1975 Hours. Local Time. Dec 30, 2008. We toasted JT. "Here’s a toast to our classmate JT Wolter, Gone But Not Forgotten. He is sorely missed. Until our Rejoin !! Here, Here !!!." JT Wolter was laid to rest Dec 30th. From Bentley Rayburn: JT had been in the hospital for a couple of days fighting a serious illness and it was just too much for him. He is survived by his wonderful wife, Meg, and their two great kids, David Wolter and Lindsey Wolter Elliot. From Larry Bryant: Mark Wells, Mark Volcheff, and I were able to attend JT’s graveside service at the USAFA cemetery. It was a very small gathering, since the memorial will be Friday at the church. Since the winds have been howling, most of the service was held in the new, glass-enclosed facility erected for just such occasions when the weather makes being outside miserable. Mark Wells presented the flag to Meg after the color-guard folded it with great care. I gave our Class’ condolences to Meg and told her about the toast tonight at 8:15 pm (1975 hrs). She seemed touched and pleased that we plan to remember JT that way. For those who did not know JT well, he was a Christian man of great faith. “Here’s a toast to our classmate JT Wolter, Gone But Not Forgotten. He is sorely missed.”
The 1975 Hours Toast elicited some email responses: Dean Spraggins, in the Black Hills: JT's memory is well served. From Bill Murray: At 8:15 PM tonight CST at the AOG Fund Raiser for the Armed Forces Bowl tomorrow, Terry Young, Jack Shine and I raised our glasses in memory of JT........He was a good man who had a good attitude and lived a memorable life. We will pray for Meg.
Dave Clough, CS-36 Pink Panthers POC: “Here’s a toast to our classmate JT Wolter, Gone But Not Forgotten. He is sorely missed.” John Quattrocki To all: It is 1975 hrs in Falls Church, Va. To JT and every other member of the Class, who has left us too soon. Jerry Manthei enquired, wanting to share the toast: Anyone meeting in the Alexandria area tonight? From Rick Perry (Chairman – UAL DEN Council 33): JT had been elected 9 months ago as the United Pilots Aero Medical Chairman. He expressed his willingness to serve with great passion. He had been grounded for a few years after undergoing open heart surgery. His experience with ALPA (Air Line Pilots Association) medical was so positive, that he wanted to volunteer to give something back. He wanted to show his appreciation. JT and his smile will be missed.
The Scribe also Toasted JT, who was in my doolie squadron, RebEleven, with me. My wife and both kids were with me for the Toast, in Hawaii, at Bellows AFS, celebrating our 20th Anniversary. An interesting scenario developed for the scribe about 30 minutes before the appointed toast time. While putting on some water socks to take a walk on the beach, I felt a sharp pain in my toe. Quickly removing the shoe, a large centipede emerged. I'm assuming JT arranged that so I wouldn't forget to toast. Till we meet again, JT: Here, Here. Here's a JT Story from the scribe: As doolies, JT would buy vinyl LP's from the Cadet Store, listen to them for awhile, then sell them at a discount. Always looking for a deal, I bought several from him. I still have them, with the initials "JT" in electrical tape slivers on the LP.
Per the request of Jim Carlson, our class president, and as suggested by Fred Whitican: Wherever 2 or more classmates are gathered (in person or by phone), let us raise a toast to our fallen brother at an appointed time in the evening at 1975 hours (8:15 PM) your local time. Additional times suggested to toast – but for ALL our departed brothers: at our annual Dark Ages Party. 4 June every year, maybe also on 5 July every year: “Here’s a toast to our classmates, Gone But Not Forgotten. They are sorely missed. Until our Rejoin !! Here, Here !!!”
Classmates. Jim Carlson: during my trip to Texas a couple of weeks ago, I had the tremendous opportunity to meet up with our ’75 contingent in the Houston area. Meeting me at a popular watering hole were: Chuck Willis, Dan Woock, Mike Matte. I was able to contact Ed McCollum, one of our long-lost and had a good catch-up chat. You might know that Ed went Navy right after graduation along with Mark Lenci, Jerry Manthei, and Al Nash. Ed assures me he’s happy to be in the ’75 comm loop and welcomes any an all classmates going to Houston to stop by and visit. Lately, he’s had the aftermath of Hurricane Ike to deal with and other vicissitudes of life – but as he’s found out, you can run, but you can’t hide – from the’75 mafia! Danny Woock set up the get-together and this just might be the first time he and I have met. Same with Chuck Willis. Chuck, by the way, has graciously agreed to serve as the ’75 Geographic POC for Houston – so if you folks happen to be in the area, give Chuck a shout. Chuck will be on the lookout for other classmates locally and will keep me advised. Mike Matte, I was unaware, is known as “The Marathon CEO”. Since I don’t think he doesn’t head up Marathon Oil, I assume it means he runs long distances. Mike goes around the country giving motivational speeches – and recently got back from the Zoo talking to cadets about the important things they need to keep in mind as they become America’s next generation of leaders and achievers. Danny gave me a few more names of classmates in the Houston area, which grew my list from those 3 to 8. Perhaps more, as we keep looking. (Photos Below)
Jim Carlson: Here's a quick note to share the '75 mini-reunion in Phoenix on Election eve. Rich Chanick graciously invited classmates to a rooftop margarita-and-shrimp warm-up at his top story home in Phoenix (a homesite he shares with John McCain down a common hallway). We had dinner at a nearby sports bar and had a great evening as the photo attests. Great company with great classmates! From Rich Chanick: Jim, as you may remember I live next door to a squid. He is our senior senator in Arizona and has been in the news quite a bit lately BUT we have been giving each other grief for years, soooo I spiced up our hallway with the help of the athletic dept.
Chris Glaeser: Our classmate Dennis Mellen had a very serious heart attack three weeks ago while mountain biking in the foothills east of Seattle. He was very fortunate in that he was aided by a good samaritan who called 911 and subsequently got him medical care in a timely manner. Dennis spent about a week in the hospital, and is now resting and recuperating at his home. I talked to Denny yesterday and he was in excellent spirits. Denny works for Alaska Airlines as a pilot, and interestingly enough, the chief pilot at Alaska is Tom Kemp, also a '75 grad. Tom is keeping very close to Denny as he recovers. Update from the scribe: I had lunch yesterday with Chris Glaeser and Denny. I grilled Denny about his "bike ride" probably more than he wanted to, but I found the details very interesting: a seemingly healthy and physically fit grad with low cholesterol, who has a heart attack on his regular bike ride. Denny also volunteered that he apparently holds some kind of record for the number of times being "paddled" with a defibrillator for a single event. We're glad he is still with us.
: I met up with classmates in Phoenix and Miami, and had a '75 mini-reunion in Ft. Lauderdale with Bill Caskey and Mark Modrich (our organizer). Each of us drove 30 minutes or more to meet up at a central location (Mark had an 0700 flight the next morning and Bill was on-call as a Physician Anesthesiologist). Now, THAT'S dedication to class unity! Mark is the Backup POC for Seagram's 7; and Bill and I were on the same SERE trek team (with Dennis Carter) and is the only guy I know who was made to eat all his cornflake and pemmican bars after we were captured on the first day of evasion. I suspect he's still bummed that he couldn't ration those essential food items for the rest of the trek. (Dennis and I shared ours with him until we ran out). BTW, Mark owns a DeLorean (one of 6,500 to still exist today). What an unexpected thrill! Mark drove it to the restaurant – and for a moment, I was Marty McFly.
John Venable in Australia: I have more time now than I've had in a while, as I've finished my job as Head of School a while back, have just finished my marking for the semester/year and have next semester off from teaching for a sabbatical. I also think it would be interesting for me to be in touch with ‘75 grads outside of the USA. I'll be spending part of my sabbatical next year in the USA, visiting at Georgia State University for about 6-7 weeks in parts of March and April.
Jim Carlson: I just got back last night from my Thanksgiving trip to Croatia and other Balkan countries, and have a few hours of turn-around time at home before flying out to Seattle for work this afternoon. I took our ’75 Class Guidon and displayed it in 4 of the 5 countries I visited (landed and flew out of Venice – the only place not photographed). BTW, I’m planning to make a few more of the class guidons for you guys to take pictures of in each of the States, and overseas locations. I think we can get a good photo collection together by the time our 35th reunion rolls around in 2010. So start thinking of sites you want to photograph with our class guidon. It might take me a few weeks to get the order for the guidons in, and I’ll have to figure out whom to send them to at first – but I would expect you guys to pass the guidons around after you’ve taken your respective photos.
Rich Chanick responds: I love the idea of more 75 flags however I believe we ought to concentrate not on where the picture was taken but on who is holding it and how are they clad. If you are a wife reading this… then I am just kidding.
Paul Lotakis in Seattle: I picked up Carlson at his hotel and after some admin duties, we arrived at Rockbottom promptly at five. We knew there would be a latecomer or two, so we just took over the back bar area. Jim regaled me with stories of Croatia interspersed with Best Alive Lore. By 7PM, we figured we had been jilted, and Jim was thoroughly bored with me, so he decided to score some babes from the next table while I chaperoned. (Well sort of...I said hello and he took over. See first picture). Jim was really on a roll about the time Tom Kemp and Denny Mellen showed up and the covey of quail scattered like they were looking down the barrel of a 20 gauge. (See second photo to see how it ended up.) One thing we did accomplish was that Carlson is finally convinced that Seattle is in Washington not Florida...but that was only after consulting the gazetteer proving that WA is on the "weast" coast and DC on the 'least" coast. Rest assured we all talked about you all not present with love and admiration (please don't turn me into the Honor Board for that) and you were sorely missed.
