Happy 2008. A good number of 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, left, 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?” Note: this is a true story. 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 Association of Graduates 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. It was 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: The [ring on eBay] discussion also 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. Mark Fry the previous Geographic POC, has taken a DoD job as an AFJROTC Teacher at Lakenheath American High School in England. Mike McClendon has been reassigned from the WPAFB area to Langley AFB, VA. Stan Gorenc landed at Tucson and is working for Raytheon as their Director for Missile Defense Business Development. 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 in Review, by Jim Carlson. As 2007 nears its close, I want to wish all of you a happy holidays (Christmas, Hannukka, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Cycle of Creation, Peace in our time, etc.) We've had a pretty good year as a class. We didn’t lose anyone (assuming our Missing Classmates, are alive and well). We have the largest presence in ZoomieNation [now defunct] (336). The next nearest class, '87 has just 76 members registered! 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 ZoomieNation group (Class of '75 Best Alive!) ? ?) We have a number of classmates going into private business. Our hard-working Class Webmaster, Marty Stytz, created a Class Website without parallel and raised the bar for the other classes. Marty's ideas are works of art as far as I'm concerned. Especially the GBNF pages.
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. We've got about a dozen classmates working their buns off overseas – and even punching out of aircraft. Your respective Squadron POC should have been on your case asking you to verify your contact information with him. I sent each a spreadsheet to make sure we have the latest information. Please cooperate with your Squadron POCs and update your data. Our webmaster 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. But he needs each of the POCs to deliver. 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. Since we seem to be connected more or less via email and the Internet, this is probably the best means to get you guys to participate and even THATS challenging at times!. 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. Many of us have had intriguing careers that were off the beaten path. We've had classmates serve in our sister services, and in government. We also have a strong segment in private enterprise, in teaching, and in medicine – as well as in the information and defense industries. Over time, I want to hear from each of you. There are potentially over 700 stories out there – but I'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. Attached is a recounting of a couple of situations where classmates have run into each other in ways that were memorable. Please put your electronic pen to electronic paper and memorialize your own instances and forward them to Bruce. Future topics may include: what you did in another military branch; what military engagements were you a part of; 9-11 and other national emergencies; singular accomplishments in business or personal life; tales of survival and loss; honors received from your community (don't be shy about this); government service (local to national); and friendships from the zoo that have stood the test of time, to name a few.
My first mission to the Soviet sub pens in the Baltic was in December 1985. At eighty-five thousand feet, the winter view of the northern Russian port was magnificent. The land was absolutely white in every direction, and the sea was frozen solid, too, except for the dark black lines where icebreakers had been used and I could see subs moving along the surface, heading for deeper waters. In the polar cold, we pulled engine contrails, which made us a clear target in the cloudless sky. Way down below I could see the spiral contrails of Soviet fighters, scrambled because of us. At that time of the year the sun was very low on the horizon even at noon. I had lowered the curtain to cover the left window so I could watch the radar and defensive systems panels in the backseat without having the sun directly in my eyes. As we approached the sub pens we received a “condition one” alert over the high-frequency radio that got our immediate attention. An instant later, the defensive systems panel began lighting up, indicating we were being tracked and engaged by SAM missiles and there might be a missile on the way. I advised my pilot to accelerate out to maximum Mach. I thought, if they really fired a missile, it should be here by now. At that instant, the Velcro that held the sun screen curtain in place let go, and my cockpit was lit with brilliant light. For a split second, I thought, they got us! I let go with a shriek of terror. So much for the image of the fearless flyer. Scared crapless by a blinding flash of winter sunlight.
– from Skunk Works by Ben R. Rich & Leo Janos
Bruce Mitchell adds: If we could get 300 stories by the next reunion . . .I still hold up Curt Osterheld's SR-71 war story in the Ben Rich book "Skunk Works" as a terrific example.
