Checkpoints          September 2021              Foster Bitton

GBNF: Craig T. Scott, CS-06, and Dave Fleming, CS-24. Their obituaries, and classmate memories are on the GBNF page of 75bestalive.org.

Enjoying the Spice of Life: Stan “Chumley” Collins, and spousal unit Mary, spent a week in Aruba. (Photo Below) He didn’t go into details on their activities there, but a Google search for Americans being deported from the island came back empty, so Chumley must be getting stealthier with age. My son, Luke, and I visited Curacao for a week of diving in July. My idea of a week in the Caribbean is eat, dive, eat, nap, be one with the couch while watching mindless drivel on the television, eat, sleep, and then repeat the same thing the next day, but at a much more relaxed pace. Luke’s idea of a diving week is eat, dive, sleep, and repeat. My ears still haven’t cleared from spending so much time underwater. Lance Grace, Ed Wilcock, and Gary Shugart did their best to keep their heads above water as they celebrated the 46th anniversary of our graduation from the Zoo by taking a 14-day rafting trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

Rudy Roth, Don Byers, and Ric Lewallen, and their spouses traveled to Eagle River, AK, to attend the wedding of Dean and Sandra Cox’s daughter, Rebecca. If it was like most weddings, the ladies cried and the guys stifled yawns and gas.

On Father’s Day, Bran McAllister and his son, Dan (‘04), enjoyed a Mitch’s Mountain Supreme prepared by their better halves, Carolyn and Brie. As expected, it didn’t last the evening.

Just when you thought it was safe to go outside again, I received a report that the Hacker Classic gang was spotted on golf courses around Ogden, UT. Wayne Willis was the host this year, Charlie Simmons was the guest IP, sandbaggers Jim Corrigan and Tom Popp took top honors, and Rod Hennek retained the coveted USAFA Cheerleader hat, symbolic of “the one with the most opportunity to improve.” (Photo Below)

Worthy Deeds: Duane Jones spent the USAFA Class of 2025 “I” Day as a volunteer in the Field House, primarily in the COVID screening and immunization area. Whether he was doing that as a good deed or because he derived a sense of pleasure out of seeing the faces of those who have no idea as to what is about to befall them, is debatable, but the gleam in his eye would support the latter theory.

The Friday prior to Memorial Day, Bruce Mitchell, Bentley Rayburn, Bruce Fritzsche (is it legal to have that many consecutive consonants in a name?), Foster Bitton, and Scott Hente placed coins on the headstones of ‘75ers interred at the Academy cemetery. Not surprisingly, at least one person in the group had a memory about each of the classmates’ whose gravesites were visited. Further proof that we are unquestionably brothers in arms. (Photos Here)

Fred Weems graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in astrophysics in May and has been accepted into the graduate program there in astronomy. Great Fred, you’re 68 and you have at least four degrees, but when are you going to get a job? John Scherer and his twin brother, Dr. Jeff Scherer, received their FAA Master Pilot Awards at Waukesha County Airport (WI) on July 8, 2021. (Photo Below) John and Jeff both soloed at that airport in October of 1969, and they both still fly Jeff’s P-35 Bonanza. Airport manager Marty Miller is still producing airshows at his hometown airport in Great Bend, KS. This year the show takes place September 17-19, which is probably about the time this magazine will show up in your mailbox. Oops. You can go to www.greatbendairfest.com to see what you missed.

Chris Glaeser was selected to participate in the first episode of the “Grads in the Cockpit” series produced by the AOG and AFA Foundation. Chris, having flown more than 70 types of aircraft, represented the test pilot community on the panel of five fighter pilots. (Photo Below)

Workaholics: Despite repeated belittlement done with the best interests of the recipients at heart, we still have classmates who refuse to step away from the grindstone and let a younger person pulverize the wheat into flour. One of those offenders is the aforementioned Christopher Glaeser. Mr. Glaeser has just signed on with Cirrus Aircraft in Duluth, MN, as their first Director of Safety. He rationalizes his irrationality by pointing out that he will be able to fly production flight test and delivery flights. Admittedly, that sounds like it could be enjoyable, but work is still work, therefore the kudo given to Chris in the preceding paragraph is hereby rescinded. Stan Jones is likewise reprimanded for joining the “retired and working full time” group. After retiring from the defense industry in 2018, he’s been flying a Citation XL for a charter company for 2 1/2 years. Last, but not least, our almost beloved class president, Jim Carlson, has taken on a new position in Hawaii. Actually, that’s forgivable because it gives all of us a place to stay when we go to Oahu.

