GBNF: Kip Fong and Phil Pearce departed the fix for bluer skies.
Some memories from Tim O’Connell: Kip's room was across from mine during BCT and a good friend throughout Doolie year. Memorable was his resolve to outlast some of the most sadistic upperclassmen in 19. They went after him because of his mother (then the California Secretary of State and head of the very liberal state Democratic Party) and because of his race. To be "trained" for that which cannot be changed must have been perceived as justification for quitting. He went on to become a Reagan Republican; Thanksgiving dinner conversation must have been lively! When he completed his term as treasurer (the last time the budget was balanced was the day he left office), I worked in his US Senate bid. Even Boxer could not resist using race against him in the final days of the campaign to erase his lead. Matthew "Kip" Fong, you are an exemplar of perseverance, conviction, and self control in the memories of those who had the honor of knowing you.
Gary Exelby: I have in my hand a thank-you note from Kip dated 28 Jun 98 in response to a series of columns I had sent him as potential ammo in his effort to unseat Barbara Boxer. Wish I coulda done more...
Mike Anderson: I got to work with Kip when I was in AF Legislative Affairs. He was one of our IMAs and brought his political smarts and network to play on legislation and funding for our Air Force on Capitol Hill. We spent many hours working “engagement plans” and consuming many bottles of…water! He was big into being healthy and was concerned that I had acquired a taste for other adult beverages. I gave up adult beverages and sodas for 6 months and lost 25 pounds. RIP and God Bless–see you on the rejoin.
John MacDonnell: I always remember him from working SERE. He did many of the Asian-sounding propaganda broadcasts we constantly aired on KPDR. In another instance, one of the interrogators came to us and said he had a Korean (or Chinese?) student who claimed he neither spoke nor understood any English. So we sent in Kip, who completed the interrogation, completely surprising and blowing away the student! RIP, Comrade Fong, we’ll all miss you.
More on Phil next issue. I remember him as a BCT squadron commander being very sharp, fair and down-to-earth. Some who knew him better, please provide some tributes.
Men to Match My Mountains. Paul Kent reported: We summited Mt Baker, 10,780 ft of snow and crevasses July 6, the hottest day of the year so far. I now know why climbers and lifeguards put zinc oxide on their noses and lips. We started at 3300 ft, in snow, base camped at 6400 ft, got up at 0200, summited at 1000, and back to base camp at 1600. This is my first technical climb since Mt Rainier in 1980. I think this will be my last on a glacier. Back to nice trails with minimal to no snow. I look out north from my house 70 miles and see the top of Baker, so I got talked into the climb without realizing what it entailed. Very rewarding but no more of that kind of stuff for this old boy.
Not to be outdone, Dave Jannetta: I just got back from an African adventure–although I didn’t have the Class Flag, note the Best Alive baseball cap. I reached the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro on 6/20 (been to 19,000+ flying many times – this was my first time walking there!). An amazing trip which I would recommend to anyone – although much like having twins, would have been much easier about three decades ago! Kilimanjaro is not a technical climb – definitely some sporty areas though. Biggest issue is altitude sickness – seems to affect everyone differently. I have the bug now; hope to do Mt Elbrus (highest summit in Europe) in the next two years. It is technical, so I’ll need to get some training this winter. I’ll keep you posted!
Mark Beesley developed a psyops weapon for us: In the DC area, West Pointers and the Naval Academy grads rule the roost in terms of power and influence. After living in the area for 5 years, I have had enough of the Woops and Squids, so I am starting a campaign to make sure folks know of us Zoomies. After a great bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, I came up with the bumper sticker: ZOOMIES RULE! (White letters and lightning bolt on blue background). You will see it on my car right after I get it out of the body shop. I got rear ended by a Mack truck on Interstate 66–the only injury was the embarrassment of having an auto accident on a major freeway and tying up traffic.
Duane Jones: Here’s a photo of Jerry Manthei and I at the Pentagon Athletic Center. Jerry and I both bicycle to work, he from Alexandria and I from Bolling AFB. Jerry's working for the Navy (he cross-commissioned) and I'm still active duty on the Air Staff. The two of us just ran into each other in the PAC. Small world!
Mark Volcheff: While traveling in London with my wife, I was directed by the concierge to a local Purveyor of Fine Spirits a few blocks from our hotel in Piccadilly Circus. Established in 1697, this establishment had an awesome selection of wines, ports and single malt scotch. I asked to see his selection of vintage 1975 scotch. He searched his computer data base and found only one bottle remaining in his entire inventory. With a few sputters at the price, I proudly laid out the pounds and will donate this bottle to our class. Choose as we may what to do with it. Crack it open at the 50th? Save it for our last two surviving classmates to enjoy or raffle it off as a fundraiser? Makes no difference to me, this is for the Class with my best wishes to all.
A joint report from Don Henney and Larry Bryant. God worked another miracle: Don’s third son, Caleb, just entered the Prep School Class of 2012 – 10 months of transformation to enter USAFA '16 next summer. Caleb is busting you know what to join brothers Daniel, '07 and Joseph, '09. Don is following in Larry's footsteps with sons Maj Philip Bryant, ‘01, who just finished 3rd tour in Afghanistan as Blackhawk pilot; Capt Corban Bryant, ‘04, is separating from USAF and accepting a job in Delhi, India; and C1C Garret Bryant, ‘12. It's got to be a miracle: What are the odds of two '75 grads from CS-22 having all three of their sons going to the Academy? Don says it's not a conspiracy, just divine teamwork!
Finally, from Prez Jim Carlson: Paul Lotakis offered to serve as ’75 Group Admin for ZoomieNation. Several classmates are collaborating on other class websites which should incorporate some popular current web technology. The lead on this is Bill Estelle. Marty Stytz will continue to maintain our site using the AOG platform, which is very limited in apps; Marty has been doing an exceptional job in keeping it interesting and up-to-date.
Until next time, see you around the campus!