Other Examples Of Post-Graduation Achievements/Events That Deserve Archiving (remember – send your stories and memorabilia to Bruce Mitchell):
Johnny Sims brush with death in his helo crash
Chronicles of our very own classmate astronaut Brian Duffy
Scott Hente's, Matt Fong's and Bentley Rayburn's political careers (I'm sure there are others)
Chronicles of classmate Business Owners and Partners
Chronicles of classmate Medical Professionals
Chronicles of classmate Legal Professionals
Chronicles of classmate Helicopter Professionals
Chronicles of classmate Airline Drivers
Chronicles of classmates in Education
Chronicles of classmates with PhDs
Classmates who have overcome great physical odds
Chronicles of classmates who served in other Services
Classmates in Federal service
Classmates of the Cloth
Chronicles of classmates making a living outside the borders of our country
Classmates who continue to impregnate their wives
Classmates rescuing, aiding, medically caring for, delivering babies for, and providing other similar aid to fellow classmates
Classmates achieving stardom in the eyes of classmates, whose work (likely quiet and unheralded) of singular distinction deserve to be appreciated and recognized by his brothers
Classmates who have taken paths less trodden
Classmates of character and decency who rightly ought to be celebrated by those who feel themselves fortunate enough to be their friends and 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 C answers: Non-grads have always attended reunions. But in historically 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 (see a couple of non-grad views in our Class Website and everyone enjoys the camaraderie. I haven't witnessed any awkwardness, and our classmates seem to feel it's all in the family. We've only had one person get upset (at the 25th reunion), but I think it was because he departed the zoo before 3-degree year and had no squadron to latch on to during that reunion. I've remedied that by designating one night at all reunions as "Doolie Squadron" night so that there's an anchor group for everybody.
1971-1975. From Otto Dieffenbach III: A little additional documentation [on our Spirit Mission to raid the Com's office]. The first photo is from the Army Week office relocation, and I now believe that Jack Storer was behind the camera. The second jpeg shows two shots of a smaller team that tried again before Christmas but the locks were much more difficult to pick so we decorated the outer office. The Form 10 was found on Vandenbergs credenza during the first caper. Chuck Willis: Re: Gary Whitfield’s question about unbolting the F-104 and moving it one night: I am hazy on the details, however, I recall there were only a very small number of us and that we were all wondering where it would end up as it rolled down the "Bring me Men" ramp. I think we borrowed bolt cutters to cut the chain, but I think he is right, we had only to unbolt it. The next day, there was a stern PA warning about molesting the "war memorials" on the terrazzo. Can anyone tell me what war the F-104 fought in? We pulled the stunt in part to upstage my brother's (class of sixty something) moving the Bell X1 that required a crane to get back in place over near Arnold Hall. I am sitting here in a hotel in Vienna, Austria with insomnia about the return to the States. Reading this stuff really brought back some good memories.
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, providing technical manuals in aeronautics (5 years as a civilian now). Dominique Jamaux is working in Thales Airborne Systems (left the French Air Force 15 years ago). Bruno Bethaud, me, working in SAGEM Defense & Security (SAFRAN Group) (left the French Air Force in 1998). 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:
Long Version: A minority recruiting office was beginning to spin up during our time at USAFA so they contacted a New York ad agency, D'Arcy & D'Arcy (I vaguely recall from the Feb 1975 inscription on the copy) [Click photo to see complete ad], to put a professional piece together and promote it nationally. They were obviously looking for a well-placed gentleman, academically sound, great smile, and desirably an intercollegiate letterman for four years, the team leader type, a/o someone in the exclusive pool for follow-on medical school scholarship. You know, a regular guy on campus. As we recall, our class attrition approached 50% and the same held true for the two-dozen Black cadets that entered in 1971. As numbers would have it, both of those guys could not be reached, were previously occupied, or didn't want to play that day. So an officer and a civilian grabbed me as I strolled the terrazzo from lunch at Mitches on my way to class. They offered me my first pass to miss class legally in my eighth and final semester [frame of reference: my two surgeons didn't accomplish that several semesters earlier; yes, the ONLY tours I ever marched PTEWY (eight) came as a result of missing a GR... when I spent two weeks in the hospital, for TWO different operations–first knee (MCL) surgery, and mandible adjustment (wired upper teeth together) because the braces weren't working too well!]