|HELLO 68!! As I was preparing this column,
I harkened back to elementary school assignments after a long summer or
Christmas and New Years break when my teacher would ask our class
to write about what we did over the summer or the holidays. Based on some
of the holiday greeting cards and letters from you 68ers out in
Checkpoints Land, it sounds as though many of you had some
noteworthy adventures from mountain tops to seashores to exotic excursions
and even a golf game or two. The point of all this is that our Class seems
to be enjoying our lives even after seven decades on the planet. As one
TV commercial concludes, we are experiencing a life well-lived.
68 is most certainly still great!!
"Some of Honolulus Finest Break Bread with Scribe L-R: Bev and Don Motz, Mimi and Mark Torreano, Vic Bonfiglio, Scribe, Dale and Ralph Kaspari, John Sully and Charlotte Sullivan"
ALOHA FROM WHERE THE HUMUHUMUNUKUNUKUAPUA`A GO SWIMMING BY: The Christmas and New Years holiday for me was spent visiting my son Scott and his family, who are stationed at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. In addition to seeing the sights and watching a slew of college football bowl games, Mark Torreano was able to rally a contingent of 68 locals to engage in some Italian cuisine at the Auntie Pastos Ristorante in downtown Honolulu. We were joined by Marks wife, Mimi; Don and Bev Motz; Vic Bonfiglio; Ralph and Dale Kaspari; and John Sully Sullivan and his wife, Charlotte.
Mark is now retired from Lockheed Martin and his son, Mark (USAFA 94), recently retired from his aviation career with the Navy. He and Mimi enjoy trips to the States to catch up with their children and grandchildren. Don is now retired from Northrop Grumman. Bev and he have been Honolulu residents for more than 30 years. After Vic retired from the Air Force, he was hired by the Honolulu School District and Air Force Junior ROTC to teach AFJROTC in one of the local high schools. He retired from that position after 14 years and remains involved in community activities as a Life Guard and with the Civil Air Patrol. Sully and Charlotte are fully retired from the Air Force and the business world and split time with summers in Spokane and winters in Honolulu. Ralph completed his college education and football eligibility at the University of Hawaii. After a stint with coaching, he established himself as a general contractor and CEO of his own company. Dale and he have been residents of Honolulu for more than 40 years. We all enjoyed conversations at dinner and Vics musical repertoire on the accordion while we dined. Mark quipped that all we were missing was a monkey and a tip jar next to Vic. He noted that other long-time residents on the island include classmates Walt Yamamoto, Milt Tanaka, and Jim Estes. With a temperate climate and rainbows appearing nearly every day, it is little wonder why this band of 68ers have decided to call Hawaii home.
Doc HoladayDer Brew Meister and Ken SwangerDer Brew Taster
FORMER 68 ROOMMATES REDISCOVER ESSENCE OF FAST, NEAT, AVERAGE, FRIENDLY, GOOD, GOOD. Scene: Sunny, June 2015 afternoon in Golden, Colorado. Participants: William Doc Holaday and former USAFA roommate Ken Swanger. Task: Brew a Bavarian Weizen beer suitable for drinking during the tailgate of USAFAs 2015 football seasons opening game at Falcon Stadium. Rationale for Activity: As Doc explains, It is customary that one should enjoy a home brew while one brews at home. And, Ken and I are all about customs and traditions. Invitation: More 68ers are encouraged to attend USAFA home games and to come tailgate with the Brew Crew. As Doc says, If youve got the time, weve got the beer. And, as Docs tee shirt indicates, you have his assurance that his home brew will be served fast, neat, average, friendly, good, good.
Butch and Cheri Barclay Send Greetings from Macomb, Illinois
HOLIDAY MAIL BAG: I received a very nice Christmas letter with photos from Lawson Butch Barclay. He works part-time for Country Financial as a Crop Claims Adjustera job that entails checking crops for hail/storm damage and reduced yieldsand is still coaching cross country in the fall. Butch puts on his running shoes from time-to-time to participate in 5K and 10K races in the area. His wife, Cheri, still works part-time in their school district and helps take care of their grandchildren Jordan, Jacob, and Jackie. Travel in 2015 included: the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock; the sights along the shore of Lake Erie in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York; the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland; Niagara Falls; the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB; and the Armed Services Bowl in Fort Worth to watch Air Force play the University of California. Thanks for your greetings and well wishes, Butch!
THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS: This was a tough winter for our Class and we are saddened by the death of three of our classmates, Don Risher, Richard Abe Abramson and Arnie Julich.
Don passed away on 29 December 2015 in Aurora, Colorado and was buried at the USAFA Cemetery on 11 January 2016. Our condolences go out to his nieces Donna Stevens and Lynn Yarborough and his nephews Buzz and Glen Yarborough. Many thanks to Matt Szczepanek (USAFA 67) for giving Dons eulogy and making arrangements for Dons funeral service and burial ceremony at the Academy.
Abe passed away on 17 January 2016 at his home in Manhattan, New York after his long battle with Multiple Myeloma. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Lorraine, his children, Gregg and Jill, and his grandchildren, Emma, Leah, Miles, and Sadie. Many thanks to Gene Rose for writing Abes Gone But Not Forgotten article for Checkpoints and for the former members of 21st Squadron (Black Jack) for their loving support and respectful visitations to Lorraine and Abes family in New York.
Arnie died peacefully on 26 January 2016. After retiring from the Air Force, he moved to Ocean Shores, Washington and spent seven years working for the Quinault Indian Nation. Our sincere condolences go out to Arnies wife of 47 years, Tanya; his son Mark, his brothers Nick, Jim, Tom and Terry; his sister Pam; his granddaughter Melissa; and numerous nieces and nephews.
On 25 January 2016, Bill Hoge reported that Jeff Feinstein suffered a severe stroke at his home in Sumter, South Carolina and is anticipated to be in a rehab facility in Myrtle Beach for a couple of months. Since his stroke during Thanksgiving, Jeff has been struggling with therapy and has a long ways to go. He is now in Murrells Inlet. His birthday is Friday (29JAN). His mailing address is: c/o Susan Roberts, PO Box 1954, Murrells Inlet, SC. 29576. Please send Jeff some words of encouragement and keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
THATS 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 check out the holiday letters sent in from a number of our classmates in the bulletin section of our Class website. Ciao for now. Tim