The photo submissions this quarter were great and numerable. If you don’t see yours here, it’s on 75bestalive.org.


 

1. Stan “Chumley” Collins & Mary in Aruba.

2. The Hacker Classic gang.

3. John & Jeff Scherer with their aviation awards.

4. Chris Glaeser striking a pose.


After this column went to press, the Association of Graduates learned of the death of:

 

William A. Young, who passed away on 25 July 2021 in Asheville, Norh Carolina.


George B. Martin, who passed away on 31 July 2021 in Peachtree City, Georgia.


Joseph W. Kahiapo, who passed away on 10 August 2021 in Mililani, Hawaii.


Checkpoints Extras


Association of Graduates Class Advisory Senate         July 2021


 

Here are notes from this week's quarterly CAS meeting; please forward to your guys/post as you see fit. Embedded is a follow-up from our recent class dialogue on the USAFA Poli Sci Instructor- CRT WashPo OpEd. Official meeting minutes will likely be available in a couple of weeks; will inform you when those are posted.

The Class Advisory Senate met on Tuesday 20 July, first time we'd physically gathered in the same conference room for 1.5 years. Attendance was about 50-50 in person/virtual; we typically have around 40-45 graduating classes represented at our meetings.

CRT controversy - Although it was not first on the agenda, the discussion around the critical race theory teaching/WASHPO OpEd controversy has obviously dominated the alumni conversation at and around USAFA for the past two weeks. Several classes (including ours) have made detailed and diverse inputs on the subject - more on that in a moment.

[What has happened to your feedback? -- AOG Board Director Mark Volcheff and I decided before the CAS meeting to compile and communicate '75 class inputs received over the prior two weeks to the AOG BOD before their meeting in early August. Thanks for your inputs and many examples of solid, reasoned analysis. Mark and I decided on a proactive approach via direct questions to solicit additional information from Academy leadership on this incident...as the public statement released thus far by the Supt left much to the imagination. We sent in eight questions distilled from around two dozen '75 e-mails you sent as pivots from my "safety net" relay of the Supt's public statement on the CRT at USAFA topic. I have also copied our CAS president Randy Helms with the same '75 questions for his awareness and use before the August board meeting, as he is now also a voting member of the AOG BOD. As a reminder, the CAS exists mostly to ensure open USAFA communications to/from the graduate community and that is Randy's primary role on the board. When/if we get more information back from USAFA leadership from our questions via communications through the AOG BOD, Mark or I will update you.]

Back to the meeting summary:

No new official information or explanations on this topic past the Superintendent's statement released two weeks ago (already shared with the class) were offered at the CAS meeting. The previously-released statement on the controversy from the Supt was recapped at the meeting. AOG leadership stated their policy and intent to remain apolitical.

AOG Board chairman Bob Lowe was first on the agenda to speak directly to this CRT controversy. Serious inputs from the graduate community that have flowed back to the AOG board have been communicated to the Superintendent. Bob was pleased with the level of thoughtfulness and analysis in most inputs he has seen and encourages this to continue, no matter the topic or issue of concern to grads. The '70s decade classes reportedly have been very vocal and highly critical of the apparent way this CRT incident unfolded and details communicated (or not) to the graduate community. Several class senators spoke passionately about their beliefs on the right thing to do in this matter as it pertains to USAFA and the shaping of our future leaders. Some class senate reps reported getting lots of feedback from their classmates; others, not so much. (You might be surprised to know that, in general, a significant percentage of our graduate community largely remains detached, disengaged, pre-occupied and/or unheard from by the AOG on many levels and topics including this issue. This is likely due to many reasons, and is a matter of active, on-going discussion for remedy by the CAS and the AOG BOD).