. Sounded like a great deal since I really needed an attitude adjustment. I was one of the 70 classbuds that had their pilot slot taken weeks prior due to the AF change in visual acuity requirements following the end of the Viet Nam War. They did eventually grandfather those 50 of us that could still pass our entry qual, albeit a week prior to graduation. Capt/Maj Thomas Cunningham, USAFA '65, an AOC, played a role since that was his 7 y. o. son Tommy in the shot with me. I got to use a rarely worn winter parade uniform combination, giving me satisfaction that my funny money had gone to good use on that item, finally. They staged it, took a few shots, kept all of them, never presented a contract, didn't tell me what it was all about, and I made my next class having never gotten a form-10 [recalling the ole adage: the reward for a job well done is the lack of punishment]. The scope of the project began to reveal itself when Mom's Chicago friend called her in Alabama to congratulate her on her son's appearance in an Ebony ad, then a Philly friend mentioned it in Jet, then Detroit family in Black Business, and so on and so forth. She chided me for not telling her but I let her know that I didn't know. Finally someone said (maybe in the recruiting office) that some 22 historically Black circulation publications carried it as a two full pages ad. Then the Academy flourished and gained two more of Mom's sons for classes of '82 & '84. Also astronaut Brian Duffy's '75 brother even came for '83 non-attributable? :-).
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 Jim Carlson. Classmates, one of the neat things about being class president of this class is the fact that there are 40 absolutely GREAT classmates who have voluntarily served as points-of-contact (POCs) for their respective squadrons. In addition, there are 40 more EQUALLY GREAT Backup POCs who make sure that if the primary POC is incommunicado, the backup will make ensure squadron communications are maintained.
As we live our lives, circumstances change, and sometimes events take us away from our normal routines. There have been several instances when the backup has stepped up and kept his squadron informed of class news when his primary has been temporarily offline for any number of reasons. On more than one occasion, a primary POC who can no longer serve as the communications point of contact between his squadron-mates and class officers has asked his backup to step up and be the primary.
Coast-to-Coast Dark Ages Parties. Coast-to-Coast USAFA 1975 Dark Ages Parties simultaneously took place Saturday, February 16th at 3 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 7 of these events. Al changed the original date and was given 6 tours by Jim C but exercised his option to grant amnesty. DCers convened at Arnold Suite at Bolling AFB Officers Club. The scribe noticed 22 classmates on the preliminary list
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! We had 25 classmates and spouses attend our Italian DAP Luncheon followed by the AFA-Wyoming basketball game. The Falcons came away winners, 72-66, after a slow start. It must have been 100th Night the night before! (it was!). As you can see by the photos, many of us wore our class football jerseys. They were a hit at the game and I received many compliments. A 72 grad asked for the manufacturer, so I will hook him up with Ben . . . maybe more business for him! After viewing the photos, John Charlton inquired: Hey Burr.....how come all you guys out west look so much older and grayer than the 75'ers here in the east????
With an entire 30 hours of notice, Paul Lotakis, our 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"), they were unintelligible."
After the success of the DC DAP, Duane Jones rented a pavilion on the Bolling AFB waterfront for a 7 Jun 2008 75 get together. 33 short years after pinning on our 2nd Lt bars.
Flashback. From Colt Mefford: So . . . I'm walkin' across the parking lot yesterday, and suddenly have an Academy flashback . . . (Over thirty (30) years out, and I still get 'em). Do you guys get these? – circumstances that generate "flashbacks"? In this case (one of many), for me, it's cold, snowy weather, and the smell of diesel exhaust. We spent so much time being dragged back and forth in those buses . . . waiting in line . . . the constant smell . . .Every time I smell diesel in the winter, I think of the Zoo . . .Jim C responds: The same thing happens to me whenever I smell canvas material in the hot sun. No matter where in the world I happen to be, if I pass by tent material or heavy canvas that's been sitting out in the sun, it instantly takes me back to Jack's Valley during BCT or SERE. Especially the compound in SERE, sitting in those tents while they baked – breathing in the dust kicked up by shuffling fellow 'piggie war criminals' . . . I still have dreams related to being back at the Academy as a cadet, every 18 months or so . . . (in one recurring dream, our class has been recalled to re-do senior year academic classes and/or military training).
