Charley Baby was written by cadets and published in Talon magazine. It was intended as an irreverent look at cadet life, but because the magazine was distributed to the public, it was heavily edited by the leadership. Nonetheless, it often gave a humorous insight into the life of a USAFA cadet at the time. The final column was published in the April 1973 issue of Talon, to be succeeded by the premier of Waldo F. Dumbsquat in the October 1973 Talon.

October 1971

Another year begins. I hope you all enjoyed your first month back. Besides, after such a good summer vacation we should all be ready to start school again. So much to look forward to. The Firsties have their cars and with them come tickets, flat tires and getting to play musical chairs with the parking lots. Besides, who wants a ‘vette (?) ’73 is happy CQ is over and ’74 is busy having fun walking down the middle of the terrazzo and not running on marble strips.

The summer was not without event. Credit must be given to two Air Cruise cadets who successfully E&E’ed past the SAC Security (?) Guards and proceeded to take their own personal tour of a flight-line B-52. Unfortunately, Rin Tin Tin’s second cousin got wind of their Jade East and at this time they are not available for an interview. How many of you got to play ‘Guess where my box is in the SAR’ or ‘The White Tornado meets Temporary Storage?’ ‘75ers got to clean the rooms up during the summer. Ten Doolies went into room 3-C-17 and only nine came out. All Cadets in First Group are asked to recheck their storage boxes for anything wearing fatigues and a yellow scarf.

Not much really changes around here. (As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, World without end. Amen). The Diggers and Fillers are back, I know they’re back because I saw Fabulous First right oblique into some of their handy work. It, the hole, has been unfinished the required four weeks so they are now going to slowly fill it back up.

During the summer all the wires to the P.A. system were rearranged. If you listen real carefully you can hear Command post talking on the Squadron intercom system. I don’t think that there is a correct wire combination. Command Post keeps calling Third Sqdn and getting Twenty-Second. I pushed the call button in 15th Sqdn and ordered a Jack Cola, French fries and a cheese-burger, easy on the service sauce. The CQ was asked if he would accept charges for a collect call from a Mrs. Neil in Melbourne, Australia… That isn’t the only wiring which is crossed. When I plugged in my coffee pot the Field House lights shorted out. I think the walls in the new Dorm could use a little sand-papering. The walls have the Nubs. If you throw your nylon socks onto the wall the clean ones stick and the dirty ones fall. At first I thought that just a few walls were like that until I observed that all the Doolies in Sqdns 25 though 40 have scabs on their right arm.

I would sure like to find out what decides the roommate list. If IBM or ZEROX had anything to do with it then I am selling my stock. My roomo is unique, to say the least. He turns around three times before he goes to bed at night. I got use to that, but my suspicions were aroused when I saw an empty Sergeants Flea Collar in the trash can. We get along all right. I just have to remember to open the window when there is a full moon.

The wing certainly came back too early. You know it’s too early when someone mentions a Subject-To letter and you wonder what Subject-One is. The Dools are still hung up on their summer training. I saw one try to square a corner with a laundry cart on the terrazzo. The dry cleaning didn’t make it and fell off the terrazzo. You know it is too early when you find yourself titrating NaOH with NaOH in chemistry lab and when you melt your left sleeve with Bunsen’s burner (Who’s Bunsen?). The final clue to being back too early is when you find yourself tipping the waiters in Mitch’s. 

Well, my roomo is scratching on the door, I gotta let him out. Be good and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.


November 1971

Hello again. Well I hope you all have survived the first onslaught of ORIs, SAMIs, GRs, CDBs, BORs, NLTs, AOCs, ASAPs, and all other letter combination thereof. I have a few (?) complaints about the service around this place.I still have not figured out the new linen service. I sent out 3 towels, 2 sheets, 1 pillow case and 1 wash cloth. The next week I got back 14 handkerchiefs with the letter ‘S’ embroidered on them. I also sent out my A-jacket to the dry clearers and it came back looking like they dry cleaned it with a hammer. The zipper only goes one direction and the squadron patch is on the right shoulder.

Academics are beginning to takes its toll. Slowly but surely the Omnipresent Curve will eat up the Wing. I asked one of my instructors why we have to have a curve at all. He said, “Because.” At first I didn’t quite understand and now I don’t understand at all. I was talking to a cadet and he was telling me he was telling me he was having trouble with Physics. I couldn’t possibly understand why, and he proceeded to explain. It seems that when he was little, everything was made of Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. By the sixth grade everything was electrons, protons, and neutrons. Now everything is alpha particles, fermions, neutrinos, and pions. We figured that a few years from now scientists will discover that all those particles are composed of Fire, Water, Earth, and Air.

