Checkpoints 2008               Paul Kent

March 2008


Happy 2008.   A good number Best-Alivers convened at Bill Murray’s TX BBQ in preparation for USAFA’s first Bowl appearance since 2002, the Armed Forces Bowl against Cal on New Years Eve. As you can see from the photo below, most of our stalwart football team fan classmates were all wearing their brand-spanking-new blue AFA football jerseys with the big “75” emblazoned on the front and back, along with our class emblem on the front, manufactured by Ben Bosma’s firm, and facilitated by Mark Volcheff. The scribe purchased two and gave one to Mrs. Scribe as an anniversary gift to celebrate their marriage 19 years earlier to the day. Confused, Mrs. Scribe thought “75” was for the 75th floor of the tallest building in Seattle, where the reception was held. Of course, this is the same Mrs. Scribe that asked, 2 months after Mr. Scribe was promoted to Major (in the USAFR, as she didn’t know him in the actives), “What did you say you are.....An Admiral?” Anyway, our Falcons did well but couldn’t survive a rally by Cal after a three-TD lead. California was ranked No. 2 in the nation in October before losing six of seven games. Others at the game include Buck Rogers and Jeff Chappell. Dave Commons, Dale Meyerrose, and Kent Traylor participated in the Athletic Fundraiser the night before the game.

The Ring.  You may recall, as our Fall 2007 Checkpoints deadline loomed, a USAFA 1975 Class Ring was up for auction on eBay. We didn’t know who the ring belonged to at the time, and the seller was less than forthcoming with information. After the purchase, we discovered the inscription has two lines in cursive. First Line: Ed Kasl; Second Line: Omnia Vincit Amor (Love Conquers All). Ed knew his ring was lost, and suspected it was his, but the seller would not acknowledge the request for information. We may or may not find out more about this later. Anyway, a little Class Ring Heritage review is in order: “With financial support from the Class of 1968, the AOG has established a class ring display on the second floor of Doolittle Hall. This display is designed to include one ring (actually worn by a graduate) from each class. The AOG maintains a display of class rings and is working to acquire additional class rings to create a heritage ingot containing one of each class ring, a portion of which will be included with each new class's ring. After the AOG has collected two rings from each class (one for the display and one for the ingot), Jostens will melt one ring from each class into a single ingot. A piece of this heritage ingot will be added to the production of all future Academy rings. From then on, all rings will include a piece of every Academy class.”

For those wondering, the Class of 1975 has one ring on display, donated by JT Wolter. It has a red stone and a cross. Inner inscription reads “JT Wolter  Dirty Thirty”. Did you know?: The standard for Air Force Academy rings is White Gold. Yellow Gold is not authorized. The Ring mystery and purchase created some dialogue among us. Mark Holmes: I too, lost my class ring, a 14 Kt white gold with a blue glass stone. I was at a party at a house in C-Springs, took a bath, left it in the soap dish and when I went back later after the party was over it was gone. I was just sick. My folks were kind enough to replace it years later with a Stainless ring as a replacement. Johnny Sims: That makes me grateful I recovered mine from Iraq . . .  and much more grateful that the class was thinking of replacing it for me for the 30th Reunion! And lastly, there were offers from Rudy Roth and Bob Miglin to investigate creating a database of all our rings. Great Idea! David Beck closes: started me thinking about where I want my ring to go after death (which I hope is not in the near future). I'm not sure what I'll decide, but this might make an interesting question to poll our classmates.

Classmates.  Paul Lotakis is the new Great Pacific Northwest POC replacing Mark Fry who moved to England. Mike McClendon has been reassigned to Langley AFB, VA. Stan Gorenc landed at Tucson and is working for Raytheon. BG Duane Jones has left Ramstein AB, Germany for the Pentagon. From Chuck Willis: BTW Just have to brag. My son Michael, Class of '98, was just promoted to Major, effective yesterday! He has also has two Bronze Stars from his previous assignment. Mark Volcheff has joined Mark Beesley as a member of the Durango Group. Mike and Jan Goyden became grandparents in January 2007 and their son Chris was married in July. Tom and Debbie Peterson’s son Chad was ordained into the Lutheran Church followed by other son Jess’s marriage a few weeks later.

The Year 2007 in Review, by Jim Carlson.  We've had a pretty good year as a class. We didn’t lose anyone. We have the largest presence in ZoomieNation (336) (Now Defunct). We continue to wow the folks at the zoo who notice these things. (from Don Rightmyer '73: How in the world have you guys managed to get so many classmates online and in this group?) Our hard-working Class Webmaster, Marty Stytz, created a class website without parallel and raised the bar for the other classes. We continue to produce the next generation of Academy graduates, and more children of notable achievements in life who make us proud to be their parents. Marty intends to put together a "Google Earth"application that will give you the opportunity to virtually "fly" over a map of the US to locate other classmates.

