Retirements: The following classmates have duly reported in as newly retired, which is a nice way of saying “unemployed and looking for people to grace with my presence.” The latest class of the unemployed and underfoot are: Wayne Willis, Delta. Wayne and Amy went to New Zealand to celebrate his retirement, most likely because Wayne wanted to learn the correct way to do the haka, and Amy was hoping he’d find a hobby there. (Photo 1 Below). Rick Townsend, American Airlines. Rick’s wife, Gayle, threw a retirement party for him and reportedly said a plethora of nice things about him, because that’s what people do at retirement parties, but in this case everyone who attended the party agreed the accolades were valid. (Photo 2 Below). Dave White claims his age forcibly ejected him from United’s cherished flight decks, but the flying bug has deeply imbedded itself into his carcass so he’s looking at BizJets as a way to feed his addiction. Jerry Cooke hung up his leather flying helmet after flying more than 22 years with four separate airlines. He said it was enjoyable but couldn’t compare with the 20 years he spent flying Air Force metal and serving with the “Men of ’75.” Shack.
Classmates on the Move: “Ebola Bill” and Sylvia Lyerly made a pilgrimage to Scotland in search of his Clan Gunn ancestors, which includes Olaf the Black, a famous Viking. According to Bill, the Gunn Clan was known as troublemakers and bad neighbors because they had a habit of invading other clans. Who would’ve thought that having a Viking patriarch with a dubious title would lead to such behavior? Bill and Sylvia stopped by the Old Course at St. Andrews during their trip but didn’t find any ancestors there, probably because the Scots have long memories and blacklisted anyone in the Gunn Clan. To satisfy his history passion Bill also made trips to President John F. Kennedy's Atomic Bomb Shelter and Command Post on Peanut Island, FL, and to the National US Navy SEAL - UDT Museum. (Photos 3-5 Below).
This quarter Bill and Judy Murray capped their travels off by taking their daughters, son-in-law, and all three grandchildren to Hawaii for a week over Easter for “fun in the rain.” They stayed at the Hale Koa, which Bill highly recommended for price, quality, security, service, and the opportunity to be around military people. During the trip, Bill’s daughter and son-in-law celebrated their 15th anniversary and asked him to renew their wedding vows, which he did at the “Exceptionally Proud Father and Father-In-Law” rate, which is the same if it’s halved or doubled. (Photos 6-7 Below).
Dave and Libby McDaniel are moving to El Escorial, a small town in the mountains about 25 miles west of Madrid, Spain. Dave currently lives in Lubbock, TX, previously lived and studied in Europe, and completed his PhD in medieval history. When his Sq POC asked if this was a continuation of his PhD related studies or just what 65-year-olds do to enjoy themselves in their leisure years and get away from Texas, he answered, “all of the above.”
Jeff Chappell only needed one try to get one of 20 daily lottery permits to hike The Wave in Arizona. Lady luck must have been with him because several people have submitted applications for the lottery numerous times and come up empty handed. Microsoft made The Wave famous in 2009 when it introduced it as a wallpaper design in Windows 7. Park officials believe that now that Jeff has stepped foot on The Wave, its popularity will soar even higher, making it almost impossible to get one of the lottery permits. Or not. (Photo 8 Below).
Into the Wild Blue Yonder: This has got to be a top-ten bucket lister: Bran McAllister recently flew with his son, Dan McAllister (USAFA ’04) in two P-51s at Kissimmee FL. Bran’s dad, John (call sign “Mac”) flew P-51s and Bran (“Knife,” F-15A/C) and Dan (“Blade,” F-15C and F-22) have kept up the single-seat tradition. This is the stuff Hollywood screenwriters dream of. Chris Hemsworth could play Dan/Blade, and Anthony Hopkins and Danny DeVito could fight over the role of Bran/Knife. (Photo 9 Below).
If you’re looking for a good excuse to go to Great Bend this year, here are two you can use: 1) Airfest 2018 is taking place there on September 28-30; and 2) Marty Miller has been managing the Great Bend airport for 15 years and will gladly meet you at your plane with oxygen and a ride to the nearest porta-pottie. If you’re wondering where Great Bend is, it’s about halfway between Larned and Ellsworth on highway 56, just down the road from where Dorothy and Toto lived. As the Airfest website (www.greatbendairfest.com) shows, if you go there you won’t think you’re in Kansas anymore.
Another Hacker Classic: This year’s Hacker Classic was held in Mesquite, NV. The regular hackers in attendance included Larry Fariss, Brian Duffy, Tug McGraw, Roy Rice, Jim Corrigan, Russ Trinter, Bo Montgomery, and Tom Popp. Guest IPs were Terry Young, Buck Rogers, Scribe Emeritus Jeff Hackett, and Scribe-in-Training, yours truly. In previous issues I’ve accused the hackers of leaving a “path of unspeakable destruction in their wake” and committing “crimes against golf and humanity in general.” Now that I’ve had a chance to witness their handiwork firsthand it’s only proper for me to set the record straight. Everything previously written about this band of thieves and wrongdoers was unerringly correct. Alas, reports of Fairway Frankie Farris using a golf towel to reenact Isaac’s use of a piece of desert news when breakfast caught up to him in the middle of a round are not false, nor embellished. In the end, all of the hackers agreed that the golf didn’t matter, it was sharing good times with old and new friends that held sway…which is a good thing, because the level of golf in which Tom Popp comes out on top is, by definition, mediocre at best. (Photo 10 Below).
In the Fight: Mike (Vito) Goyden, a self-professed soccer nut who just happened to pick up several prestigious coaching awards in Colorado, will be watching part of the World Cup this year from a hospital bed while he battles Stage 2B Non-Hodgkins Burkitts Lymphoma. In Mike’s words, he’ll have a “5 to 6-day hospital stay on slow-drip chemo with the last day being of a different chemo blast. Then when I go home for two weeks at a time I’ll self-inject something twice a week or so. Then I go into rinse, cycle, spin, and dry and repeat at least 5 more cycles.” Judging by the it’s-all-in-a-day’s-work tone of Mike’s description, if the body goes wherever the mind takes it he shouldn’t have any problems in this match.