The weather is at it again. One day it is sunny and warm and everyone is wearing Sea and Ski. The next day it is snowing and the Dools are playing Peggy Fleming on the marble strips. Security Flight has a problem. Why don’t they cancel intramurals when it is snowing? Having to play tennis with ice cleats on your shoes is not my idea of fun.

My roomo and I were wondering what was under the Terrazzo. Why, for instance, is that big mound of dirt there? What does it conceal? If you have ever noticed there are no tunnels (what tunnels?) that go UNDER the Terrazzo, just around it. For all we know T.H.R.U.S.H. could be there and planning to poison the food in Mitchell Hall.

There are so many news clubs this year that I have decided to start my own. My club is the Alpha-Roster Club. Just initial to join. Fourth Classmen may not join until next semester. There are no dues and every cadet gets all the benefits of being a member of the Wing. If you are one of the 327 to join, you will get a free year’s supply of laundry slips.

Yesterday I wanted to get a Coke from the Monster Machines. Before it would accept my dime I had to offer a sacrifice by melting 19 Uncola pop-top cans into a door stop. The machine accepted my dime but would not let go of anything but a warm grape soda. It is time to post away silently. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.


December 1971

Winter finally hit us. I know it is winter because I have to wear overshoes and our squadron has an intramural boxing table in Mitchell Hall. I am glad I didn’t ‘make’ the boxing team. I used to get beat up in the four-corner drills during Doolie P.E. Everyone knows that the hair on one’s chest is directly proportional to the number of time you get bashed in the face.

The new breakfast policy is great for everyone except the missing meals rep. You have to sign to miss which is like writing the governor of your state once a month to say you don’t want to be hanged. Our missing meals rep had to sign up seven firsties to attend breakfast for a week because they didn’t sign the list to miss. They attended breakfast for a week and as a symbol of this honor they brought it back and the missing meals rep had seven breakfasts each day.

Have you had the ORI yet? I hear King Coyle of First Group is going rampant with questions. Tuesday of an ORI a CG was asked what is the first thing he should do if every phone in the squadron was ringing, if the Training Sgt. just knocked out the Sqdn. Commander in a fight, if the far end of the hall was on fire, is Sec. Flt. Was giving an announcement that had to be posted and if the Coke man just arrived to fix the Coke machine. The CQ said he’d quit. I would have asked the Coke man for the quarter that the Coke machine ate.

Now that Thanksgiving is over we can try our luck with the hops again. When Army came out here they had a chartered 747 and a couple 141s. We are in the Air Force and we get C-97s or T-29s. The T-29 is the only reason that Alka-Seltzer is in business.

Hey Talon, what happened to the November issue? After that I just may go to the Dodo. I think the last four blank pages of the issue were for your friends to sign. Now that the price-freeze is over we can see the ‘good deals’ that the car dealers have for us. The marginal propensity to raise prices is directly proportional to the proprietor’s greed. I don’t even have enough dough to buy the info pamphlets. I think I will get a Schwinn bike with a Mattel Va-room. My time is up and I gotta go over to JAMTO so as to be sure I get waited on before spring break. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.



February 1972

Well, as a friend of mine always says, “time to take mine typewriter in hand and let you know what’s happening.” I hope it was kind of a drag for you guys coming back to the Blue Zoo and finding the Talon w/o Charlie. I guess that just shows how artistic the staff considers me. Notice though that I’m back while the Michelangeloes of the Wing have gone back into hiding somewhere in the south part of Fairchild Hall.

The semi-annual shoulder board exchange is over which means you can go to classes and see everybody’s new spring wardrobe of silver. Of course with the board shuffle comes the playoffs in the “New Policies Game.” You all know the rules to this game: you get everything you got last semester, you do everything you did last semester, and you hear about as much as you did last semester – but the new staff gets to move all the walls in the maze. You see, this way everything still goes from point A to point B just like always only by a different route which only those on staff know since they made it up.

Of course in some cases I don’t blame them. When I took over my job all I learned about it from my predecessor was that he had just completed a semester of doing something he couldn’t explain. There is, however, an exception to this rule too. He has so far always managed to walk in the door to explain something I am responsible for as my superior is just leaving after chewing me out for not doing it.

Academics. Thought I’d forgotten about them. Who could forget what has been used for filler in the DB since we returned. First came the list of initial homework assignments. When this got old they began filling the spaces with the names of those bad boys who forgot to study last semester and didn’t have the WACQ count over the minimum participation level.