Pre-Graduation Stories.  As you know, I've been collecting stories, reminiscences, photos, and other trivia from you from our days as cadets at the zoo. And you've responded with great alacrity, making the collection of memories from those times worthwhile in building a class legacy, as well as fun for me (and others) to vicariously live/share your experiences. I will continue to exhort you to keep sending such electronic memorabilia to me and to Bill Estelle, our class archivist pre-graduation. Post-Graduation Stories. But we also had careers and lives beyond the zoo. And that's where this next request comes in. Our class archivist, post-graduation, is Bruce Mitchell. He and I have talked about ways to gather the highlights of our classmates' lives after the zoo. I want to lend my efforts as your class president to this endeavor, and to ask each of you to think about some of the great memories and experiences you've had since 4 June 1975. There are potentially over 700 stories out there – but we’d be very pleased to get half that! Let's start small, and begin with select topics. For instance, how about stories you may have about times you've crossed paths with other classmates.

Non-Grads.  An anonymous letter to Jim Carlson from a non-grad: When did you start including those who did not graduate in your reunions? Is it not a little awkward? How do those who graduated feel about it? And Jim answers: Non-grads have always attended reunions, historically in small numbers. And not just our class. I've made an effort to find as many non-grads to join us in all our class activities. Our last reunion broke Academy records for non-grad attendees (over 2 dozen). The reactions have been very positive. We try to designate one night at all reunions as "Doolie Squadron" night so that there's an anchor group for everybody.

1971-1975.  From Bruno Bethaud: We were 5 exchange cadets that senior year: Stephane Abrial is one of our 5-star Generals. He is actually Chief of the French Air Force. Bruno Dauchet has been a Pilot for Air France for the past 15 years. Marc Bonnet is working for NMJ Services. Dominique Jamaux is working in Thales Airborne Systems. Bruno Bethaud, me, working in SAGEM Defense & Security.  Stan Schoener: Although I did not want or enjoy the 'Senior Year Shuffle', I am finding out there is a nice advantage to it – any news going around, I get to hear from 2 sources, Paul Lotakis (CS-35) & Jim Carlson (CS-33). Thanks guys! As time is passing by, I really regret not making it to our 30th.  I'm anxious for our 35th reunion to get here (and splitting time between my 2 favorite squadrons!). From Bill Rohde: Really great "listening" to all the stories and trying to visualize who's "talking". . .Problem is, I see 20-year old faces, knowing we probably don't quite look the same.

Blast from the past, courtesy of Julius (Chappie) Hargrove: The Story of the “Big Bad Brother” national advertisement. Short (publishable) Version: “I was the usual suspect to take a photo, had nothing better to do, the project turned out to be a national minority recruiting campaign done by some fancy New Yawk ad agency, and little Tommy Cunningham made the scene come alive. I was not punished for missing class that day!” From the scribe: Want the longer (entertaining) version? Of course you do. Go to the Unexpurgated Edition (Link Above).  The scribe will post a greatly expanded update. I’ll also post some extra photos, in color, including the full “Big Bad Brother” ad. Enjoy!


June 2008


Coast-to-Coast 1975 Dark Ages Parties.  Coast-to-Coast 1975 Dark Ages Parties simultaneously took place Saturday, February 16th at three locations: Washington DC, Colorado Springs, and Seattle. Jim Carlson sent the “volunteered” DC organizers Al Bready and Chris Soto a list of 117 '75ers in "Greater DC Metro Area" or "Count-me-as-in-DC-too." The DC Group has set the bar. Last year, Don Byers flew out from California to attend, and so did Sam Ryals from Dayton. That's class dedication! Gil Braun has been to all seven of these events. Al changed the original date at the last minute and was given six tours by Jim C – but Jim exercised his option to grant amnesty. The scribe noticed 22 classmates on the preliminary list. (Gallery Below)

The C-Springs DAP, organized by Bruce Mitchell, commenced with Brunch at Eisenhower Golf Course and followed with the B-Ball game against the Wyoming Cowboys. The preliminary list included Greg Black, Jim Burling, Lee Colburn, Randy Davis, Jim Dill, Brian Duffy, Dick Dye (Denise), Bruce Fritzsche, John Gaughan (Becky), Scott Hente (Lynn), Bruce Mitchell (Janice), Phil Pearce (Chris), Bentley Rayburn (Debi), Gary Shugart, Kent Traylor, (Carole), Mark Volcheff (Mary). Since so many of us were wearing our jerseys, Bruce wondered "If the group gets arrested for wearing counterfeit NCAA-logo sports apparel (first local group function at USAFA in the new '75 jerseys), can we use the class fund for bail money?" Jim Burling sent photos and added it was a beautiful day and they were even playing golf at USAFA that day! The Falcons came away winners after a slow start. After viewing the photos, John Charlton enquired, “Hey Burr.....how come all you guys out west look so much older and grayer than the '75ers here in the east?”