From RC Park: A whistle and door-slam does it for me. The flashbacks are almost a good thing now. After the initial shock, there is the "Ha Ha, not anymore!" feeling.
From Paul Narzinski: About those "Flashbacks/Nightmares" . . . I successfully got rid of them for about 20 years until . . . YOU GOT ME RE-CONNECTED again with USAFA. Curses on you Jim, Curses! I have 3 that are reccurring: 1. I'm wandering the dorm halls looking for my squadron and room, neither of which I know (guess the senior shuffle did a number on my psyche); 2. I don't know if its an "M" or "T" day and what classes I need to go to; 3. I'm face-to-face with the Soccer Coach ready to throw punches, arguing he needs to play to win and not field his pretty boys who lose (the coach fielded mostly underclassmen). The coach had kicked 75ers Wojcicki & O'Shea off the team before the season started; Bentley went military; Zerambo got shafted and hung up the spikes; Shine & Narzinski were "invited to leave" the team for disagreeing with the coach. Jack took him up – I stayed and continued to argue and was consequently made to ride the bench halfway through the season for much of the rest of that season. Funny, but my Junior Year I made All-League – and invited, with Lenny Salvemini, to try out for the 1976 Olympic Soccer Team (he made it). My Senior year, I was made to ride the bench. Our Senior year was the first year, ever, USAFA had a losing soccer season. What a coach . . . what a legacy. The first two nightmares I wake up in a sweat, the third one I wake up angry (once almost hit my lovely wife). Guess now it will take another 20 years to get rid of these . . . maybe I should start therapy?!
Classmate Updates and Stories. From Bill Lyerly: As my current PhD program in "Disaster Management" is located within the Tulane Payson Center for International Development, I am now officially a doctoral candidate in the Tulane School of Law. Thus, like my ol' buddy Jim Carlson who has gone there before me – I am now officially "in Law School" . . . Go figure . . .
From Jim Dearien: The 75 jersey was the hit of our Christmas! I'm here in the photo with my wife Julie, and daughters Jessie (senior at TCU) and Jaclyn (freshman at CSU). Thanks to all who made the '75 jersey happen. I know that all of the other classes are going to be very jealous when they find out. I suggest a program to get them a jersey, with the caveat that a SMALL increase in the price to be deposited to the Class of '75 Fund . . . let's see if we can get all of the other classes to make our class gift the largest ever. :-) :-)
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.
From Chip Kerby: Subject: AF v. California. Here's a couple of pix of the '75ers who attended the game in DC last week. Despite the loss, the place was packed and the '75 jerseys sported by Beadling and Kerby were the envy of all other attendees!
From Bill Murray: Terry Young spent a few days with us. Terry played defensive tackle next to me back in the day. Terry and I called Coach Kendall and he wasn't doing good with his broken hip . . refused to do his re-hab. So Terry drove up to Broken Arrow, OK to see him and his family.
Terry Symens-Bucher (CS-16 Chickenhawks) went into the Marine Corps upon graduation. He had a quite interesting path that included seminary and law school, before working in San Francisco getting deadbeat dads to pay their due.
From Paul Narzinski: The 4th Navy man in our class was my roomie – Ed McCollum. [one of our MIAs]. Ed went Navy Intel as I recall. He got caught up in Vandy's decision to limit our post-graduation choices from the 100 jobs possible down to the 6 (or so) he felt were suitable for our class. Ed wanted to go Intel (I wanted weather) and obviously neither of us got our wishes. Ed commissioned directly into the Navy – a good ol' Texas boy who never sailed the oceans . . . We both got kicked out of our Squadrons senior year (he from CS-16, I from CS-11) and decided to share our miseries together as roomies. We survived because of some good heads up in CS-18 and a reasonable (and new) Major AOC whose favorite patch on his fight suit said: "F*** Jane Fonda". Now there was an officer worth dying for!
