Checkpoints          September 2017              Foster Bitton

GBNF – Fate was not kind to our class this quarter, as we lost three classmates. 

Charlie Sargent, CS-25, passed away on June 4, 2017 from an aortic dissection. After his time in the Air Force he flew for Air India and Delta. Tributes for Charlie can be seen and submitted at https://www.forevermissed.com/charles-sargent/.

Steve Barber, CS-21, passed away on June 14, 2017. Steve had a tremendous love for flying and spent as much time in the USAFA sailplanes as his academic schedule would allow. He was described as a gentle giant, a tinkerer, and a genius.

Dennis Forinash, CS-21, was struck and killed by a car on July 17, 2017 while jogging in Chicago on a layover. He is survived by his wife, Carla, their daughter Erin and son David. More information about Charlie, Steve, and Dennis is available at http://75bestalive.org/gbnf_home.html.

Recent Retirees – Congratulations to the following classmates who have given up the pursuit of wealth and fame and have taken the off-ramp that leads to spending their children’s inheritance. Brian Barnes flew for more than 42 years, of which over 32 years was with Alaskan Airlines. His last flight was to Kauai, Hawaii. Alaskan-sized congratulations go to Brian, and especially to the key to his successful journey, Teri! Jim Dearien made his final landing as a Delta pilot on the asphalt at Atlanta’s Hartfield-Jackson airport on Easter Sunday. Jim and his wife, Julie, retired to Dallas, but suspect they have a move to Colorado somewhere in their future. As for now though, they’re happy to just stay in one place for a while.
 
Headline Makers – Alas and alack, it appears some of our classmates are in denial about the benefits of letting society figure out how to continue to function without their inputs. Following is a list of what’s going on for those who, for some inexplicable reason, still have the fire in the belly.

The White House nominated Dave Ehrhart to serve as the General Counsel of the Air Force. Dave was active duty for 33 years, retiring as a brigadier general. His tours included numerous judge advocate positions, including staff judge advocate at the Air Force's European headquarters, and commandant of the Air Force Judge Advocate General School.

After a lengthy career in and out of public service, Max Della Pia recently decided to throw his hat in the ring to represent the people of New York’s 23rd District. Max has put together a lengthy career as an air force officer, lawyer, economist, analyst and legislative aide, but he’s not ready to occupy the porch swing just yet. He attributes his inspiration for running to a renewed sense of political responsibility and activism following the 2016 election. 

Michael Heil was named as one of 15 appointees to the newly formed Ohio Aerospace and Aviation Technology Committee. The charter of the committee is to develop policies for enhancing the aviation and aeronautics industry in Ohio.

Remember all those times you wished you could back out of the garage and skip the upcoming commute by extending a couple of wings on your car and soaring over the traffic, tipping up on your left wing every now and then so you could callously smirk at the schmucks on the I-whatever freeway making their ways to their cubicles at the usual 7.4 miles per hour? Phil Meteer is still doing his part to make that dream a reality by piloting prototypes for flying-car startup Terrafugia, which was recently purchased by the parent company of Volvo Cars. No word yet on how it does in parallel parking.

Giving Back – Mark Howes, CS-15, has been named as the Champion for the Department of Behavioral Science and Leadership in a program initiated by the Academy and the AoG. Mark and others in the Champions program will be bringing external professionals into the classroom or other settings to emphasize key teaching concepts as selected by faculty members. Kudos to Mark and his fellow Champions in taking on this important initiative!

Life Beyond the Maze – Paul Kent and his wife took an 8-day boat cruise to the Galapagos in May. They saw two-foot tall penguins at the Equator, iguanas that swim under water, and lots of blue-footed boobies. Since the trip included hiking and snorkeling, Paul’s advice to all aspiring Galapagos explorers is to do it sooner rather than later, that is unless you’ve found the fountain of youth, in which case you can put the trip off as long as you want. Normandy is next on the Kent’s list. 

Jeff Hackett is in his third year of retirement and reports that he is outrageously happy. (Note the common theme coming from the non-working element of the class.) His two granddaughters got him a well deserved "Papa Uber" t-shirt for his birthday with a big “75” on the back. Aww, how sweet, until the first time someone says, “Isn’t it nice that he can still drive at that age.” Jeff recently found a new golfing buddy in David Keene. The dubious duo will participate in #TheOven17, which is 2 1/2 days of golf in Tucson in the middle of the summer put on by Eat/Sleep/Golf. Jeff has invited other insane classmates to join them for #TheOven18. You might want to see what the survival rate of this year’s event is before talking to your travel agent.

