The scribe has only good news to report. The only woman in America who happily cooks, cleans house, and does yard work is out of jail and automotive petrol is back down to a mere $2 per gallon. And there’s more to follow!
Final Count for Our 30th. Until the Final Final Count, of course. The scribe has received data from highly reliable sources showing the Class of 1975 broke another record, this one for attendance instead of attrition. The tally now stands at 365 grads appearing at some portion of the weekend in the Springs. Out of the 727 of us still around, this equates to 51%. The previous record for a 30th was supposedly ’69 with 34% attendance. Including non-grads, 385 of us showed up at some point.
Friendly Classmate Competition. Awhile back the scribe expressed curiosity about knowing the oldest and youngest fathers amongst us. Bill Swiderek proudly reports he and his wife Katie are expecting in May. Chris Glaeser sent a “4 Stars” photo of CS-17 alumni BGen Dave Sprenkle, BGen Dick Webber, and Maj Gen Mark Volcheff. Amazingly enough, they are all still serving actively, all in Colorado. Dave is Assistant Adjutant General –Air Colorado ANG, Buckley AFB; Dick is at HQ AF Space Command as Director of Mission Support, Schriever Air Force Base, and Mark is Director, Policy and Planning, USNORTHCOM. Chris offers the following challenge for the class: Has any other '75 cadet squadron: a.) Produced 3 or more general officers b.) 4 or more stars (2 x BG + 1 x MG= 4 stars)? From Jim Burling: Jim Dill is having a hip replaced in early January. Tongue in cheek, Larry Farriss suggested we start a database of various operations that our classmates have endured, so as each one of us faces some type of surgery, we can call a classmate who has "been there, done that!" An unnamed classmate suggested keeping tally of the greatest percentage (per squadron) of classmates whose last words on earth were “What happens when I press this button?”, but the proposal was nixed.
Retirements and Promotions. Maj Gen Dale Meyerrose has been confirmed by the Senate and appointed by the President as the first CIO of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Lt Gen Doug Fraser took command of 11AF in Alaska in October. Just received word that Maj Gen Perry Lamy will hang up the blue suit effective 1 Feb 06. Gen Dale "Muddy" Waters retired in January. Although his accomplishments in the Air Force are totally unique (the man behind Eldorado Canyon (the raid on Lybia), F-111 Ops Officer in Desert Storm I, and Wing Commander of PSAB during Desert Storm II), making him probably the most combat-experienced fighter pilot currently on active duty, the Class of 75 will remember him best as one of the last recipients of 6 and 120 associated with the infamous "Come in Rangoon" incident at Arnold Hall when we were smack wads. Muddy reflects: “I'm a civilian as of January 1. Gen Moseley is doing my official ceremony on Friday the 13th....but, I've already got the funny little green ID card. Feels funny after 34.5 years. I've never been a Mister...went straight from being a 17 year-old who answered to "hey, you" to being 'Cadet', etc, etc.” Dave Ehrhart's promotion ceremony to BG was at Bolling AFB, 31 Aug.
From Bill Taylor: Fred Whitican retired from AF (Reserve or Guard?) after 30 years. Bob Knauff made General in the NY Guard. From Fred Whitican: Mike McClendon pinned on BG today (Jan 6) at WPAFB. Mike is an AF Reservist and is the Mobilization Assistant to the AFRL Commander. Eight Classmates attended: MG Perry Lamy, Pete Hennessey , Lee Monroe, Sam Ryals, Eric Hoganson, Mike Heil, Rick Townsend and Fred Whitican. From Paul Lotakis: Dick Duesing retired in San Antonio from AFRES on 1 Oct.
