Checkpoints          September 2019              Foster Bitton

GBNF: Carl P. Schwartz, CS-01, passed away on 29 April 2019 in St. Petersburg, FL.  Services were held on 1 June 2019 in Wesley Chapel, FL.  

Kent Traylor represented our class as the sponsor of the 2019 Cadet Honor Committee Banquet and Awards Ceremony in April. Kent reported that while the honor system has morphed significantly in the last 44 years, the professionalism, dedication, and commitment of the Cadet Honor Committee and its leaders and advisors has not. The Class of ’75 was recognized and thanked for our continued support of this foundational and iconic pillar of character building at USAFA.

Medical News: Tom Darner spent last fall trying to figure out why he was having a hard time breathing or even humming do-re-me. After several visits to numerous doctors, he underwent brain surgery on Friday, 17 May, at Georgetown University Medical Center to remove a pituitary adenoma that was sending out growth hormone that had misshapen his larynx. Incredibly, by Monday evening his voice was recovered. There’s been no report on whether the operation had any effect on some of his personality disorders, such as sleeping on top of a made bed, stuffing cardboard inserts into the top layers of his underwear drawer, waxing floors after midnight, or waking up in a cold sweat after dreaming of missing a mechanical engineering class. For those of us who were in Tom’s squadron, we’re surprised he even knew the words to do-re-me.

Vito Goyden has been in remission from non-Hodgkin's Burkett's lymphoma blood cancer for a year now. Since that time he has completed CanCare training to provide volunteer one-on-one support with cancer patients and their caregivers in his local hospital setting and outside of the hospital, either face-to-face, over the phone, or by email when working with cancer patients nation-wide. In short, he’s taking the opportunity afforded him to "give back." 

Understandably, Vito is devout in "spreading the word" about CanCare, and states that he wishes he had known about this non-profit, free service to cancer patients and their caregivers when he was going through six months of chemo and surgery. As the CanCare brochure states: "There is no catch"; CanCare is a free and confidential service that provides trained volunteer support for those who have gone through cancer treatment and are now in remission.

Vito goes on to say if any AOG grad, significant other, family member, or friend is going through cancer treatment or is a cancer caregiver and would like emotional support, empathy, and hope, CanCare is there to help! Its national number is 713-461-0028, or visit CanCare.org for stories of hope, encouragement, inspiration, or motivation from cancer patients and their caregivers.

Retirements Done Right: Stan “Chumley” Collins and his wife Mary Herzogenrath recently vacationed in northern Spain and, as part of a Dynamic Catholic tour group, completed 120 kilometers of the Camino de Santiago. The scallop shell engraving on the plaza in front of the St. James Cathedral is the touchstone for all Camino pilgrims signifying Camino completion, and tradition holds that pilgrims deposit a small stone at the cross from their home signifying an “unburdening” of whatever is weighing them down. Stan reports that the pilgrimage was fulfilling and enriching, and they met fellow pilgrims from around the world.

Dave McDaniel reports that life is good in Spain. He and Libby are settled in a town west of Madrid and are enjoying Spanish and American friends and good food. They have had several visitors from his fighter squadron who were stationed at Torrejon in the ‘70s and plan to have a small fighter squadron reunion there next year.

Paul and Sheri Kent continue to maximize their retirement travel efforts while they’re still physically able. In April, along with 2 other couples, they chartered a 48-foot catamaran in the British Virgin Islands. Their boat was essentially brand new, due the massive damage the islands suffered in Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017. They got the cat up to 10 knots on a beam reach to Anegada, which is the fastest Paul can remember being in any chartered sailing vessel, much less a catamaran. He found it was rewarding to be moving at a fast clip without burning any fossil fuels, not to mention that it was a lot more peaceful without an engine roaring in the background. In June he and Sheri continued their roving on a cruise ship from Vancouver, BC to Whittier, Alaska, followed by a train trip into Denali Park. Paul highly recommends this travel to any and all classmates, as even those with limited mobility can experience the beauty of the ocean: glaciers, icebergs, whales, dolphins, seals, and sea lions; and on the land: bears, moose, caribou, Dall sheep, Arctic hares, magpies, porcupine, lynx, ptarmigan, eagles, ravens, and more. Magpies? Really? Scribe’s note: if anyone wants to see a magpie, feel free to come to Colorado, but stifle any urges to say something positive about the birds so the locals won’t be forced to question your sanity.

