Tim's March 2012 Checkpoints Class News Article

HELLO ’68!! Happy 2012! As I re-hone my math skills, when I subtract the year1968 from 2012, I get 44 years. That means when 2013 rolls around it is reunion time, again, for USAFA’s greatest class. So, for you longer range planners, ‘68’s 45th Reunion Chairman, Al Blumberg, wants you to begin preparing to trek back to the Rampart Range at a date to be determined and join in the esprit, revelry, and embellished war stories that will be offered to all who lend an ear. If you wish to volunteer for any of the activities or care to offer suggestions, please contact Al at: ablum68@hotmail.com. The countdown begins!!

Dan & Kathy & 20 Grands

GRANDPARENTS EXTRAORDINAIRE!: In my fall column, I provided an update of Dan and Kathy Barker’s prolific family. The photo above was taken near the end of 2011 with their 20 grandchildren—10 boys and 10 girls. The names from left to right are as follows: Front Row: Sophia, Briggs, Anna, Alyssa, Daniel, Ainsley, Evan, Kathryn, Sean, and Ryan; Back Row: Rylan, Christian, Brinlie, Alayna, Elizabeth, Briana, Elysse, Grandma Barker, Tate, Grandpa Barker, Grady, and Collan. In his follow-up note, Dan writes that grandchild number 21 is due in March 2012. For you sports fans, that’s enough children to field two full softball teams + a manager! Battling health issues, Dan is scheduled to complete his chemo-therapy treatments in March. Please drop Dan a line at barker585@comcast.net to wish him well in his recovery.

Tom O’Beirne writes that he is retiring from SAIC at the end of February. Pam and he became grandparents in 2011 with the birth of their grandson Mason. Although we both live in the greater D.C. area, I rarely see Tom locally, but do see him when we attend USAFA football games in Colorado. Hopefully, his newly acquired retirement status will free him up more often for classmate luncheons and/or wine-tasting exercises without having to make reservations somewhere in Colorado Springs.

Maurice and Antonia Ecung celebrated their daughter Melanie’s graduation from the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta and assisted her in moving to Albany, NY, where she will be spending the next four years to complete her residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the Albany Medical Center. Their youngest daughter, Allison, accepted financial early-out incentives from the Air Force and was hired as the Manager of Member Engagement with the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association in New York City.

Mike and Linda Cryer’s newsletter was replete with happy photos of them, their children, and their grandchildren. Mike remains active with the Tempe YMCA Board and the Kiwanis Club. Linda loves being a fulltime “Nina” for grandson, Greyson. They both enjoyed attending Mike’s 70-05 pilot training reunion in Savannah.

John (Sully) and Charlotte Sullivan’s holiday card pictured the two of them riding camels with the pyramids of Egypt in the background. I ran into John and Charlotte last October in San Diego for the Reese AFB 70-01 pilot training reunion. Both are in good spirits and doing well.

Tony Marshall, Bruce Gerrity, and Tony Eden all checked in with best wishes for the joys of the season. Tony M noted no changes since last year and says he is still enjoying retirement. I ran into Bruce at the USAFA-Navy game and he told me he is no longer working full time, but is doing some consulting work. He enjoys grandfather duties when he visits his daughter in California. Tony E is enjoying his RV.

Dick Fast is still a “Big Sky” kind of guy with ski instructor duties keeping him busy during the winter season. In 2011, he also served as Bob Denny’s “Bwana” as they hunted for elk in the great outdoors. Dick reported the score at the end of the hunt was Elks – 0 and Fast/Denny – 0. He did mention that Bob bagged a nice white-tail before returning to Colorado.

68’s Gridiron Warriors & Spouses

‘68’S FALCON FOOTBALL ALUMS GATHER: Neal Starkey sent a short note about the 2011 USAFA Football Alumni Weekend. During the weekend, a ’68 Class plaque was dedicated with the names of all 17 seniors inscribed. It was also noted that ’68 was the first class to beat both Army and Navy. Couples in the photo from left-to-right are: Sharon and Neal Starkey, Sandy and Barney Mills, Linda and Mike Rengel, Debbie and Carl Janssen, Kathy and Tom Zyroll, Marsha and Jack Hanning, and Jean and Dave Allen.

Did Someone Say Fore? L-R: Dick Covey, Bobby Floyd, Buck McCants, and Chuck Kavcsak

FOURSOME’S FOUR-DAY FORAY: Thanks go out to Chuck Kavcsak for sending the photo of Dick Covey, Bobby Floyd, Buck McCants, and Chuck taken during a four-day golfing adventure at Barefoot Landing in South Carolina last fall. Chuck said they had four great days of golf!

THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS: The upside of being your scribe for the past 23+ years is the opportunity you have given me to link our class together over time by recording and communicating the triumphs, achievements, and successes of classmates, spouses, children, and grandchildren across a wide range of career, volunteer, education, and leisure activities. The opposite pole is presented in correspondence and phone calls announcing the onset of serious diseases and loss of loved ones.

With deference to personal privacy, some of our crew wish to keep health concerns to themselves and I will honor those behests. In other cases, I have received word through our network of classmates and friends about those who have not established such a precondition and I am requesting you keep these people in your thoughts and prayers.

At this time, I ask you to take a few moments to pray for Abe Abramson, Dan Barker, Bob Daley, and Bill Markham. If you are inclined to contact them, I believe your communication would be greatly appreciated.

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: I have the sad news to report the passing of Don Harrington who succumbed after his long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was buried at Arlington Cemetery surrounded by his wife, Bette, his children and grandchildren, and fellow classmates Ed Eberhart, Pat Heinig, Toby Sullivan, Charlie Seifert, and your scribe. Don was a wonderful friend and avid aviation historian. He will be greatly missed.

In addition, Bill Walsh’s wife, Paula died on December 19th in Bloomington, Illinois. Paula’s contributions to her family and her community were immeasurable. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bill and his family to comfort them in their time of loss.

THAT’S A WRAP: Mind the flak; keep ‘em flying, and keep those cards, letters, e-mails, and photos coming in to Pat Russell and me. Please go to our Class Website to see photos included in this column in full size by clicking on Scribe’s Page. Also, note the new e-mail address for your scribe is timdav1968@verizon.net. Ciao for now. Tim

Return to Scribe's Page