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!