Rick Douglas: I'm sorry to inform you that the famous photograph of our Class President, proudly arriving on a Cadet Bus and stepping off at the Base of the Ramp, was actually misprinted – BACKWARDS! That's right. After actually seeing the place, Appointee Jim tried to make a hasty escape, but was successfully blocked by a usually inattentive Bus NCO ! See two attached photos. Please ensure these more realistic pictures are inserted into our Class inCircle Photo Album, Checkpoints, and any other applicable history to FINALLY set the record straight. Thanks from this old USAFA History Major.
Gary Oreshoski: I was reassigned July 1 to the Cathedral in Rapid City, SD, after 6 years in beautiful Buffalo and missions.
Dark Ages Party. In what seems to be an escalating social occasion, as this column deadline approaches, the annual DC area Dark Ages Party is set for Feb 21st. We'll report fully next column. The DC contingent was joined last year by a good size group in Colorado Springs and a well-intentioned spontaneous group in Seattle. Expect the participation to grow. Possibly to Perth, Australia, where John Venable, our International POC, lives. (although only John will be present). Still...
Admin. From Jim Carlson: Here’s a call-out for classmates who would like to give our Class Webmaster a hand in maintaining our ’75 class website. Marty Stytz, CS-11 POC, has done a wonderful job in setting up the website and keeping it current as much as humanly possible considering his other work (like the one that actually pays him money) and other demands on his time. Marty has never complained, but I know that the kind of pace I demand of him to update our very own class site on the World Wide Web won’t keep him healthy in the long run. I’m not putting Marty out of a job – I just would like a classmate or two with some HTML skills to be his web-backups in the event Marty croaks, or has other higher priorities from time to time. Marty and I talked about this, and he’s perfectly fine with granting other classmates editing access to the site. He will remain our primary Webmaster – but hopefully soon we can have webmaster expertise more than 1-deep. If you would like to help, please contact Marty and me.
USAFA 1975 Generals: Please take a look at the page that our classmates Marty Stytz has put together to honor our Flag Rank classmates. Thank you for sending us your hi-res official photo (but we're still missing pix from a few of you). Marty has a special request of each of you: move your mouse over Muddy Waters' photo and you’ll notice a hidden picture during the ‘mouse-over’. Would you please send Marty a personal photo you'd like to share (which will only seen during a mouse-over) such as a family photo, commissioning photo, stars pin-on, retirement, hero action-shot, etc. Marty and I can't speak for the whole class – but we're sure damn proud of you. From Jim Carlson, in regards to percentages of Generals in a graduating class: After I asked the AOG, they did some crunching and came up with these numbers: In terms of us having 28 General Officers, only ’64, ’77, and ’78 have more. In terms of percentage of graduates for us at 3.704%, only 7 classes have higher percentages than us. Not too shabby at all, I have to say.
Some of you have been getting emails from me lately about going to the zoomienation website [now defunct] and updating your profile. Here's another reason to bear a little patience with my oppression of your good nature: If you go to our class website on the Graduates page you'll notice that your name has a direct hyperlink to the zoomienation site. It is yet another way for your classmates to connect with you. Clicking on the link beneath your name takes you to your profile and contact information on zoomienation. Our classmate and much harried (by me) webmaster, Marty Stytz, has painstakingly added Every Single link that you find there (all 756 of us). That's a lot of effort on his part, so please complete the circle it by logging on to the zoomienation site and have that link go to your particular spot online – instead of it being a lonely unlinked link. You'll also notice that Marty has placed a CHALICE icon upright for each of us. But when the unthinkable happens, and we depart the fix for other skies, the chalice is turned upside down and grayed out. The link then goes to the GBNF page (and hopefully with links to classmate tributes to honor your memory). Just so you know, we have about 375 updated classmate profiles already on zoomienation, some with photos, blogs, and other interesting and fun things on their page. A dozen of them logged in for the first time in the last couple of weeks. My goal this year is to get ALL 720+ living classmates on zoomienation with current contact information. I intend to have this be the clearinghouse for any of us to reach out to other classmates – until the last 2 are left to drink a commemorative bottle of brandy to our collective memories. The site is password protected and is not open to the general public, just to fellow zooms. If you’ve NEVER logged in before, please go to Zoomienation [now defunct]. Then follow the steps to validate who you are and to start updating your profile. If you’ve actually logged in before, then please make sure you make your email address and phone number visible to classmates (whom you’ve accepted as “Friends” in the website). You update your contact data by going to your profile page, clicking on EDIT at “My Contact Information View All | Edit” Then go to the “Privacy Settings” tab and make your selection for “Internet - Email” and “Phone” to be visible to Friends (or Community). Once you’ve registered and updated, and if you haven’t joined up with the Class of ’75 Best Alive group, go to the link and click on the “Join Group” button. Only 355 classmates to go before I stop pestering you.
Dark Ages Parties. Feb 21. Around The World. True, the only known DAP outside the CONUS was the Perth, Australia Chapter with a membership of 1, but John Venable said he had a great time. So next year will be the 2nd Annual International USAFA 75 Dark Ages Parties.
Jim Carlson's DC Report: We had a fantastic turnout at the 9th Annual 75 Dark Ages Party (DAP) on Saturday, 21 Feb! Theme was Mardi Gras (with beads and masks on the tables). Apologies if I missed anybody in the list below – 52 attendees (31 classmates, 2 no-shows): Akers, Anderson, Awtrey, Braun, Bready, Burns, Carlson , Charlton, Colley, Cox, Davis, Ellis, Gray , Gunther, Hargrove, Henney, Manthei, Marino, May, McCorry, Miglin, Piotter, Rhoads, Saenger, Schmitt, Smith, Soto, Sullivan, Waters, Webber, Young. [Gallery Below]
Cowboy Bob Awtrey did a fantastic job in setting up the venue and logistics as this years DAP Commandant. The bar has been raised again. Dean Cox brought some class and squadron memorabilia, and offered suggestions for class merchandise for the next reunion. AWARDS: 1. Traveled farthest to get to the DAP – Joe and Nancy May (mouse pad, see Photo Notes) 2. Random drawing for $50 McCormick and Schmicks gift certificate – Phil Saenger. 3. Random drawing for $50 McCormick and Schmicks gift certificate – Dean Cox. 4. Most DAPs attended – Gil Braun 5. Winner of random drawing to pick next years DAP Commandant: – Greg and Carol Schmitt. We recognized the unsung efforts of Dan McCorry who did all the heavy lifting for DAPs 1 through 7 and got us off the ground and on steady climb-out – and Al Bready who maintained climb and evolved the DAP celebration into a sit-down dinner affair – and Cowboy Awtrey who leveled us off at altitude to a truly classy social event! This years DAP had the most turnout ever, and raised the fun meter! Shortly after 1975 hours, we stood and closed ranks in silence for a few minutes to raise a toast to ALL our GBNF.
National DAPs: Seattle 75ers (5 classmates and 3 spouses: Paul Kent, Mike Garrett, Paul and Michelle Lotakis, Chris and Karen Glaeser, Denny and Heidi Mellon) called in to co-celebrate, but all they probably heard were loud, boisterous cheering (75 Best Alive) and some unintelligible shouts (just like last year!). The scribe notes: the Puget Sound event was organized by Chris Glaeser this year and Paul Lotakis lead us in a toast to our GBNF. BTW, Lotakis' new Alaska Airlines seniority number: 75. Cool. Pennsylvania 75ers weren't able to organize a PADAP this year, but are set to be the first ever class palindromic event in 2010. From Jim Burling: The Colorado Springs DAP was held at Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub in downtown Colorado Springs on 6 Mar. A good turnout with great food, drinks and camaraderie!
Rick Douglas sent a photo postcard in a misbegotten attempt to be recognized as an official class DAP in Hawaii. And for the first time ever, the 75 DAP went GLOBAL!! Classmate John Venable called in to say: “John Venable here calling from Australia . . . its 1107 here in Perth, should be 2107 there in DC. Hope you’re well having a good Dark Ages Party. Things are good here, nice summer day . . . thinking about our GBNF from our class . . . hope you enjoy yourselves, and take care.” Thus, DAP 2010 next year will be known The Class of 75 2nd International Dark Ages Party. Jeff Chappell: From the USAFA 75/Delta Air Lines SLC Dark Ages Party 25 Feb 2009. Left to right, Wayne and Amy Willis, Jeff and Theresa Chappell, and John and Nance Kearns. Gene Holley couldn't make it, since he's senior enough to work weekdays and have weekends off... We may not compete with the big boys in DC for size, but we had a good time anyway.
Retirements: Two more USAFA 1975 Flag Officers hang up the blue suit. From Bill Schuessler: Just to give you a heads up, I will not be the last man standing. My last day in the Guard is 1 Mar and a transfer to the Retired Reserve 3 Mar 09. The retirement ceremony will be 6 Mar with a reception at the Ft. Snelling Officer's Club 1600-1900 6 Mar 2009. From Bob Knauff: I'm attaching a flyer inviting you and anyone else with nothing better to do to attend my retirement on Feb 26th. Although it says RSVP, no negative replies needed, although if by some chance anyone does want to waste a perfectly good evening, positive replies would be appreciated by the nice people who put this together.
Our '75 Generals page is complete. Mike Crider sent in his photo and all is well. Check out how many 75ers (and from what squadrons) made it to G-1 and above. While you're there, run your mouse over some of the photos.