With my list of uncompleted first day assignments (see previous paragraph if you haven’t been paying attention), I bravely entered M-1 and managed to make it to T-7 without any of my instructors noticing I hadn’t really done the work. Really, this was kind of disappointing since I was unable to use my excuse of not owning most of my books. Speaking of which, did you notice the new method the book people came up with for not getting us our books? They managed to give all the regular German students the book for honors German. Three weeks later and some of the cadets in my class still don’t have a book. Commercial: Take the word of someone in 112, if you are in regular German, you don’t want that book.

Getting back to the first day of classes, we all know why the instructors didn’t notice the lack of homework – they were concentrating on having us learn their academic credentials, having us discover 1/4 of our grade was on the final, and having us fill out 3 x 5 cards with important things like what we do with our free time when not studying their course.

Press on – and for the Dirt Majors, keep digging and keep filling.

March 1972

Oh woe is me, woe is me not. I came pressing and smoking into endeared USAFA the other day and thought I’d be really gung-ho by showing up a day early from a weekend. Unfortunately my decision proved to be exactly that – unfortunate. After accepting my Form-10 for improper haircut – before signing in no less, I received the distinct honor of being restricted to the area for the rest of the weekend. As additional motivation I was permitted – required to – monitor all tour formations. Well, I don’t want it to look like I received insult heaped upon injury, but as I was dressing to go out and monitor the formation, I carefully thought out what uniform I would wear. Now, Service Alpha is the most formal uniform one can wear on duty. So, naturally I figured I couldn’t go wrong with that on. As I was dutifully standing upon the pebbled slab watching those daring students form up so perfectly, low and behold upon the same slab strode a fine example of what I’ll be if I should be so lucky to graduate from West Point. 

“Harken,” the officer said, “Mr. Charlie what exactly is the deal here?”

“Deal, sir?” I respectfully replied, “I don’t’ understand.”

“I mean, why aren’t you in the correct uniform?” 

“Well sir, the notice on the bulletin board said to wear Service Bravo. I felt that if I wore Service Alpha I certainly wouldn’t be incorrect wearing the highest class uniform.”

“Mr. Charlie, what is the correct uniform for this formation?”

“Sir, it’s Service Bravo.”

“Go change your hat, Mr. Charlie.”

“Yes sir.” I said with respectful cheerfulness.

I guess when you think about it, with all the PERSONAL attention we receive around her from the officers, we cadets aren’t non-entities – although we may be persona non grata.

Wait! I have another little jewel of gossip for you. Did you hear that when the President expressed his desire for the Cadet Chorale to come and sing at the White House, the Scheduling Department wouldn’t let them go because they’d already taken their allotted number of trips? YES. I guess somebody had to remind the bureaucracy who the boss is (***).

Well, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

April 1972

Oh the pain! I’m still recovering from the strains and pains of the Great GR Week. Yes sir, think of it: through all the diligent efforts, trials and tribulations of good ole COUNSELING AND SCHEDULING (C&S for short) who else could mastermind a game like “Crush the Cadets?” I think we can all readily agree with C&S when they wisely and expertly advised each academic department that there was no way possible that they could reschedule department GRs. Even when a certain department tried to get it shifted to the next lesson: They Said it couldn’t be done. I mean after all if they were to move that GR then it would take all kinds of paperwork not to mention all the free time the cadets would have after they were through with the four other GRs they had scheduled for that day (and you thought you only had to take three – check the REGULATION).

Fooled you didn’t they? You know one thing that’s really wrong with this place? When you get sick you’re not really sick. Like you just can’t be sick and miss classes or stay in bed unless the doctor says you’re sick. Even after spending the night (between sweat and chills) draped over my wastebasket, I obviously was not sick ‘cause I hadn’t seen the doctor yet. So GR Crash Day I struggled out of bed, fell into the wastebasket, crawled into my clothes and made it to first period. There I flunked my Spanish GR (Number 1), in the second period English I wrote a beautiful dissertation about The Red Badge of Courage (Number 2). At third period (Number 3) I lost the breakfast I hadn’t eaten and miraculously convinced the instructor I was really sick. Really. So I floated down to the meat room. Everyone else was wearing parkas and running hurriedly along, but I felt really fine in my A-Jacket. I stumbled into the dispensary and WOW! It was a PARTY! Everyone was there – draped over chair arms, on the floor and slumped into the wastebaskets. There was Nino, Pierre, and – “Hey Pierre, how’re you doing?”