AFA Foundation CEO Mike Gould also assured the CAS that graduate voices are being heard on this matter by USAFA leaders.

Athletic Director Nathan Pine was the scheduled top agenda speaker for this quarter's meeting, and he gave a comprehensive report on the state of the athletics department, from intercollegiate to clubs (did you know that the club sports are run by the Comm Shop?) to intramurals to PE. Nathan assured the CAS that his primary mission is supporting the development of high-character leaders for the AF and SF. His overall assessment was that the department and overall USAFA athletics have emerged from COVID experiences much wiser and in good overall shape - physically, competitively and financially. He had lots of positive success stories from current/recent cadets. He reported that USAFA fared better thru 2020 than most other universities, and certainly better than other WAC schools, because of the way the Academy staff and cadet wing responded to the pandemic. AD Pine got most questions from the group relating to the relative priority in focus between intercollegiate athletics at USAFA and athletics programs and support benefitting and spanning the entire Cadet Wing. Pine answered that they work always to keep this in balance, but the intercollegiate programs are undeniably the "front porch" of Academy athletics that faces the public. There is a weekly athletic department newsletter you can subscribe to if you are interested at this link:

https://aftickets.com/Online/createAccount.asp

USAFA-Navy Football will be Sept 11, 2021 - 20th anniversary of the attacks. To be nationally televised on CBS; it should be special.

The AOG BOD is working to get "automatic membership for all graduates" approved in the near term. The board has been working on this for some time. Resources are a key issue to be solved, and the motive is to increase the involvement/engagement of more USAFA grads with our alumni organization. Stay tuned for more details on what this will look like.
You may have read public stories already released this week that AOG COO Marty Marcolongo has announced his intent to step down effective 1 Sept. AOG Board is seeking a replacement for Marty; if you know of a candidate or have interest in this position, please contact the AOG.

A couple of USAFA graduate classes planning to hold "make up" anniversary reunions this year voiced difficulties that they are experiencing with making arrangements for reunion accommodations and venues (which should be no surprise). Sounds like '75 decision not to re-stage our 45th in 2021 was a good one.

Bond money to fund the planned public/private partnership Northgate visitors complex, including a 350 room hotel, is expected to be available in fall of 2021, to allow this project to get started...so...2-3 years away from reality (I'm guessing).

The new roads interchange work at Northgate and I-25 is progressing well.

Please let me know if you have questions. I'll keep you updated as possible.

Best Regards,
Bruce Mitchell
'75 AOG CAS Representative

Minutes HERE.


September Album

     

 

1. Jim Hartney: Blue Jays playing in buffalo...glad to have seen them before they head back to Toronto. Ardis just had to have a red ball cap with a maple leaf on Canada Day! (July 2021)

2. Paul Kent (Right) and friends on the Snow Lake Trail, Issaquah, Washington. (Barbara Robirds, July 2021)

3. Al Morrison and family on the lake in Birchwood Wisconsin on the 4th. (Lindsey McCannel Morrison, July 2021)

4. Mike Matte at the Hackberry Creek Patriot Parade on the 4th. (July 2021)

 

5. Dave Ruddock demonstrating how it's done. (Melanie Mazirow, July 2021)

6. Stan Jones with his two favorite grandsons. (July 2021)

7. Mike Anderson: So awesome to catch up with my Baldwin High School classmate, Yukilei Sugimura. We are joined by Ku’ulei Stockman in celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the landmark Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1921. (July 2021)

8. George Walrond (Right) with Jaime ('74) & Nilda Alfaro at the Space Coast Falcons Chapter, Jack's Valley virtual march back in the Viera Wetlands, Melbourne, Florida, supporting the USAFA Class of 2025. (Gloria ('93), July 2021)

 

