A Day Late And…Another Day Late! So much for the New Year’s resolution to be an on-time Scribe. Lots of “good” reason – still very busy at work, weather in Arizona has been too wonderful to be inside, still in a funk about the San Francisco Bowl, and so forth. But that’s akin to explaining how you would have max’d the PFT except for all the working out nonsense.
First, thanks to all of you who sent good wishes on the "early" wedding; everything went splendidly and we're just enjoying every day and everything – together! Publication and mailing schedule may make it a moot point but I’ll nonetheless extend a class-wide invitation to our purposely belated reception (AKA “the Big A__ Party”) – if you’re going to be in Phoenix area on 22 March call me for directions and details.
Christmas Mailbag. You have to love some folks’ allegiance to tradition (even if it’s a sharp-stick-in-the-eye reminder that I haven’t sent cards since Bush became president – the father!). Both Kent Traylor and Dale Meyerrose (actually I suspect it was Carole and Linda) sent cards from the 99th First Flight Ball in North Carolina. I understand they were there with Phil and Chris Pearce (who didn’t send a card but get a mention because they call/email fairly regularly). Chuck and Roxanne Holland’s Holiday letter came all the way from Bolivia – between business and pleasure there’s been quite the world travelers; hither and thon in South America and joined up with the whole Holland plan to celebrate Ed and Bonnie’s (Chuck’s parents) 50th wedding anniversary for two weeks in Ireland. Chuck and Roxanne are hoping to come back to Maxwell in the fall. Kids in high school, kids in college, and 737ss were the common theme in Mark/Lucy Donnelly’s and Scott/Jan Smith’s greetings. The Donnelly’s are still in Maryland, daughter in high school, son Scott at Penn State, Mark with Southwest out of BWI. Smith’s in Virginia, Scott II in high school, Jenny at George Mason, Scott with Delta out of JFK. Fifth and final USPS Christmas card came from the reliable Danny Brooks; he and Leslie are a bit further down the child-rearing path as Becky graduated from Abilene Christian University last summer. At this point Becky’s back home in Knoxville, TN and has joined Leslie in the teaching profession and (no surprise) Dennis remains the “neighborhood computer guru” (could have used to sell last month why attempted to use my computer with Chris’s).
Falcon Backers Home And Away. Unfortunately, I was unable to catch any USAFA football games in person this year. Apparently, I've not only missed some great gridiron action – I failed to catch some notable “Best Alive” tailgating. Jim Burling orchestrated several get-togethers for home games; from what I’ve seen/heard a good time was had by all. Photo we are including includes: from left in the front row: Colletti, Arthur, Hente, Webber, Wells (love that uniform!), Dye and Rosebush. Back row: Kallman, Schuman, Cross, Barrowclough, Bryant, Fraser, Burling, Black, Adams and O’Shea. And Jim Carlson provided proof that even on foreign ground our Class colors were flown!
In addition to those caught on film, classmates Miglin, Piotter, Wojcicki, Meteer, Della Pia, Snelgrove, Hente, Wells and DeSisto were at the game/festivities.
Collective Class Kudos. AOG folks gave me a heads-up to Air Force Association website announcement that Duane Jones was 2002 recipient of the Thomas P. Gerrity award which recognizes outstanding contributions in logistics.
Mentioned in last column that Leon Smith-Harrison was returning to the uniformed fold; here’s the proof! It will be hard to tell in the small-sized black-and-white reproduction in the magazine, but I’m thinking they issued Bentley some gray hair with that second star. In any case, welcome back Leon! At the other end of the spectrum, we find Steve Pitotti who retired at the end of November; no word on what he and Sarah are planning. And Hugh Gordon retired “in place” (will be working at the same desk/job as a civilian) at the first of the year.
The Other Commissioning Program. Received a short note from old friend Dave Fleming to let me know that he and Debbie have returned from NATO HQ in Brussels and taken up residence at Maxwell where Dave is AFROTC/DO. During a national convention last fall, he confirmed at least 10 classmates who are serving as professors of aerospace studies: Mac Macintosh (Loyola), Woody Woodburn (Oklahoma State), Mark Fry (Colorado State), Mike Coman (Embry-Riddle Daytona), Bob Gambrell (Alabama), Dave Dyche (Arizona), Kurt Bach (Illinois), John Gaughan (Michigan), Bob Lynn (VMI), and Barry Abbott (San Diego State). [Hoping one of you can resend group photo not embedded in MS word document].
Also got a note from Dean Spraggins who remains in Rapid City, SD. Now working for "one of the several gun shop/gun parts companies that have moved out of California for the friendlier (legal) climate of South Dakota.” I'm sure Dean had city-folk like me in mind when he wrote that, "We're not quite ready to raise cattle or horses, but many of our neighbors do and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing the critters (plus the wildlife) each day as we drive 40-plus miles to work. We don’t commute, we treat ourselves to embracing country drives. The only downside is the ever-present risk of another deer strike.”
More Good News On The Medical Front. Kelley Bishop wrote to let us know he’s settled in as a T-38C sim instructor at Moody AFB (program that replaced Fighter Lead-In at Holloman AFB). Says he likes the fact that there is no snow there in Georgia but more importantly he’s loving the fact that latest report from his neuro-oncologist determined he’s as close to healthy as he (the doctor) has ever seen for someone with Kelley’s diagnosis… chemo treatment results were "off the scale" as far as the bell curve goes (Kelley said it was very nice to hear about the curve again).
Don’t Tell Them I Said You Could Claim All Of This On Your Return. For those of us that are participating, wanted to pass along the good news that class campaign has today collected almost $150K in one time gifts, pledge payments, and (corporate) matching donations. Obviously, there’s still a long way to go – contact the AOG to start/increase your giving.
And don’t forget to send your news and photo “donations” to me before the next deadline (late March); Spring Training and the Big A__ party will undoubtedly make it later than I thought.