The members of Hacker Classic Numero Cuatro descended on San Antonio in May and left the usual path of unspeakable destruction in their wake. Jack Shine, Bruce Fritzsche, Larry Fariss, Tug McGraw, Roy Rice, Jim Corrigan, Tom Popp, Dave Pratt, Russ Trinter, Bo Montgomery, Brian Duffy and Wayne Willis took part in the event. So far no indictments have been issued to any of them for crimes against golf and humanity in general, but there should’ve been. Low Medalist for the event was Bo, and Bruce was Tail End Charlie. Reportedly, the #1 topic for discussion was Social Security and Medicare. Go figure.

Bill Murray successfully stalked some big names during the PGA’s swing through Texas in May, and he has the evidence to prove it. Bill has selfies with Bill Murray the actor, Sergio Garcia, and Brandt Snedeker, and he got Jordan Spieth to autograph his golf hat. Pictures verifying Bill’s claims can be seen on the 75 Best Alive website.

Bob (Wild Bill) Hickcox (CS-35) and his brother Ray completed an 18-day trek on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk across northern England in late June and early July.  They started the journey at St. Bees Head on the Irish Sea coast and walked 194 miles, including 26,500 feet of climb and descent, to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea coast. The weather was typically English with a few glorious days of sun, interspersed with several days of overcast skies, and more than a few days of rain. They saw some fantastic views and sheep, sheep, and more sheep. (Additional Photos Below)


Bob and Ray's Excellent Adventure.

 

1. Bob at Dent Fell, first fell top, first day.  

2. Kirkby Stephen, Day 7. Sign in miles and furlongs. Our trip was 1552 furlongs. Our speed was 1773.7 furlongs per fortnight.  

3. One of the many different stiles (fence gates).

4. Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorkshire, UK. The North Sea.


September Album

     
 

1. John & Judy Traxler: June 5th, 2017. Celebrating where it all began. (June 2017)

2. Steve Duresky: Life does not suck on the Gulf Coast! They don't call it Niceville for nuttin'! (Note that those are my cutoff urban BDUs from my days of SWAT training with Patrick cops. Can't take the military out of the boy!!) (June 2017)

3. Kevin Smith, US Dept of Energy Manager, Office of River Protection Hanford, greeting Dr. Mike Anastasio (former Director, Los Alamos & Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories), Susana Martinez, Governor of New Mexico (her husband in rear in cowboy hat)
and Secretary of the Air Force, Dr. Heather Wilson (USAFA '82) (Rick Douglas, July 2017)

4. Bill Lyerly. (Heather Lyerly Ballew, July 2017)

 

5. John Kambourian amidst fields of lavender. (Jennifer Gibbs Kambourian, July 2017)

6. Rex Hoey. (Jullian Geoffrey, July 2017)

7. Dave & Patti Ruddock. (MiHyang Faulks, July 2017)

8. Duane Lodrige. (Lucy Oren, July 2017)

 

9. Dave & Beth Vann Herlong. (Betsy Herlong, July 2017)

10. Stan Jones and his biking entourage. (Harry Crouse, July 2017)

11. Max Della Pia & son John near the Zugspitze, Germany. (July 2017)

12. Steve Morris: Happy 40 years and counting! (July 2017)

 

13. Mark & Bev Lenci at sea. (July 2017)

14. Tom Calhoun: Here's my 6-gallon blood donation certificate from the San diego Blood Bank. Please give the gift of life! (July 2017)

15. Bentley Rayburn with the Pike's Peak Range Riders. (Crissa Ash, August 2017)

16. Mickey & Jeannine Clemons on the occasion of their 42nd anniversary. (Kaylee Clemons, August 2017)

 

17. Gary Exelby and a little one. (Karen Exelby, August 2017)

18. Bill Spencer with an impressive catch. (August 2017)

19. Jeff & Christine Hackett with friends at the Dogpatch Saloon, San Francisco. (July 2017)

20. Ralph & Loretta Paul in Billings, Montana. (August 2017)

 

