Updates. From Bill Murray: Not to be outdone by Sarah Palin, I’m announcing the release of my book “Renegade Colonel.” There's a Jewish proverb that says during a man's life he should raise a child, plant a tree, and write a book. Mission accomplished. Scribe note: Bill's recent release was missing from the December 2009 Checkpoints Author’s Corner, which included overviews of eight books. My brief opinion of what I have read so far: One might think, "What did Bill do that he can write a 700 page autobiography?" As I read it, I have to say it is most satisfying: funny, insightful, and sad all at the same time. I've read only as far as his early years before the Academy, and I've lost track of the number of times his father has taken the belt to him, and how many fires he's started. I'm looking forward to the whole story. (Below)
From Chris Glaeser: I was in Rudesheim, Germany last month on a business trip to Frankfurt (long story best told over a German beer), and was amazed to see this sign in front of a bar. Note the upper left corner...May we all "keep on rocking" in good health and good cheer.
From Wayne Willis: Here's a picture of my crew this summer. Life is good! Scribe note: one healthy looking family.
From Charles Wintermeyer: These are my last 'action photos' from Afghanistan. One of the most interesting things serving at the brigade was border flag meetings (BFM) with the PakMil, to try to enhance cross-border communication and cooperation. Next step is to get the ANA more involved in them! After a shooting incident last year at a PakMil border post in which a US Army soldier was killed, the meetings are now on our FOBs on the Afghan side of the border. The next step is to get the Afghans and Paks to talk more directly to each other.
From Chris Glaeser on Oct 24: I just got back from another IATA trip; meetings at EASA in Cologne; chairing the semi-annual industry Incident Review Meeting in Frankfurt; then a week in Moscow, followed by four days in Amman, Jordan, with two trips to DC interspersed just to force me back to N. America; it will take me a month just to file the travel expense reports. I also don't need to eat for a month after all the biz travel. I've seen a list with up to 10 classmates going rated recall; Ben Bosma just signed up for a four-year UAV pilot tour in Las Vegas. I have been at IATA for seven months and am solidly two years behind on safety projects, but I do get to live in Montreal, and spend a week or two per month at home.
The Scribe ran into Gunnar Ohgren in St Paul, MN. Gunnar recognized me. Since I don't think I've seen him since UPT. I asked "How did you recognize me?" "You're the Scribe" says Gunnar. Of course, Gunnar looks the same.
From Bill Murray: Attended the Air Force Reserve retirement party of Rick Townsend in Colleyville, TX. He still flies for American Airlines. Mark and Jane Stickney (Mark flies for Northwest – now Delta) were visiting Judy and I from Austin. Mike McClendon (who also flies for American) lives in the area. His wife is missing, because his son took the wrong car with the baby seat and his wife wouldn't bring their granddaughter in the car without one.
From Cos Cosby: I was sitting in a hotel bar near my house and look up to see a familiar face: Chris Budinsky. He was on a layover with Fed Ex at Ayres Hotel, about 1/2 mile from my house. My wife, Cynthia, and I have been stopping there for several years. Reminder to all you flyboys: My office is on Century Blvd next to LAX and my house is 10 minutes away. If you have a layover, look me up. Scribe note to Cos: Your previous chance encounter was documented in the July Checkpoints. Before long, you should run into all of us!
From Jim Carlson: Attached is a photo from lunch with Fred and Cheryl Whitican during their visit. As I told Cheryl, sharing time with you guys – all my classmates around the world – is one of the most rewarding social interactions I have. You simply represent the best of our society, in accomplishments, citizenship, loyalty, dedication to principles, and professionalism.
From Joe Rogers: Visited Chuck Holland in Montgomery, AL where I had taken my daughter and her boyfriend to see Maxwell AFB. Chuck and I were friends in CS-26 fourth-class year (before I left) and since I hadn’t seen him for a while (June, 1975 actually) I called him up and he was nice enough to spend his Sunday driving us around and feeding us. We also went by to visit his cigar store so here’s an advertising plug: Any smokers looking for a good place to have a fine cigar, look Chuck up at “Havana Dreamin” in Montgomery. It’s a pretty cool place.
