Tim's March 2021 Checkpoints Class News Article
Hello 2021!! Good Riddance 2020!!! This overriding sentiment was shared
by the overwhelming majority of you in the holiday correspondence I received
at the end of 2020. Thanks to all who sent your cards, letters, photos,
and emails to our Class Webmaster, Pat Russell, and me. Your greetings
and well-wishes were appreciated.
THE FINAL FRONTIER: In addition to visionaries such as Elon Musk, Werner von Braun, and James Tiberius Kirk, the Class of 1968 has its own advocates for competence and competition beyond the earth's atmosphere. We owe a debt of gratitude for those who exhibited the courage to venture into space, like Dick Covey, but there are others, over the years, who have made substantial contributions to the creation of today's Space Force. Charlie Holland, was instrumental in this movement and in a January 2020 interview with the Air Force Association, Tom "Tav" Taverney provided some eye-opening statements about the importance of the new Sixth Service. Tav opines: "Today, the potential of a space attack is as dangerous to our nation as the threat of a nuclear attack was in the 20th century. . . Space today is a combat zone. It requires singular attention and focus. . . Deployment of weapons in space is a fact of life, and hypersonic and hyper glide weapons are a clear and present danger to our tactical and strategic posture. . . The biggest challenge is for the entire command to shift into a joint Warfighter mindset, to focus precious resources on speed, catching up, taking risk, fighting wars. The second biggest challenge is budget. The Class of '68 salutes Dick's, Charlie's, and Tav's significant contributions.
'68ER OLDEST QUALIFYING NINJA: I received a note
from Dave Kozak about his continued efforts with the Federation
of International Ninja Athletes (FINA). Dave writes: "After self-isolating
for all these months, Vera and I ventured out in mid-October 2020 to
participate in the Ninja World Championship in Detroit. Masks were worn
and people kept their distance most of the time. Despite our local gyms
in New York being closed most of the year, my home training was enough
to get me on a podium in both the Endurance (2nd place) and the Speed
(3rd place) events in the Master's Division (Age 40+). I continue to
be the oldest competitor, thus far, to compete and qualify." Our
congrats to Dave for his success and perseverance.
'68ER'S HOUSE SURVIVES UNSCATHED: I received an email in September 2020 from Ken Stewart, who wrote after being forced to evacuate from his home in Scotts Valley. Ken writes, "The current fires got within two miles of our property (which has been in my wife's family since 1950) but we were unscathed. When we evacuated, we were lucky that we had a trip planned. We went to Murphy's and visited the old town, then to Convict Lake Resort near Mammoth. We went to the top of Mammoth Mountain and explored many of the lakes nearby. From there we went to Mono Lake (which is deserted) and then to Bodie State Historic Park. It was a leading producer during the gold rush, but is now a ghost town. Finally, up to Yosemite and Glacier Point. When the evacuation lifted, we returned home. I am currently a docent at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. My wife, Lynn's, great grandfather ran it before it became a state park. He leased the redwood grove and brought people up to it in his stagecoach from Santa Cruz. We are doing well."
'68ER RIDES IN FRONT: Our classmate, Bill Gauntt,
received honors as Grand Marshal at the 71st Chattanooga, Tennessee
Armed Forces Day parade on 23 October 2020. The event was co-sponsored
by the Charles Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center in Chattanooga,
which had its Grand Opening in February 2020, just prior to the pandemic.
Bill writes, "I have been recovering from a broken femur for the
last year and just about got the leg back in shape so that I can walk
at least a quarter-mile. Not run, but walk! Nancy and I have been honoring
the restrictions of the pandemic with a lot of reading, mask wearing,
and not many guests, except for grandchildren. We are enjoying Academy
football games and some of the University of Tennessee games. My only
departures from the house are for necessities and serving as an election
official for Lookout Mountain, Tennessee."