With an entire 30 hours of notice, Paul Lotakis, our new Northwest POC, found Mike Buckley, Chris Glaeser and yours truly Paul Kent for a rendezvous at the Spitfire Grill. Mike Garrett and Blair Thisted “almost” made it. The Puget Sound best-alivers even convinced their wives to attend. Paul L noted "A conference call was made to the DC Area '75ers, but due to the three hour time zone change (read "head start" on the beverages), they were unintelligible."

After the success of the DC DAP, Duane Jones rented a pavilion on the Bolling AFB waterfront for a 7 June 2008 75 get together. 33 short years after pinning on our 2nd Lt bars.

Classmate Updates and Stories.  From Bill Lyerly: Like my ol' buddy Jim Carlson who has gone there before me -- I am now officially "in Law School". From Jim Dearien: The 75 jersey was the hit of our family Christmas! From Roy Rice to Terry Young: . . . I tried to order a '75 Jersey with the text "T. Young Wanna-Be" embroidered on the back. Terry responds: Interesting . . . mine cost $50 more because of my extra lettering -- "when I grow up I want to be just like Roy Rice – smart, a good leader, etc" . . . but ran out of room. Dave Clough, after reading "the Daily Orders" at USAFA: I guess this qualifies me as "Brown Shoe". I still get a little startled response when I see things like "Sexual Risk Management II" or "Women's Basketball" on the Daily Orders. Not a bad change, just so different from our experience back "in the day". Also changed from our experience: “Days Since Last Cadet Alcohol Incident: 10” (for '75, this would be in hours, not days).

From Stan Schoener: Went thru cancer surgery (bladder) a week ago. The bad news is that it was the "C" word – but the good news is that he thinks he got everything out. Mike Narkiewicz, I know, understands how scary this is. Our very own Alan G. Peck (Disco) makes his third star! From Harry Mathis: Miracles still happen. Against many odds, the Air Force has decided to promote me to O-6. With so many young thoroughbreds in the race I was pretty sure this old plow-horse was headed for the barn (thought I could even smell the hay :-), but God and the AF had other plans. I'm number two on the list, but also have an assignment pending, so not sure when or where pin-on will be. Duane Jones made Major General! From Chuck Schmitz: I’m off to Iraq, Victory Base, in May. Still in uniform, Ohio ANG.

From Jeff Chappell: Just saw a well-done documentary called "Fighting for Life," about military medical operations in Iraq and our very own Charlie Beadling. A modern-day MASH. #3 son Ben is about to enter the Army as a medical tech and he was inspired by the show. From Jim Carlson: The Air Force Academy Association of Washington DC (AFASW) conducted their annual USAFA Founders Day reception (to commemorate USAFA's establishment) on April 6. It was a great dinner with great company (with seven members of the class of '75 present: Charlie Bergman, Jim Carlson, Mark Beesley, Bill Lyerly, Charlie Beadling, Scott Smith, and Phil Benjamin). I look forward to this event almost as much as to our annual Dark Ages Party! Every once in awhile, I have the distinct pleasure of meeting a classmate for the FIRST TIME – even after almost 37 years . . . Last night was the first time that Charlie Bergman and I ever met (as far as either one of us knows). And wouldn't you know it, anyone listening to us talk might have thought we'd been friends forever. Charlie is the Executive Director of NGATS (Next Generation Air Transportation System) in DC -- which is transforming America's Air Traffic Control System. You guys who weren't there missed a great time – we were the loudest, happiest two tables in that room!

Scott Hente is successfully recovering from prostate cancer surgery. From Wes Routh: I wanted to share with you some info about my recent lifestyle change and the success it brought. Fifteen months ago, my doctor gave me my prescription and said, "You are a diabetic." That was due to a lifetime of overeating, especially carbohydrates. Before that, I weighed over 260 pounds for over a decade. [After implementing my game plan] I lost 40 pounds in less than six months, kept my blood sugar low, and bought a new wardrobe. Two months ago, my doctor I had for the past nine months said to me, "Tell me again why the previous doctor said you are a diabetic?" She looked through my medical records at a year of good test numbers and took me off the medicine. I am still a diabetic, but with my new lower carb lifestyle, my blood sugar is never high; plus losing weight and keeping it off was has been amazing.

From James Hartney: We moved to Williamsburg, VA. I'm working in Norfolk. Not sure how long we'll be here, but Ardis is hoping it's forever! Daughter, Maureen, graduates in May from U of Florida and is looking forward to learning where she'll be going to UPT. From Steve Watson to Jim C: Doing great. Just had the joint in my left big toe replaced. No big deal, should be back to 100% very soon. It is interesting to note that you are working with DEA [as a contractor]. When I was in the AF, I started a hot air balloon program. As part of that program, I flew the balloon and took up DEA guys up in the balloon for counter drug work. It was a great time and flew some very interesting missions. Had a blast. I can’t believe an old fart LtCol in the Air Force could spend about five years flying a hot air balloon. Life is good sometimes!