Other. Kevin Lanzit, CS-21, is back from Taiwan, but sadly missed the reunion. From David Clough: I'm still smiling 4 months after my first USAFA Class of '75 Reunion. Nancy and I are pleased to announce that the middle of our 3 sons (Philipr–namesake of Phil Jones) will graduate with his B.S. in Mech. Engineering from U. of Nebraska-Lincoln (GO BIG RED!) in May and marry his fiancée Samantha in July. From Jim Dearien: got to spend the summer (May-Sep) in Atlanta as the Delta MEC Secretary-Treasurer. Family still lives in Dallas. One daughter graduated valedictorian from her high school a year and half ago, she's at TCU in Ft Worth. Younger daughter is a junior in high school. Newly trained on the 767-400, based in LAX but live part time in Salt Lake City (Delta doesn't fly from DFW-LAX anymore) and fly to Hawaii. Keep trying to get with Steve Watson in Salt Lake, but no luck yet! I feel like a gypsy. I think it may be time to get out of this airline business? From Jim Burling: USAFA Falcons Mens Basketball Team is 12-1 and getting ready to start Mountain West Conference play. They have beat two ACC schools this year and new Coach Jeff Bezdelik has them off to their best start in history. Regular attendees at the games are Traylors, Duffys, Pierces, Meyerroses, Ekens, Farris, Rosebushes, Dills and Burlings.
Bur goes on to add: “There were a few bottles of Class Wine left, so Class Prez Jim Carlson, purchased it and divided it amongst the reunion planning committee. Personally delivered by Christmas elf Ken Finn (sans Santa cap). It went well with the Christmas turkey! Thanks, Jim and Ken!!!” More from Bill Taylor: “Jerry Wallace, Ed Streigel, and many others are in the middle of the airline pay and pension trauma. At the reunion, Joe Debes was introduced as a “trophy husband” by his wife Melissa, who’s kind of high up at AMD in Austin. That should be a great achievement for any of us? Our triplets turn two in March, and our son turns four in April, so family time is kind of hectic as well.” Speaking of family time, Wayne Willis sent an update from the All American Cover Family in Utah, where he humbly gives his wife Amy credit. Wayne adds, “(son) Brian graduated from the USAF Academy June 1st and married his eternal sweetheart Melanie June 3rd. They are spending the year in Hong Kong! Brian was selected as a Fulbright Scholar and is studying the Chinese culture (his second love) at the Chinese University in Hong Kong.”
And some news from John Kambourian: “Contrary to the old adage that ‘You can never go home’ I will be returning to the Academy summer of 06 to teach in the Political Science department.” As the scribes Checkpoints deadline approaches, a few classmates are making some efforts for impromptu reunions. Paul Lotakis was searching for some Puget Sound 75ers to join at a local Seattle Sports Bar to support our NFL Seahawks in the their playoff attempt. The scribe badly wanted to go, but his company said he had to work. From Jim Burling to Jim Carlson: “a few of us from CS-31 are getting together for a ski weekend at Keystone this Friday. Charlie Beam is bringing his family, Larry Colletti, Bert Ferguson, Mike Dehart, and myself. Should be great as the snow is the best in years. We hope this is the start of tradition for many years to come. Will take some of your '75 Wine to make it less painful!!”
Empty Mailbox. The scribe has a recurring dream, one that “Scribe for Life” Jeff Hackett probably encountered at least once. The deadline for a “Checkpoints” column nears, and the news to ink to his fellow classmates is dearth. The scribe will assume this recent malady is caused by “Post Thirtieth Reunion Apathy.” The anticipation of the event, then the get together itself, was overwhelming enough to cause us to take a breather in sending the scribe updates about ourselves. That is fine, but now we are rested, and can start with little tidbits of even the most insignificant amount. Since most of us are somewhat modest, this may require fellow classmates sending me news. Sometimes the scribe has to resort to ulterior means to get his classmates to write to him, like misspelling the last name Bill Schuessler. Twice. Hey, it worked!
Addendum. Our column in the last Checkpoints was missing a few lines in the body, where I included a poignant letter from non-grad Keith Workman. If interested, I will email the document to you. By the way, only squadron-mate Dean Spraggins called me on it. So I know at least one 75er does read this stuff.