Charlie Beadling has outlived the career of the Minuteman III missile at the Academy! He hung up the uniform after a very distinguished career in military medicine (and being kind of a rock star in those circles!). From Jim Carlson: When Charlie retired from active duty Feb 20 in Bethesda, 5 classmates were there to honor his 33+ years of selfless service and to represent the Class of 75s affection and congratulations for a job well done. We were also there to find out what happened to the 2 charges of Theft of Government Property (Minuteman III missile and towing vehicle) from his arrest as a cadet. Answer: a head of state visited the zoo and granted amnesty to the Cadet Wing shortly thereafter – thus rescuing from certain early termination a promising career in the Air Force. Charlie went on to be an outstanding tanker Nav, then Flight Surgeon, then chief of the premier military health education and services institution of this nation. We were all proud of him as his accomplishments were read during the ceremony. Until yesterday, Charlie was part of an ever-shrinking and amazing group of 75ers who yet stand watch and wear the uniform of service to our country. He and ALL of you my classmates are the reason the United States will survive through all its trials and tribulations. Thank you Charlie.
Dick Witters, Class of 72, to the scribe: I was reading with interest your article in Checkpoints about the Minuteman missile being removed. I wasn’t aware of the attempted theft of it before it went up but I am aware that the night before dedication my roommate and I did paint a 21st squadron patch on the top of it. I did have a picture of the patch but it got lost. They repainted it the next day but you could still see it through the paint. We are also the ones that stole Ralphie the CU buffalo the year before and brought her to the game in the back of our horse trailer. Then after reading Charlie's Bio that I sent him, Dick Adds: Small world. I was involved in the construction of the Uniformed Services University of HealthSciences in Bethesda in 1979/80. As a contractor we referred to USUHS (or useless) in our terminology.
Classmates: Very sad news from Randy Powell: My son was killed in a single car auto accident on 28 Nov 08. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington Cemetery on 14 Dec. It has been a very hard time for me, but life goes on. Stay in touch. Jim Carslon responds (on behalf of our class): Your emails to me last year were filled with poignancy and heartfelt thoughts about raising our children, hoping for the best, and finding rewards in unanticipated moments. Several classmates have expressed to me how they were touched by the story of your son Ross, growing up troubled, joining the military, doing well in the stressful environment of combat in Iraq – that he was endorsed by his superiors to be a cadet candidate at West Point. When you told me he was accepted to the West Point Prep School, I was overjoyed, even though I had never met your son. You had a lot to be proud of. Now it is with sorrow that I hear about Ross's death. Please accept my sincere condolences. Words are never adequate for times like this.
Bill Murray: I was in Phoenix visiting a Lockheed Martin facility and hooked up with my old roommate, Jerry Cooke. He's a Capt for United Airways and has 5 Grandchildren with one on the way. I'm envious. John Sims: I should be moving to live with my daughter in Vegas, at the end of the month. Peter Blatchley: We've been here in Ramstein since Jan 07. I'm "back in the Air Force" as a Civilian Employee, working in the Operations Directorate at 3 AF. We're renting out the house in Monument, and will return to Colorado in Jan 2012. All the best from the Rheinland Pfalz! Scott Smith: Our Class Flag made it to Jerusalem this last Saturday, March 14th. The first two are taken along the outer wall of the city at the boundary between the Armenian section and the Jewish section looking towards Mt Moriah and the temple mount with the Dome of the Rock clearly visible. There was a breeze all day and by the time I got to the Mount of Olives, just to the east of the Garden of Gethsemane it had started to spit some rain. Nevertheless you can see our flag proudly displayed with the Dome of the Rock over my right shoulder and the Golden Gate just to my left. What an experience..., fulfilled a lifelong dream. Happy to have the Class of '75 along with me.
Jim Eken: This week I received the '75 Guidon here at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar. Will work a photo op with a camel or two! Best Alive! Mike Anderson to Carlson: Today, I signed on with Chugach Alaska Corporation. My last day on Capitol Hill is March 31; I will start work for them on April 1 as Special Assistant to the President. For the next few months, I’ll help put together an 8(a) subsidiary for Chugach that I will transition into as the subsidiary CEO. Rene and I will still be in the area. I could not go anywhere without the love of my life! I'll be working out of McLean, VA but should eventually have offices in Norfolk, San Diego, Honolulu, and Guam to visit. Should be fun for Rene and me, and it will be good to be an active part of the DC 75ers! My deepest gratitude to you and to our DC area classmates for the tremendous support, great counsel, and help!
Cars That Fly and Classmates that Fly (Drive) Them. Phil Meteer: You can check it out at: www.terrafugia.com. I'm the test pilot. At 7:40 in the morning on March the 5th at Plattsburgh International Airport, NY, I pulled back on the control stick and the Terrafugia Transition took off for the first time. (It is a street-legal airplane, the wings fold in 30 seconds). This was the culmination of 18 months of test planning and 6 months of testing the vehicle on the ground. I've attached a few photos of me right after the flight. Additionally, here are links to a few of the news reports with video and interviews. They made my Mom cry! A note about watching on-line news reports: When you hit play, you will have to sit through a short advertisement. Then the news report comes on. [Dead Links Deleted]
a) CBS Morning Show.
What fun! But we have a long way to go and several different vehicle prototypes to test before it gets into production. My best. Philip
Photo Requests And Responses From Our Classmates Who Don't Think They Ever Went To The Zoo. To grant you relief from the "Carlson-Classmate-Harassment Program" with regard to photos, here is a note from Jim Burling with his own fervent appeal: I can't let the following conversation go without sharing it with you guys: I was talking to Mike Anderson the other day, and he said (after viewing the photos from the class DVD) something to the effect that since he was in none of the pictures, it's hard for him to prove he was even there at the zoo at all! My response was, "Mike, these photos are a result of classmates sending them in to Bill Estelle when he called for them a few years ago (before the last reunion). So – if you didn't send in any photos of your smackwad self, of course no one is going to see any indication in this picture collection that you were ever at the Academy!" Well, now is another chance for those who sluffed off the last call. Pack up those negatives, slides, and pictures and send them to Bill. He is putting together the FINAL DVD of our class commemorating our time there at the zoo. It's now or never.
Gernot Pomrenke chimes in: I have the same comments as Mike Anderson [about not being in any of the old photos]. I do not know why I'm on your email list since there is no photo proof that I was ever at USAFA ... at least according to the class DVD. Carlson responds: Gernot, But since my visit to your office a few years back, at least I know you exist! You must've been one of those "terrain-following-low-profile cadets" LPTFC (like me). Gernot: Actually I was a HIGH-profile cadet – I lived and slept on the TOP floor of the library (6th floor, I believe) when I was not in the gym fencing (1st in the Western Conf in sabre)! Gil Braun: Some of us are not avoiding sending in pictures ... we simply don't have them. And worse yet, some of us avoided the camera at all costs (well maybe not all costs). I doubt there are more than a handful of pictures ever taken of me while I was there at the zoo (other than my officer photo, for which Gen Vandenberg gave me "12 and 8" because my tie was crooked).
Admin. Carlson: ZoomieNation [Now Defunct]. Join me in my unrelenting obsession to get at least 75% of our classmates on the site. [That’s also my goal for the 2010 reunion!]. We now have 402 classmates on zoomienation. The nearest class in membership is '87 with 112 members. My goal as your class prez is to get 75% classmate profiles up in Zoomienation – and 75% of you old farts to show up at the 35th reunion. If that happens, the Class of 75 will be remembered for more than its historic and staggering 48% attrition! Dave Clough, CS-36 Pink Panthers POC: Pink Panthers have all 15 graduated classmates on ZoomieNation. Only our 3 non-grad classmates are missing and I've sent them messages asking them to sign up. Our classmate Bill Estelle is wrapping up his photo project for the class. I know that many of you have photographs, or slides, of life as a cadet from those days. Would you be able to box up what you've got and send them to him? He will send them back after digitizing (and send you a CD of them if you ask – which is one way to preserve those fading images). Time is getting quite short, and we need your input PDQ. Please ask your squadron-mates to check the boxes in their garage (that they've been dragging around for years with every move) and see if there's anything they would like to contribute to the '75 cadet photo montage. This will be the last effort by our class of its kind. I can't wait another 5 years for you old farts to scoot your walkers to the garage . . . In addition to my shout-out for photos of our cadet days, I want to ask you to look specifically for photos that include our GBNF. Cadet days if possible; else post graduation OK. Our class archivist (Bill Estelle) and our class webmaster (Marty Stytz) each want to do something more to honor our departed than just their yearbook graduation photos. So if you have any cadet and post-cadet photos or our GBNF brethren, please forward them to each.
The 35th Reunion Coming Up in Fall 2010. Jim Carlson: Our reunion is about 1 year away. We won't actually even be able to fix the date until the Football schedule comes out (March 2010?). But we can start preparing all the other things that go into making a GREAT reunion. I've been in touch with the reunion committees of 72, 73, and 74 in order to get their perspectives and see if we can learn from their mistakes (if any) and foresee the rough spots before they appear. The Class of 72 prez sent me some of their Reunion Committee documentation, and I'm now going over them. The Class of 73 Reunion Chairman and I talked on the phone for about 2 hours about what they experienced and discussed things to bear in mind. Both classes said that it was a good idea for us to start now in the planning. The Class of 74 is just now beginning their planning, and hasn’t set up their reunion committee (as far as I know). First order of business is for us to put together a 75 Reunion Committee. I prefer to stand in the sidelines though and give advice. So . . . I think we should decide on a Reunion Committee Chairman and elect the initial members. Naturally, the guys in the Springs seem to be the obvious choices to be on the Committee because they can run up to the AOG and resolve questions and make arrangements without tarry. But in this day and age of instantaneous electronic communication (for which our class is famous among the graduate community by the way), there is absolutely NO reason someone outside of the Springs cannot serve in a primary capacity. Anyone with the desire, energy, and wherewithal should roger up.
