Reunion 2015—That’s right, 40 years since we launched into the wild blue yonder to make our marks on the world. Mark Wells and Ric Oleksak poked the frog, and Jim Burling dug up details from AOG: Everything hangs on the football schedule, which comes out around the end of February. Here's how the pecking order goes: 10- and 20-year reunions have priority. Classes of 65 and 70 have requested Army game (first week of Nov) Max of 2 classes per weekend. We'll be next, competing for dates with Class of 60, 80, etc.
Our most pressing need at this point is a fearless leader to dedicate the next several months of his life to this landmark endeavor. Second need is for everyone to update their contact information, especially email addresses, many of which have changed since our previous reunion–my list of valid addresses gets shorter every quarter. Communication will be critical, so don’t let any classmate be left out–spread the word! [Update: a reunion chairman has volunteered, reunion dates have been announced, and the reunion committee has had its first meeting].
Duke Duhachek “left the leisurely life of 767ER F/O to beat myself up as a Maddog captain. Would have retired doing those 12-day Asia trips but they are pulling them all out of MSP eventually and I'd have to commute to SEA or LAX to continue to loaf. So figured if I'm going to fly domestic anyway, just as well do it in the left seat. Nancy and I are doing well. Hope y'all have a blessed 2015!”
Chris Glaeser provided a nugget on another '75 class first: First cadet to discover a comet, Spence Roberts. The comet, discovered in 1974 and registered by USAFA, is named Roberts Schwitters Falcon.
Bill Murray taught Rick Dalstrom [for a look back, click HERE – Ed] recurrent training recently. Rick lives in upstate NY and is a 767 Captain for American Airlines flying out ofMiami. “I happened to have a Falcon shirt on because I had just visited with Joe Rogers, a classmate of ours who flew into Dallas with his wife for a business meeting. Joe spent only one year at USAFA but graduated in architecture from Clemson. I encouraged he and his wife, Cindy, to join us for our 40th Reunion next year.”
I Get Around: John Charlton reported that Joe Rogers was in DC for a couple of days. “Joe and I were roommates in CS 26 right after BCT (Mickey Clemons was our third roomie). Cowboy Awtrey joined us. We were all in the same element in Guts and then of course on to the Red Barons. We really had a great time catching up! DC DAP is scheduled for 14 March if any classmates will be in the DC area. I have details for anyone interested.”
Chris Glaeser also talked with Larry "Rock" Bottomley recently; Rock celebrated his 62nd birthday in NYC with his wife Maggy and was joking that he was one of the first '75 classmates to reach Social Security age. Rick Benbow responded that he was a year ahead of Rock, who is flying 767's for AA for another few years and living just west of Chicago.
Rick and Claire Benbow are now living in Charles Town, WV, in the Shenandoah Valley. After retiring from the Kelly AFB C-5 Reserves in 1996, Rick continued his airline career with USAirways based in PHL until heart surgery in 2001 grounded him. Rick eventually moved to Moody AFB, GA where he taught ground school and simulator in the T-6 from 2002-2007. In 2007 he relocated to West Virginia and instructed WVANG crews on the C-5A/B Galaxy until April of 2014 when the unit converted to the C-17. Today, he continues working as a part time C-5M Super Galaxy ground/simulator instructor at Dover AFB. His commute to Dover is about 3 hours, and his part time status at Dover allows him to continue to work on his golf handicap. With the C-5 being retired, he might follow the aircraft into full retirement in a few more years. He noted that his golf score and age are converging rapidly. Rick’s comments: “Looking forward to our 40th reunion. I was wondering if any thought of holding the reunion in a location other than COS had been considered? Perhaps in the east near DC or south near Orlando or west near SFO or SEA? And do this in the late summer vs. Fall/Winter. Weather better...no snow on golf course! With so many classes and so few home games might be topic to address. Hope this is not sacrilege! Also wish Rock the happiest of birthdays... on Jan 18 I celebrate my 63rd birthday! PS: Have not seen Dick Webber traveling through WV...did he park his RV?”
Ron Doeppner: I’ll be retiring from Sikorsky Aircraft on April 1st of this year. Ron says he plans to do “absolutely nothing” for a while. Let us know how that works out with Susie. BTW, where do Floridians go when they retire?
Ted Hilbun and Mark Schoning, squadron mates in CS-40, reconnected via Checkpoints–hope you enjoyed getting back in touch, guys!
After losing ten games last season, the Falcons pull off their first Bowl victory since 2010 and win ten games for the first time since 1998! Terry Young reported that Larry Fariss, Wayne Willis, Dick Webber and John Gaughan braved the weather to represent '75 at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.True warriors!
Bill Estelle convinced Tom Laurie to give a write-up on Charlie Baby, one of the revolutionary regulars in the Talon magazine, which morphed into The Secret Life of Waldo F. Dumbsquat. Tom’s piece is on the 75bestalive.org website, along with several Charlie and Waldo articles. After all these years, the articles are still a quite hilarious insight into events of the day. Bill traveled through SLC on his way to Thanksgiving in NorCal, so Theresa and I met him for dinner at the Red Iguana. Sorry about that cold wait, Bill—hope it was worth it! Until next time, see you around the campus—and volunteer early for reunion duty!
Just before deadline: John Charlton reported that Bill Lyerly had quadruple bypass surgery on 23 Jan at Johns Hopkins (nothing but the best!). Bill’s wife Sylvia and daughter Kirsten report that he is recovering well; John and Cowboy are keeping up on Bill with visits, etc. They expect him to be home this week and rehab to last five months. Hang tough, Bill!