Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year Best Alive! By the time this lands in your mailbox, all of those (as well as a significant national election) will be over or rapidly approaching, so I thought it best to get those greetings up-front. Some of the class news below will be history by then as well, but they all occurred after the Checkpoints deadline, so I hope those who attend will favor the rest of us with summaries and pictures.
GBNF: Dr. Mark L. Shope, CS-34, Class of 1975, passed away on 9 Oct 2012 in Tacoma, WA. Condolences may be sent to his family in care of his wife, Kelly.
Our Legacy Class of 2015 held its Exemplar Dinner on 27 October, with Ralph Paul, Dick Dye, Larry Fariss, Mark Volcheff, and Duane Jones (head count as of deadline) attending. We’re looking forward to a recap, as well as future Legacy events!
On a happier note, Doug Fraser, our last General classmate on active duty, retired 17 November. Which begs the question, who is '75’s Last Man Standing? Marty Stytz posted the question on ZN and Mark Wells claimed the honor for the Continuous Active Duty category; there are others in the Voluntary Retired Recall program, and we’re wondering about Harry Mathis’ status as well. Mark continues to serve as Chairman of the History Department at dear old USAFA and could be the AF’s senior O-6, with potential to continue another five years. I think we should all plan to attend his retirement ceremony! Mark, please keep us posted on your plans, OK? We could make quite a bash out of that event...
Mini-Reunions: Several classmates attended the AF-Michigan game, including John Charlton, Terry Young, Dave Schmitz, Jack Huffman, Larry Fariss, Dick Webber, John Gaughan (John was AFROTC PAS at U of M and has numerous friends still on staff/faculty there). The Football Alumni Club put on a golf tournament preceding the Navy game. Larry Fariss, Terry Young, Russ Trinter and Wayne Willis played a round at Eisenhower. Says Wayne, “We weren't the worst team, but we sure weren't the best. We finished at 1 over par and the winners were 15 under, but nobody looked as good as we did!”
From Scribe Emeritus Paul Kent: I noticed from Delta’s latest early retirement program that three classmates took advantage: Jack Storer, Bruce Correll, and Bill Schuessler. Sheri and I visited our daughter Victoria in Edinburgh, Scotland. Victoria is with three college mates while they travel and visit Europe, while taking a semester break from school. Kind of like we did, right? We went to historic Saint Andrews and walked the Old Course on a Sunday, when the course is closed and all are invited to stroll through golf's history. Victoria and I played the St Andrew's Balgove Course (a family course) on a crispy cool, slightly windy, but mostly sunny day. I've attached a picture of us in front of the Jigger Inn (with the Old Course visible in the background). I note with great sadness that Mark Shope is recently GBNF. I remember conversing with him at our 35th and he was touch and go with some medical, but seemed to be fine at the reunion.
Dave and Nancy Clough are 3 for 3 on marrying off our college-graduated, employed sons. No daughters, but weddings are still expensive as the traditional marriage expense rules have gone out the window. Youngest son Dan just graduated (U of Nebraska) and married his long-time girlfriend this May. Our oldest, Mike (named for Mike Mark), married his long-time girlfriend in September–Nancy was so happy for them that she danced the “Party Rock” at the reception. She is quite a talented dancer, though I have been warned not to post the video without her approval at risk of damage to certain vital organs which cannot be repaired or replaced. Middle son Philip (named for Phil Jones) and his long-time girlfriend tied the knot in 2006 after his graduation. We hardly have an empty nest as Mike and his family live close by and the others are only a few hours away in Missouri. We look forward to the next Class of ’75 reunion, and the kids have announced that they are kidnapping Nancy and me for an Alaska cruise next summer. The last time I bought movie tickets, the cashier sold them to us at 2/3 the posted price. When I asked (The Honor Code runs deep), she said “Oh, you get the senior discount!” Gee, thanks…
From the Sunshine State, Bill Caskey notes, “Somehow my colleagues here think I look like Mitt Romney, so that's just one more reason to vote for him! Would love to have his bank account but am really happy to have only two sons–can you imagine what it would be like to have five sons? Oh wait, you can!”
It’s a Small World: YHS ran into Barnstormer squadron mate Mike Banker at Narita and Dave and Sally Young in NYC–as always, it’s great to see classmates unexpectedly and find them healthy and happy, and I wish we had more time than just in passing on the bus or elevator!
Beating the Odds: Bill Murray reports that his post-prostate cancer battle is going well, with a low PSA, the first one after a hormone shot and 37 radiation treatments. “I’m not cured: At this point we will be measuring the rate of increase of the PSA. Thanks for your prayers–I’m feeling great!”
Barely Beating the Deadline: Dean and Sandra Cox, Rudy and Virginia Roth, Ric and Alice Lewallen, and Don Byers (stealth mode, behind the camera) got together at Lewallen’s home in Waynesville, NC, for a weekend in late October.
Until next time, live long and prosper!