Tim's March 2020 Checkpoints Class News Article

HELLO ’68!! Despite climate change debating points, the Dark Ages remain a hallmark of the winter months in Colorado. For those classmates across our great nation who are dealing with significant amounts of snow, ice, wind, and frigid temperatures, it may be time to consider spending some of your grandchildren's inheritance on a cruise or vacation to warmer climes. Bon Voyage!

"Veterans Day Presentation at Cherokee Ranch. L-R: Doug & Dee Wilson, Carl & Debbie Janssen, and Katie & Bill Wood."

Doug Wilson was kind enough to share a photo taken at the Cherokee Ranch outside of Castle Rock following Carl Janssen's presentation to a local gathering in observance of Veterans Day. Carl spoke about service to our country by recounting personal family history of Debbie's and his father's contributions during World War II, his own experience, and now his grandson's service as a member of the USAFA Class of 2017 as a UAV operator. Carl and Doug were joined by their wives, Debbie and Dee, and Bill and Katie Wood. Doug said that Carl's presentation was well received.

TO INFINITY AND BEYOND: I surmise that most of you are probably aware of our nation's newest service, the Space Force. Such an enterprise is rife with opportunity for those who are able to imagine new methods of transporting large payloads of equipment and supplies from earth to the moon, Mars, or other waypoints within our galaxy. One of our own, Michael "Fitzer" Fitzgerald, is just such a person. He was in Washington, D.C. in June and then in October of 2019 to support his book and report on "Space Elevator" at the International Astronautical Congress. The concept involves an earth-to-space transportation system with a cable tethered to earth and an ability to climb payloads up the cable/elevator without a requirement for high boost rockets. This appears to be a much needed technology to make space travel less costly and more accessible. For more information, go online and check out space elevator. In retrospect, Michael notes, "My Astro 401 instructor gave me a C . . .At least you tried, he said."

“Class Beer Reunion. L-R: Pat Hurley and Mark Torreano.”

68ER's ENJOY A BREW IN PHOENIX: Newly-minted stateside resident, Mark Torreano, wrote to tell me about an act of generosity in Phoenix in October 2019 when he met up with classmate, Pat Hurley, for some vittles and a beer and Pat picked up the tab. As you will recall, Mark and Mimi have been residents of the Aloha State for decades and just moved to Colorado in 2019. Now that he is ensconced in the "Lower 48," Mark is doing some traveling to reconnect with family, classmates, and friends. He said that Pat told him about a great trip to Vietnam that Pat took along with Mike Cryer, Steve McPhail, and their spouses. Pat noted "the place is unrecognizable and very hospitable, except for the war museums."

HOLIDAY MAILBAG: Many thanks to so many of you who sent cards, letters, photos, and e-mails over the holidays. Your sincere greetings and well-wishes were much appreciated. Here are some snippets from near and far:

- In July 2019, Charlie Coolidge celebrated his 15th year working for Airbus Defense and Space. He and Bonnie celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary on June 22nd.

- Gary and Mary Hoffman had a memorable 2019 with a class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking in February; a Viking River Cruise from Paris to Switzerland in April; a family trip to the Hawaiian Islands in August; and back home to a frosty, snowy Colorado for Christmas.

- Jack Webb and Susan "Fred" Hankey ended 2018 with a 21-day cruise around South America and began 2019 by spending three months in Argentina followed by a family trip to County Roscommon, Ireland; time at home in Greencastle, Pennsylvania; camping in Fairbanks, Alaska; a quick trip to Brooklyn; and end-of-year trips to Texas and Arizona.

- Steve and Jayne Mish checked in from Austin, Texas, where they have been living for the past 14 years. They had a great family trip to Disneyworld and Universal Studios in June. Steve continues his work locally with the golf rules group and the USGA. A new neighbor invited him to go flying and gave Steve the opportunity to relive some thrilling days of yesteryear with loops, rolls, Cuban 8s, and spins. Steve said, "I hadn't done one of those spins since pilot training and now I remember why I wasn't fond of them."

"Holiday Family Time at the Marshall's. L-R: On Laps: Casey (1) and Elena (3); Seated: Maria and Tony."

68ER VISITS GRANDCHILDREN IN WASHINGTON: Tony Marshall sent greetings from a town in Washington near Seattle while visiting his family over the holidays. He said he had an "unremarkable" year where he did most of the same things he does every year, but at a slower pace and with more doctors' appointments in between. He particularly enjoys visits to see his family and spoiling his grandchildren Elena and Casey.

THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS: Our class suffered the loss of another classmates in 2019. Richard Herbert Smith died on 10 October 2019. He was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, but spent the last eighteen years of his life in Aiken County, South Carolina. He was a retired US Air Force pilot with twenty years of service having served his country during the Vietnam War flying C130 aircraft. After retirement, he flew 747 Commercial Cargo for Atlas Air and flew all over the world with substantial flying experience in Africa to support food relief operations for various international organizations. He found these missions both challenging and rewarding and credits his earlier Air Force C-130 training as very beneficial for remote, unimproved short field work. Our prayers go out to his wife Brenda Noel-Smith; a son, Donovan Smith; a daughter, Dana Smith Noble; and sisters, Carolyn Smith Maffett and Margaret Smith. May God bless our departed classmate and provide peace and comfort to his family.

Prayers are requested for Tony Eden, who suddenly developed a case of diplopia (double vision) in November 2019 and is undergoing a battery of tests to resolve his medical condition. I also received a note from Denny Busch indicating that he had a difficult year. Finally, I had a great visit in December in San Antonio with Ron Jackson, who is undergoing a knee replacement on his "good" leg. As you may recall, Ron lost his other leg to a severe infection several years ago and this put an extreme strain on his "good" leg for his mobility. Please pray for all of these classmates for their healing and recovery.

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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