I ask that there be no less than 2 classmates for any of the positions because in the next 18 or so months we will need backups to cover us, due to individual time constraints, to keep this going forward. For a few of the positions, we might need up to 4 classmates. Committees will be somewhat independent, so although this looks like a lot of people, the periodic status meetings (TBD) will probably be manageable. I'd like us to decide on most of the above before the Spring (when I plan to fly out to the Colorado Springs to formally get this off the ground). Below is a heads-up note from the 73 Reunion Chairman which you guys need to know about. I'll take a low-key profile for this one; those who went to our 30th remember how great it was (some of you are STILL talking about it!), and should be able to regain that momentum. If anything, I'll see about trying to learn to play the banjo before the big get-together. My goal for our 35th reunion is to get 75% of the Class of 75 to attend, including no less than 75 non-grads (we’ve already located 77).
Submit your nominations to Dave Herlong, who has graciously accepted my request to tally your votes. Try to submit 2 names (one as backup) for each position if you can. I can't think of a practical limit for any of the committees; maybe between 5 and 10 members? I will not be involved in the election other than announcing progress and results. Neither will I be running for any of these positions. Although living in the Springs might help for some actions (such as the Academy grounds; Hotel registration; Dinners at the Hotel), it isn't absolutely necessary in this day and age of Internet electronic wonder.
Air Academy Credit Union Phishing Attempt? Let the scribe know if you received bogus emails or phone calls. Our old credit union got innocently slammed. I don't know the details, but I hope they catch who did this and really hit them hard.
Grumpy Oldest Man. Question: The fifth person to read this column and respond correctly to the scribe: "Who is our oldest graduate?" will receive absolutely nothing material except a verification and a confirmation to the scribe that somebody actually reads this column. Let me know. I'll get back to you. Want all of this printed column in more detail? The scribe will post to Zoomienation shortly after this column appears in the printed Checkpoints.
DC Dark Ages Party
Our First And Only Four-Star. From Bentley Rayburn: Great news for our country, for our Air Force and for the Class of 75! General officer confirmation: The Senate has confirmed the following general officer for appointment to the grade of general with assignment as indicated: Lt Gen Douglas M. Fraser. From: Deputy Commander, United States Pacific Command, Camp H. M. Smith, HI. To: Commander, United States Southern Command, Miami, FL.
From Gary Whitfield: Seven of us had the honor and pleasure of attending SOUTHCOM Change of Command for General Doug Fraser in Miami last week. The 75 hooligans in the photo: Gary Whitfield, Mike Crider, Jim Dill, General Doug Fraser, Bill Clark, Mark Scott, Robert Stewart, John Kearns.
Senior Leader Retirements. 11 Jun 09. Maj Gen Eric J. Rosborg, USAFA '75. From: Chief, Office of Defense Cooperation, Turkey, United States European Command, Ankara, Turkey.
From Chris Glaeser: Karen and I have recently decided to embark on another adventure. The last week of January, I accepted a position with the International Air Transport Association (IATA). As a result, we have been very busy disengaging from our house in Renton, Washington and moving to Montreal in Quebec, Canada. As part of that move, we drove a truckload of furniture from Washington to Minneapolis (for storage), with some of the furniture and a refrigerator destined for Dave’s new house in Prior Lake, Minnesota. We now have Karen’s car in Montreal, and still have our house in Seattle, which we are planning to put into the Seattle rental market as soon as we complete our move. I expect to be doing a lot of travel; so far I’ve been to Geneva, Tokyo, Beijing, Dubai (UAE), and New York, and given international presentations on safety in China, Switzerland, and the UAE. Future trips this year already include Athens (June) & Geneva (July), Frankfurt (Sept), Moscow (October), Beijing (Nov), and lots of trips to Washington DC and other trips. I’ve been asked to provide conference briefings to seminars at each of these locations (perhaps as many as 400-600 people at the big conferences). Lots of challenges, very political, and quite high visibility. Also quite exciting, and we hope that Karen can come with me on many trips after we are settled in Montreal. We are certain that we will be enjoying many new things and sights during our tour here in Canada. We are currently working to rent our house in Seattle, and find a permanent home in Montreal. We are currently living in a 16th floor apartment on the slopes of Mont Royal adjacent to McGill College. From here there are lots of paths leading up the mountain to spectacular views of the city, and we can walk anywhere in the city within 15 minutes. Additionally, the apartment is only 2 blocks from the pub district and one street away from St Catherine’s Street, a world famous shopping street equivalent to Oxford Street in London.
Jim Hartney (Jim/Harts/Hondo): Am passing along a picture of the ever elusive Mark Gilliam (CS-02) and me. Mark and I have been buddies since second semester Doolie Year. I recently spent several days trying to convince him to move to the Williamsburg area. He's taken a retirement package from his company, Applied Materials (same one Jack Shine works for) and is looking for a place a bit more favorable (climate and cost of living were key factors) than he and his wife, Mary, have in Ridgefield, CT. I think I made a positive impression! The pic is from the Monument Ave 10K in Richmond, which get 25-35K people each year. We done good: 48 mins flat. He drug me through most of it, as he always did when running the Academy roads in our Converse basketball shoes! I will be leaving NSA after 6 plus years of great work with some of America's finest people. I recently accepted a job in the local area, so it appears that we will be here for the foreseeable future, something my wife, Ardis, is thrilled with! BTW, youngest daughter, Maureen, is finishing Intel Officer School soon and will be stationed at Spangdalem AB in the summer...just in time for a visit from her parents for Oktoberfest!
Walter Pekarsky: Subject: Spirit Missions: Reading the memo [in your previous Note to Class] from the clairvoyant acting Wing Commander declaring that 'all FUTURE spirit missions WILL NOT HAPPEN.' made me smile and think back to what happened when a specific potential future action was banned while we were at school. Shortly after it was declared that streaking would not occur at the US Air Force Academy, the Wing was witness to a world record – the fastest dash through Mitchell Hall by a naked man. The event was reported on the front page of the Denver Post and the unclothed flash was never caught. You never can tell – he might be sitting right next to you.
Chuck Schmitz: OK, I’m back [from Iraq] as the primary POC and Bob Awtrey is the backup. I'm still in the Guard, at least 1 year to go. Number 1 son is off to Germany with DHS/State Department to work cargo inspection at one of the Germany ports. Number 2 graduates high school in June.
The scribe was flipping through his local Issaquah, WA newspaper when he saw a picture of Denny Mellen presenting a community award to the Good Samaritan who administered CPR to Denny while bike riding hillside trails last fall. The other biker most likely saved Denny from being a too-early GBNF.
Phil Saenger: This is me, with my wife retired Col. (Dr.) Arleen Saenger, between us is our 2009 USAFA grad Samantha and on my left her older sister, Kristen who graduated from Virginia Tech and is in her third year of USUHS (Uniform Services University of Health Science) medical school. Kristen swore her in, Arleen and I pin on her new rank. Sam starts pilot training at Sheppard AFB, TX after summer leave.
Tom Fraley: I nearly choked on my little chocolate donuts at breakfast this morning when I was reading the Stars & Stripes newspaper. Turning to page 5, I see this gigantic picture of Dick Webber smiling at me. He's been appointed the USAF cyber commander. We all know Dick is a tremendously talented individual, and he also must have a great press agent as most general officer announcements only get a couple of paragraphs and no picture. Congratulations to Dick.
Dave Wallace: Representing Bull Six '75, I had the pleasure of attending today's USAFA Change of Command. LGEN Mike Gould, '76, assumed command from LGEN John Regni, '73. Attached is a photo of 5 of us – Bentley Rayburn, John Gaughan, Jim Burling, Larry Bryant and myself – Mark Volcheff had already left the building when we decided we needed a photo. Gould once again showing his strength of character and the superior training we can proudly say we provided. He paraphrased Jimmy Doolittle's autobiography's "Luckiest Man Alive," emotionally praising his wife for her staunch support. On a lighter note, he acknowledged that there were friends of his in the audience who were thinking "you gotta be kidding me." When I spoke with him, I mentioned the comment I'd made to you guys that his selection was a "sign of the apocalypse." He laughed.
Wendell (Smokey) Bauman: Well, nearly 100 days after it happened, I am finally getting around to an update for my friends. Sorry to be so slow but I have been unable, until just recently, to be up at my desk for more an hour or so per day for the past 3 months. Now, I am finally capable (using a walker instead of a wheelchair) and have been in the process of updating my email accounts and getting distribution lists made to ease my load for updating folks. I have been really slow to tell everyone about my very serious accident in February because the injuries are due to my stupidity, but here goes.
On 15 Feb, with the hunting season over, I decided I would take the federal holiday on Monday and go up to the hunting lease I belong to and remove some of my hunting stand equipment from the woods. I got out of church and drove up to north of Greenville, AL at a leisurely pace. I got there and still had a little daylight left. I decided to go ahead and remove the one tree-stand chain mount I had near the campground. Due to short time, I made what turned out to be a nearly fatal decision to retrieve the chain without employing a safety harness. With no other preamble, yes, I took a 16-foot fall onto an old stump, which was there. From there, God has blessed me. I had a cell phone with me and had a good strong signal (something I knew before I even went down there). Because nobody knew where I was or that I had decided to begin work on Sunday evening, it was on me to arrange my own rescue from a hardwood bottom. It actually went very smoothly (another story for another day) and I was in the ambulance on the way to Greenville, AL emergency room for triage before being life-flighted to Montgomery, AL; and when they were unable to handle the severity of the injury, a second life-flight up to UAB Medical Center, Birmingham, AL. A fact for which I will be eternally grateful.
