Checkpoints          December 2018              Foster Bitton

If You Weren’t Feeling Old Enough: It’s official. We have our first great-grandparent in the class! Jim Dill claimed that honor when Dante, Class of 2040, touched down on terra firma on 18 July. Congratulations, great-grandpa Jim!

Retirements: Scott Smith retired in May from Delta Air Lines, leaving as a B767 Captain based in Detroit, but still living in the DC area where he retired from the AF in 1996. Scott reports he’s still married to his “first and only love, Janet,” and they’ve been married since 6 June 1975 so there’s a chance it might work out. The Smiths recently met up with former roommate Stan “Chumley” Collins and his wife, Mary, in a pub in Cork, Ireland, and spent the evening eating and swapping stories. If it was like most classmate reunions, Scott and Chumley swapped the stories while Janet and Mary rolled their eyes.

Mike Banker put in 30 years with Northwest/Delta before retiring in June as a B767 Captain based in Seattle. His account of his life after retirement is that he hasn’t done much of anything except keep the house and garden going since his wife, Joanie, is still working. They’ve been married 43 years and somewhere along the way wound up with 5 kids and 12 grandkids who keep them from sitting down and getting comfortable for any appreciable stretch of time. 

Roy Rice, a longtime Alabama resident, provided the following narrative on the recent retirement of a fellow Alabamian, Jim “Lucky” Corrigan. “I just wanted to let you know about Corrigan’s retirement and what a [characterization deleted to enable public dissemination of this true life story] he is. He called a couple of weeks ago and told me that on 4 October he would be taking his last flight with Delta. He said, ‘Why don’t you come down to help celebrate and we can work on your driving skills over the weekend?’ I, of course, agreed and was looking forward to some serious GOLF.” WHAT I DIDN’T SUSPECT was that he meant I would work on my tractor driving skills for the weekend. I got down to his place on Thursday and spent the next 3 ½ days on a tractor, helping put in 13 green fields for deer season. What a [further characterization deleted]!!! I spent 28 hours in the hot sun, on a tractor in dusty fields while he stayed up at the barn accepting gracious phone calls and emails from friends and classmates congratulating him on his Delta retirement. The one saving grace was Kim’s (Lucky’s lovely wife) outstanding cooking and graciousness as a wonderful hostess.”

[Scribe’s note: Anyone who’s seen Roy’s golf swing would have to wonder why he ever thought Lucky was talking about working on those driving skills. I’m not even sure Lucky could bear to look at Roy’s swing, much less waste time working on it.] 

Roughing It: While some of our recently retired classmates are trying to determine what to do with the lack of regimentation in their lives, others have found fulfillment by re-enacting their Survival days, sans the threat of dementors springing from behind trees and sucking the joy out of life. Dale Hanner reports: “Joe Carroll, Rod Kallman, and I, fellow SLUF Drivers at Davis-Monthan, along with two other friends, recently decided to see if a group of 65-year-old senior citizens, who, by the way, think they are still 35, could survive a 5-day, and probably more importantly, 12-portage canoe trip, with two canoes and about 175 pounds of stuff in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota. The two studs of our group, Rod and Joe, evolved into the only two guys willing and able to carry the canoes. Other than trying to get three ex-fighter pilots of equal rank to agree on anything, it was an absolutely fabulous trip!” (Photo 1 Below)

Jack Storer sent in a report describing an entirely different way of surviving in the woods: “I spent a few days backpacking and trout fishing in Rocky Mountain National Park in September. The weather was beautiful and the aspen were at their peak. I was fortunate to spend several nights at Dr. Larry Colletti’s cabin on Shadow Mountain Lake just outside the park. Larry plans to retire soon from his orthodontist business in Denver. Speaking of retirement, Dan “Bear” Brown retired from Fed Ex last winter. He spends the summers flying his floatplane off of Mirror Lake north of Anchorage and snowbirds in St. George, Utah.”

Our Class Scribe, in his latest dispatch, penned a
poetic request for news, herein preserved for posterity

Once upon a midnight dreary, sat a scribe, so weak and weary,
Looking for some words from mates, of how they’d dealt with sorted fates,
     And while he nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping rapping at his chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” he muttered, “tapping at my chamber door,
            Only this, and nothing more.”             