21. Marti & Wes Routh (August 2017)

22. Michael Anderson & his mom. (August 2017)

23. Leon Smith-Harrison & Family. (August 2017)

24. Hugo Posey in Houston during hurricane Harvey: Being bored, I tried to walk to Buffalo Bayou (about a mile from my place). I turned around about 200 yards short of the bridge crossing the bayou on the I-610 access road due to high water. The car behind me made it about another 50 yards before being forced to turn back. (August 2017)

 

25. Dave Myers (center, orange shirt) with friends at Bridalveil Falls outside of Telluride. (Mike Carpenter, August 2017)

26. Paul Butalla with friend Boli Muentes. (Boli Muentes, August 2017)

27. Ben Bosma taking a selfie of Marty taking a selfie at the Grand Hotel. (August 2017)

28. Greg & Peggy Berlan. (August 2017)

 

29. Mike Heil (second from left) participating in the presentation of awards at NAHA's annual meeting. (NAHA, August 2017)

30. Marti & Wes Routh. (Jane Rix, August 2017)

31. Ed Zerambo (right) and friends. (September 2017)

32. Rod & Vicki Kallman, commemorating their 42nd anniversary. (September 2017)

 

33. Kent Traylor (far right) and friends in the Wounded Warrior tournament. (Bob Peterson, August 2017)

34. Dan Burkett showing his school colors and class spirit. (September 2017)

35. Los Tres Hermanos. Rodolfo Saavedra Ferrere (left) and his dos hermanos. (Ed Saavedra, July 2017)

36. Mark Risi & his Mom, who will be 98 on the 21st of September. (September 2017)

 

37. Dave Beatty: The mighty mountaineer returns! Standing atop the highest "peak" in Wisconsin...30 years to the day after summiting the Wildspitze in Austria. (July 2017)

38. Willie Cosby celebrating his birthday near Tucson, AZ. (September 2017)

39. Jeff Hackett (center) with friends on the campus of OSU. (September 2017)

40. Paul Kent trying out the local brewery in French Polynesia. (Sheri Kent, August 2017)

 

41. Debbi & Bentley Rayburn. From Debbi: Returning to Banff 40 years after our honeymoon! (September 2017)

42. Max & Nancy Dell Pia: Having a cold one and Walleye sandwich in beautiful Mt Horeb! At the Grumpy Troll! (Nancy Della Pia, September 2017)

43. Kurt Bock & daughter Rebecca after a 6.2 mile race, looking forward to 13.1 the next day. (Rebecca Bock, September 2017)

44. Mike Heil (third from left) with friends at the Pied Bull pub, Chester, England. (September 2017)

 

45. Stan Jones in one of his many conveyances. (September 2017)

46. Dennis Brooks with his duaghter. (July 2017)

47. Ralph & Loretta Paul at an indeterminate location. (September 2017)

48. This may be a hoax, but as a sign of the times, it may actually be legitimate.

 

49. Jim Hartney and his daughter. (September 2017)

50. Hugo Posey with his younger sister in Sugarland, Texas. (September 2017)

51. Bruce Hevey & Angela Dupont, attending an Air Force Ball celebrating the 70th anniversay of the USAF. (Angela Dupont, September 2017)

52. Dave Ruddock out with the family. (September 2017)

 

53. Bob Oswalt with his family. (Elizabeth Pierce-Oswalt, September 2017)

54. Perry Lamy & Linda Jensvold-Bauer. (Linda Jensvold-Bauer, September 2017)

55. Barry Abbott: Gladys and I recently celebrated out 30th anniversary with a 4292 mile road trip to San Francisco, then Vegas, then home. It didn't kill the romance, LOL. (September 2017)

56. Ric & Elizabeth Rosbor at the farmstead. (September 2017)

   
 

57. Ric Dahlstrom (Upper Left) & family celebrating the birthday of their mom (Center). (Kim Dahlstrom Huelsman, September 2017)

58. Bob Shappell (Left): The latest group of graduates of the Wisconsin American Legion College Basic Course. Thanks to HA Todd Post 537 in Milwaukee for hosting the course. Tomorrow we tackle the Intermediate Course. (September 2017)

       
 

 


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