I went out and told Pierre that he didn’t look too good. Man C&S really gave him a good deal last week. He and Nino wanted to go on emergency leave. Nino wanted to go to his cousin’s wedding and Pierre had planned to go to his father’s retirement ceremony honoring 30 years of distinguished service to the military. C&S let Nino go because it was just like a family reunion seeing how well Nino knows his cousin and Pierre couldn’t because he had been seeing his father consistently for only 19 years. Pierre thought it was a good deal though because he had a Show-Cause board that week anyway. And I was up there to testify in his behalf and this officer from COUNSELING AND SCHEDULING kept telling me that I should try to change things here, and that I should work, and look at all the things I could change here. So I asked him about changing finals schedules and said that a First Classman who has first and ninth period finals should be able to leave early if he could take the same final being given on the fourth period; but that right now even a department head couldn’t let him. The C&S officer said, “If you REALLY wanted to change things you could. First Classmen have been trying for years to get a flexible finals schedule into effect. Now if YOU were REALLY concerned, you would start working right now to get a proposal through that would maybe allow the class of 1973 to change their final exam schedules.”

I started to say that maybe if I went to talk to the Dean about some C&S policies, but they told me to just answer the questions I was asked. So I tried to explain to Pierre about Parkinson’s Law (disease), the Peter Principle, Regulations Minds, the I.G. and how much C&S has grown over the years, but he asked me the questions, “If only two-thirds of the wing goes to breakfast and eats less than before, and if the food is no better – how much is being skimmed?”

“Two-thirds,” I said but…oh well, I won’t say anything more ‘cause I’m just a cadet and I’m going down to the beach and catch some rays before I start studying for the Great GR Massacre coming up next week. Such a deal.




















May 1972

Another Monday, roll over, get up and check the alarm clock to make sure it says 0715 hrs. (quarter after seven for your ROTC types). Had to assure myself that I wasn’t getting up too early for my first period class.

I saw Nino at our favorite luncheon spot on campus and he yelled at me “Hey you 7&%$#**.” Man, did the tower ever fall on him! “You man!” Form 10. And a chastising “I say, my man, I spent umpteen years stationed with the British and the one thing I cannot tolerate is profanity.” Actually, I don’t feel a bit sorry for Nino – him being in the military and all – shucks, nobody says 7&%$#** in the real Air Force.

After class I strolled down to Pierre’s room and noticed that the admin officer had another five feet of forms on his desk. Just try to go to your sister’s wedding without writing five subject-twos. And all this has to be kept track of for something called an ORI. Good year for ORI’s, this year you get three chances to excel. Pierre and I were discussing the question of what happened if you hadn’t passed by the third try, when his AOC strutted in wearing his riding breeches and brown boots brandishing two ivory handled revolvers. (Who did he think he was anyway?) He reminded us that “you can’t get too much of a good thing.” Well…there is only one ‘good thing’ I haven’t been able to get too much of and it isn’t ORIs…but he went on to ask.

“Are you men going to the optional training lecture this Saturday?”

“No sir”

“What? Why not?”

“Because it’s optional.”

Harummpphh – “If you people don’t start attending the optional training, we’re going to start making it mandatory.”

So Pierre and I split and headed up into the clouds in Fairchild Hall to deliver some gifts we had collected for the powers in Counseling and Scheduling. Pierre tripped on the kneeler in the vestibule and spilled the incense but it didn’t matter, we still had the frankincense and myrrh. I sure hope that our gifts to Counseling and Scheduling were accepted, otherwise we may end up with TWO dead days before finals.

Isn’t cadet life exciting?

June 1972

There I was, all ready to go over to “Las Vegas Night,” when I made the mistake of stopping in the orderly room for a Coke. That one-armed bandit almost wiped me out, $2.40 for a Coke. And Monday the Coke man had the nerve to tell the CO that we owe HIM money.

It sure was nice to lose an hour of sleep this weekend. The reason I lost it this weekend instead of a month ago is that I just heard about the clock change. I had heard rumors…but after all these years of good, solid West Point training I knew better than to make a move without written permission from my AOC. (I’m sure that someday soon that will change…some day cadets will be allowed to think for themselves…assuming they still remember how).

Daylight saving is such a wonderful invention anyway, it reminds me of the math instructor who cut off one end of his blanket and sewed it on the other end in order to make his blanket longer.