     He’d sent a note yet weeks ago, stealing from the works of Poe,
Asking for some help in haste, of snippets he could cut and paste.
     And while he waited in the gloom, of his ever darkening room,   
     The tapping he feared was his doom, the constant tapping at his door,
That grew in loudness as he shuddered, was but yet a metaphor
          Of ticking time, and nothing more.

     The deadline hung above his head, like clouds of angst and even dread.
What if friends had felt no hurry, and all he heard from was Bill Murray?
     “Oh the agony, the pain!” he cried out in wretched vain,
     Then leaned upon a gnarled cane, and still the rapping at his door,
Relented not and gave no peace, and as term papers from before,
          It called his heed, and nothing more.

Mini-Reunions: Larry “Frankie” and Michelle Fariss hosted a brunch on 9 Sep at their house in Colorado Springs for fellow classmates Tom “Houner” Calhoun and Ben Phillips, who were in town for an 18 TFW reunion. Joe Dowdy showed up for the brunch because he heard there was food in the area. For the record, Frankie wasn’t assigned to the 18 TFW, he just likes to hang around Eagle drivers in a hopeless effort to interject some class and humility into their lives.

Rick Layman, Stan Collins, and their w-a-a-y better halves met up with Stan and Wanda Siefke when the Siefkes disembarked from their cruise through the Panama Canal in San Diego. The couples then swapped tales at a sub base and watched the Navy do its thing, because that’s what people do in a major city without a football team. (Photo 2 Below)

This year’s CS-29 Black Panthers reunion was held on a cruise of the Hawaiian Islands. Bill Ashcraft, Tom Barbera, Bill Davis, Greg Berlan, and K.C. Schwarz, under the supervision of their significant others, roamed the islands and cluttered up what would have been pictures of some beautiful scenery. Herr Ashcraft, the only non-retiree in the group, says he’s having too much fun as a lawyer to give up working just yet. Does the hair on anyone else’s arms stand straight up when a lawyer talks about having fun? (Photo 3 Below)

Taking it on the Road: Jim “Tony” Mahoney has found the way to a happy retirement is to never stop moving. Since his retirement 11 months ago he and Cindy have been on four cruises and five long road trips. The road trips were necessary to stretch the legs on the Tesla Model 3 they picked up at the end of March. With the Mahoney children spread out in Maine, Ohio, Phoenix and (maybe) Denver, and parents in Nebraska and Texas, Tony and Cindy will undoubtedly have plenty of opportunities to test the range on the Tesla.

John “Sax” Saxman wins the retirement traveling award for this quarter. Sax and his wife, Sherri, spent 115 days doing the “Down East Loop” on their 42-foot Grand Banks trawler. This was apparently a piece of cake for the seasoned waterway travelers since they did the much longer “America’s Great Loop” in 2015. Google has details on both of the loops. In Sax’s own words, they enjoyed “beautiful scenery, great people, abundant wildlife and sea life, and lots of adventures.” Sounds more enjoyable than driving a tractor in Alabama, eh?


1. Joe Carroll, Rod Kallman, & Dale Hanner plus two friends roughing it.

2. Rick Layman, Stan Collins, & Stan Siefke celebrating...something.

3. Bill Ashcraft, Tom Barbera, Bill Davis, K.C. Schwarz, and Greg Berlan temporarily unsupervised in Hawaii.

Checkpoints Extras

Association of Graduates Class Advisory Senate          October 2018

From Bruce Mitchell: The minutes for the October CAS meeting are HERE. If you need assistance with AOG questions or comments, please let me know. Biennial CAS election of officers just concluded; I will be serving another two years on the CAS Executive Committee. If Mark Volcheff is elected to the AOG board in February, we'll need a new CAS back-up to replace Mark. Please let me and Jim Carlson know if you are interested in serving in this way.

2019 AOG Election: There is an informative video on Youtube (USAFA AOG Election Information) of the AOG Board President Cathy McClain '82, discussing the upcoming February 2019 AOG election.

Mark Volcheff is running for an elected position on the AOG board.  

