GBNF: John Sutton, CS-28, passed away on 14 Oct 2020. “Ebola” Bill Lyerly, CS-40, passed away on 26 Dec 2020. Obituaries and classmate remembrances for John and Bill are posted on the GBNF page of 75bestalive.org. (Links, Right)
The allowed number of words for Checkpoints for each class has been shortened by 25%. If your submission didn’t make it this time, don’t give up!
Dave Ehrhart was elected the new chairman of the USAFA Board of Visitors last November. Well done, Dave!
Mike McClendon was the first classmate to apply for and receive the FAA Master Pilot Award, which requires, among other things, 50 years of flying! Other classmates may also qualify for it, but Mike is the first one to claim it. He’s too modest to say “na, na, na, na, na,” so I did it for him. (Photos 1 & 2 Below)
Bruce Fritzsche did an outstanding job as the Local Coordinator for Wreaths Across America at the USAFA Cemetery on 19 Dec 2020. It was a tremendous tribute to remember and honor over 1,300 graduate and veteran resting places at the Cemetery. (Photo 3 Below)
Rich Chanick sent a note to Jim Carlson last December about challenges COVID-19 had placed on Father Gary Oreshoski’s parishes in SD. It wasn’t about religion, it was about helping people and a classmate. Word was sent out to the class through the Squadron POCs about ways to give Gary a helping hand. The class responded, and Gary was “overwhelmed” by the response. He noted, “it reinforces the goodness of people who care for others that are unknown to them.” Kudos to Rich and everyone else who took part in this thoughtful act of kindness.
A one-time Zoom social call with CS-33 Cellar Rats and CS-40 Ali Baba Thieves to toast our 45th anniversary has evolved into a weekly meeting to discuss race in America. Troubled by George Floyd’s death, Al Bready initiated and leads the group that meets every Thursday, sharing diverse experiences and opinions, but always in a respectful and thoughtful manner. World peace hasn’t been achieved yet, but they enjoy the camaraderie and the understanding gleaned from spirited discussion of a wide range of views.
Doing Retirement Right:
Phil Gronseth is vying hard for the DRR Award. He retired on 1 July, and on 1 August he, Larry Fariss, and three others started out from Denver to hike the 485-mile Colorado Trail. The final 80 miles to Durango were particularly challenging due to an early September snowstorm. The group spent four days near 12,000' post holing through snow up to 2 feet deep and setting up camp in the snow, finally arriving in Durango on 15 September. Any hike you can walk away from… (Photo, Right)
Scott and Janet Smith snuck down to Cozumel, Mexico, for two weeks of SCUBA diving. Wearing masks at 80’ below sea level among the coral and fish of Palancar Reef is the epitome of social distancing! (Photo, Right)
The degenerates who play in the annual Fairway Frankie Farris Hacker Classic took the show to Alabama in November. The usual suspects made up the august group of geezers, wheezers, and hackers. They played five rounds on Robert Trent Jones Trail courses, after which Kim and Jim Corrigan hosted the champion’s dinner. Jim, being the host of the outing, tried to avoid taking the top golf honors, but with the likes of Roy Rice and Tom Popp in the mix, he would’ve had to play left handed with crooked clubs to lose the championship. Rod Hennek took home the trophy for the individual with the greatest potential to improve. (Photo, Right)
Alan Krukowski retired from Delta in 2018 and has since spent a large part of his time volunteering for church, school, and a local hospital. The summary of his submission is noteworthy. “I am pleased to report that I have never felt more value and calling than I do these days.”
Dale Smith is happy to report that he and Sharon are going on 41 years, their two children are gainfully employed, and that he’s retired but busy managing family summer cottage rentals in southern NH. Note to Dale, “retired” and “managing” don’t belong in the same sentence.
Not the Retiring Types:
Mike Magee tried to retire after spending 34 years with the airlines. However, to keep his sanity, as well as that of his wife, Holly, he took a job flying the Falcon 2000. We, the guardians of the Sacred Halls of Retirement, call this rationalization. By his own admission, Mike is still working at the age of 68, but he’s flying, and he’s going to a lot of places off the beaten path. In truth, there are worse ways to avoid retirement. (Photo 4 Below)
Mark McConnell flew single-seaters and the F-15 during his 16 years in the Air Force, followed by various flying jobs that led him to being a Southwest Airlines Instructor. He and his wife, Andrea, now live in Idaho. With the return of the B-737 Max, his team will need to train 7000+ pilots prior to March. In his own mind, Mark is probably retired, and training pilots to fly the Max is just a profitable hobby.
If the picture you submitted isn’t here, you might find it below.