From Dale Meyerrose: I think Felix Greider went to the French Academy on an exchange program. I didn't get this recollection from school but in conversations with his wife in 1981 as she taught birthing classes that Linda and I attended at Scott AFB. Another for your trivia crusade: How many '75ers graduated without getting a demerit or walking a tour in all four years? From Tom Darner: Kevin Burns went to the French Academy, that I know. We along with Perry Lamy and Dan McCorry were in the same Test Pilot School Class. Kevin is now a GS at Eglin AFB.
From Kenneth Hodge: Three of us went to the French Academy Exchange Program: Randy Joslin, Kevin Burns, and myself (Ken Hodge). Randy J confirms: Three of us went. Felix was a French speaker, as I recall, but he did not do the exchange.
From Kevin Burns: Concur with Ken. Capt Rowe, I remember. Felix I don't . . . but it probably wouldn't have been real hard to be OTF for the entire semester attending EdA.
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!
Dave Clough, after reading "the Daily Orders": I guess this qualifies me as "Brown Shoe". I still get a little startle 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". The menu hasn't changed much. These have also changed from our experience: DAYS SINCE LAST CADET ALCOHOL INCIDENT: 10 (for '75, this would be in hours, not days).
From Stan Schoener: Got some good news a couple of weeks ago - my daughter, who is a senior at USC (AFROTC), has been accepted to UNR (Reno) med school. This is her 2nd choice for med school. She will interview with her 1st choice (Bethesda) this coming week. No matter how the interview goes, it's not a bad option to settle for your 2nd choice school. I moved over the Xmas holidays. The 3rd big news item isn't so good. Went thru cancer surgery (bladder) a week ago. Had to be the scariest couple of weeks leading up to the surgery - wondering what the doc will find, and how much he can get out. The bad news is that it was the "C" word – but the good news is that he thinks he got everything out, and didn't see any residuals on the bladder walls. I go in for a follow-up 'scope' in March to ensure nothing is coming back. Mike Narkiewicz I know understands how scary this is, and I am sure there are others out there. Word of wisdom - if you pee even a little bit of blood, see your doctor right away. I am being very optimistic, and am much more cheerful than I was a week ago.
Our very own Alan G. Peck, CS-11 (also known as "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 (see below). 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 MG!
From Chuck Schmitz: I’m off to Iraq, Victory Base, in May. Still in uniform, Ohio ANG. I have a 16 person Intel shop. I’m working an Intel job, 179 days boots on the ground. Got to use some of that Jacks Valley training during pre-deployment work-up!
From Jeff Chappell: Just saw a well-done documentary called "Fighting for Life," about military medical operations in Iraq and the school at USUHS. Saw two doctors I have seen here at BAMC (Rhonda Cornum, Gulf War 1 POW and urologist/flight surgeon, and Tom Kolkebeck) and our very own Charlie Beadling. The San Antonio Express-News described it accurately, I think, as a modern-day MASH (my favorite show of all time: MASH 4077, Best Care Anywhere). #3 son Ben is about to enter the Army :( as a medical tech and he was inspired by the show. It had some amazing stories of recovery, above and beyond performances by people "just doing their jobs" in real life, and I recommend it to all our classmates and their families. It renewed my appreciation for our classmates and others, including my wife :) in medical professions. Good to see you, Charlie! Thank you and keep up the great work!
From Jim Carlson: The Air Force Academy Association of Washington DC (AFASW) conducted their annual USAFA Founders Day reception (to commemorate USAFA's establishment) at Maggiano's in Tyson's Corner, VA on Sunday, April 6. It was a great dinner with great company (with 7 members of the class of '75 present). '75ers in attendance: 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. What a great bunch of classmates to be associated with. What a class! Best Alive! Charlie is the Executive Director of NGATS (Next Generation Air Transportation System) in DC – which is transforming America's Air Traffic Control System. And he lives just west of Dulles, near Leesburg I think – which oddly enough is in my neck of the woods in Sterling. Small world. The trio-shot of Beesley, Lyerly, and Beadling looks like a singing barbershop quarter (minus one), but I just caught them off guard. Of course, now they hate me. You guys who weren't there missed a great time – we were the loudest, happiest 2 tables in that room!