If you are not an AOG member, here are three good reasons for you to update your membership:

1. You must be a member to vote in periodic elections.

2.  At least 25% of membership must vote for by-law changes to make the results valid. The whole graduate community did not muster 25% participation overall in the last election. Even though '75 was in the top tier of classes participating in the past AOG election, we can still do much better.  Please consider, "Do we as graduates really want to cede our voice for the control of our alumni association back to a small group of people?"  That is effectively what we are doing if we can't collectively support an election with better than 25% interest.

3.  Help put a classmate back on the board of directors. 

USAFA News Source compilation: HERE is a set of URLs and social media sites assembled by the CAS, leading to electronic sources of official USAFA information. We can all use these to get better and more timely information about our Academy:

David Tillotson Appointed Director of the National Museum of the USAF

Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel to Close for up to Four Years

December Album

Wreaths Across America


1-2. USAFA Cemetary.

1. Bruce Fritzsche conducting the Wreaths Across America ceremony. (AOG, December 2018)

2. Larry Bryant placing a wreath. (AOG, December 2018)

3-4. Bob Shappell (Left) with fellow veterans at the Central Wisconsin Veteran's Memorial Cemetary, King, Wisconsin. (Linda L. Kostka & Linda Blom Coppock, December 2018)

'75 Retires


1. Kimberly Corrigan on Jim's final flight with Delta: What can I say, we knew this day would one day be upon us. What an honor to be a part of Jim’s, aka “Lucky,” final flight once again. What a privilege to also have Ryan flying with his dad on this day. Delta airlines has been our family for the past 21 years. It’s hard to say goodbye. (October 2018)

2. Sara Federico (Butalla) on her Dad, Paul’s final flight: Today is a bittersweet day. I finally got to fly on one of my Dad’s flights. Only sad that it was his last one. Congratulations Daddy! Thanks for the best flight that I could have ever had. (October 2018)

3. Billy Stephan returning from his final flight: My favorite photo of all time! (October 2018)

4. Jeff Chappell.


1. Apple Watch, 75 Best Alive edition. (Bill Estelle, October 2018)

2. Bill Murray: Gen Goldfein graduated in the Class of 1983 and gave a great talk at the 45th Anniversary of our Viet Nam POWs coming home in Dallas. He talked about the long blue line and the people who had influenced his life, his getting shot down over Serbia and picked up by PJ’s, and what a privilege it was to be the Chief of Staff of our Air Force. We had 12 of the 73 living Medal of Honor Recipients in attendance. It was quite a motivational night! (October 2018)

3. Don Byers. (Terri Byers, October 2018)

4. Jim Dill at Falcon Stadium. (October 2018)


5. Gerry Conticchio getting a tattoo. (October 2018)

6. Jack Barton, Walter Lee Burns, Jim Hartney, & Joseph A. May with wives Sally Tuck Barton, Penny Burns, Ardis Crossman Hartney, & Nancy Deming-May on their European river cruise. (Nancy Deming-May, October 2018)

7. Ric, Elizabeth, & Matthew Rosborg in New York for niece Erika's wedding. (Elizabeth Rosborg, October 2018)

8. Rod & Vicki Kallman in Puerto Vallarta with family. (Vicki Kallman, October 2018)


9. Mark & Mary Dwyer Volcheff with friends on a trip to the mountains celebrating their anniversary. (Mary Dwyer Volcheff, October 2018)

10. Ben Bosma aflight. (October 2018)

11. Dave Ehrhart with friends and cousins. (Theresa Ehrhart Watkins, October 2018)

12. Bill Buchta with his first (?) grandchild, August Franklin Westermann. (October 2018)


13. Perry Lamy with grandson at school. (Linda Lavon Lamy, October 2018)

14. Steve Schiemann at Horseshoe Bend, Grand Canyon, Arizona. (October 2018)

15. UPT 42nd Reunion, Craig AFB, Alabama. Dave Herlong: It was a fabulous weekend at Selma hosted by Jim "Lucky" Corrigan and his wife, Kim. We were the "B Section" of 77-01 at Craig. We all flew fighters in our careers! (Front Row, Left to Right: Dave Herlong, Joe May, Terry Estep (Section Leader, Not ’75), Mike Weininger, & Jim Blissit. Back Row, Left to Right: Jack Barton, Walt Burns, Butch Byrd, & Jim Corrigan. Not present: Charlie Simmons and Gary Wilson, USAFA ’71) (Nancy Deming-May, October 2018)

