September 2014          Jeff Chappell

GBNF: Bob Knauff was killed in a glider accident in Arizona on 3 May. I recall the little Taylorcraft Bob bought during UPT in Big Spring, and his total love of everything aviation. Chip Kerby noted that Bob is probably the only classmate who has a mountain named after him.

Ed Zerambo reports: A group of us began running in the 70s, mostly based in the Sacramento area. In 1980 we entered the 16th DeCelle Memorial Lake Tahoe Relays, a 72-mile, 7-person relay around Lake Tahoe. Team Name: the Psychedelic Pseven–hey, it was the late 70s! After a few years, we morphed into an all Zoomie team, comprised of grads from the classes of 1972, 73, 74 and of course the Best Alive. We ran the race 21 straight years from 1980 to 2000, during which time we placed as high as 3rd overall, and then won the over 40 division a couple of times. In 2004, now all over 50, we won that age group. Last year, there was some loose talk about “getting the band back together” to make a run as an age 60 entry. The race starts in South Lake and runs counter clockwise, each leg covering 10 to 12 miles. We competed against two other over-60 teams, with 124 teams total entered. The Psychedelic Pseven once again prevailed, winning a very competitive age group and placing 51st overall. The team includes, from right to left: Jerry Wallace ’75, Bob Thompson ’75, Bill Kasson ’72, Scott Mills ’73, Craig MacPherson ’73, Ed Zerambo ’75, and Doug Frost ’74. One of the over 60 teams commented that they used to be “fast and good looking.” We were fast enough on this day, and you can tell from the photo still good looking!

Health warning from Jim Mahoney: Thought I'd pass along a reminder to the guys that if they aren't getting their PSA checked regularly to get off their duffs and do so. I'm just finishing a bout with prostate cancer that was found as a result of an elevated PSA. I had zero symptoms. Robotic surgery six weeks ago took the whole prostate and the cancer with it (they think). Otherwise, life goes on here in Las Vegas. Only a few more years until retirement from Southwest, only two more years until the youngest graduates high school, then who knows what! Looking forward to seeing another record setting crowd for the 40th. Had a chance last week to visit the Colorado Mountain Brewery, across I-25 from the stadium. Great views, great restaurant, highly recommended. While sipping a brew there I realized that the Zoo itself is over 50!

Beltway Bunch update from John Charlton: Here is the pic from the Founder's Day golf scramble at Andrews. We had a '75 threesome of Magic Beesley, Cowboy Awtrey and myself. Our 4th was Magic's "blonde du jour," who actually kept us in the game most of the day. One sponsored hole featured our class crest on it and read, "Best Alive, small but elite! Jack Hoffman, '75.”

From Duane Lodrige: After 30 years of the DC rat race, Michelle and I have retired to the high desert in Reno, NV where we hope to cycle and ski for many years with friends and family. Leading up to my 60th celebration, I took an 1800-mile, three week bicycle trip down the Blue Ridge and Natchez Trace from Annapolis MD to surprise my Dad in our hometown near Natchitoches, LA. Also did some skiing with classmates this winter at Bob Thompson's in Colorado with Bob, Bud Calloway, and John Fritz. Jerry and Beth Wallace are near us in a magnificent place overlooking Lake Tahoe.

World explorer Paul Kent wrote in: My daughter graduated from San Diego State and she and I did something we had talked about doing for years: We went to Peru and Machu Picchu. We elected to trek for a few days and found ourselves at 15,200 feet on the Lares Valley trek. So that altitude is a new record for me (on foot). This was great father-daughter adventure with a great kid. Apparently she told her mom: “I better do this with Dad soon, because I don’t know how much longer he’s going to be able to do this kind of stuff.” She is SO right about that.