Foster's quarterly venture in
creative pleading.

Classmates of gold, 7 and 5,
     Those who drift and those who strive,
Now’s the time to tell the tales
     Of sunny beaches, sand, and pails.
Or maybe storms you’ve faced and won,
     Perhaps the gauntlets you have run.
Inspiring tales of courses beat,
     Masses helped, a simple feat.
News of days without a boss,
     Still rolling on, not growing moss.
 
Who would want to hear such stuff?
     We ask ourselves in tones a-gruff,
Why does someone care what I
     Do now, since I no longer fly?
The answer is, our classmates do,
     With bonds that reach beyond the blue.
Time glides on laughter-silvered wings,
     And lets us do a myriad things.
So now’s the time to lend our fare,
    For songs we write are made to share.

Steve Duresky has been profitably using his time in Florida floating down creeks with his granddaughters or harvesting some “nasty beasts” from the Gulf with his grandson and sending them to the dinner table.

The 75th anniversary of D-Day was commemorated on 6 June 2019, bringing to mind the sacrifices made by many of the bravest from America and its allies in Operation Overlord to unshackle freedom-loving people from their oppressor in Europe. Rick Kim was reminded of a similar observation 25 years earlier when he flew the White House Press Corps as it followed President Clinton to record his commemoration of the sacrifices of the WWII veterans at the 50th anniversary of D-Day. Northwest Airlines provided a DC-10 with a full complement of crew, maintenance workers, caterers, loaders, and coordinators. Rick recalls that it was an honor to be part of the team that served in remembering the example set by arguably the greatest generation ever. No one in their right mind would ever want to revisit that war, but it would be nice to see a nation pulling together again as it did in the years following that conflict.

Chuck Hippler dusted off his uniform and his Contrails to relearn the Oath of Office so he could swear in his son Chase, Class of 2019. The next day Chaseshook hands with President Trump, as did all 988 of his classmates, the president doing a record number of about-faces, to accommodate them all. Also, Bedcheck Charlie, virtually unknown at USAFA these days, made a surprise appearance at the graduation party.

Mark and Mary Volcheff hosted the annual graduation celebration in Colorado, which attracted 24 classmates and their significant others. In Mark’s words, “the war stories get more elaborate each year.” That’s a good thing. Just to remember the stories is remarkable; to elaborate on them is worth extra credit.


Checkpoints Extras


Association of Graduates Class Advisory Senate         July 2019

Bruce Mitchell represented the Class of '75 at the July 2019 CAS Meeting. Minutes HERE.


Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel Closes for up to Four Years


September Album

     

'75 Repeats BCT

 
 

Approximately 200 Academy graduates accompanied members of the Class of ’23 and their cadre on the march back from Jacks Valley. The Class of '75 had seven classmates participate. (July 2019)

1. Before the March, in Jacks Valley with the Superintendent, Lt Gen Silveria. (Left to Right): Gary Shugart, Larry Richter, Scott Hente, Larry Bryant, Mike Roznovsky, Dick Dye, & Bruce Mitchell.

2. The same crew in the Cadet Area, after the march back.

3. Larry Bryant conducting a seminar on ethics for the basic cadets in the class of 2023, who are showing the usual rapt attention of young cadets.


Test Pilot School 75th Anniversary Reunion

 

1. Perry Lamy, Mike McClendon, & Kevin Chilton ('76). (Linda Lavon Lamy, September 2019)

2. Linda Lavon & Perry Lamy, Mike & Mary McClendon. (Linda Lavon Lamy, September 2019)

3. Perry Lamy with astronaut Michael Collins (Apollo 11). (Linda Lavon Lamy, September 2019)

4. Otto Dieffenbach: Had a great time Saturday evening at the 75th Anniversary of the USAF Test Pilot School, Edwards AFB, CA. My class, 1978A, posed for a picture in front of the Vista F-16 and talked Col Don Ward into joining us. 400 showed up for the event, including Chuck Yeager, now 96 years young. Great to see so many friends again. (September 2019)


Bob and Ray's Excellent Adventure, Rhan Dau*

 