16. Kurt Bock with some of his business associates at Country Financial Insurance Company. (October 2018)


17. Bentley Rayburn with son-in-law Andy Ash at Coast Guard Air Station, North Bend, Oregon. (Crissa Ash, October 2018)

18. Marty Miller: I produced the 3-day Great Bend Airfest at Great Bend, Kansas (KGBD), featuring the world’s only two flying B-29’s at the former Great Bend Army Airfield – on its 75th anniversary. That’s me and my wife Angie, with the Ladies for Liberty (they’re an “Andrews Sisters” performing group). They performed for the 1940’s Hangar Dance during the Airfest. (October 2018)

19. Kent & Carole Traylor at Falcon Stadium for the Boise State game. (Unknown ass in the picture. NOTE: Not the one on the left). (October 2018)

20. Jeff & Christine Hackett at Falcon Stadium for the Boise State game: It's a practically perfect evening at Falcon Stadium. Pregame flyby (two F-15 Eagles) was AWESOME!! Mysterious photobomber behind Jeff (NOTE: it's Chuck Holland). (October 2018)


21. Mike Heil: Relaxing at home with our Dusty dog on an autumn evening. (October 2018)

22. A witch and her ride! Love my broom (Bruce)! (Angela Dupont-Hevey, October 2018)

23. Chris & Jan Hobson Soto. We signed papers to adopt DeWayne and Malaysia. After three years with us they have come so far. They are great kids and the will need a lot of help as they grow up. Please keep us in your prayers as we raise these special kids. (Jan Hobson Soto, October 2018)

24. Ken Finn dressed appropriately for Halloween, with two of his granddaughters. (Dan Barrett, October 2018)


25. Mike DeHart: Celebrating my granddaughter’s 2nd birthday. She truly owns my heart and always makes me smile. I feel so blessed to have her in my life. My time with her is very special and I couldn’t ask for a more beautiful, endearing and smart little girl in my life. I love her dearly!! (October 2018)

26. Rich Finke with granddaughter Victoria. (Erin Finke Ridolfo, November 2018)

27. Greg & Peggy Berlan with grandson Lucas on his baptism day, at Saint Catherine Greek Orthodox Church, Palm Beach, Florida. (Alex Berlan, November 2018)

28. Liz & Mike DeHart at Old Bay Steamer, Ft Walton Beach, Florida. (Liz DeHart, November 2018)


29. John & Jennifer Kambourian on their Vermont/New Hampshire vacation. (November 2018)

30. Jeff Chappell: This was sort of a birthday/retirement event I did in Sacramento (Spartan events are all over the country at various times throughout the year). It's basically a four-mile obstacle course; there's another event that's over twice as long, but I'm not that crazy! Self-paced, if there's an obstacle you can't tackle, you have the option of doing 30 burpees instead (I did either 150 or 180, can't remember all the obstacles I bypassed). (November 2018)

31. Kurt Bock on Veteran's Day: Today as we honor our 22 million living veterans, I also honor my comrades in arms from the US Air Force Academy Class of 1975. (November 2018)

32. Ben Bosma eating pizza with his grandson. (Chris Bosma, November 2018)


33. Elizabeth & Eric Rosborg, Bev & Mark Lenci, and ??? & Jim Marburger at the Museum of Science, Boston for the weeding of friends Nicholas & Madeeha's wedding. (Mark Lenci, November 2018)

34. Dave Ruddock. Honoroing veterans at Riverside Elementary, Sugar Hill, Georgia. (November 2018)

35. Rick & Gail Townsend in Alaska. (November 2018)

36. Dave Beatty, appearing somewhat stunned or simply unmoved by his coaster experience: Anybody know the record for that Incredicoaster/California Screamin' roller coaster at Disney's California Adventure? We rode it 8 times in less than an hour...the insanity continues. (November 2018)