A faculty member invited Nino, Pierre and I to the Officer’s Club the other night. While there we played a supposedly fun game called “Cadets are to be seen and not heard.” Just as we grew tired of this, (about 2 minutes) our pedagogue, martini in hand, pondered aloud “How nice this place would be – without cadets.” To which Nino replied “How nice this place would be – without officers.”

We finished our milk and left.

Pierre hasn’t been feeling well lately. Last week he visited the New Dorm School of Mining and Meat Cutting. They originally told him that he didn’t have any wisdom teeth, then they decided to go in and get a second look. Someone slipped and…at least he doesn’t have trouble with his sinuses not draining anymore, nor will he ever catch tonsillitis.

Can’t wait ‘till they find out I have two sets of wisdom teeth.

Got the word from Salty Sam (out on the Severn) yesterday. He says “Our battalion commander finally cleared the air for all of us here. When asked why we are treated as less than junior officers when we are expected to act and perform as junior officers he replied ‘You are not junior officers, but you are expected to act like junior officers.’ He is a Commander now, but we expect him to add his fourth stripe soon as a result of the enlightened tidbit.”

Oh, I don’t believe the deals, see you next year since my GOM got lost again.

October 1972

Once again, fellow cadets, we are gathered in anticipation, awaiting that yearly race downhill towards new lows in morale. One is reminded of the lemming and his six-year plunge to oblivion. (You don’t know what a lemming is?) While most of us harbor what can undoubtedly be called unwarranted high hopes, we need only look to last May’s motivational haircut inspections. Not that the inspection itself was that bad, (we’re “used” to them by now) – it’s just that they occurred two days after the wind was assured that it had a major input in running itself. But I ask you troops – Will it happen again????....You know, I really don’t want to answer that question. 

Just look at the sparkling negative start we’ve had. Some one upstairs, undoubtedly one of the secretaries, has apparently decided to reform the wing and bring it up to the standards of the rest of the Air Force. The first step in this great crusade is to insure that no cadet proceed further than two paces into the dining hall before removing his headgear. This of course allows the Wing to air its collective brains and being complimented by hats off hair cut inspections, serves the following purpose: By cutting the hairs and lifting the hats in time, the brain is provided with sufficient cooling. After all, we don’t want any hot heads around here….

Speaking of hot, I think those two fire alarms we’ve had already are an omen. Most of you probably don’t know about the second one, because it occurred at 2:00 AM, or 0200 hours for those of you haven’t figured out the conversion factor yet. But don’t worry about the alarm, it was a falsie.

Pressing on….I noticed the other day that Mitchell Hall has placed concertina wire on it’s grassy slope. The next question of course is whether this is to prevent people from sneaking in or…diving out. It would seem a bit ludicrous for anyone to want in….

Say, I ran into my AOC doing his thing with rifle and sabre on the terrazzo. That’s the current rage for the AOCs lately – rifle and sabre manual. There was only one problem though, he was trying to do both at the same time. When I left he was at “port sabre” and rapidly moving into “Draw rifles.” I certainly hope they don’t try to help their own squadrons during drill. I would like to go to Washington, D.D. this January.

Also new this year is the phenomenon of the perpetual wing and group commanders. Again the question is why? Perhaps there just aren’t  any more than 30 good first classmen left, or maybe they don’t want to contaminate these “elite” by having them come into contact with the “commoners” down in the squadron. But then for every black cloud there is a silver lining. Some of us who have missed every good position, every choice slot and every chance to learn how to lead might get a few more opportunities as the squadron level.

And on that highly (although uncharacteristically) optimistic note, I think I’ll sign off. Even I look forward with that foolhardy optimism of youth. Maybe it really will get better this year.

November 1972

Hi Gang! Aren’t you all glad to see I’m still here? And I assure you that none are as glad as I am. As you must have guessed, the Charley Baby Hate Club has once again been called together. (Officially: First Divisional Deformation congregation. No, that’s not a religious group, dummy). All of you out there have to admit, though, that no one is lukewarm about me, and really – there is some benefit in that. After all, it makes most people find good reasons for liking or disliking me, and that requires thought, doesn’t it? No plug ‘n chug!

Honestly, though, people, I know I get carried away sometimes. But when I do, I want you to do some digging, find the facts, write to the Talon, and make me look ridiculous. You see, if no one criticizes me it makes me think that I’m always right and I could easily get a swollen head. Of well, so much for blatant masochism.

