March 2023          Foster Bitton

This is the year: When most of us will enter the elite Septuagenarian Club. Some of us have already been ushered into the club, and speaking from personal experience, the additional wisdom that comes from blowing out the candles on that special day is palpable. Some may argue that feeling is actually a side effect of the hypoxia that comes from blowing out 70 candles, but when you’re 70 you don’t care what some may say, and that alone is proof of great wisdom.

Where in the world: is Tony Mahoney, and his wife Cyndy? In 2022 Tony and Cyndy came close to qualifying for citizenship in Europe. They made four trips to Europe last year, ranging from RAF Lakenheath to Rome, with visits to Paris, Madrid and several other Mediterranean sites. Even when they were home they weren’t home because they were on the road to points between Maine and Phoenix. Tony turned 70 on one of the cruises and claims that birthdays in international waters don’t count. We’ll look for an update on that theory in a couple of years when he doesn’t make a Required Minimum Distribution on his IRA because he was aboard a cruise ship on his birthday.

Phishing report: In this quarter’s call for Checkpoints inputs, Steve Duresky and Chumley Collins were identified as fictitious individuals who might be involved in phishing scams. Lo and behold, it turns out Steve and Chumley are real people, and both of them are fishermen. What a coincidence! Both of them responded to the request for inputs, and neither of them denied the phishing allegations. In fact, Steve noted that some of his trips go 70 miles offshore, which increases the petrol bill exponentially. He also sent pictures to prove that phishing has its rewards.

Safety first: Bob Ryan and his wife have been certified Disaster Relief volunteers since Katrina. They learned years ago how to work with safety equipment, spotters, and chain saws, and have enjoyed a spotless safety record. Bob has recently had time to reflect on those safety lessons and would like to remind everyone of the importance of having a safety spotter whenever you’re on a ladder. In fact, he put together an impromptu demonstration of the importance of having a spotter recently while he was taking down Christmas decorations at his church. This demonstration shows that falling off a 6-foot ladder can result in a deboned ring finger, a fractured calcaneus (heel bone), loss of a Böhler’s angle, and insertional calcific tendinosis of the Achilles tendon. This is all bad juju, but Bob, the eternal optimist, points out, “you get total TV control and access to ALL the John Wayne westerns, and ALL the coffee you want.” He admits there are downsides to falling off a ladder, to include, “you can’t play cello, kayak, ride bikes or play pickleball for the next few weeks! Oh - and because you’re now 7x…you get all these old geezer remarks how you don’t mix with ladders and many very concerned calls from your progeny.” So what lessons did we learn from Bob’s accident? Regaining control of the television remote is possible; cellists should avoid heights; and spotters are worth their weight in whatever passes for precious metals these days!

Breaking news: Duane Jones and Kent “Trayls” Traylor are advising the USAFA Commandant and his staff on building the scenario for and executing a Culminating Exercise (CULEX) for all graduating firsties. According to the commander’s intent, "AFCW Class of 2023 will participate in a three-month long mission planning and analysis within operational teams culminating with a four-hour graded Spring CULEX…Focusing on integration, the CULEX will provide the connective tissue the Air and Space Forces future Lieutenants need to understand where they fit in the Joint fight." In other words, “Two. Bingo. Mayday. Lead you’re on fire,” are no longer the only things lieutenants will need to know when they go to war. Since Space is now part of the Joint fight, “Beam me up, Scotty,” and other Space-centric doctrine will also come into play. Since it’s a four-hour graded exercise during the spring semester, one could conclude that CULEX is actually Firstie Hell Week, but the name is disguised so the Academy won’t get any Congressional complaints about the use of profanity in course curriculum titles. Obviously, many of us are jealous that we didn’t have a CULEX to keep us focused during the waning days of our cadethood, but c’est la vie. At least it’s keeping a couple of 70-year-olds out of the unemployment line and off of the golf course, and that’s a good thing. Right?


Where are the other 69 candles, Tony?


Steve Duresky with one that didn’t get away


Bob Ryan with no cello but lots of coffee


Checkpoints Extras

Association of Graduates Class Advisory Senate          Bruce Mitchell


Attached are the January 2023 Class Advisory Senate minutes and associated documents.