From Roy Rice: I ran into Bob Marr at breakfast in Albuquerque. [That night] we went out for ribs. Bob ordered a beer and, no crap, the waitress carded him. Talk about looking young. I knew Bob would brag about it....and I have to be his witness.
From David Hickman to Bill Lyerly: I'm hoping that when I finally leave the Middle East, I can take at least a month or two off to just travel around and catch up with friends and family. I've attached the pictures we took tonight and I've copied Jim so he can see that he missed a great time.
From John Scherer: My son, Andrew, is a firstie at USNA, Class of 2010. He got his first choice for service selection, pilot training at Pensacola. Navy ties run in our family: My wife Janis was a Navy nurse when we got married. Her sister, Ann Rondeau, is a three star, currently President of NDU. My twin brother, Jeff, (who was in our class till 1973) was a Navy flight surgeon. Things there are a little different than USAFA, but I am continually amazed at how much it is similar.
As the deadline for this column closes, we hear that Dr. Mark Shope had a seizure and a small lesion was found on his brain. Your class is pulling for you, Mark.
Reunion, Admin, Etc. Most of you remember the initial query from your POC about your tentative plans for our 35th and the goal of 75% attendance.
Here's a fun little exchange that went on amongst the old CS-20 Trolls: Charlie Buck: Yes, but this seems awfully early to be getting a count. The 35th is still a number of years away isn't it? I plan to be there. The count will be two because I'll have my "significant other," Susan, who happens to also be my wife. We got married May 8th. I'll have a good story for it by the reunion.
This caused Brad Lindsey to submit: Congratulations Charlie! Must be time for confessions–anybody know a priest? My oldest is 23 (tomorrow), a 2Lt and in grad school. OK, now it's time to sit down. My youngest (twins) are two months plus a two-year old to add to the mix. Yes, that's three in diapers. I guess that's what happens when you don't get married (one and only time) until 49. Who wants to be conventional in this life? Arden and I are going to try to attend. We'll work on child-care for the younger set and not terrorize the group. Stop laughing!!
Brad has always impressed me as the "coolest" of the Old Trolls. And now he is going to pay for it. At the rate of current education inflation, I figure a 4-year degree for just one of the twins at a local community college will be about $17 million. I thought Bill Taylor had this “Young Child" trophy racked up. At our 30th, he had one-year-old triplets. But Brad has blown by old Bill. If Johann Santner comes to the 35th, maybe his by-then 15 year-old can baby-sit?
From President Jim Carlson: Help me update my reunion contact master spreadsheet so that we have the latest and greatest. The AOG has one, but not all our guys are members, and a few are reticent to provide the AOG with their information. My own master list is strictly for our class use, and to make sure that no classmate is overlooked when it comes to our get-togethers. A regret I would surely have (if classmates are lost for any appreciable time) is to find out that a classmate has passed on, and not know about it. We owe it to each other to mark and honor each of our passing not long after the event. (With my goal of being one of the last ‘75ers standing, I expect to shed a lot of tears over the long haul). What's important to me are email addresses and phone numbers, at a minimum.
Scribe Sign Off. I've been penning Checkpoints for a full five years now, and Jeff Chappell has graciously agreed to give all of you a change in writing style. We had a ceremonial “passing of the quill” when he had a layover in Seattle. This column truly does write itself. Thankful for the benefits of communication in the electronic age, I mostly serve as an editor for the column. The Scribe Chronology is below:
Willy Cosby (Fall 1975 - Spring 1978)
Duck Layman (Summer 1978 - Fall 1981)
Vacant (Winter 1981)
Stan Collins (Spring 1982 - Summer 1982)
Joe Stein (Fall 1982 - Summer 1985)
Jeff Hackett (Fall 1985 - Fall 2004)
Paul Kent (Winter 2005 - Winter 2010)
Jeff Chappell (Spring 2010 - a long time, we hope)
Single-issue Guest Scribes: Jim Burling; Jim Carlson; and Chris Glaeser.