Hey, I was marching over to the noon meal the other day at my usual 115-35-267/per and noticed that I was bouncing in ranks. Now, normally that doesn’t particularly upset me because there’s always some striving space-ace behind me who makes certain that I realize what hideous tortures await me if I don’t correct myself. This time, however, my faults went uncorrected. As I looked around, the reason became clear. We were all bouncing! Needless to say, I felt a distinct pang of seasickness race through me. Just as I felt the jig (or whatever) was up, the Dumb and Bungle Corps transitioned into ramming speed and the squadron became a synchronized, high-speed projectile aimed at Mitch’s. We would have made it too, but we lost the last rank in the turn due to whiplash. Ah yes, isn’t it nice to have our own band?!!!

Let’s see now, what else? Oh – I thought I’d comment this month on a part of USAFA which many of you have taken for granted during your stay here. That friends, is your Pay Statement. Now while most of you probably do as I do and line the bottom of your trash cans with them, there are, nevertheless, some intriguing features therein. To begin with, we all bought an “Other” this month worth $22.00. (I think it was one, although it may have been a dozen and it/they could, I suppose, have been hairless, furry and/or multi-colored). Apparently to compliment the Others, we also bought $2.55 of “Misc.” (Perhaps a custom car coat for the little fellows?) This of course amounts to some $96,000, which, for those of you without slide-rule minds, is the cost of 4,800,000 pieces of Double-Bubble gum. Maybe that’s what we bought? As if that wasn’t bad enough, we got our August pay statements in the middle of September which enable those of us who spent too much in the C-Store in July to go overdrawn because of the deductions made in August paycheck. (Catch22) That’s OK – no one understands it.

Moving further into the land of the looking-glass we come upon the great cadet nemesis, the peer rating system. This describes the process by which those on the top move to the middle, those in the middle move to the top and those on the bottom get even lower. Now, before you all scream “unfair,” I realize there has been a change for the better. It is admittedly a step in the right direction. Look closely though. We now have the performance rating which is based solely on one’s performance of one’s job (if the rater can be that objective). And yet we still have the peer rating. What, then, does it consider? (“Can I borrow a dime?” “No.” “ZAP!”)

We also still have our AOC’s input which, depending on your AOC, can be either a pleasant surprise or a distinctly painful beating about the head and shoulders. And finally, one might ask if these last two categories have any even remotely similar counterparts in the RAF rating system. No again. Oh, well. I still can’t believe I ate the whole thing!

Just a few more quickies before I go. I heard a rumor the other day that to save money all the lights on the 6th floor of Fairchild are being turned off at night. This is good. The day after this policy began, received, absolutely free, an electric pencil sharpener worth about $17.00 each. Let’s see $.005/hour saved x 10 hours xxx. I wonder how long it’ll take…

Finally, last night the OIC came through and told one 21-year-old Firstie to go to bed ‘cause it was late. Guess he’ll just have to plan to use the latrine earlier in the evening. What can I say?









December 1972

Hello again, faithful readers! I say “faithful readers” instead of “fellow falcons” because it has been brought to my attention that cadets aren’t the only ones who read my prattle. In fact, I hear more generals read this than cadets – not too good a record considering the numbers of each that are around. So let’s get busy and read what got past the censors!

Sermonizing aside, let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of what’s been happening in the Wing (especially the nuts!) There’s a new fad going around the Academy. And it’s called “Hop on Top.” (It’s a lot more fun than what you think it is!) How do you play? Simple – just hop on top of Mitch’s or one of the dorms during the noon meal formation. What you do after that is up to you. The repairmen have been doing it for years, and so has Bedcheck Charlie. But recently the fad has reached epidemic proportions. The cheerleaders popularized it by explaining march-ons from those pinnacles of engineering achievement, the Dorms. Even officers have joined in (showing the popularity and acceptability of the sport) by standing on top of Mitch’s and watching the wing march in. And you all thought they were looking for dusty cap-bills!! For shame!

Probably the most exciting thing that’s happened around here this fall was the first time in several years that a privilege-cancelling snowfall hasn’t occurred on the weekend. We should be thankful. Besides all that, we had the distinction of being the only school in the area open that Wednesday. Walking to class was a chore in itself, but think of the poor instructors who, along with service personnel, were the only vital personnel required to report to work. You might wonder why we had to go to classes that day, but consider the alternative: four thousand idle minds with nothing to do all day? We’re gonna have a…! Anyway, in the afternoon some enterprising young men skied and sledded and (what else) played football in the snow. But no one threw snowballs, ‘cause that’s a CDB offense! Of course it didn’t take sledding long to become a be-no also (In case you don’t know what a be-no is, that’s when somebody (usually with little authority) says “There will be-no…”)

Well it seems that Arnie’s did it again – the homecoming dance was “casual, i.e. coat and tie.” Will somebody please change the calendar over there?!! Anyway the football game was fun. After missing a good portion of the first quarter looking for non-existent seats in the cadet sections, Nino, Pierre and I went over to the end zone. Certainly is a different perspective on things!! We all took bets on who was going to win – I picked us, Pierre picked Notre Dame (mainly because he’s Irish), and Nino picked the refs. We’re still not sure who did win.