AOG Update


1. Dave & Janet Middleton Wallace: Bluebird day on Skinny skis in Idaho. (Janet Middleton Wallace, January 2023)

2. Three generations of Morrisons (Al on the left). (Lindsey McCannel Morrison, January 2023)

3. Julius Hargrove & family. (January 2023)

4. Santa (Jim Schuman) taking it easy with his grandchildren (Cooper & Logan) after his big day (yes, even Santa has grandchildren!) (January 2023)




5. Jim & Ardis Hartney at Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, NY: First playoff game for us! Guess who's from the south? (January 2023)

6. Stan Jones: Hiked up the Manitou Incline. Fourth time, but first with packed snow. 2678 steps, 2000 vertical feet in one mile, 59 minutes up. Hiked down the Barr Trail. (January 2023)

7. Barry Abbott (Right) with friends at the PGA West Pete Dye Mountain course in Palm Springs, California. (January 2023)

8. Mickey & Jeannine Clemons: On the ferry at Balboa Island! Fun day with our sweet grand girlies! (Jeannine Clemons, January 2023)




9. Dave Ruddock with two of his young charges. (January 2023)

10. Bill Murray: Don & Debbie Henney got stuck in Dallas from Dulles, on their way to a family reunion in Park City, UT to snow ski with their boys. Don sent out an SOS signal, so we picked them up, gave them dinner, PJ's and a tooth brush. Don't forget we live by the airport if you get stuck! You're always welcome if we're in town!!! (February 2023)

11. Oleh Stefaniuk cogitating on the great issues of life (or perhaps just leaning on the railing): Happy to see the work to rebuild the pier. We've had a few fun days fishing here. (Veronika Nemeth Stefaniuk, February 2023)

12. Bob Hickcox: We were invited by our granddaughters to have breakfast at school this morning, followed by a tour of the school book fair. It was delightful. (February 2023)




13. Keith Workman helping granddaughter Kaliah celebrate her BEE-DAY (we don't make this stuff up). (February 2023)

14. Mike Matte apparently enjoying his retirement in Florida. (Deborah Belisle, February 2023)

15. Jim Marshall with daughter Kelly at an unknown venue. (Kelly Vannoy, February 2023)

16. Dan & Elizabeth Burkett on the slopes. (February 2023)




17. Bruce Hevey & daughter Theresa on the slopes in Park City, Utah. (Angela-Dupont Hevey, March 2023)

18. Michael Lischak in Morocco. (March 2023)

19. Dave & Linda Beatty in hats. (Dave Beatty, March 2023)

20. Bentley Rayburn with daughter Crissa. (Crissa Ash, March 2023)




21. Jeff Chappell at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. (March 2023)

22. Don Byers & daughter Jennifer attending his grandson's baseball game in the rain. (Jennifer Lawton, March 2023)

23. Ben & Ginny Bosma at the Wright-State University Nutter Center: PBR Yee Haw! (March 2023)

24. Mark Risi: I think I found my new look. (March 2023)




25. Photo was provided without explanation or context. Sociologists speculate it may show adherents to some sort of Clover Cult. (Ralph Paul & Sydney Bee, March 2023)

26. Dave & Janet Middleton Wallace on the slopes at Snowbasin, Utah. (March 2023)

27. Bob Walden: We enjoyed a great weekend visiting family in Washington DC to celebrate one grandson’s birthday and the other’s baptism. Blessings upon blessings, and lots of cake! (March 2023)

28. Michael Heil: 30th Anniversary dinner with my love. Donna had prime rib, I had a tomahawk steak. Both were fabulous! (March 2023)




29. Jim Hartney: Fenway tour was surprising…veggies growing for the stadium chefs! View of Logan from our room is expansive. Bundling up for Opening Day in the Green Monster seats courtesy of Mark, Mary, and Maureen (who will be there too)! (March 2023)

30. Dave & Patti Ruddock with two of their many grandchildren. (Melanie Mazirow, March 2023)


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