While I have little experience with hospitals, this by far, surpassed anything I had experienced previously. If anybody is curious about my injury, I had an open book fracture of the pelvis with the front gapping 5 and the back sheared loose from my spinal column. In a 3 hour surgery, Dr Rena Stewart, gave me some fancy stainless steel reinforcement in the front of my pelvis and reattached the back of my pelvis to the spine with two large stainless steel screws (yeah), I will never be able to clear the security inspectors at the airport again without being wanded. Following surgery, I was commanded to be non-weight bearing for 90 days to allow the ligaments attaching my pelvis to the backbone to heal.
Well, my surgery was on 17 Feb, and this week was the red-letter week for standing back up. I went to the clinic on Eglin AFB on Thursday morning and they put me on my feet for the first time in 95 days. I will tell you that while exhilarating, I am a long way from walking unaided. They could not devote the resources to actually accomplish what needed to be done, and so referred me to a PT clinic off base where I was evaluated the same day and given 4 appointments a week, the first of which I had yesterday. I left there much sorer and convinced PT is physical torture and not physical therapy (actually, it is going about as I expected). Pretty sore this morning, but able to get around slowly with the aid of the walker and to Barbara’s great relief, able to use a standard commode instead of the bedside one I have used for the past 3 months. Anyway, lots of milestones this week. Barbara is now planning on returning to work in another week and I will probably be capable in a couple of weeks after that. Really sorry for the slow update rate, hope to do better in the future.This accident has driven home to me how important all relationships are in ones life. Have a blessed summer.
Steve Marino's Rising PGA Star Son: From Ed Sienkiewicz: Congrats on young Steve's (son of Steve Marino) tie for 5th (and the $239,400.00 prize money) at last week's PGA's Zurich Classic of New Orleans stop. I noticed his comments listed in the "USA Today" article.
Bill Murray: Just a note to tell you that I wondered over to the Bryon Nelson Golf Tourney yesterday with one goal in mind: finding the son of our classmate Steve Marino! And I did it! He had just shot 4 under for the day which made him minus 6 for the tournament and put him in the top 30 and only 7 stokes off the leader, Rory Sabatini, who was in at minus 13. In route I got the autograph of Freddy Couples, one of my longtime favorites who has a swing like butter. When I saw Steve he was on the chipping green with his caddy. Now fans aren’t supposed to be down there with the players, but you know the rules have always been a little out of my reach. So I found this brick staircase that led right down to the putting green. I wandered up to Steve (6 ft 180lbs and bearded) and said, You’re Steve Marino, aren’t you? He looked up casually after using his 56-degree wedge to put yet another chip with five feet of the pin he was aiming for, and says, Yea. I go on to explain that I was a classmate of his Dads at USAFA and his eyes light up. He asks my name and we exchange casual conversation. I ask him if he wouldn’t mind signing my hat. He asked his caddy to grab the sharpie and signs right by Freddy Couples. I’m retiring the hat. I didn’t want to mess up his routine, but he was in a great mood after shooting 66, so my only regret was that I didn’t ask him if he minded visiting with me while he chipped. I would have stayed around all night. Some guys don’t mind, but others like to work by themselves and don’t like being bugged. I told him how amazed I was that one of our siblings was on the PGA tour and told him how proud his parents were of him. I wished him all the best for the final round. We shook hands and I left fired up. Having just read the book, Tales of Q School, I felt I could really relate to the grind it took to get to the PGA Tour. Steve is mentioned in the book. You really don’t realize how good these guys are. His driving average is 293 yards, 8 yards better than the Tour average of 285. He’s on the 45th spot right now for Fed Ex Cup points, have made $749K this year (with only about half his events played) and over $4M since he graduated from the University of Virginia in 2002. That’s more money than I will make in a lifetime! So, bottom line is that he’s a legitimate PGA player, and if he stays healthy and the stars align, he’ll be around for a good many more years. He was a real nice young man and it was a pleasure to meet him. Then Bill adds (at the Colonial, a week later, on May 31): Steve Marino, is leading the Colonial Tournament at -17 in Ft Worth after 6 holes in the final round after shooting 3 birdies and a bogey. He shot a sizzling 62 (8 under par yesterday) to get in the final grouping with Tim Clark at -15. The pros are tearing up our little course. Go Steve! He has a chance to win his first PGA tourney today! (note from scribe: there was a 3-way playoff, with Steve Stricker winning. Great to watch young Steve, born in Altus, OK. We'll see more of him!)
The June 4th Rolling Toast: Jim Carlson Reports: We had another first for an Academy class at our 34th anniversary since graduation. We had a 2 1/2 hour "rolling toast", care of classmate Bob Miglin who set up a call-in number for classmates to participate from anywhere in the world. We raised a glass to our Gone But Not Forgotten classmates who have RTB'd from flight plan early. We did it once at 1975 hours (2015 local) in DC. An hour later, we did it again for those on Central time. And finally, we raised our final toast at 1975 hours Mountain time (while I read off the names and years they passed on). Our C-Springs group came out en masse and showed amazing class spirit, 34 years on! Photos attached. To the best of my abilities (which means I'm going to leave out some names inadvertently), here are the 75ers gathered at El Padrinos Mexican Restaurant by the North Gate.
Not pictured, but present at some point: Phil Pearce and Dan Chapman. Not pictured, but met up with: Bill Estelle and Jerry Battazzo. Other reports: From Duane Lodrige: Bud Calloway and I will be toasting from the cowboy bar in Jackson, Wyoming. From John Venable: Greetings and salutations '75 overseas classmates – from Finland! I'm visiting here for 2 weeks and won't be able to join the group at the time as we're 7 hours ahead in Finland (so will be 3:15am local time), but will try to do it at our local 1975 hours. Hope some of you will be able to join the formation, even if just in spirit. From Bill Lyerly: Greetings from Panama City, Panama, where I am TDY. I will try to call in at 1975 DC time (7:15pm local time here in Panama) tomorrow evening. If for some reason I cannot make the connection, say a "here! here!" for me as well... Thanks so much for helping to arrange this with Bob Miglin. PS: I was last here in the Panama Canal Zone in 1976 when I was TDY here at Albrook AFB and Howard AFB in the Canal Zone as a 2dLt with a Squadron of A-7Ds from our 354th Tactical Fighter Wing (at Myrtle Beach AFB, which has also closed) – and I just drove by and saw my "old" Albrook AFB which is closed. Both Albrook AFB and Howard AFB here in the Canal Zone are just two more of my "every base that Lyerly touched while in the USAF, either while on PCS or TDY orders, has been closed down." This is the first time that I have seen the base since it was closed in the 1990s. Sad... From Bill Davis: I'll be at 38,000 ft over West Virginia at 1975 hrs tomorrow (headed west towards San Diego). Note to self: remember to toast (with coffee).
The 35th In 2010. From Jim Carlson: When I joined our C-Springs brethren to celebrate our 34th anniversary of graduation, and toast our GBNF, I also visited our AOG reunion liaison, Ms. Tiffani Lusson, who accompanied me on a recce run on two hotel options for our reunion. The first hotel is the Antlers, where we held our 30th record-breaking reunion. Apart from the fact that no one (the hotel or the AOG) believed me that we would have 50% of our class attend (and as a consequence, they had to arrange for nearby overflow hotels), I think that for the most part our class was satisfied with the accommodations. Room capacity: 300-500 depending on the week we have the reunion. The other hotel option is the yet-to-be-completed Renaissance Hotel at the North Gate. It is slated for a grand opening in March 2010 (which I hope to attend) – and we could possibly be one of the first Academy class to hold its reunion at the facility. Room capacity: 1,000. (The scribe notes: The POC's have already polled for your 'druthers as to which hotel we can call home during our reunion in 2010. The Renaissance seems to be leading.) I will not permit another overflow situation as last time. We ALL should be under the same roof! I don’t do much as your class president, but I certainly can stave off the situation where classmates were scattered among 3 hotels (during our 30th reunion). I will also open the coffers to help any classmate whose financial situation prevents them from attending. My personal goal for this reunion is to ensure the 50% that attended the last reunion attend this one. The hard part will be to persuade 50% of the remaining classmates to join us. If that happens, well have 75% of the Class of 75 show up for the best class reunion ever in the history of the Academy! We will not know the date of our reunion until April or May next year (when the football schedule comes out). The most likely scenario is the month of October. Hotel availability is: 2nd, 3rd, or 4th week for the Antlers; 1st through the 4th week for the Renaissance.
1. Only "official" '75 guidons will be carried the world over for our photo collection. I plan on getting a montage of those places (and each of you holding one) to view at our 35th Reunion dinner.
2. That means no personalized guidons – that would dilute the concept of a class guidon. Not that you can't make your own, but it would not be included in the recorded journeys of our unique class flag.
3. There will be only a limited number of guidons that will be produced, all identical (but numbered so that we can track specific ones). My plan is to have 17 of these made (since we are the 17th graduating class).
4. We can order the guidons from the guy who first made them for me (5 created so far) since he has the template and can produce them whenever requested by any classmate. He's former Army and this is his specialty.