Bob Hickcox: This year’s big hike - Offa’s Dyke Path, Chepstow to Prestatyn, Wales - 177 or 183 miles, depending on which sign you read.  We did the walk in 15 walking days, with two rest days. With side trips, and navigational anomalies (okay we missed a few turns), we did 201 miles, and over 30,000 foot of climb. (July 2019)

1. Southern Terminus - Beyond the trees in the background, the cliffs and the mouth of the Severn River.

2. At the Blue Boar for a pint and pye, our class motto meets his brother!

3. A foot in each country, celebrating my English and Welsh ancestors.

4.  Northern Terminus - Prestatyn Beach and the Irish Sea - we made it!

*Welsh for "Part Two"


Bull 6 Mini-Reunion

 

Bill Murray: Because I know experientially that we never can get a good visit at our Academy Reunions (too many people, too many planned events, and too much going on), I planned a mini-reunion with just our squadron. Turns out none of us had ever stayed at the Broadmoor, so I planned a couple of days there with nothing on the schedule except two excellent dinners which Dave Young organized (The Summit and Seven Falls). We visited the night away along with a “Paddle Boat Missing Man Formation” for Dave McCarthy and a waterslide competition at the infinity pool. The gang included all retired, rich Airline Captains, except for the Renegade Colonel! If you weren’t there, we talked about you. Mission Accomplished! And by the way, due to the “tight” security on Parent’s Weekend and the new regs to get into the Cadet Area, I had to break into Bull 6 to get these pics! (September 2019)

1. Bill and Judy Murray.

2. Raider & Vivian Ramstad, Bryon & Barb Huddleston, Dave & Sally Young, Mark & Jayne Stickney, Bill & Judy Murray, and Jerry & Denise Cooke.

3. Jerry & Denise Cooke, Dave & Sally Young, Mark & Jayne Stickney, Bryon & Barb Huddleston, Raider & Vivian Ramstad, and Bill & Judy Murray at Seven Falls.

4. Bill Murray admitting to being in an unauthorized location (Form 10 pending).


 

1. John Charlton: Awesome experience. 10,000’ jump. Gateway [Skydiving Center] staff are professionals who put you completely at ease while safely guiding you through training for your first jump. Great 70th birthday present for my wife! (July 2019)

2. Frank Dressel and Jennifer Dressel (Right) at the Tour de Belleville. (Christy Hoefle, July 2019)

3. Tom Darner & grandson Kellen. (July 2019)

4. Kurt Bock & daughter Rebecca: Kurt Bock may be retired, but he's still hip and cool. (Rebecca Bock, July 2019)

 

5. Mike Heil. (Deborah Gray, July 2019)

6. Buck Rogers & granddaughter at Sea World, San Antonio. (Megan Marie, July 2019)

7. Gary Janelli receiving an award from the Airline Pilot's Association (ALPA). (Rebecca Topping Janelli, July 2019)

8. Jim Schuman: It was an amazing concert! I am shocked! Ronnie wood is the youngest at 72 and Charlie Watts is still smiling and banging them drums at almost 79! Mick’s repaired heart seems to be working just fine. (July 2019)

 

9. Paul & Sheri Kent with friends aboard ship. (Sheri Kent, July 2019)

10. Mike Matte: Speaking throughout Indiana this week on Assertive Communication/Coaching...How to say what you mean...mean what you say....and (even if you’re totally frustrated)...not say it mean....Enjoy your week. (July 2019)

11. Gary Exelby...uh...yea. (Karen Exelby, July 2019)

12. Tim O'Connell: BBQing in a mountain hail storm. (July 2019)

 

13. Greg Schmitt enjoying some ice cream at Murphy's in Dublin, Ireland. (Lisa Elle Anders, July 2019)

14. Lee Colburn supervising his granddaughter. (July 2019)

15. Chris Fillar with his charge of future pilots. (Andrea O'Donnell, July 2019)

16. John & Jennifer Kambourian in Colorado Springs with grand-baby Lilah. (Jennifer Kambourian, July 2019)

 

17. David & Patti Ruddock. (July 2019)

18. Charlie Wintermeyer with his granddaughter. (July 2019)

19. John MacDonnell enjoying some lobster. (Joanna Whitmarsh, July 2019)

20. Bill Lyerly & Mike Heil at the Annapolis Mission BBQ. (Mike Heil, August 2019)

 