37. Paul & Sheri Kent with some of the family. (Julie Berend Courey, November 2018)

38. Bill Buchta (Right). (Nancy Clover, December 2018)

39. Perry Lamy with sons Alex & Nick, and granddaughter Ellie. (Linda Lavon Lamy, November 2018)

40. John Kambourian: My life has gone to the dogs! (November 2018)


41. Jim & Ardis Hartney at Hard Rock Stadium. (December 2018)

42. Jeff Hackett: Out for (twelfth!!) birthday breakfast with granddaughter Taryn. How time flies. (December 2018)

43. Santa visiting Mark Risi's mom. (November 2018)

44. Bill Spencer: It has happened! Surprise completed. I can still keep a secret. Merry Christmas from Bowling Green, Virginia. (December 2018)


45. Jeff Hackett working on his memoirs with his assistant Dodge, who we understand wisely favors the Oxford Comma. (Christine Hackett, December 2018)

46. Mike & Joan Lischak: Riding the Christmas Carousel in Johnson City. Merry Christmas! (Joan Lischak, December 2018)

47-48. Bill Murray: '75ers at the Dallas AOG Christmas Party. (December 2018)

47. Mike & Mary McClendon, Dave & Chris Ehrhart, Bill & Judy Murray, and Jim & Olga Blissit.

48. Bruce & Margaret Edstrom.


49. Ralph Paul: Loretta and I went to the Littleton Theatre to see a different version of "A Christmas Carol" with our good friends, Randy & Cindy. It was another great holiday evening! (December 2018)

50. Rick & Pauline Kim. (December 2018)

51. Michael Heil with a very unique group: I had the pleasure of meeting two fellow Class of 1975 service academy graduates at the Army-Navy game watch party in Cleveland yesterday. To my left are Wayne Bergman, USNA ‘75 and George Schrlau, USMA ‘75. Congrats to Army on the victory, it is wait until next year for Air Force and Navy fans. (December 2018)

52. Some sort of Dave Beatty-Santa hybrid mowing the lawn. In December! (December 2018)


53. Mark Donnelly (in the front seat). (December 2018)

54. Chris Fillar with his two grandsons. (Amy Fillar Ford, December 2018)

55. Dave Hickman with family and friends. (December 2018)

56. Michael & René Anderson with their extended family. (December 2018)


57. Bob Hickcox assisting Jackie's cousin Jonell Johnson and her daughter Lauren perfect their lefse potato technique. (Jackie Henry, December 2018)

58. Jeff, Jena, Jay, & John Scherer. (Jena Scherer, December 2018)

59. Mike Marro enjoying a local delicacy at a Christmas market in Ghent, Belgium. (Judy Macha, December 2018)

60. Rick & Pauline Kim (Left of Center): Visited veterans at the VA Hospital in Portland, thanking them for their service and presenting them with Christmas stockings filled with goodies. Humbled and thankful. (December 2018)



61. Bob Orwig enjoying a holiday repast in Dahlonega, Georgia. (Linda Hamil Orwig, December 2018)

62. Chris Soto (Right) & Jan Hobson Soto (Third From Right) with their family. (Mica Soto, December 2018)

63. Bill Buchta & family. (December 2018)

64. Al Morrison (Blue Cap, Left of Center, Rear) & family. (Lindsey McCannel Morrison, December 2018)


65. Dan Burkett: Skiing (& snowboarding) with my two favorite ladies (Elizabeth & Jackie)! (December 2018)

66. Wes Routh (Right) with family & friends. (Mike Routh, December 2018)

67. K.C. & Anne Schwarz with daughter Jenna. (Jenna Schwarz, December 2018)

68. Dave Ruddock on Christmas Eve. (December 2018)


69. Gerry & Judith Buckley-Conticchio with Brae Lee. (December 2018)

70. Rex & Shauna Andrews Hoey. (Shauna Andrews Hoey, December 2018)

71. Greg & Peggy Berlan with the family. (December 2018)

72. John Kambourian in Madrid. (December 2018)


73. Perry Lamy with one of his grandsons, who is obviously quite pleased with his gift. (Linda Lavon Lamy, December 2018)

74. Ben Bosma with one of his Christmas gifts. (Lisa Davenport, December 2018)

75. John Scherer. (Jeff Scherer, December 2018)

76. Richard Kennard. (Richard Kennard, December 2018)

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