But at least we have Christmas to look forward to!! Wow, I went downtown the other day, and the stores had completely forgotten Thanksgiving before it even happened. Here at the Academy it wasn’t forgotten, though, as it is one holiday that we do get off. But the season to be jollier than usual is fast approaching, and I’m really looking forward to putting up my Christmas decorations after my eight period final. By the way, you guessed it – 1st, 8th, and 10th period finals again. But at least we have the traditional free day before finals to study – a long and valuable tradition that extends all the way back to last spring.

With the smell of freshly popped popcorn in my nostrils, I find that I’d better bring this rambling to a rose, I mean a conclusion! A close! Anyway, press, smoke, trim and above all, keep on laughing – cause if a person can’t laugh at himself, who can?








February 1973

Once again, sports fans, we return to the snow covered halls of Aluminum U to celebrate the rituals of the “Dark Ages.” For most of the world, the Dark Ages ended in the 17th Century with the coming of the Renaissance, but here at the U of Safa, it will only end with the coming of Daylight Saving Time. There are only a few of us left here who remember marching to both breakfast and dinner in the dark. Since both meals started at 6:20, it was a real problem for some guys.

It’s great to be back into the swing of things here after a quiet and restful vacation. Only last week I caught my second cold of the season as a haircut inspection. It was probably warm enough in the sun, but as luck would have it, with my head proudly bared to the elements and my feet in the snow, I was standing in the shade. I’ve got a riddle for you though: how do you get hair long enough to keep your head warm and yet short enough to pass? (If you’re expecting an answer, forget it. I thought up the riddle; you can think up your own answer!) Those of you who are cold-prone take heart – the cadet wing has been informed that there will be no major changes come February. By next fall, maybe, but by then it’ll be warm out, right?

Good deal for the super-dools! [AKA the Class of 1975] Since every good business has a graveyard shift, Someone, in His Infinite Wisdom, decided that CCQs were a business, and therefore should have a graveyard shift also. Ever wondered why they’re staying up ‘til the witching hour? Well, keep on wondering and if you find out, let me know.

Say, I went over to A Hall the other Friday to watch a mystery-thriller. When the movie started, I was really thrilled, cause what the movie was, was a mystery to me. Furthermore it seems to have been switched by a mysterious phone call from DFENG, whoever he is. Cogitate on that one for a while.

As you must have gathered by now, February is a slow month, speaking humorously. One last question though: is it true that ’74 will get early cars in September? Guess I’ll just wait and see. Till next month, keep your feet on the ground and nose to the books, cause (music, please) when you’re crammin’. The whole world crams on you. Ohio River!

March 1973

Hi, gang! Hope the dark ages haven’t been too dark for y’all. After all, it will only be a few months before spring is here and ’74 will be able to assume their new responsibilities as leaders of the wing, driving ever onward… If my readers haven’t guessed by now, this issue, the latest installment of “Life with Mother,” is dedicated to the class of 1974, that gallant band of soon to be sacrificial lambs. That’s right – ’73 was told that good deals were not for them and not to worry – they were being saved for next year. Not that the Second class hasn’t had its fair share this year. Take, for instance, early cars. In fact that’s exactly what they did…they took them…and they still haven’t given them back. As I remember, September cars were a sure thing. Then it was after X-mas cars. As it stands right now, there is a strong possibility that they will be had for June Week…the cars, that is. Anyway, according to higher authorities, the Class will receive its automobiles as soon as the wing shows a distinct change…seems to me there’s already been one.

As far as next year is concerned, who can tell what the future holds in store. One obvious change is the selection of UPT for ’74. Now I don’t know exactly what the reason for basing the selection on MOMs was, but to me, that seems a little like building an Alka Seltzer factory on a rice paddy. True, the system is much fairer now, but the most input for the ’74 MOMs came from a system which was acknowledged by most to be highly flawed. Why not let ’75 choose based on MOM…if we must base it on MOMs at all that is. But enough of this useless logic.