From Mark Beesley  There I was, minding my own business the other day at The Capital Grille in DC for a meeting with a guy named Bruce Lyman. I walked in to meet him and his wife and began the business discussions. Bruce asked me to tell him a little bit about myself. I answered in my standard way -- and then this little voice pops up and says, "Really, you might know my Dad.” "Oh sure”, I said, “I might. What is his name?” Upon which she replied, "Doug Fraser." No kidding. Well "Yes," I replied. "I know him as he and I went to the Air Force Academy together in the same class, 75 Best Alive!, and we have been stationed together several times from Luke to the Pentagon to Colorado after our Academy days." Nobody, including myself, could believe what had just happened. So this was little Heather whom I remember as a young one a long, long time ago.

Sandy Terry is at it again with his "Riding to Save Lives" for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's endurance training program. Many of you will remember that he was participating in this event/effort last year until he got a call from his physician and told that a routine exam had discovered a tumor that needed to come out immediately. He went under the knife the next week. Everything was successful and he is now training.

Admin.  Larry Fariss is currently serving as our Class Rep to the AOG Senate. From Duane Jones: I just found a roll of 35 mm negatives from pictures I took during a dining-in when we were firsties. After 34 years, it's pretty fascinating to look at. From Jim: Like Duane, get out those old photos the rest of you guys and start scanning. We need to collect them for Bill Estelle before the next reunion! Keith Workman has graciously stepped up to the plate to serve as the class Point of Contact (POC) for '75ers who did not graduate (but who are '75ers and classmates nonetheless). Many of you are aware that Chip Kerby has masterfully served in this capacity for over five years, and kept you informed of class activities. As always, the scribe will post a much-expanded checkpoints and numerous photos in the ZoomieNation Edition (Link Above)


DC Area Dark Ages Party          16 February 2008

 

1. The Crowd.

2. (Clockwise from Left): Bill Davis, Bill Lyerly, Ric Lewallen, Dale Meyerrose, & Don Byers.

3. (Left to Right): Duane Jones, Dean Cox, Al Bready, Jerry Manthei, & Terry Young.

4. (Left to Right): Al Colley & friend Stacy, Billie & Al Bready.

 

5. (Left to Right): Dale Waters, Cowboy Awtrey, & John Sullivan.

6. (Left to Right): Ric Lewellen, Jim Carlson, Michael Anderson, Bob Akers, & Dick Webber.

7. (Left to Right): Bill Davis & Bill Lyerly.

8. (Left to Right): Dale Meyerrose, Jim Carlson, & Bill Lyerly.

 
 

9. Jerry Manthei & Ric Lelwellen as Ric learns he has won the award for farthest travelled to attend the Dark Ages Party.

10. Chris Soto, Duane Jones, & Ric Lewellen with the Class Guidon.

11. Jim Carlson presenting Gil Braun with the award for attending all Dark Age Parties, after apologizing for making him wait a year for the award.


September 2008


Our Class Heads to the Moon. When classmate/astronaut Brian Duffy heard about this, he responded "cool.....always wanted to go to the moon...we just got too old too soon." To which the organizer of our adventure, Webmaster Marty Stytz retorts "Who says we're too old? Someone still has to be the first man on Mars. Course, that will take a bit more effort by the class." Al Bready: "So ...... what do Martian women look like?" The LRO Class Project was a resounding success! Each of our squadrons submitted its name to accompany the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), the first mission in NASA's plan to return to the Moon and then to travel to Mars and beyond. On Marty's own initiative, our GBNF classmates are also inscribed.

Classmate Updates. Charlie Buck's son Chad plays rhythm guitar in "The Dorian Green Blues Band." Charlie adds "It's some kind of play on Oscar Wilde's 'The Picture of Dorian Gray', which I don't understand." He sent the scribe some of their music. Pretty good stuff. Even old folks can enjoy. Chuck Molzon was flying for American Trans Air when they filed bankruptcy. Paul Lotakis, NW Region POC: Got a short-notice call from Mike Buckley that Larry Richter was in town and they took the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. Had a noon-meal formation and then trekked the Bloedel Reserve here on Bainbridge. Got very thirsty and went back to my deck for some barley pops.

Jeff Chappell: Just saw a well-done documentary called "Fighting for Life," about military medical operations in Iraq. Saw our very own Charlie Beadling. It renewed my appreciation for our classmates and others (including my wife) in medical professions. Mickey Clemons: I am recovering from surgery for a detached retina. Mike Matte: My daughter graduated from law school. Brian Barnes: Teri and I have started a bed and breakfast here in Seattle. Hugo Gray: Was watching last part of the film "Top Gun" and up pop the credits for the pilots who supported the cast. Was stunned to see Capt. Mike "Boa" Straight as himself playing a MiG pilot! Mike responds: The Navy graciously let the token AF exchange guy fly a little bit of the film. A good bunch of guys. But I tell Dottie I was actually Tom Cruise's stunt double for the bedroom scene.