OR, we can have them made by others (classmate, Hong Kong, South Korea, etc) probably at lower cost. But we need to insure that quality is maintained (as well as the numbered sequence). Because of the durable material, and that fact that each '75 guidon is hand-made, it's somewhat costly from the guy I use here in VA. I've paid for the first 5 at $150 a pop. That's my gift to the class; I neither deserve nor will I accept any remuneration from classmates for these. As my finances allow, I will purchase others (up to #17). However, you guys may order from that same guy on your own if you want – I've told him that your orders might come from all over the country. He will ensure that anyone who orders will get the next number in sequence – and he will stop at 17.
Trivia And Our Oldest Grad. The closing trivia from the last Checkpoints that inquired, "who is our oldest grad" did elicit some feedback, some correct, some close. First out of the gate, about the day the printed rag arrived, was from Rick Benbow: Hey Paul, Just letting you know I do read your posts with great excitement. To the question who is our oldest graduate, I think it is me sometimes. But my answer is John Cass for the class of 1975. (note from scribe: Rick is correct). Rick's response when I verified: I was fairly sure it was John. He and I had several Management courses together. We also both attended civilian universities before coming to the academy and had that in common. He was always very smart and had a lot of common sense as I remember. I think his GPA was very high. I always enjoyed listening to him tell a story. I believe he went to UPT at Vance. Oh well, back to the grindstone. My golf game is fair to good, still around a 14 handicap. I don't shoot in the 70s, but I do score in the 80s more than the 90s. We live in the Shenandoah Valley near Harpers Ferry in a small town called Charles Town. The house is located just off the 11th green on Locust Hill Golf Course, the #4 ranked golf course in West Virginia (The Greenbrier Golf Resort has #1 & #2), so I do sneak out the back door most evenings and play 2 or 3 holes before dinner. Claire is lovely as always. Thank you for asking. She has been quite busy since moving here 2 years ago. Our son lives in Pittsburgh, just a 4-hour drive, and has 6 children! That keeps Claire busy by occasionally helping take care of all the grandkids, especially when they go on vacation. She has just returned from Disneyworld and is recharging her batteries for the next request for Maw Maw to come up! Take care. You are a great scribe. I mean that sincerely. Thanks for the news on the class. See you in 2010.
George Walrond got a little concerned: This is one I do not want to win, but may actually be in the running. I was the old man in our doolie squadron (1st). Close behind me in age is my current boss Ken Schnell. I'm four days older. We're both prior service and preppies. I'm almost certain we have an older classmate, but not sure. Ken and I both work for Bay County Florida. He's the county's public works director and I'm the county's Engineering Division Manger. We keep the roads repaired, build new county facilities, keep the storm water flowing and help recover after the big storms. We also have Bryon Boyce a zoomie who graduated in the 80's that's our Transportation Section manager. Needless to say, with all that USAFA talent we have one of the best public works organizations anywhere. Ken and I'll try to get you a picture. I do read your article in each issue of Checkpoints. Thanks for your hard work and good articles. When the scribe told George he didn't win this one, George responded: Whew! Thanks.
The Zoomienation [Now defunct] electronic post started some postings on the site. From David Shields: Hi, Just to confirm that someone does read your scribblings, I will guess that the oldest 75 grad is one of the prior enlisted P-school grads. Hard to say which one but I would go for George Cook, John Cass, Scott Arnott or my old p-school roomie, Mike Garrett. One of those should get me the prize as the fifth guess. Keep up the good work and looking forward to the reunion next year. From Bruce Fritzsche: Our oldest classmate is John Cass. A great Math tutor, BTW. From Russell Trinter: My guess on the oldest classmate is George Walrond. From John Loucks: All I know is that Flamer (Dave Fleming) acted like he was the oldest…) And Paul, as for class achievements, I am not sure anyone else has ever turned their AOC's office into the 24th green – complete with sod, a cup, and a pennant. But, my classmates did–to get me off the hook as CIC of 76's Hell Week and show our solidarity. I think the AOC was then-Maj Frank Black – whose handwriting was like 10 pitch courier!! He called all his buddies to check it out. Anyways, it worked, but only partially. Still got the CDB – thanks to the compassion of the class of '73 in CS-24. But I think that is a distinction for us...thanks to all the phantom streakers..."Small but elite." From Tony Mahoney: Haven't seen an "official" winner, so my money's on Mike Garrett. (Besides, he has a Harley just like mine! An excellent choice, BTW). John Cass: I always thought I was the oldest. 12/23/49.
The oldest grad from USAFA 1975 will turn 60 this year. The rest of us are closing fast. Yikes!
It may seem to some of us we that are either reminiscing about a previous reunion or planning the next one. By the time you read this, our 35th will be well less than a year away. See the info later in this column. I know Bruce Mitchell and his committee can always use some help, so please contact him if you feel the volunteer spirit.
Jim Carlson: I took the 5 July photos while I was in Anchorage. Hoss Erving, Gary Janelli, and Mark Risi and I had a mini-reunion to celebrate our 38-year friendships and to raise a toast to our GBNF. Mark still has his class bathrobe! (Additional Photos Below)
Small World Department: Cos (Willie Cosby): On Thursday, July 8th, I am out buying milk in my neighborhood at a store I seldom go into. As I am paying I look up and in walks Rich Chanick. I shout his name and he tries to ignore me, but finally comes to his senses and realized someone had really called his name. I force him to our house for a quick glass of wine and then out to dinner with me and my wife, Cynthia. Of course he was buying.
Subject: Lt Col Townsend Retirement 25 September 2009. From Ben Bosma: Yesterday, I attended Rick Townsend's retirement ceremony at WPAFB. It was great. Rick was one of only 46 people still in uniform from the 7,600 2nd Lts commissioned in 1975. His retirement was officiated by Mike McClendon, whose words were inspirational and informative. Also there were Lee Monroe, Eric Hoganson, and Fred Whitican. Standing in for Lance Grace was his 2LT son, Clayton. In a bizarre twist, I've decided to accept a recall to active duty. This whole business with Aerovation has been both fun and rewarding but not financially productive so I'm going to Las Vegas in February to fly Reapers for 48 months. Sometime in February I'm going to gather as many of our classmates together to swear me back in. I don't know if I'll be the "last man standing" in 2013 but I'll bet there won't be many. My rationale is that I'll be better able to run Aerovation with a paying job than I'm doing now where I have to work long hours as a stealth engineer on my own. The market for old engineers like me is poor where the Air Force is in dire need of fighter pilots to fly the armed drones. I'll be flying combat missions from Creech AFB controlling UAVs 7500 miles away. I tried to politick my way back to WPAFB on active duty but even at the 3-star level they were unable to pull that stunt. I had an offer to manage a program here at WPAFB that uses no less than two of my patents in stealth! I reckon my job at Creech will be stressful but rewarding at the same time. Ginny and I are going to get a condo in Las Vegas (they are a bargain right now) and keep our home here in Dayton. She's going to commute and I'll focus on getting Aerovation to work out there. With the internet and cell phones we're not far from each other. She's been known to text me from across the house so this won't be too much of a stretch.
Lance Grace: I may have talked my son into attending the ceremony as a next generation representative of the Class of 75. He's a brand new 2Lt at Wright Patterson. He wanted me to send his picture to a couple classmates who will be there (Sam Ryals and maybe Mike McClendon) so they know who this kid is. But I figured I'd send everyone this picture that most of you can relate with. My son Clayton graduated from Arizona State University as a member of ROTC. Although Pres Obama officially swore them all in, they went through the more traditional ceremony the next day where I swore him into the Air Force. I pulled out my uniform that I probably purchased as a Captain almost 30 years ago and hadn't touched for 14 years. They must have been well-built back then because I didn't pop any seams or buttons. Didn't pass out from constricting my breathing either. I changed outfits very quickly afterwards to help get my blood circulating again. Ed and Jan Kasl were there to help celebrate and laugh at the old man.
Mark Holmes: How've you been, buddy? Man, I see you all over the place doing class business, not sure how you do it all – and work – but a big thanks from all of us. Wanted to catch up, pass on a couple photos and yuk I think the whole class can appreciate. The year's been great but for discovering I had a broken neck in November. I'd had a pain that kept getting worse every day at the gym and took a break when I went to see my folks for their 90th birthdays, but while I was there ended up in the emergency room in Tampa so bad I couldn't think. To make a long story short, I got home, had some MRI's done and had two cracks in my neck. Trying to recall where that might have happened, and came up with two.... I'd gotten hit on the motorcycle from the rear in May, and hit a several-foot deep pothole in Taos in August. My brother was riding in front of me, I watched him disappear from view, then pop up all cock-eyed and immediately envisioned a lot of torn flesh. I didn't go down but definitely hit real hard. Take your pick, either one of them probably made the crack that lifting too much for a 55-year old opened up and I ended up down for four of the worst months of pain I can remember, and you know I've been thru a lot. Here's the good part. I started getting better with a rehab nurse that could've put Nurse Ratched from the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest to shame with her attitude, but she got me better over a couple of months. On my last visit, she said 'I've got one more exercise I need you to do, you're coming along fine but this should finish the therapy. She hands me a sheet from the printer and says "Do you think you can do this?" I looked at it and then started laughing my ass off (she didn't get the joke) when I saw the instructions. Yeah, I think I can do that. Here's the page....<attached, named EPSON> Good one, huh? And I just thought it was only done to harass doolies...it had a PURPOSE! After a winter like that, I was ready for a change of scenery, both here and on the road, so with the drought, economy and energy prices I decided to do my part here, and over the spring and have made every light on the house exterior solar and/or Led lighting. I did the math, the place is ablaze in light evenings thru near dawn, and I'm not using as much current as a single Compact Fluorescent bulb. Amazes me, figure if everyone did that we could probably avoid building a few hundred new powerplants. It just needs to get cheaper, and will when they scale up. It's also nice to have fresh vegetables every morning and evening, and pretty relaxing to boot. [Went to] Florida to visit the folks. It was real nice seeing them, I feel so blessed I'm 56, and have two parents, not only alive, but driving, lucid, taking vacations. You're a busy man and get your mailbox full of 700 others of us, plus friends. I don't know how you keep up! I couldn't keep up with having 3 email addresses. My neck's pretty much healed, Jim. Right now I seem to be (knock wood) doing well for a 56 y/o in any case, and working hard to keep it that way. Would love to see you when you're out here in Oct for your cruise to Mexico. Best to you, my friend.
