation, to the most respected institution in
American society. We helped bring an Air Force from rough parity with a
third world nation, to "the most respected Air & Space Force in the
world." (Drum rolls, bugles, flags in the background, etc.)
One thing we didn't talk about in any detail at the dinner was what we had done during our time in the AF/Navy. I would think we would find that there are some memorable accomplishments in there. Perhaps that could be a reunion project – have everyone in the class tell what they did that they most take personal pride in – kind of a "What has the Class of 1975 given back to/accomplished for the Air Force/World" review.
As Viewed by John Charlton:
[W]e had the largest intact class of 75ers graduate. If I recall correctly, we started 3rd class year with 27 guys, and lost one to the dean that first semester [Ralph Reed]. We had 26 left going into senior year, until they remixed the seniors. I believe that we all graduated except Bud, and he came about as close as you could without actually graduating. Also . . . we got more guys together for one evening at dinner 25 years later than some other squadrons had graduate...
Midnight Writer. Either I'm suffering pangs of guilt over being tardy once again with the column or something I ate has me wide wake in the middle of the night – so rather than count sheep I'll count E-mails, letters and notes. It's a weird column to undertake as for me (the writer) it's pre-reunion but for you (the reader) it's likely sometime after the party. Reminder – if you picked up on some interesting (and publishable) news during the festivities that you don't see printed here please fire off a quick note and we'll get it in the winter column.
If you note any unusually abrupt quality to my writing this time around it probably has more to do with me falling into the cultural norm of where I am than the hour of the night. I'm right now about three-quarters of the way through an eleven-week stint on the East Coast (New Jersey) in training for a job I've taken with AT&T Solutions. Left Boeing this summer to become a Solutions Architect (Technical Project Management in the Business Development part of the company). When I finish training will go back to Arizona where I'll work out of virtual office in my home. At this point I'm very enthusiastic about the company and the work but have to admit that, on top of the other "life-changes" I've gone through this year, this has been a tall order.
Way Up North! First letter came from Mike and Diane Buckley who had just finished (or "mostly finished") moving into a different house in Anchorage. Mike's still with Alaska Airlines and it sounds like they're taking advantage of some of the benefits with trips to both Australia and Ireland this year. In the midst of all that's going on Mike had time to do some volunteer work on a "Habitat for Humanity" project where he bumped into Hoss Erving who lives just down the block from Mike's new house! Hoss is flying MD-11s out of Anchorage for FedEx.
Meeting between these two classmates was more planned although they hadn't seen each other in over fifteen years – Doug Miller hosted Eric Hoganson during a spring-time visit to Dyess AFB. Doug let's us know that since the picture was taken both have PCS'd – Doug left the C-130 Ops Group Commander's job there in Big Springs to become AMC Chair to Air University. Eric also moved east,from 46 Test Group Commander at Kirtland AFB to Wright-Patterson AFB where he's now AFMC/DOP.
It’s Still A Better Way To Communicate. Had the pleasure of visiting face-to-face with five classmates since the last column and even took a few phone calls – as a general rule this beats the heck out of E-mail! Actually met quasi-professionally with Rich Channick on several occasions as he provided some great counsel during my job-search campaign and did me the favor of having me up to the cabin he and Mary own in the mountains of Arizona (followed by a round of golf where I tried desperately not to embarrass myself). He and Mary still have their business in Phoenix but have spent a good deal of time involved in the big-time political process with the Republican Party.
About this same time (early summer) I caught up with CS09-mate, Phil Pearce, who is now a "mostly" Phoenix resident (he and Chris kept their house in North Carolina). I missed seeing Chris who was spending time in NC with their son but did get to go to dinner with Phil and drink a beer at their lovely home. They established roots in AZ when Phil accepted an offer to join PCS Health Systems on a full-time basis (he'd been doing consulting for them).
Jon and Diane Turner had me over to their new house for dinner when I was in Colorado back in late July. I even got to see both Jill (and her fiancé – USAFA Hockey Team captain) and Ric (who was just finishing summer USAFA Soaring Program that week). The whole family looked great (have to take my word on it as that picture is at home in AZ)!
Saw Brian Duffy during a USAFR trip I made to Houston in August (good planning – it was miserably humid). Brian was in the final stages of preparations for STS-92, which was supposed to launch in early October but was on a delay as I wrote this column. Brian's the senior Air Force guy in the Astronaut Office now but I think he may be looking to retire sometime after this flight.