9. Dave & Janet Middleton Wallace: Nice, if smoky, day ride to the Adams Gulch trail near Ketchum, Idaho. (July 2021)

10. John & Jenifer Kambourian: Twilight Polo in the Plains. (July 2021)

11. Ralph Paul: Yesterday Loretta, her mother Jennie, and I took a drive thorugh the mountains near Mt. Evans. It was a great day, even greater becasue we traded 95 degrees in Denver for 61 degrees in the mountains. (July 2021)

12. Jim & Lee Anne Foreman with cousins Ray & Ann at the North Carolina Coast Grill & Bar, Duck, North Carolina. (Ann Foreman Clayton, July 2021)

 

13. Dave & Linda Beatty: Lincoln City from above. (August 2021)

14. Jim Corrigan (Right) with friend Bill Cannon at the Georgia Games Racquetball Championships. (Bill Cannon, August 2021)

15. Bill Estelle above Reno, Nevada at the site of an early aviation beacon station. All that remains is the concrete arrow, pointing towards Reno (in the back ground). More HERE. (August 2021)

16. Oleh & Veronika Nemeth Stefaniuk. (August 2021)

 

17. Buck & Suzanne Rogers. (Jennifer Rogers, August 2021)

18. Mark Risi: It's my first tea party [he claims]. (August 2021)

19. Eric & Elizabeth Rosborg: We had a great brunch today on the DC waterfront with our friend from Turkey, Serra Pehlivan. (August 2021)

20. Mike Heil (Second from Left) with a group of AIAA Fellows, engaging in "research." (August 2021)

 

21. Stan Jones in Wichita Fall, Texas: Ready to go at HHH [Hotter'n Hell Hundred]. (August 2021)

22. Kent Traylor, playing in the Memorial golf event supporting The Folds of Honor charity. (Bob Peterson, September 2021)

23. Mike Marro walking from Belgium to the Netherlands with the American Legion to honor US soldiers who liberated two villages in World War II. (Carol Macha, September 2021)

24. Willie Cosby and Cynthia Laird: On our way. Yahoo! (September 2021)

 

25. Jim Schuman with a couple of fans. (September 2021)

26. Dave Hickman & Michael Heil at Bill Lyerly's celebration of life. (September 2021)

27. A group of '75ers at the Navy game on September 11. (IDs would be appreciated) (Association of Graduates, September 2021)

28. Larry Bottomley (Left) with friends at the Harley-Davison Museum in Wisconsin. (Kristin Eldridge Lindsey, September 2021)

 

29. Otto Dieffenbach enjoying a cold one. (LuAnne Miller, September 2021)

30. Vicki & Rod Kallman celebrating their 46th anniversary, quietly at their cabin. (Vicki Kallman, September 2021)

31. Mike Marro enjoying a small apéritif. (Carol Macha, September 2021)

32. Bob Hickcox & Marge Terhaar at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado: Conquering the sand board! We spent the morning trying to sled down the dunes, then had a hike and a picnic on part of the trail to Mosca Pass. Now to get rid of all the sand! (September 2021)

 

33. Bill Spencer: God gave me daughters for every day, not just on National Daughter's Day. (September 2021)

34. Bill Murray: Now that I have my Sweet Baby married off to a great guy in Connecticut, Judy and I are just about to fly to my 50th HS reunion in Kansas City. (September 2021)

35. Larry Bryant at Fairchild AFB to promote his son, Garret (2012, KC-135 pilot), to Major, and enjoy a flight in this B25 “Mitchell” over Spokane, Washington.

36. Mickey & Jeaninne Clemons with daughter Kaylee celebrating Daughter's Day. (September 2021)

 
 

37. George & Anna Walrond with Jaime ('74) & Nilda Alfaro at the Navy game watch party with the Space Coast USAFA Falcons chapter. (Space Coast USAFA Falcons, September 2021)

38. Scott Smith, Wayn Nelson, & Ben Bosma at the 50th Anniversary reunion celebration of the cadet Drum & Bugle Corps. (Ben Bosma, September 2021)

39. Ben Bosma expaining to young cadets the way it was. (Association of Graduates, September 2021)


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