Charles Schmitz: Hello from wild and wonderful Iraq, wish you were here. Settled into my new job and well into my fourth week, not that I'm counting. It has been interesting working a joint billet with the Army, only confirms my reasons for going to USAFA and not West Point. Bill Davis: Had a wonderful two-week cruise of the Mediterranean with Annette and her folks. Raider Ramstad appears to be a San Francisco-based 747 copilot. Should I just tell him that Jim Carlson has the '75 Mafia searching for him, and that he can run, but not hide? Official announcement was published for Brig Gen Dave Ehrhart's retirement 15 Aug.

Bill Dalson: Al Peck will pin on his third star and assume command of Air University. Max Della Pia: I retired from the military and from my civil service position. They gave me a brevet promotion to BG at my retirement. My son John has accepted a slot at the Prep School to play soccer. Stan Schoener to Jim Carlson: Seeing you, Mark Beesley and John Loucks certainly brought back great memories. It's amazing how the bad memories don't seem so bad any more. For those of you out there who, like me, have not made it to any of the reunions, I hope you make it to the next one. Stan adds: My daughter, who is a senior at USC (AFROTC), has been accepted to UNR (Reno) med school. I went thru cancer surgery (bladder). Scott Smith: Imagine my delight when I got to the Delta crew wine bar in Rome to find fellow Delta pilot Mike Roznovsky waiting for me with a glass of wine ready to toast "75 Best Alive." I did not realize he was at Delta. William Rohde: Delta has a crew wine bar?

Scott Hente is recovering well from Prostate Cancer surgery. Sandy Terry wants to sincerely thank all of you who supported his recent Leukemia & Lymphoma Society bicycle ride. Dick Webber: Am alive and well at the Pentagon. Mike Anderson: I was having breakfast, and I looked up and saw a FedEx pilot dude looking sharp and being in command and stuff. I thought "I know that guy! That's my roomo! (Jack Barton)" My Comm Director noted how we seemed to be friends who were just catching up – and was surprised that the last time we saw each other was 3 years ago at the reunion. "That's the way it is with our class," I told her. "Its like a Band-of-Brothers thing. We went through a lot together, and we will go through anything together. It could be years since we saw each other .... but it will seem like just yesterday when we spend anytime together."

Harry Mathis: Miracles still happen. Against many odds, the Air Force has decided to promote me to O-6. With so many young thoroughbreds in the race I was pretty sure this old plow horse was headed for the barn (thought I could even smell the hay), but God and the AF had other plans. Mark Risi: I had my left knee replaced. John Scherer: I have a son who is at USNA and is a third classman. I am tired of hearing about Navy Football! Bill Murray: I got a layoff notice from Lockheed Martin, so I've been in the "job search" mode! Duane Jones sent the following photo of our classmates at the AF Blue Summit. Invited, but not able to attend: Dave Tillotson, Dick Webber, and Ric Rosburg. Not pictured: Steve Rogers.

Class of '75 33rd Anniversary Picnic Saturday 7 June at Bolling AFB.  A picturesque covered pavilion on the Potomac. Attending: Phil and Arlene Saenger, Terry and Peg Young, Rick Benbow, Marv Cox Family, Rudy Roth, Don Byers, Duane Lodrige, Al and Billie Bready, Bill and Cleo Dalson, Jim Carlson, Mark Beesley, Dale and Linda Meyerrose, Dan McCorry, Greg Schmitt, John and Kathy Sullivan, Duane and Jan Jones (the Hosts!), Ebola Bill Lyerly and Sylvia +2, Cowboy Awtrey and Jani, Joe May and Nancy, Jerry Manthei, Chappie Hargrove, Mike Anderson & Rene, Dick & Michele Webber, Bill & Annette Davis. On June 4, CS-33 sent out a "Happy 33rd from 33" message to the class. We only have 7 more graduation anniversaries before we won't be able to do that anymore.

Chris Glaeser wrote to the scribe: I think we should have a NW coast-to-coast picnic on June 7th also. The gracious Chris even offered to host at his house. Unfortunately, the scribe and others in the Pacific NW could not make it work with their schedules.