21. Paul Kent & daughter Victoria. (Victoria Siebert, July 2019)

22. Perry & Linda Lamy celebrating grandson Loch's birthday with a trip to Alaska. (Linda Lavon Lamy, July 2019)

23. Gerry Conticchio. (Judith-Buckley Conticchio, August 2019)

24. Mickey & Jeannine Clemons celebrating their 44th anniversary. (Micah Clemons, August 2019)

 

25. Jim & Ardis Hartney: Made it to the Finger Lakes...stop in Hot Springs (Ingalls Field) and stay at The Homestead was a great way to break up the trip. Can’t wait for kids and grandkids to join us! (August 2019)

26. Bill Murray with a bundle of grandchildren. (August 2019)

27. Bob Akers with family celebrating America in Shady Side, Maryland. (July 2019)

28. The Old Man and the Mountain. (Mark Risi, August 2019) (See Also: The Old Man and the Sea)

 

29. Dave & Chris Ehrhart with cousin Justin lunching in San Francisco. (Justin Robinson, August 2019)

30. Buck & Suzanne Rogers and family. (August 2019)

31. Wes & Marti Routh and family. (August 2019)

32. Charlie & Nazli Wintermeyer in...Alaska. (August 2019)

 

33. John & Sherri Saxman in...Alaska? (August 2019)

34. Rick & Pauline Kim at the Faucett Love Festival (Really). (July 2019)

35. Rudy Roth with friends at the Victor Cafe, Phildelphia, Pennsylvania. (Mapi A Paredes-Paz, August 2019)

36. Mike Gudmundson: Visiting Martha's Place. (August 2019)

 

37. Jeff Hackett & friend Ron at Diamondback Stadium. (August 2019)

38. Steve & Sharon Duresky in Helsinki. (August 2019)

39. Mark Volcheff. (Mary Dwyer Volcheff, August 2019)

40. Barry Abbott (On the Left). Not sure if starting a new career as a school bus driver or Santa's helper. (Zee Zurliene, August 2019)

 

41. Phil Gronseth: Had to show the Air Force hockey colors along with our own class of '75 reunion golf towel on the top of Africa! Here's my attempt at telling my @me companion he's welcome to join me as long as he doesn't hold me back..too much. I shared a very special moment with my son on the summit of Kilimanjaro a few weeks ago. (August 2019)

42. Rich Chanick: So surprised I didn't see Phil (Gronseth) when I was there. (August 2019)

43. Bob Hickcox having his picture taken. (August 2019)

44. Bill Spencer and his baseball groupies at Coors field. (August 2019)

 

45. Mike & Liz Dehart (Right) with friends at Juana's Pagodas and Sailor's Grill on the Florida coast. (August 2019)

46. Bill Lyerly with daughter Heather at a Zac Brown Band concert. (Heather Lyerly Ballew, August 2019)

47. Bob Oswalt's 66th. (Elizabeth Pierce-Oswalt, August 2019)

48. Ric Rosborg enjoying a cold one. (August 2019)

 

49. Ben Bosma at the COPA (Cirrus Owners and Pilot Association)–North Central Ultimate Arctic Adventure in Churchill, Manitoba: This C-46 crashed here in September 1979. Three onboard, no injuries. (August 2019)

50. Paul Kent: God's graces allowed my 66-year-old body to trek 109 miles of Washington's Section K of the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). 25,800 feet of vertical ascent. Started out with a 50 pound pack and 11 days of rations. I feel very privileged to do this, as many of my friends, both older and younger, are fighting health and physical battles or worse. Thank you Mark and Joe. Thank you Terry McIntosh for the logistical support and hiking with us on day 1. You're getting stronger by the day. Thank you Lori McIntosh for the fun finale. And Jim Riley for the unbelievable treat provided by flying into Stehekin with a gourmet evening and breakfast meal to cap the adventure in style. (August 2019)

51. Dave Wallace:  A walk on NYC’s Highline, a nice meal and a spectacular Broadway show. (August 2019)

52. Bill Murray: Mrs Johnson......My favorite! She took such good care of me at the Air Force Academy! 75 Best Alive! (September 2019)

Dave Herlong: Bill, Was this Chaplain Mervyn Johnson’s wife?