From Scott Hente concerning his prostate cancer: For all of you who sent words of thoughts and prayers, I can't begin to express how much they all meant. It just confirms that the best group of guys that I know are ones that I spent four years with in the early 70's. Surgery went well, and although we have to wait to get back pathology reports, the Doc was very confident that the cancer was contained in the prostate. He let me go home today so my main goals for the next couple of weeks are to heal up and drive Lyn crazy. I know Bill Murray shared some of his thoughts last year after he went through the same thing and I would echo his thoughts. And by all means, if you haven't been screened for a while, make an appointment with your Doctor today. The big thing with Prostate Cancer is to catch it early. Thanks again guys – you're the greatest.
From Dr. David Clough: Leon will be able to correct or expand upon this if I get anything wrong. The most important part of prostate cancer screening is that your physician has to keep his (or her) finger on it... OK, that's a poor pun, but the point is that PSA screening (a blood test) is fine as far as it goes, but your Doc has to do a finger-wave on your prostate about once a year for grizzled old farts like us. The doc's finger can find areas of the gland which are suspicious and need further evaluation by urologists before the PSA test changes in a significant way. Some physicians watch the absolute PSA number (0.1-4.0 are normal), but the trend is more important. A rising trendline signals a possible problem even if the numbers are less than 4.0. If you only have one data point – no trendline. Do the test on a regular basis as directed by your doc. To make the problem more interesting, lots of things interfere with PSA testing. A medicine used for hair loss, Propecia, will cut the PSA number in half so if your Doc does not know you have started to take it, they may think your PSA number is fine when it really should be half as high. Smoking also affects the PSA test. Good luck, Scott. More prayers are on the way.
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 to Metformin 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. I read two books (Overcoming Runaway Blood Sugar by Dennis Pollock and God's Pathway to Healing Diabetes by Reginald B. Cherry, M.D.), implemented the two recommended game plans (Pollock's lifestyle changes and Dr. Cherry's supplement regimen). I lost 40 pounds in less than six months, kept my blood sugar low, and bought a new wardrobe. Two months ago, my TRICARE 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 Metformin and the blood pressure medicine I had to take because the Metformin raised my blood pressure. 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 (I had never dieted, but I lost the weight with diet and supplements, not exercise). I can now easily do the exercise I was always sporadic at before and the exercise helps control the blood sugar too. If you hear of others struggling with the early effects of diabetes, I can send them some other info if they contact me.
From James Hartney: Looks like you'll have to move me to the "Count Me in DC" list. We moved to Williamsburg, VA in late Nov. I'm working at JFCOM in Norfolk as the NSA rep there. 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. She hopes it'll be either Whiting or Columbus.
From Paul Narzinski: As I recall, the only other senior to leave CS11 was Craig Dennington who DNG. A down-to-earth guy whose world crashed on him 7th semester – dumped by long time girlfriend, wrecked car, got depressed, drank to ease some hurts, and when an AOC chased a CDB at him . . . he bailed rather than see the rest of his cadet life go TANGO UNIFORM. I think a lot of CS11 classmates wanted to help him but just didn't know how . . .
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 drug enforcement/JTF6 guys up in the balloon for counter drug work. It was a great time and flew some very interesting missions. Had a blast. I cant believe an old fart Lt Col in the Air Force could spend about 5 years flying a hot air balloon. Life is good sometimes!
From Richard Kennard To Al Bready: Breaaaaaaaddddddyyyy! Hi, Al. Thanks for the invite; however I will be unable to attend [the DAP], free first round notwithstanding. I have great memories of you and the time I spent at USAFA. I still remember at BCT when your squadron trotted onto the "intramurder" field to play mine ("I" Squadron - Invaders), and hearing y'all chant in cadence, "Invalids squat to pee, Invalids squat to pee!"