December 2008


Minuteman III Removed After 37 Years Of Academy Service.  And this time it was not Charlie Beadling. Although he was contacted, he declined, stating that his previous efforts (although self-initiated with enthusiastic support from others) were not appreciated at the time. In fact, the Public Affairs announcement quotes "...since its dedication ceremony Dec. 9, 1971, the Minuteman III ICBM display has inspired thousands of cadets over the years..." The article does not elaborate that the missile, while still on a flatbed trailer, "inspired" a small slightly deranged cadre of stealth-doolies from the Class of 1975 to "remove" it before it was even erected. As Jim Carlson observes: The MMIII in front of the Field House started with us, and is joining us in retirement. Want to know the story from our beloved instigator himself? (Story via ZoomieNation Edition, Link Right).

Classmates.  The scribe had a memorable summer that a few of our classmates have participated in over the years. I had the privilege of experiencing Philmont Scout Ranch with my 14-year-old son. One gets renewed faith in youth with Scouts. Located a couple hours south of the zoo, the scribe was also proud that his 55-year-old body still could backpack 70 miles in 11 days at altitudes up to 12,000 feet. Upon return, the scribe had the honor of a dinner visit from Chris Glaeser and wife Karen. Upon relating my Philmont story, Chris invited me on late summer fantastic-weather-day hike to Snow Lake in the Alpine Lakes area of Washington. Chris previously ran into Bobby Thompson in Seward, Alaska in late July. Bobby had just returned from a fishing trip, with his catch (!) on the sign behind us (not a good day). Bobby is a 747 captain for Northwest Airlines based in Anchorage, Alaska, still living in Frisco, Colorado when he's not with Northwest.

From Jim Carlson: Ben Bosma has garnered some high interest from TSA with regard to a consumer product that would make life easier for air travelers with laptops to get through airport security in minimum time. It works. (NY Times story here) I was asked by Ben to ops test his product on my way home from Dayton (for Dave Ehrhart’s retirement). The bag is a dual compartment carrier that splits apart (due to velcro fasteners at the bottom) for laying on the conveyor X-ray at the airport security checkpoint. When I did that, the security personnel remarked, “Oh, that’s one of those new laptop bags!” I told her I had just met with the inventor (Bosma) the day before and that I was wondering if security personnel would recognize it. She said they all knew about the bag and that it passed all TSA requirements – and makes it unnecessary to take one’s laptop out of a bag and put it in those plastic bins. She thought it was clever – and I thought I was pretty cool to have been hanging out with one of our amazingly gifted classmates (who by the way, is a MENSA member along with Mike Marro, CS-06). Please don’t take this as a commercial for Ben – I just consider myself privileged to be in such fine company (I still have this guilty feeling that the USAFA Registrar made a mistake when she called me, as one of the alternates, to report with the class on 5 July 1971. I hope they never do an audit).

From Jim Carlson: Here’s an illustration of how great you guys, my classmates, are: On my flight out of Reagan National on Thursday night, my flight was delayed from its 1745 flight several times until around 2045. At that point, they announced that the flight was canceled. Since it was an FAA cancellation, we were told there would be no compensation or room vouchers. I was rebooked for the first flight the next morning. I called a couple of classmates and eventually got hold of Marty Stytz (CS-11), our Webmaster. He looked up another classmate, Jerry Manthei (CS-01) whom I knew lived someplace near the airport. I called the number Marty gave me for Jerry, and he immediately offered to pick me up and have me crash at his apartment. Not only that, but he drove me to the airport at 0500 the next morning to make an 0600 departure. At Dayton, Fred Whitican offered to put me up during my stay, but I had already booked a hotel room. Dave’s retirement ceremony and dinner was stupendous (photos and full report soon). Dave and Chris Ehrhart hosted me at brunch at their house Saturday morning and Ben Bosma treated me to lunch that afternoon. Then Fred and Cheryl had me over for dinner and grilled some fine rainbow trout at their home chalet. I think all these guys have mistaken me for somebody else. This weekend has been great. The only problems were the flights in and out. On my way home from Dayton this morning at about 0620, the pilot announced that he was declaring an in-flight emergency and was turning back. Apparently, the nose gear failed to retract. We all did the “brace for impact” drill for the landing. A few hours later, I was on another airplane. Man, I’m glad to finally be back to my house, none the worse for wear and tear.

From Dave Clough to Ray Marden: We're glad we found you. It was great to talk to you over the phone after 35 years. We got a little catching up done, but there is more information available about your classmates through a number of sources. A contact list of our CS36 classmates is attached to this message. Email is probably the easiest way to re-establish contact, but I've always been able to talk to our classmates by phone after a few rounds of phone tag. You will be getting emails from me as your CS36 point of contact (POC) and from Keith Workman (CS-36/CS-35) and Chip Kerby (CS-07/CS-12) who are the POC and backup POC for '75 non-grad classmates. That Jim Carlson guy (our Class President) on the cc: list is single-handedly responsible for '75 being the most connected class in USAFA history. Marty Stytz runs the class web page. Paul Kent is the Class Scribe who publishes quarterly summaries of rumors, innuendo, arrests, convictions, releases on parole and other hot info in a column in the AOG (Association of Graduates) Contacts magazine, and the information is placed on our Class Page in ZoomieNation (Now Defunct) for all to see without being a member of the AOG. A good way to get up to date information on other grads, and to stay in touch, is by registering on ZoomieNation. From here on, it's up to you. Everyone participates as much or as little as they want. Expectations are zero, so anything you do will be welcome. I'll send our CS36 classmates the information which you provided. You said you always wondered what happened to the guys you knew at the Zoo. We always wondered about how you were doing, too. It's good to see that you thrived and have a loving family. Life can't get much better than that.