Harry Mathis moved to Ramstein last summer.
Jim Carlson: This might be an opportunity to gently prod a few classmates who have been out of touch to do a rejoin with the class. Of course, if those guys prefer their privacy, that's also something we should respect. In any event, I knew that one of those guys, Dan Hanifen, from my BCT GUTS Squadron, and lately of CS-25, lived in the Leesburg area. About 3 years ago, we tried to meet up at the annual Virginia Beer Festival in Ashburn, but our schedules didn't match up. He dropped off email comms about that time, and I lost touch with Dan. Last summer, I decided to pull another one of my infamous no-notice visit to an unsuspecting classmate and drove to his home in Leesburg (after a Google search). His wife answered and invited me in. A bit later, Dan arrived home from an afternoon of golfing and was a little taken aback seeing me. But after a beer and a few minutes catching up, Dan got comfortable with the visit from the class prez, and we had a nice afternoon of conversation and reminiscing. Dan told me that his time in the Air Force was primarily in programs that took him out of the mainstream, and therefore he had almost no contact with classmates his entire career. He said that he doesn't feel that he can take the time to make friends all over again with guys that he only remembers from 30 years ago. I did my best to explain that there is more to it than that; that there's real-time business and professional networking going on. For example, I told him that I got my past jobs with SRS and HyperMedia through classmates (McCorry and Miglin respectively). I also said that we have regular get-togethers and informal lunches. And that whenever a classmate rolls into town, several of us make time to form up and spend a few minutes together catching up and renewing acquaintances and strengthening friendships (OK some just show up to drink beer). (I didn’t realize it at the time, but I could have told him his squadron-mates Bergman, Koelling, and Redmann were in the local area). Dan seemed hesitant about getting involved with classmates again, but he promised to think about it. The attached photo is Dan and me after my visit. He seemed friendly enough. I only do this with the best of intentions in keeping our class connected.
Max DellaPia: It's . . . a rather arcane, little known distinction. From my standpoint, my brevet [general] promotion was something I was not expecting, an honor that made my retirement a little more special. My boss, Bob Knauff actually asked me why I did not apply for any of the General-Officer positions that opened during my 6yr-9mo tenure as Wing Commander. I told him I had young children and felt I needed to have a full-time job not a part-time general's position. Then, he asked, "So, why did you not apply for my job?" I responded, "With all due respect, General, I would rather be a Wing Commander than do what you do." He gritted his teeth a bit and then smiled and said, "I would have to admit being a wing commander is one of the best jobs in the AF but you can't do it forever." Six years and nine months is as close to forever as I got. :-)
Peter Blatchley: We've been here in Ramstein since Jan 07. I'm "back in the Air Force" as a Civilian Employee, working in the Operations Directorate at 3 AF. We're renting out the house in Monument, and will return to Colorado in Jan 2012. Appreciate all your good efforts in keeping us connected! All the best from the Rheinland Pfalz!
Steve Powers: Last week, as I was about to leave my layover hotel in San Diego – I was surprised to see Captain Bob Farr (from Alaska Airlines) come out of the hotel to get on the van too. Since it was a fairly short ride to the airport we only had a short while to catch up with each other – but it was still good. It is indeed a small world.
Bill: Greetings from Ottawa. I have been TDY overseas for almost 3 weeks now and I will be TDY down at USSOUTHCOM next week (where I also hope to see Gen. Doug Fraser, USAFA 75.) As I am not sure whether I will be able to make the USAFA-USNA game or not this year, I thought that I would forward to you a photo where I proudly wore my USAFA '75 jersey to a recent Redskins game (I am the one wearing the jersey, second from left) – in the event that you become hard-up for photos of us proudly displaying our USAFA 75 jerseys at football games. (Photo Below)
Bill Taylor: I accepted an offer for the new COO of Vortala (www.vortala.com) yesterday. It's a better fit than anything I've looked at, and I am very grateful that some of the others didn't work out. A great combination of: 1) marketing and technology business that I sort of understand, 2) start-up culture, with lots of growth opportunity, 3) all employees are "virtual" so I can live in Fort Bragg (or anywhere else), 4) founders who are well outside the "corporate" clichs, 5) travel to exotic places, but not very often, 6) entrepreneurial compensation possibilities. Today's employees are in U.S., Canada, Australia, and India, but it has global market growth opportunities. I start on August 24, and travel that weekend to one of the founder's homes in Palmer Lake, Colorado (just outside the north gate). The other founder lives in Perth, Australia, but is currently living in Bangalore for a homeschooling adventure for his four young children. Founders are Chief Technology and Chief Marketing, so I'm essentially the general manager. The general manager role suites my need for control, while the start-up profile ensures it's only the illusion of control. We'll figure out CEO and CFO when we get big enough. Also, on August 24, my four kids start school at the same place and location (3 in kindergarten, 1 in the second grade). It's Debbie's birthday, and she considers both events a good present. Debbie is now the General Manager of Lark in the Morning (in addition to her consulting work), and is clearly superior to me. I've been a working "house dad" during the day, but have been working the second shift here in our warehouse to prepare for the next day's job networking. One of these years, you should come out to WineSong! (www.winesong.org). It's a couple of miles from our home scattered through a stunning botanical garden on the coast, with diverse wine, food, and music, always a good combination. I was looking at a job in Ponce, Puerto Rico, but that may have to wait for a different lifetime. I'm nostalgic for the hurricanes...
Russ Trinter: I kind of dropped off the face of the earth for a while but I got matched back up with Chumley Collins here recently so I've been catching up on things. I moved to a new job and location and you know what happens with e-mail addresses when you do that plus I got real busy with a big acquisition (the reason I moved.) I can’t believe we are already planning the next reunion, who sped up time?? I see you are still doing a great job of keeping us together so thanks for that. I also see that the East Coast has not been good to your guys living there . . what a bunch of old farts in the pictures!! I'll dust off the old cheerleading sweater and make sure I still fit into it and start practicing pushups for 2010!!
Jim Carlson: Just a quick note to say we had a great 75 mini-reunion at the AF-Navy game Saturday (Oct 3rd). The weather was perfect, and it was an edge-of-your-seat tie-breaker in OT. Not the ending we wanted, but what a game! 75ers got together at the Duane Lodrige’s Check 6 tailgate (right next to the AOG tailgate tent) and we were prominent as a class with our turnout. Dean Cox (our Reunion Merchandise chief) brought out the 75 Best Alive banner which he custom made for the class, and we gathered in front of it for the traditional event class photo. A few classmates missed First Call on the photo formation, but I managed to take their pictures and added them as disembodied heads at the foot of the group shot. This is not a complete listing of all 75ers there (because some classmates did not make it to the tailgate and photo shoot), but here are the 75ers present-and-accounted-for in the 75 Best Alive group photo. As always, the most-electronically-and-personally-connected class in Academy history made their presence known.
The USAFA Endowment, a charitable foundation supporting the United States Air Force Academy, is pleased to announce the latest appointment to its Board of Directors - Brigadier General (Ret) Mark G. Beesley, Class of 1975. In June of 2006, Brigadier General Beesley retired from the United States Air Force and joined Galen Capital Corp. as a Senior Managing Director, Homeland Security Group before becoming President of Business Development for Durango Government Holdings. General Beesley served a myriad of roles in the military, most recently in the position of Deputy Director for Operations at the National Military Command Center in Washington, DC. While in this position, he was responsible for defending certified flight restricted areas surrounding Washington, DC, Camp David and Crawford, TX. For two years, he was the Vice Commander for the Seventh Air Force headquarters and Director of the Korean Air Operations Center in South Korea. He also was a member of the Commander-in-Chiefs crisis action team following the September 11th terrorist attacks. General Beesley’s military career has given him broad exposure to and contacts with military personnel, government civil servants and companies serving the Department of Defense. He has led teams in strategically monitoring worldwide events. General Beesley has also programmed future budgeting of a major acquisition from research and development through system testing and low rate initial production. He has been directly responsible for executing a $6 million annual joint exercise budget. General Beesley received a Masters Degree in National Security Strategy at the National Defense University in Washington, DC, a Masters Degree in Public Administration and Business Administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, CA. and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.
Just in from Jim Carlson as the scribe asked him for some guidance: “Currently enroute to the port of San Diego for a short cruise with my fiancée Sarah.” Congrats to you, Jim. We hope she is understanding of your true first love (and obligation for life): your dependent classmates. The scribe will print it for the class, even as you know how we already feel: “You deserve the best.”
Classmates And Their Zoomie Offspring.