From Ted Thompson: [I think] Jim Carlson was not the last one accepted to USAFA for our class. I also received my appointment just two weeks prior to showing up July 4th in Colorado Springs. I cannot in good faith claim last appointed to our class though. I know there was at least one classmate (Fred Basin) who was enrolled, head shaved, etc., at West Point when his appointment to USAFA came through. He wasted no time getting to Colorado. Fred Basin concludes: Ted's version of my journey is mostly correct – I didn't get my head shaved at the Point – but the rest is true enough. The Point was starting before the 4th of July weekend and we started right after that. My parents had driven me there from Buffalo, NY and called home to check on things as my two older siblings had remained there. My brother informed her that the state police were looking for us and we'd also gotten a call from my state Representative asking if I wanted the USAFA appointment. My mom and I went [to the Point] to get my $300 deposit back instead of reporting in the next morning – and we promptly headed for Buffalo to make the trip to Colorado. It seems the primary had backed out at the last minute to attend a regular school. It took quite a while to get anything with my name on it. The 'rest of the story' involves my mom having a conversation with a major about why I wanted to go Air Force instead of Army – all the while he’s ignoring the long-hair (me) standing nearby. He was explaining that each person had their own preferences, when I chimed in that I wanted to fly. He looked at me with this tremendously incredulous look on his face and said "And you were going to come here???" I replied "Yeah, that's pretty far out, isn't it man?" He was speechless for a few seconds – and then bellowed "Sergeant, I need that check NOW!"
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 meekly, "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.
From Mary Stytz: While you are at it, we need more photos (for past and present) for the AOG class website. Any and all current get-togethers and some stuff from the ancient or recent past (with captions) is needed. Cadet days, graduation, weddings, low-altitude B-52 runs, anything. More is better. BTW, we also need digital copies of our class's senior yearbook photos. If anyone has access to them, or a cheap way to reproduce them, please let me know. Thanks to everyone!
ZoomieNation News. All '75 graduates – and some non-grads who were in the AOG database before the 30th reunion – have profile placeholders in the ZoomieNation site [now defunct]. All you need to do is activate it if you haven’t done so already.
If you aren't one of the 352 classmates who have already updated their profiles, just log in HERE and fill in the basic information to validate who you are. This is a password-protected site and is restricted to the zoomie community and not the public. After that, it's up to you what you make public (viewable to any grad member). My request of each of you is to make your EMAIL and PHONE NUMBER public. The rest of your information you can hide as you wish. Do ALL this by – clicking your photo from your home page whenever you next log in (your photo somewhere in the upper right middle of the screen), then click "Edit" on any of the tabs you want to edit to make it private or public. Also, many of you go by your middle name or some other moniker others know you by – you can change how your name looks under your photo as others see you, by clicking "Edit" at the end of the "My Profile" header line, and typing in a name in the "Nickname" box. Examples from our classmates include 'Chumley' Collins, 'Rock' Bottomley, and 'Vark' Weems and the more prosaic Jim. Most importantly, if you activate your profile on Zoomienation, please let Marty Stytz know so that he can update the classmate listings on our class website to reflect the link to Zoomienation as active. One of my favorite reprobates, Dave Beatty, recently activated his profile in ZN. There are other interesting profiles, check them out. In addition to updating your data on the ZoomieNation site, please update your biographical data on the AOG site. Doing this can prevent me some embarrassment when I look up your wife's name for example for photo captions (since I can't keep up with the changes over the years). Just ask Sam Ryals – he might still hate me.
iSABRD. BTW, all of us also have pre-populated profiles (nascent for most of you) in iSABRD, the multi-Academy jobs network. All you need to do to activate your profile is to log in with your AOG number and last 4. Your squadron POC has your AOG number if you don’t know it. It’s also in the annual Register of Graduates publication next to your name.