From Brian Barnes: Russ (Bryon C. Russell) is having fun planning to launch a rocket into space. I didn't know if you were aware if it or not, but it might be fun to put into the next Checkpoints. NBC story here.

From Jim Carlson: I had a great visit with two classmates last week during my business trip to Phoenix: Charlie “Head” Parsons and Dave Keene. Attached is a photo of the ’75 very-mini reunion. Charlie and I were in GUTS squadron during Basic and shared a lot of common memories. Along the way, Charlie felt it was time to pass the Geographic POC baton to Dave. So Dave is now my main point of contact for you Arizona classmates. I will be back for another two-day training event next month, and I hope to see you all, along with these two hosers again! I’ll pass Dave the details as the date gets closer.

From Paul Lotakis on October 25: Denny Mellen refused to become a GBNF, but it was close: According to what I heard from the chief pilot's office secretary, Denny was riding his bike on a trail somewhere in Bellevue, WA. He suffered a very serious heart attack and it was quite an effort to revive him. He was paddled numerous times before reviving him. Brought to Overlake Hospital, he was kept heavily sedated while he was "intubated". There are other details, but suffice it to say he is lucky to be alive. He is awake now and in good spirits. As of several days ago he was still in ICU.

Admin.  From Jim Carlson: A number of classmates have already sent Bill Estelle (CS-22) their original photos and slides for scanning (Bill has an industrial strength scanner that does a fantastic job of digitizing). When you finally sort through your stored, dusty memories, and are ready to ship them to Bill, let me know and I'll send you instructions for mailing them either by US Postal Service or FedEx (each has a different delivery address for Bill). If a LOT of you respond, then I'd like to establish an alternate address to send them to, rather than to Bill (so as not to overwhelm our great class Archivist). Another classmate in the Springs has volunteered to be the receiving point if you guys really take this seriously. I'd like to see that happen. There's a reason I'm making a big deal about this – we're all getting on in age, and at some point, you guys won't remember if you even have boxes in storage at all! So before the will and the memories go, I'd like us to focus on this in the next 12 months and complete this project a year before the next reunion.

USAFA vs Navy.  From Terry Young: Our own Larry Fariss (Falcon football co-captain during our senior year) was selected by the Academy football staff as one of the Honorary Co-Captains for the home game against Navy on October 08 at Falcon Stadium. This is a rare honor, intended to recognize former players who epitomize leadership, determination and team spirit both on the fields of friendly strife as cadets and in the demanding rigors of real world missions after graduation. In part, the selection letter states:

“We always talk about standing on the shoulders of those before us. There is no better way to display that than to bring in the men that are the foundation of Falcon Football. Their blood, their sweat and their sacrifice form the fabric of who we are today. These men are the standard of Falcon Football…”

Many of us have seen Larry Fariss in action during the past 37 years. You probably know Larry as a stellar officer, husband, father and friend. He is indeed worthy representative of our entire class. For icing on the cake, Larry's son JD (USAFA '01) is doing a C-17 flyover for the same game. As Larry said, "How cool is that?"

From Jim Burling: A couple of squadrons had mini reunions: CS-17 (Glaeser, Roberts, Mitchell and Volcheff) and CS-29 (Schwarz, Udall, Ashcraft, Berlan, Huffman, Fong, Wells, Davis, Barbera and AOC Hovasta – staying at the Antlers Hilton downtown). Other responses: Bill and Judy Murray, Mike Matte, Chappie Hargrove, Nark Narkiewicz’s wife Faith and friend (but not Nark!). Other airline pilot classmates are threatening to come also. Additionally, the normal Colorado crowd: Mickey Clemons, Dick & Denise Dye, Bruce Fritzsche, John & Becky Gaughan, Brian & Jan Duffy, Trayls & Carole Traylor, Pete & Cindy Krogh, too many to name, etc., but not Scott Hente, recovering from knee surgery. Tailgate: In discussions with Mark Wells our lone active duty officer at USAFA, we decided the best option for tailgate is the big white Pride tent on the east side of the stadium. This is where we had our pregame tailgate for the last reunion. It cuts down on logistics, so nothing to bring. Meal catered by Slaytons Barbecue of the Springs, beer usually by Budweiser. This tent was sponsored by the Quarterback clubs of Den and COS, but now is sponsored by the Academy Athletic Dept and is called the Pride Club. Rally point: During the tailgate (11:30 to 2:00) and depending on weather, we will set up a Class of ‘75 rally point on a couple tables just outside the tent. Look for the congregation of Class of ‘75 football jerseys. This provides a focal point for renewing ‘75 acquaintances before we scatter in the stadium. Looks like we’ll have 30-35 classmates and spouses/friends. Remember to look for the honorary captain, classmate Larry Fariss, and for the football Team Officer Rep, Col Mark Wells (in uniform) on the sidelines.