Finally had lunch with Wayne and Amy Willis in Albuquerque last week when I was out there for a few days of Reserve duty. Wayne's still with Delta and domiciled in Florida (heck of a commute); Amy has her own Interior Design company and was going through the "wahoos" of getting three houses ready for this year's Parade of Homes in ABQ. Kids are all doing great – you may have noticed Brian's name in last Checkpoints write-up on how well the USAFA Track Team did last year. Wayne provided some information on handful of others who work for Delta; Mike Dennis is a 767 First Officer out of Cincinnati – got married about a year ago and will miss Reunion due to timing on birth of their baby (a heck of a reason to miss your 25th Reunion!). Jeff Chappell is on 727s out of DFW and (in an interesting comparison) recently became a Grandfather. Bruce Hopkins and Rich Wilson are 737 Captains out of Orlando with Wayne. Wayne also emphasized what we all could have guessed – Larry Fariss is the best USAFA Assistant Athletic Director ever and is having a ball in the job!
Hey, I Work For The Phone Company Now – Call Me! Had two calls that I find notes from (have a nagging suspicion that there were others I'm forgetting). Anyway, first was from fellow Gilbert, AZ resident Jerry Cooke who was barely able to contain himself in announcing recent birth of his grandson. Jerry (who flies with America West out of PHX) stumped me with question about how many Grandpas we have in the class – I told him I didn't think he was first (see above) but that he sounded as if he might be amongst the proudest. So let's get some more calls and photos to the Scribe from all you beaming granddads. Just remember I can't include photos unless you're in it too – so stand there and be helpful by holding the diaper bag or something!
Dennis Brooks didn't know I was in New Jersey so it was kind of late the other night when my cell phone rang. His call came from home in Eureka, CA although he noted that he and Leslie might be pulling up stakes again next year – looking for somewhere with a little warmer weather. Dennis noted that his health was "O.K." but that there are still many struggles – he's just gotten "used to it all" (my take is that he's just incredibly strong and determined). Daughter is at Abilene (TX) Christian College. He wanted to be sure we knew that our classmate Bill Weiderman is also in Eureka – local OB-GYN doctor.
E-Mail Mania. Sounds like a WWF event! But there's actually not too many to share. Got a short note from Mike McClendon to complete the picture on his new USAFR O-6 assignment – he's now IMA to F-22 SPO Director at Wright-Patterson AFB. David Shields copied me on e-mail he sent to Jim Carlson, which gave a good outline on where he's been (far away) and what he's been up to (lots). David left active duty in 1981 and proceeded to get his A&P license in support of his quest to become involved in missionary flying activities. Well he and Rhonda succeeded in that goal and have been with Wycliffe Bible Translators since 1984, spending next thirteen years in Cameroon, and now at their Jungle Aviation and Radio Service headquarters in Waxhaw, NC as the Manager for Training. David got to do a lot of "challenging" flying and has seen some "desperate" situations in a career path that "has been a little different than most". (Scribe says "different" – yes… "impressive" – very!!)
Tom and Rochelle Calhoun traded West coast (southern CA) for East coast (Fort Lauderdale, FL) this summer as Tom took a position as Deputy Superintendent for Facilities with the Broward County School Board. It's been awhile since we heard from Tom and he notes that he retired from USAFR in April of '99 although he was still doing some informal work with local High Schools and mentors one young man who needs a father (grandfather) figure [that's Tom's parenthetical note]. Both of the kids are in college.
Next e-mail came from Brian and Terri Barnes who are still in Washington as Brian continues to occupy very senior position (#4) MD-80 First Officer position with Alaska Airlines ("enjoying those winter days on the beach of Mexico and the summer days up in Alaska"). The sun continues to literally shine on Brian as this summer he, "loaded up the Motor Home with the wife, dog, mother-in-law, and boat and cruised Canada for 34 days without rain!"
Special For Those Of Us Who Were Rookies In CS-26. Was so pleased to get a "hello" e-mail from (Gentleman) Joe Rogers who left our ranks after freshman year and returned to South Carolina. Joe's still in SC and keeps up with us via the class website.
Talk About Timing! Was in final review of this missive when e-mail "alert" popped up to announce last-second input from Bob Hickcox. He makes what I judge to be a good case for inclusion on last column's list of '75 grads flying with Northwest – for the past five years he has made 4 to 8 flights a month and piled up 500,000 flight miles on Northwest in his job as Chief Information Officer of NCS (information service company in the education and government markets based in Minneapolis). "The flight attendants know me by first name without looking at the seating chart although I've only once run into one of our classmates from the flight deck."
Brian Duffy's fourth and final shuttle mission was STS-92, aboard the Discovery from 11 October to 24 October 2000. STS-92 marked the 100th mission of the Space Shuttle. STS-92 was an ISS assembly flight that brought the Z1 truss, Control Moment Gyros, Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 (PMA-3) (mounted on a Spacelab pallet) and two DDCU (Heat pipes) to the space station.