40th reunion status: Some of you have inquired, and many more probably wonder, about the status of our reunion next year. My call to AOG revealed that, since reunions depend on the home football schedule, which doesn’t come out until late March-early April, we will not have a date until after that. However, whomever gets volunteered to plan our big event can start anytime. Dean Spraggins already started part of the process by getting our druthers about gifts to be included in our reunion packages.
John Charlton reported on Bill Corsetti’s retirement as a Strategic Planner in J5, where among his many outstanding works were post-9/11 plans for the war on terror. Bill is one of only three people to be awarded the Distinguished Service Award twice. Congratulations, Bill–we are honored to have such stars among our classmates!
Rick Pyatt, wife Zara and daughter Jordan had a family vacation to Alaska with whale watching on a cruise boat and F-22 Raptor watching at Elmendorf.
Dave Jannetta had the opportunity to visit USAFA and met with Mark Wells, head of the History Department and “last man standing” from ’75. By all accounts he is a highly respected leader at the Academy, and represents all of us well. Note the display cabinet in the photo–packed with Class of 75 memorabilia. It’s a real blast from the past. (On top of that, he still gets to fly!)
Mark Schoning sent some photos from two days hiking up in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State in August 2014. Late August is the best time to be there...the wildflowers were spectacular and the scenery is wonderful.
Not to be outdone, Scribe Emeritus Paul Kent reported in from the top of South America: 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.
Ralph Paul, wife Loretta, and Mike and Susan Ruth represented ’75 Best Alive at the Air Force–Navy game. It was a beautiful day at Falcon Stadium and a GREAT game!
Bill Murray reported some adventures including the Boise State game with Wayne Willis, Terry Young, Russ Trinter, Bruce Fritsche, Bo Montgomery. Russ, Bo, Terry and Wayne played in the Falcon Pride golf tournament and shot 11 under par!
USAFA is in the process of honoring the State of Virginia by having a license plate featuring our dear Wild Blue U. Unfortunately, I could not get a picture, but last report the State had over 250 of the custom plates on order, with 350 required to make the order complete (i.e., worth tooling up the prison…)
Last-minute note from Mark Holmes: Been one of the best weeks of my life here, not letting 61 put a hold on anything, I decided a few months ago to get in better shape so I could learn to skydive, a dream I’ve had since 24. I’ve flown planes, hang gliders and last year jetpacks, but always wanted to do the pure thing and fly without anything. Had to repeat the first day with a room full of kids, but the next seven in accelerated freefall were just plain amazing. Finished my final, now cleared for solo flight. Had a great couple of pics taken by the instructor, I’m flying over the Olympic Training center in Chula Vista CA, feeling like Superman and wanted to share it with our class mates. Got a video I’m going to send to Bill Estelle for the website as well. I’ve spent the week laughing even when alone at what an incredible experience it was, almost makes me wish I’d done the Wings of Blue program at the Zoo, but it’s never too late to reach for your dreams! There was a great quote in one of the books I read before taking the course that said it best. Well, three:
Why would anyone want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane? The problem is that there is no such thing. Every plane is nothing more than an accident waiting to happen.
If riding in an airplane is “flying” then riding in a boat is “swimming.” If you want to experience the element, get out of the vehicle.
But this one I liked best: The Air! Man has visions of flight–not the roaring progress of heavy sinking machines, but that silent loveliness of gliding on outstretched arms that comes to everyone in dreams.
Great piece, Mark—thank you for the inspirational quotes and congrats on keeping the dream alive!
I have some space left (a rarity thanks to all your great submissions over the past four years), so I’ll make my pitch now for volunteers to take over as Scribe after our reunion. I will have been in the saddle for five years, during which I have loved hearing your adventures, shared the sadness of classmates who have graduated to the next life, and waded through tons of fabulous photos and wished we could put more in the magazine. Thanks to all of you, this detail involves mostly editing, since you do all the writing. It has been an honor to serve, although not as long as some others, who did it BC (Before Computers) when it was much more difficult. If you want to throw your name in the hat, or if you know someone who would do a great job, let me know. I do have a couple of nominees in mind.
As always, you submitted many great photos, but I can put only three in print, so look for the rest on the class website. Until next quarter, see you around the campus—or at our bowl game if the team keeps doing well!