Tim's March 2013 Checkpoints Class News Article

HELLO ’68!! Using highly-honed Zoomie skills of observation, you have undoubtedly ascertained the Mayans' prediction for a non-existent 2013 missed the mark. Consequently, with the exceptions of driving off the "Fiscal Cliff" or experiencing some other unpredicted manmade or natural disaster, the Class of 1968 will have its 45th Reunion! The scheduled dates are from Thursday, 31 October through Saturday, 2 November and our football foe will be Hudson High. The reunion hotel is "being negotiated" and will be announced via an e-mail blast. I look forward to seeing you in C-Springs this Halloween!! The East Coast Reunion will be at Ed and Karen Eberhart's home in Arlington, Virginia on 22 June.

Jim Bettcher & Family. L-R: Standing: Jim, Mary (Wife), Sam (Brother-in-Law), Vicki (Mary's Sister), and Danny (Nephew). Seated: Doris (Mary's Mother-98 Years Old.

THE GOOD LIFE BEGINS IN SEQUIM: First-time contributor to our class column, Jim Bettcher checked in from Sequim, Washington with news of his family's activities in 2012. Jim writes, "We've had visits from everyone in our immediate families and have in turn visited Jaime in Manhattan and Jon & Bri in San Francisco. We've traveled from the Olympics to Salzburg, Austria with friends and family. I've skied the slopes at Whistler, biked roads and mountains around Sequim, and climbed Mount St Helens and Mount Baker with old and new friends. My pilot training class from 1970 at Moody AFB had a reunion in Colorado. I've become active in the local Experimental Aircraft Association chapter and have flown several different light aircraft - hope to become at least a part owner of one soon. My big summer project was rebuilding the 24'x12' floating portion of our 208' long dock.

Mary stays busy taking care of her Mom, with exercise classes, all of our guests, her Kindle, and Harley and me. She loves the critters and her flowers and the beauty of Sequim Bay.

Daughter, Jaime, works for Nomura Bank as an Operations Project Manager at the World Financial Center in Manhattan. Son, Jon, and his bride, Brianne, now live in the Potrero district of San Francisco (a great place for both sets of parents to visit!) They are both able to bike to work: Jon at Twitter as lead Mobile Apps Engineer and Bri as Assistant Professor at UC San Francisco, leading a research project at the Memory & Aging Center. They brew their own beer, hike the mountains and love their city!"

Thanks for the great update, Jim!

MORE CONTACT UPDATES RECEIVED FOR 45TH REUNION: Special thanks to Pat McBride, Steve McPhail, Russ Russell, Pat Russell, Al Beauregard, Dale Franz, Dale Oderman, Dan Bucchioni, Ed Eberhart, Tony Eden, Gene Rose, Gary Nordyke, Gary McDonald, Nick Nicholson, H.T. Johnson, Bob Johnston, Brooke Bailey, Tom O'Beirne, Jim Parker, Carl McPherson, Pat Hurley, Ralph San Antonio, Jack Webb, Vic Bonfiglio, Al Blumberg, Woody Woodside, Lindsey Bierer, Rhip Worrell, and Rick Patterson for following Russ Burnham's lead by sending me their current e-mail addresses. For those who have not provided your current e-mail addresses, your help is still needed to update our Class' contact roster.

Along with address updates, I also got some news. Dale Franz writes, "In the for what it's worth department, I have taken a noticeable turn in life and am now involved in the film industry -- presently as a Script Supervisor and soon (when training is completed) as a Production Manager/Line Producer. It is not something that I would have ever thought of doing, but my lovely wife, Christine, who has been an animation producer for a good number of years thought that it might be interesting to expand her field into live action, and she suggested that I might find it interesting and challenging. Ergo, I have done so, and, SHE WAS RIGHT!"

Dublin Pub Crawl. L-R: Doug Wilson, Bob Denny, and Dale Oderman.

Dale Oderman responded, "I am pleased to report that I have fully recovered from my bypass surgery in late June, and am back to "normal" - whatever that means for guys our age! I felt so good that Vera and I went with 12 other couples on a trip to Ireland in September that was arranged by Colleen Denny (Bob's wife). There were three 68'ers and their wives on the trip - Bob & Colleen Denny, Doug & Dee Wilson, and Vera & I. It was a great trip, and I am very thankful to God that I caught the heart problem early and that I got well so quickly. I also really appreciated hearing from so many of our classmates with their encouragement after I published my story on the class website."

Rhip Worrell responded with sincere gratitude for the Class' thoughts and prayers in the aftermath of the Waldo Canyon fire and the loss of his house. He really appreciates all the offers from classmates for everything from lodging and clothing to food and shoulders to cry on. He said Judy and he are doing fine and that his new house at 2011 Hamilton Creek Road, Silverthorne, Colorado 80498 should be ready by next Christmas.

Halloween Pilots. L-R: Gary Nordyke and Grandson, Thomas.

EARLY RECRUITMENT FOR THE CLASS OF 2031: Another first-time contributor, Gary Nordyke writes, "I am attaching a photo of my four-year old grandson, Thomas, wearing his Halloween costume. He actually selected the costume himself and when asked why he selected a "pilot suit" he said it was because he wanted to be like Grandpa. The reason I am in the picture along with him is that a few minutes before heading out to Trick or Treat, he asked me where my pilot suit was and insisted that I wear it. We hadn't talked about pilot suits for a long time and he had never seen me wear one. Fortunately, I was able to don it--thanks only to Velcro!!

Now, for an update. . . After retiring in 1990 from test piloting in the Air Force, I went to work for Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque where I am a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff. My wife, Rigena, is a psychologist, specializing in the treatment of adolescents. About three years ago we adopted Thomas and his 5-year old sister, Acelynn. We are re-discovering the world around us through their young eyes as we share their excitement on holidays, birthdays, events such as the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, and trips (San Diego, Pensacola Beach, and Disneyland to name a few). Needless to say, they keep us hopping and...we expect to keep working for a few more years. Wish us luck in affording college when they get old enough!"

THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS: Please pray for Kathy Barker and her family with the death of her husband, and our classmate, Dan. A heartfelt tribute to Dan, written by Bob Johnston, is featured in the "Gone But Not Forgotten" column.

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. Ciao for now. Tim

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