Bill Murray:  Dave, you are exactly right! Chaplain Johnson passed away many years ago of prostate cancer. I miss him today......I loved his preaching of God’s Word and his close friendship!

Dave Herlong: Colonel Johnson came to Craig AFB during my time there in UPT. A bunch of us '75'ers showed up Sunday at the Base Chapel in our Class-A's to hear him. He called out some of us (with a smile, of course) saying he saw several of us former Chorale members who should be in the choir.

 

53. Steve Blackburn: Thanks to my wonderful wife,Jo, for the great Labor Day weekend. Not only did she cook a huge dinner for all 13 of us, but she drove by herself from St Louis to Clarksville and back in one day to get Mom to surprise the grandkids. (September 2019)

54. Rebecca, Carol, & Kurt Bock at Dukes Family Vineyards. (Rebecca Bock, September 2019)

55. Stan Jones with his grandson at the Fort Worth Zoo. (September 2019)

56. Bill Spencer: A beautiful day on the upper Arkansas, in the shadow of Colorado's highest peaks. Oh, we shared it with a few of God's creatures. (September 2019)

 

57. Richard Kennard: Eva 'n me. (September 2019)

58. Farmer Mike Lischak: Last harvest from the garden! (September 2019)

59. Rod & Vicki Kallman. (Erica Portillo Kallman, September 2019)

60. Will Cosby & Cynthia in Belgium. (Anita Truyers, September 2019)

 

61. Don Byers & family. (Terri Byers, September 2019)

62. Bentley Rayburn & daughter Crissa in matching flannels. (Crissa Ash, September 2019)

63. Mike Matte: A wonderful 5-day speaking trip in the Northwest, complete with gigs in Anchorage/Fairbanks, with a trip to see two special folks at North Pole, Alaska. (September 2019)

64. Dave & Patti Ruddock. (September 2019)

 

65. Michael & René Anderson at the court of King Kamehameha. (September 2019)

66. Mickey Clemons, officiating at the wedding of his son, in Panamá, Costa Rica: Love and levity were present. Was it the admission of the newly “ordained” officiant (the groom’s father) that he didn’t pay extra for the official certificate or was it skipping over the placing of the rings on each other’s hands after they were presented, leaving the bride and groom to clasp them until this omission became too much to ignore? These, and many others, were all great moments during this beautiful occasion. (September 2019)

67. When Perry was Wing Commander at Edwards AF Base, this was his headquarters and he made plans to mount these jets at the entrance just prior to his reassignment to his next big AF job. He's pretty proud of this project! (Linda Lavon Lamy, September 2019)

68. Mark Volcheff with his twin brother enjoying a friendly discussion over the recent Green Bay/Denver game. (Mary Dwyer Volcheff, September 2019)

 

69. Mark Risi: My mom turned 100 on 21 Sep. Great time catching up with my brothers and sister, their kids, and grandkids. Also got to see our cousins from Springfield. Mom looked pretty good. (September 2019)

70. Barry & Gladys Abbott: Seattle Space Needle – Box checked. (September 2019)

71. Rick & Pauline Kim: Down the road in Saint Hippolyte-du-Fort, we decided to mimic a statue (with clothes on). (September 2019) (Editor's Note: In accordance with internet standards, we have censored the naughty bits).

72. Charlie Wintermeyer with grandson Jann. (August 2019)

 

73. Stephen Pitotti. (Stephanie Williams, August 2019)

74. Greg Berlan with B-52 buddy Scott Wakefield during a chance meeting at Atlanta airport. (Scott Wakefield, July 2019)

75. Dave ruddock with one of his "toys" (the car, not the grandchild). (Melanie Mazirow, July 2019)

76. Jeff & Christine Hackett during a stop on their Norwegian cruise. (Christine Hackett, July 2019)

 
 

77. Bill Buchta & (grand)child. (Claire Rosean, September 2019)

78. Randy & Patrick Mason. (Zita Mason, September 2019)

79. Bill Murray being pushed around by his man-servant, ostensibly due to a broken ankle. (Bill Murray, September 2019)


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