The scribe condensed this string of email conversation: Bran McAllister: My son, Dan, is a 2004 grad from CS-18. Jon Turner's son, Rik, is a 2003 grad from CS-17. From Phil Gronseth: The Prep School has three squadrons: Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie. John DellaPia [Max's son] is in Alpha Squadron. I'm his academic advisor. From Max DellaPia: I graduated from CS-18. My son John is at the Prep School. He was recruited to play soccer. He's in the prep school now, got the requisite nominations (presidential & Congressional) & is on track to enter the Academy next summer. From Chris Glaeser: Pretty amazing list [of classmate kids at the zoo]. One grad has 3 sons, another with 2 that graduated. I also found it interesting that a number of GBNF classmates’ children successfully graduated – that's quite a legacy.
From: Doug Miller: My son's name is Ryan, CS-03. He's currently flying F-16s at Hill. From Tim Murphy: Add one more to the list! Our son Timothy Barrett Murphy (Barry) is a 2001 grad. Our son-in-law is also a 2001 one grad and Barry's wife graduated from USAFA in 2002! We also have three nephews that graduated after Barry – so it's been fun! From Charles Willis: My son, Michael is a USAFA 98 grad. Mark Wells was a history professor there and my son had some interactions with Mark with respect to Napoleonic miniature war-gaming. Michael not only outdid me by graduating, and doing the free-fall school at USAFA, he also did 4 years in SOF, and earned 2 no-BS Bronze Stars, as opposed to my Bronze Star downgraded to an ARCOM. He's a Major on his way to a school tour in Monterey. I did indeed get basic airborne wings at FT Benning with the class without freefall. I never did get Master Parachutist wings or Jumpmaster wings, although I did have about 15 jumps with the Texas Army National Guard (mostly Huey jumps) and one with the 82 Airborne Division at FT Bragg one summer. I missed the opportunity to do HALO school with the JFK Center for Military Assistance, because I left my physiological training card in Houston, even though I had my current Class III Flight physical card with me. While I was in the TXARNG, they were running their own Jumpmaster school, but I gave up my slot to an NCO who was more likely to serve as a Jumpmaster.
From Rod Kallman: My son Derrick is class of 2001 & my son Lance is class of 2004. Both graduated from CS-16 like their dad. Go Chicken Hawks! From Wayne Willis: Add My Son Brian USAFA 2005 to your list. He received a Fulbright Scholarship after graduation and is now a C-17 pilot at McChord AFB. He was in 21st Sq, just like his old man. From: Hugh Gray: Please add my oldest Son, Ryan M. Gray USNA 2003 16th Company "The Dirty Beaver Sharks" (its published in their yearbook) – sounds exciting but it somehow relates to them having been shuffled more than any other Company. Good story guys (and perhaps an amazing one) about this, especially since those who know me well recognized early on that I wasn't headed for Wing Staff (to put it mildly). Ryan took to Annapolis well despite being a chip off the old block, albeit a lot smarter. He cruised through w/a Chomp Sci major and was a Felix Grieder type – spoke French fluently and spent summers going TDY to Paris/Marseille/Normandy/Lyons to "improve his Midshipman language skills" at taxpayer expense. Graduated in the '03 Color Company (Honor Sqn equivalent) – too bad it wasn't 15 (16 will do). Went nuclear submarine on graduation, and got through the nuclear power program before getting to the fleet and deciding subs weren't his cup of tea. Volunteered for Iraq as a Navy IA, did 6 months in Baghdad in 2006 (making Dad proud he won the Green Zone Poker Tournament against some crafty competition from the Iraqi parliament and allies), went back to Hawaii as an Admiral's Aide (yes, Hugo's son–- I was amazed more than anyone) then off to computer school and working IW or something like that now. As it stands prepping for a year in Afghanistan as an IA again, this time on an Army PRT (Charlie Wintermeyer, send tips!).
From Don Snelgrove: Our son, Michael, was in CS-01. Since I was in CS-39, you might wonder why he didn't take advantage of the legacy policy where sons/daughters can join the squadron of their grad-parent. Reason: there was no CS-39 at the end of his doolie year; you might recall they had temporarily disbanded CS-37-40 for a few years. From Jack Huffman: Any way to figure out how many ROTC Air Force kids besides mine are out there? From Larry Bryant: If you want more, there are my three sons to add to the list: Capt Philip A. Bryant, Class of 2001, CS-22, now in Okinawa flying Blackhawks. Capt Corban H. Bryant, Class of 2004, CS-22, now in Qatar; moving to USAFA this summer as instructor. C4C Garret L. Bryant, Class of 2012, CS-32 right now, just starting the 40-day count-down to recognition. From John Sullivan: My daughter Megan. She's been assigned to a 270 foot Coast Guard cutter in Portsmouth VA since she graduated in May 2007.She's in the final months of her first two-year assignment, and is doing well. From Rick Douglas: It's my understanding Daniel W. "dc" Chapman '75 of CS-03 has three Zoomie progeny (TW, Ben & Patrick?) – a new record?!
From Daniel Chapman: True, but far from a record. Many 3-somes have gotten thru. I believe even a 4-some! From Marc Hallada: Our son Joshua graduated in 2002, from CS-24. Our son Francis graduated in 2007, also from CS-24. Both are involved with Combat Search And Rescue. Josh is a Pave Hawk pilot. Frank is a Combat Rescue Officer. Actually, I'm a lot more worried than proud - We're taking care of one of Frank's CRO classmates, who broke his back during training and is now recuperating from surgery to fuse four vertebrae - He's still hoping to stay in the CRO career field with his buddies. From Mark Howes: Yes, my son (Adam) graduated from the zoo in 2003....was in CS-13. Was a procurement officer in Boston for a few years. He is currently a second year medical school student at the military's medical school in Bethesda, MD....Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) Note from scribe: last time I checked Don Henney had 2 sons at the zoo and one hopeful in the pipeline. And I know this list is incomplete. The scribe is humbled by the outstanding parenting accomplishments of his classmates, and is hoping his freshman daughter at San Diego State doesn’t have so much fun he has to take the keys to the T-Bird away. But then again, if the scribe had gone to San Diego State in 1971, it probably would have been so much fun that I would have never graduated, and Jeff Hackett would still be writing this column, 25 years later.
A Classmate With Golf Talent Progeny. Bill Murray, #1 Steve Marino Fan, started the dialog with this clip from the news:
Jul. 12, 2009. TURNBERRY, Scotland (AP) – Shingo Katayama of Japan has withdrawn from the British Open because of an injury that forces him to skip his second straight major championship. He was replaced in the field Sunday by Steve Marino of the United States, who will be playing his first major. Katayama finished fourth in the Masters, two shots out of the playoff won by Angel Cabrera. He has been bothered by an upper back injury this summer, however, which earlier forced his withdraw from the U.S. Open. Katayama is the sixth player to withdraw from the British Open, which starts Thursday at Turnberry.
Bill adds: What an honor, just to be there! His first major!! The scribe noted, after the second round: Steve Marino's son was tied for the lead of the British Open after the second round, with Tom Watson. Even Tiger didn't make the cut at this Major. Since most of us now live vicariously through our children, I consider young Steve "our boy." Here's a story from the internet:
With props to his father for sending along his passport, Marino looked right at home in his first Open appearance. "I didn't have a passport," said Marino, who got in as an alternate. "I had to fly my dad down to Florida so he could get my passport and FedEx it to me. ... I wasn't even expecting to play in this tournament." His father dashed down to the sunshine state from his home in Virginia, sent along the passport to his son playing in the John Deere Classic and flew back all in the same day. When Shingo Katayama withdrew from the Open last weekend because of an injury, Marino received the spot. Though he had never played on a true links course, Marino felt his game was suited to a style of golf that requires imagination and low ball flight. "I would consider myself a feel player," he said. "I kind of see shots before I hit them. I don't really hit the same shot every time. Over here, you kind of have to be that way a little bit and hit some low shots and some high shots and bounce them in there and use the slopes. I've really been enjoying the golf over here, for sure." For most, this was a day for surviving.
Reunion, Admin, Trivia. From Tiffani Lusson (Alumni Relations Event Coordinator, '75 Class Reunion) concerning an enquiry into the date of our 35th Reunion: We will find out your dates when the schedule is released around March, 2010. Who gets what is based on Class Seniority. The 60s classes usually want the service game. After those classes pick, it will be your turn, because you're next in the seniority line.
From Bruce Mitchell: a. Our 35th class reunion is a year away! Our planning committee is functioning and preparations are being made for a "record-setting" reunion event (break our reunion attendance record at the 30th). b. Middle two weekends in October 2010 are the target dates, as a function of other reunions and the established protocols of scheduling; we won't know the reunion dates for certain until the 2010 Falcon football schedule is released (April 2010). c. Class web site, AOG web site (next year) and squadron reps chain will be used to disseminate reunion details over the coming months. Reunion registration and pre-event class merchandise orders will be handled via AOG website, 75 reunion page (should be active in early CY2010)
As of earlier this year: The Class of 1975 currently has 419 members logged into ZoomieNation [Now defunct]. The nearest class in terms of numbers has 139 members (76). We are definitely ahead of the pack, and raising the bar, in terms of class solidarity and presence online. Want 5000 plus words and color pictures of this condensed Checkpoints column? ZoomieNation is where you will find it.
Trivia: Oldest = John Robert Cass; 2nd oldest = Jerry Lunn Manthei. Youngest = Timothy Gilbert Murphy; 2nd youngest = Daniel Leo Falvey.