I was coming back from an ODP the other day on one of the priority three roads reserved for us cadets when all of a sudden, out of the blinding snow, came a great, mammoth beast. I wasn’t too sure just what it was so I veered off to the right and careened into a six-foot snow bank. Since the snow removal here at USAFA is so good I’ve equipped my car with a twelve-foot wide mahogany wedge with which I am able to navigate the roads most often used by cadets. It was an easy matter, therefore, to extricate my vehicle from the snow. Using the wedge and my girl, who was standing on the hood with one red lantern and one green lantern directing my movement, I managed to get back on the road only to find that the beast was the Academy snowplow. I’d almost forgotten what it looked like – apparently it had gotten lost and strayed through the cadet area. No problem though…its plow was raised in functionless triumph and it was on its way back to Douglas Valley.

Speaking of ODPs, didn’t you firsties have a great 100th night? I shot down to Michelle’s for a fast chocolate and then over to K-Mart to pick up some deodorant and finally raced back to clean up my room. USAFA is the only place I know of that can go from Sunday to Tuesday in a single bound.

What else? Oh, good luck to the gang on Aptitude or Conduct. We’ll be looking forward to the improvement you guys are going to show as Project Officers. After all, think of all the valuable projects one can create. You might try and break the world shower record and get the Squadron’s name into the Guinness Book of World Records. Or you might organize a Squadron Party (that’s always a good one!) Then again you could find out how many times the South Latrine is cleaned each week and send the data to Wing Operations. So cheer up…you’re no worse off than lepers.

Not much else I guess. Heard some officer down in the Tailor Shop arguing over skirt lengths the other day…wonder what that means? Then there was the rumor that the First Class would have to stay here during Spring Break for another Gut’s Galore day…strip those sabres, men. Finally, it looks as though you firsties on conduct will be walking again…cant complain though…that is what the regulation reads. But what about the “spirit of the regs?????!!!!!”

April 1973

While taking a leisurely stroll down the tunnels the other day, Pierre and I came across an old and molding manuscript lying neglected in the dust. It seems to have been written by one S. A. Trist, presumably a cadet back in the brown shoe days–or before. The manuscript consisted of five books, describing–as far as I can tell–the origins of the Academy and the laws and lineages of the same. A fine old document it is too, and so we thought that we’d reproduce some of it for your erudition. If you like it, we may reproduce some more (then again, we may regardless of what you think). Here then is the opening chapter of the first book:

"In the beginning the Air Force created the Academy. And the Academy was without form, and blank; and wildness was upon the face of the mountainside. But the spirit of the Air Force moved upon the face of the countryside.

"And the Air Force decreed: Let there be a Site; and lo, the State of Colorado donated a site, and the Air Force saw the site and decided that it would do. 

"And the celebration and the merrymaking were the First Cost.

"And the bulldozers came and divided the grasses from the dirt. The grasses they called the Hay and the dirt, Site. 

"And the surveyors and bulldozers were the Second Cost.

"And it was decreed: Let the marble and the aluminum be brought together into one place; and let long buildings appear, and it was so. The Spirit of the Air Force divided the living from the learning by a deep road; and the living he called Vandenberg Hall and the learning he called Fairchild Hall; and the spirit saw that it was close enough for government work.

"And the Spirit said, let there be grasses again, and let them form a parade field and a chapel mall and an air gardens each bearing seeds of its own existence, and the justification thereof.

"And the diggers and the fillers were the Third Cost.

"And the Spirit said, let there be lights in the buildings and on the terrazzo, to give guidance by night and to be turned off at reveille, or when the costs must be kept down. Thus decreed the spirit, and he made the stars also; the one to rule over the learning and the other to rule over the living and two or three to rule over them all. And the Spirit saw that it was good.

"And the furnishings and the salaries were the Fourth Cost.

"And the Spirit said, let the country bring forth abundantly moving creatures to service this Site: instructors, AOCs, barbers, and waiters in abundance, each after his own kind.

"And he decreed that their numbers should be multiplied, for, he said, we expect quite a turnover, especially among the waiters.

"And the parking lots and swagger sticks were the Fifth cost.

"And the Spirit said, let us make Cadets in our own image, and after our likeness; and let us have dominion over them, and let them be subject to the AOCs and the instructors and every living thing that moves upon the face of the Academy, save the waiter. And the Spirit saw the Cadets and saw that they were very, very good.

"And the moaning of the brass jugs being beaten into shape were the Sixth and Lasting Cost.

"Thus was the Academy finished, and the host of all those that inhabit it.

"And the Spirit of the Air Force surveyed all that he had made; and it was just what he wanted. And after paying the six bills he defaulted on the seventh."



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