J.O. Magoffin from Oshkosh with a Lockheed Vega: Do any of our classmates have an interest in old airplanes? (Wiseguy Scribe comment: Hey, we’re old guys: We like old cars, old airplanes, and old women!) I think they might be interested to know that the Vega was the first Lockheed ever acquired by the U.S. military and at one point was the fastest airplane in the USAAF inventory. Can you imagine the chagrin of a P-12 fighter pilot who watched the Y1C-12 or Y1C-17 pass him like he was standing still? Anyway, if any of our classmates are going to be at Oshkosh this year, I would like them to stop by and visit. We will be front and center at the Red Barn. If you can make it to OSH, I have been comped two rooms, one for the boys and the other for the girls and booze. You are welcome, bring your sleeping bag. (Sounds like a blast–did anyone make it? Send pics and stories please!)

Still serving after all these years: Bob Shappell reports “I was just elected Wisconsin State Commander of the American Legion. For the next year I will be representing the 59,000 Legion members in Wisconsin, as well as advocating for the rights and benefits of all veterans and their families. I have been involved in the Legion since I retired in 2001. I will be documenting my travels and experiences on my Facebook page, the Wisconsin American Legion Facebook page, and on Twitter.”

Tim O'Connell’s Adventures in Paradise: Jack VanRyn (roommate during my two-year residence in CS-12) and wife Debbie (sister of Fred Weems, '75), are vacationing in Colorado from St Louis. Dr. VanRyn is an orthopedic surgeon; Colonel VanRyn is the State Air Surgeon, Missouri Air National Guard. He might be the last not-yet-retired military member of our class. To celebrate his 61st birthday, we climbed to the top of Mt. Democrat. It was the first time he "Bagged a Fourteener," which means reach the summit of one of Colorado's 58 14,000+ foot peaks. No, driving to the top of Pikes Peak doesn't count.

More macho outdoor adventures: Mark Schoning has probably conquered more trails in the West than anyone else in the class. Among his latest conquests is Pinnacles National Park, near Soledad, CA. “The park is renowned for being home to the California condor, and having many mountain ridges, formations, and caves. We saw some condors.” Last I heard, Mark was planning a circuit of Mt Rainier’s Wonderland Trail. Happy Trails, Mark, and all the Class of 75 wanderers!


The Psychedelic Pseven
Doug Frost ’74, Ed Zerambo ’75, Craig MacPherson ’73, Scott Mills ’73, Bill Kasson ’72, Bob Thompson ’75
& Jerry Wallace ’75


John Charlton, Cowboy Awtrey,
& Magic Beesley


Duane Lodrige


Bud Calloway, Duane Lodrige,
Bob Thompson, & John Fritz


Paul Kent & daughter Victoria


Duane Lodrige, Jerry Wallace, Bud Calloway, Bob Thompson, & Ed Zerambo


Jack VanRyn on Mt Democarat

Checkpoints Extras

Courage and Air Warfare               Mark Wells

Mark Wells discussed his book, Courage and Air Warfare: The Allied Aircrew Experience in the Second World War on CSPAN, 15 September 2014, in which he examines the effects that high fatality rates had on World War II bomber pilots, and how the command officers dealt with their soldiers.



1. Fred & Debra Tasker on their way up. (July 2014, Debra Bicknell Tasker)  

2-3. Videos: Bill Murray's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

4. Tom Barbera and the Barbera clan: Tim, Julia, Daniel & Anne. (September 2014)




5. Tim O'Connell with his newest grandchild. (August 2014)

6. Richard & Sharon Kennard at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. (September 2014)

7. Jim Schuman with daughter Katie. (Katie Schuman, July 2014)

8. Rod Hennek, son Kurt, & grandson Jackson off to Jackson's first football game. (Allison Hennek, September 2014)






9. Gerry Conticchio. (August 2014)

10. Bob Shappell: It's a strange feeling to walk to the mound in front of 35,000 people and look up at yourself on the jumbo screen at Miller Park. And yes - my only pitch in a major league park was a strike, right down the middle of the plate. (August 2014)



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