REUNION XL is in the books, and along with the nearly 600 registered classmates, family and friends, all I can say is “WOW!” Hopefully this article can do a reasonable job of summarizing for those who could not attend.
Kent Traylor, golf tournament honcho, summarized the event: 12th Squadron dominated the 88 player golf field again. Longest drive was Mark Volcheff (13th) with a monster shot in excess of 315 yards. Closest to the Pin on the 7th hole of the Robert Trent Jones Blue Course was Jack Van Ryn (12th). And the big CS-12 winners, with a score of 13 under par, were Craig Naas, Jack Van Ryn, Craig Christen, and Steve Marino (handicap of 1), whose son is currently playing on the PGA Tour. Like father, like son! Greg “Yumper” Black and Lance Grace kept the field lubricated and supplied with other amenities.
Opening with the return of Col (Ret) Waldo F. Dumbsquat, alter ego of 75’s own Tom Laurie (See Extras below for details), the entire program featured new, exciting things at every turn. Otto Dieffenbach dazzled the noon meal crowd with his flying Superman on Friday. For videos and more, find Otto on Facebook, or at FlyGuyPromotions. (This is an unpaid public service announcement.) Larry Bryant and Bill Murray put on a great memorial service for all our GBNF brethren—thank you both, and all others involved, for a very moving service. The promotion and retirement ceremony of Last Man Standing Mark Wells at a hangar on the airfield was well-attended and featured more than the usual family, friends, classmates, and well-wishers: There was a flyby almost every minute! Congratulations Mark—what’s next?
Mike Matte emceed a superb banquet program, keeping things moving with insightful and playful comments throughout. The banquet also featured the return of the Lizard of Trou-town and the revelation of The Streak (cue Ray Stevens), our own Jerry Wallace. The Gazette featured the story on its front page next day! Probably the most impressive feat of the past 40 years is that all those involved in The Streak kept it secret for all these years. Steve Duresky and Dave Wallace regaled us with their parody from the Pirates of Penzance, a tribute to the Class (Extract Below). Estelle Productions produced another great video tribute, digging into the Wayback Machine for some shots from 5 July 1971 to the present, including GBNFs (dozens of photos from 5 Jul 1971 never seen before, all in gallery linked below). The In the Stairwell Singers put on a good mix of a cappella music, and of course everyone enjoyed the camaraderie and conversation, catching up on things since the previous reunion.
Of course, it wasn’t all fun and games: We did do a little business, electing Bruce Mitchell our Class Senator, and hearing a well-researched presentation from Mark Beesley on options for our Class Gift to our beloved Blue Zoo. More to come on both of those.
19th squadron at lunch, left to right: Buck Rogers, John Scherer, Jim Corrigan, Dave Anhalt. The Playboys plaque is still on the wall in CS-19.
Scribe Emeritus Paul Kent reported that the CS-20 Old Trolls had a small turnout. Three of us attended the events. Three more, for a total of 6, plus spouses (out of 19 living old Trolls) had breakfast at Mike Goyden’s Colorado Springs digs on Saturday morning, re-scheduled due to the evening game. We talked about our health issues and when we are going to collect social security. We didn’t talk about cars or girls.
CS-22 was represented by (front row) Tony & Cyndy Mahoney, Carolyn & Steve Schiemann, (back row) Bill & Cathy Carrothers, Don & Debbie Henney, Bill Estelle, Larry & Melinda Bryant, Dave & Sharon Myers and Tom & Linda Burns
Bruce Correll and Ted Stallone marked a 40-year milestone of their own: A wager that the first one married has to send the other to Hawai’i. Bruce said that while both have been engaged several times, neither has taken The Plunge. I suggested a double wedding, with everything synchronized, but Bruce said they don’t trust each other enough to try that: The temptation to hesitate just a few seconds would blow it. So both remain (happily?) single. Ladies, this sounds like a challenge you should attack!
The Wyoming football game opened with all 40 squadrons carrying the Class of 75’s golden guidons below their own unit flags. The young Zoomies delivered a win after a sluggish start, and the weather cooperated, staying mild throughout, so it was quite enjoyable for a night game.
As always, an effort like the Reunion required mountains of leadership and teamwork, and at the risk of leaving someone out, we recognize the work of the reunion committee and thank them for a great job: Jeff Hackett, Larry Bryant, Larry Fariss, Bruce Mitchell, Bill Estelle, Kent Traylor, Scott Hente, Mark & Donna Wells, John Gaughan, Bruce Fritzsche, Jim Burling, Wayne Willis, Dean Cox, Rod Hennek, Marty Stytz, Keith Workman and Chip Kerby.
The Class of 7 – 5
Way out in Colorado nice and high at 7,000 feet.
There is a place where scholars from across the USA can meet.
They’re academic geniuses and athletes and they’re leaders too.
They all came out for schooling at this place we call our dear “Blue Zoo”!
So let’s now wind the clock back to the first part of the 70’s
We strolled in with some attitudes and long hair – we were men at ease.
But little did we know that soon we would be called the “Best Alive”.
Let’s take a closer look at those fine men – The Class of 7-5!
We came from massive cities and from smaller states some know the least,
But we all walked through “Bring Me Men” to tackle that enormous “Beast”!
The times were sort of rough back then for gallant men in uniform,
But we still oozed with confidence at Vandenberg and the “New Dorm”...
Making the World a Safer Place Department: Charlie Beadling and Bill Lyerly were both in Accra, Ghana, in July to open a months-long effort to train 17 West African countries in all-hazards disaster preparedness, with an emphasis (for obvious reasons) on infectious disease outbreaks, like Ebola. The Center for Disaster and Humanitarian Assistance Medicine (CDHAM), part of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) (DoD medical school and Charlie’s second alma mater), was the lead implementing partner for USAFRICOM for this program, the West Africa Disaster Preparedness Initiative. Bill volunteered to come spend about a month in Ghana to help teach the module on Emergency Operations Centers. His daughter, Kirsten, works with Charlie at CDHAM on disaster preparedness programs. (What heart attack?) (Photos 1-3 Below)
You Can Always Tell a Zoomie Department: From Jack Storer: Years ago when I was a young 727 Captain for Northwest Airlines, I picked up a trip into Colorado Springs. After the aircraft was re-boarded in the Springs, the lead flight attendant came into the cockpit and said “Captain I have a strange message for you from a passenger.” I said “Well lets see what it says.” I opened the note and there were only 3 words “fast, neat, average”. Of course you know my response… I wrote “friendly, good, good!” and asked that she return the note to our passenger. Needless to say she looked at me like I was from Mars, but the grad in the back and the grad in the front sure got a good chuckle out of it!
As always, look for more photos on the class websites.
In closing, it has been my privilege to serve as Class Scribe for the past five years, so it’s time for someone else to have their share of fame, fortune, and glory. Foster Bitton has assented, under no duress, to serve as Scribe for the next term. Foster is retiring to Castle Rock to be near his kids (and to golf and ski more), and the Scribe duties should give him something to do in his spare time. Standby for new contact information. Thank you all for your support—it has been a blast learning more about many of you and reading about your families, travels, accomplishments, small world experiences, and daily lives. The best to The Best—see you around the campus!