From Chris Glaeser: Enjoy the photo from the Stalag 17 party after the Navy game. Mark Volcheff hosted this event at his house just south of the academy after the close loss to Navy (27-33). Spence flew in from Memphis (his wife Diana was not able to make it, but he FedEx'd a big box of fresh Alaskan king crabs......note T shirt)!, and Karen and I from Seattle. Everybody else lives in Colorado Springs except the Sprenkles, who are in S. Denver. A really great evening that ended way too soon.

GBNF.  From Burr (Jim Burling): Bruce Fritzsche’s wife, Nancy, passed away after a short illness. Nancy was diagnosed with a Grade IV glioblastoma (glee-o-blast-toma) tumor located in the left temporal lobe. This type of tumor is the fastest growing. But even her neurologists were amazed at how quickly it spread. She died with Bruce and their children at her side: Adrienne (27, a physical therapist in Milwaukee), Annette (24, an instrumental music teacher near Vail), and Boyd (a brand new 2nd lieutenant who just left to begin his training as a hospital administrator). Nancy’s mother, brother and sister-in-law from California made a quick trip from California. And of course, Bruce’s brother, Mark (Class of '77) and family, were there for support, also. Nancy was a wonderful, joyful lady who never said an unkind word. She was the kind of person loved by everyone she met, a favorite of ALL the kids at our local high school where she worked. Our entire class knows Bruce and his indomitable spirit, but she made him an even better person! In fact, she made everyone she touched better. Bruce has requested no phone calls at this time, but if you feel comfortable writing them a message, their e-mail and postal addresses are below. More than anything during this time of transition, they need your thoughts and prayers. They are a very faith-filled family, and know the power of prayer will carry them through. 


Larry W. Bryant adds: Nancy was a constant presence and volunteer at our local Lewis-Palmer High School where their children had attended. Their son, Boyd, (who just graduated from USAFA in May) and two daughters, were with her. The entire Monument community is in shock and mourning. From Collin Flynn: Charlie Nystrom (Class of ’75, CS-07) was struck and killed by a truck in Tucson while riding home from work on his bike. Very sad for his family, his students, our community and our class. Scott Hente noted on August 19th: Kind of a lousy day for '75. Chuck's service as well as the funeral for Bruce Fritzche's wife, Nancy, are both this afternoon.


2008 Album

     

 

1-2. Dan McCorry: Photos attached from USAFA Graduation, Class of 2008. I had the honor of commissioning my son, Gavin, an ensign in the US Navy. He graduated out of CS-35 just like his dear old dad...and he too is on his way to the cockpit.  Why the Navy you ask? Gavin can't pass the USAF color vision test (i.e., he's slightly color blind). But he can pass the Navy color vision test! Go figure...it doesn't make any sense to me...nor to the Superintendent who went to the mat for three guys in '08 with the same problem. They were denied an Air Force cockpit at the last second – these guys found out they were Navy bound 11 days before graduation – imagine the scramble for uniforms! Gavin married his high school sweetheart two weeks ago and they will report to Pensacola NAS in early September for his initial flight training. And another career begins....  1. Chelsea (our high school senior), Gavin, Laura (Gavin's bride), Robin, '75 grad.  2. Robin, Gavin and Dan McCorry.

3. Dave Wallace: Bull Six held a VERY small meeting at my house recently. Mike Marro, in Denver for a MENSA meeting this week (!) joined Jan and I for dinner in Castle Rock last Friday, June 27th. We are depicted in the attached photo drinking to USAFA '75's best of health.

4. Charlie Wintermeyer: Halfway through my DoS career back in early 2008–deployed to Kosovo for its independence, seconded to the EU. Posing here when the US Office Pristina became the US Embassy Pristina.

 

5. Four old USAFA codgers and an international publisher friend: Mike Rosebush (codger), Mike King (publisher), Mike Goyen (codger), Lee Colburn (codger) & J. D. Barrowclough (codger). (Lee Colburn, July 2008)

6. Rod & Vicki Kallman at Machu Picchu. (May 2008)

7. Don & Bill Carrothers, Mosul, Iraq, Summer 2008: I got to take Don up with me on a long ISR mission. (Bill Carrothers)

8. Phil & Chris Pearce, Jeff & Christine Hackett. (Chris Pearce, December 2008)


Checkpoints