To and About Non-Grads. From Jim C: Keith Workman (CS-36/CS-35) 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 (CS-07/CS-12) has masterfully served in this capacity for over 5 years, and kept you informed of class activities. Life is never static, and Chip's plate has gotten full over time, and his personal free time has practically disappeared. However, he has just as graciously agreed to serve as Keith's backup POC. Keith's job, as with any of the Squadron and Geographic POCs, is to be the conduit for class news and interest items that are emailed to him by any of the Class Officers/POCs, which he will forward to you. How often he does this or in what matter will be at his discretion – so as not to inundate you with "spam" on too frequent a basis. Keith will also maintain your contact information, and make sure that any changes are reported to me, our class Scribe Paul Kent and our class Webmaster]. This is very important because as the next Reunion comes around, Keith will be your prime source of information for Reunion details and planning. So please advise him if you move or change numbers or emails. The attached listing is what I have for you guys to-date. As the backup POC, Chip will be copied by me on any emails to Keith, and if he suspects or knows that Keith might be offline for some time (vacation, illness) then Chip will do the forwarding. The backup Squadron POCs do the same thing for their squadrons. And if you're carried on any of the squadron rosters (3-degree squadrons), then you'll get duplicate emailings from your respective POCs or backups. Twice the love – or three times if you're on a Geo POC list! That's it. Looks simple on paper, but each of the class POCs is a prime link in our class communications. Without them, we'd be like – you know – that class of '74. The class of '75 has the distinction of being the most connected (wired) and actively online class ever from the Aluminum Womb. We also have the largest active non-grad contingent. And at the rate we're going, there's a possibility that we'll get a record-breaking 75% turnout for the next Reunion. That's my goal as your class president. '75 Best Alive!
From Bob Oswalt: I was a member of USAFA '75, but left early to live life in May of 1974. Doolie squadron was CS-40, Ali Baba. Next two years was CS-09, Nookie Niners . . . funny what you can remember. From Larry McGirr: For former cadets, class of '75 who did not graduate, there is Tom M. Whiteside, who is an attorney in Houston TX. He was in CS-23 3rd class year and doolie year in CS-35. Left after 3 degree year, went to Texas A&M for an accounting degree and UT for a law degree (or the reverse!). In the early 80's he was working corporate tax law. Don't have his current address though.
Sandy Terry is at it again with his "Riding to Save Lives"
Classmates and Friends of USAFA 75,
Every five minutes someone in the United States learns that they have leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma, and over 747,000 Americans are living with blood cancer today. Sadly every 10 minutes a child or adult dies from one of these diseases.
Team In Training (TNT) is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's endurance training program. It provides runners, cyclists, and tri-athletes coaching, camaraderie, and training for marathons, triathlons, and century rides (100 mile bike rides) around the country, all while raising money to help fight and find a cure for blood cancers. Since it's inception in 1988 more than 360,000 volunteer participants have helped raise more than $850 million to help fight all forms of blood cancers.
Many of you will remember that I was participating in this event/effort last year; that is until I got a call from my physician and told that a routine exam had discovered a tumor that needed to come out immediately. I went under the knife the next week. Everything was successful and I'm training again with Team In Training for this year's event, a 100-mile bicycle endurance race around Lake Tahoe, Nevada. My goal is to raise $4,400 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to support their efforts to help fight all forms of blood cancers.
As a class we have shared many experiences over the last 35 years, some good and some not so good. Today we have friends and classmates who have had their lives, or the lives of their loved ones, changed in some way by blood cancers. With your help a cure can be found.
Please open your hearts and donate to this worthy cause. I will be riding with our class crest either silkscreened on my race jersey or decaled on my bike. Ride with me through your donation. No donation is too small and all donations are tax deductible under the charitable contributions rules of the Internal Revenue Service (which is a good thing!). Donating is simple. Go directly to my TNT secure website and donate online. You will receive a receipt of your donation for income tax purposes by e-mail.
I want to sincerely thank you for your support and friendship over the years; together we can fight and win this battle.
Sanford S. Terry
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.
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 C 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? (Click icon, right, for story).
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 12000 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 WA. Chris previously ran into Bobby Thompson in Seward, AK 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 NWA based in Anchorage, AK, still living in Frisco, CO when he's not with NWA.
From Jim C: 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 C: 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 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 C: I had a great visit with 2 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 2-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 Oct 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 Oct 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. Nanc 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.