Tim's June 2009 Checkpoints Class News Article

HELLO '68!! I'm not saying the economy is bad, but the Easter Bunny just dropped off plastic eggs with IOUs in them! Here's hoping our country gets something more substantive than EB's jelly beans after all the multi-trillion dollar bailouts!!

"Last '68er in Uniform"

STILL SERVING: Though many might consider squeezing into our uniforms in contravention to the laws of physics (i.e., attempting to fit a much larger mass into a much smaller space), one of our classmates does it every day and can still keep his "gig line" straight. Who is this masked man? It is none other than our very own Colonel Vic Bonfiglio, Commander of the Air Force Junior ROTC Detachment at Moanualua High School in Honolulu. As one of your Scribe's most faithful correspondents, Vic is not only the commander of the unit, but teaches college and high school military education classes, serves as a flight instructor, and writes articles for the local newspaper about latest trends in military recruitment. Vic writes, "Life in Hawaii continues to be enjoyable." (Scribe Note: Duh!!!) "The combination of teaching high school, college, and flying, plus the good weather and superb athletic facilities, really make for the good life. I don't have enough time on my hands to get into serious trouble, since I'm busy most of the time. If you wander out here, bring money and we'll go flying." (Scribe Note: Vic, now you're just rubbing it in!)

ERRATA SHEET ON TWINS SEPARATED BY CLASS: In my winter column, I posited that our classmate Jim Camp and his brother Gene (USAFA '69) might have been the first twins separated by USAFA year groups. Thanks to some editorial truth serum supplied by Chuck Denham (USAFA '67), he said, "Sorry, Tim, the Camp twins are trumped by, at least, the Fairhurst twins, Norman Gregory (USAFA '63) and William Stephen (USAFA '64). So, to Jim and Gene Camp, unless even earlier claims are touted, you are now wearing the silver, rather than gold medal for this unique category of USAFA comparisons.

"Fighter Pilots Extraordinaire!" L-R: Steve Mish and Dick Ewers

HEARLED AVIATORS CONVERSE AT '68's 40th: As I networked my way around the ballroom during our 40th reunion banquet, I was able to capture a fairly decent digital portrait of two of our Class' premier fighter pilots, Steve Mish and Dick Ewers. You may remember, in addition to a laudatory career flying fast-moving aircraft, Steve was one of our Class' two Air Force Thunderbirds. (Scribe Note: The other was Bill Gregory.) Dick Ewers is the last pilot in the Class who is still "slipping the surly bonds of earth" in fighter aircraft through his current position with NASA. We are deeply indebted to Dick for his stirring tribute to fallen classmates as he flawlessly executed a series of high speed, F-18 fly-bys over the USAFA Cemetery following our Class' memorial service during the 40th reunion. As a side note, Dick can also be remembered for being the only classmate who matriculated from USAFA to the Marine Corps and while a cadet represented all of us on the television show "The Dating Game."

'68's NAVIGATOR PLOTS COURSE AHEAD IN BORNEO: I just received a short blurb from Geoff Gorsuch, Director of Men's Ministries for The Navigators, about his March 2009 leadership conference on the island of Borneo. The topic of the conference was "The Seven Seasons of a Man's Life." After each "season," conference attendees broke up into smaller groups and discussed how biblical solutions were relevant to circumstances that unfold in developing nations. Geoff's next major conference will be held in Singapore in May titled "Great Dad . . . Good Life." Geoff, best wishes in helping to make our world a more loving and peaceful place to hang our hats and bequeath to our children and grandchildren.

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS HERR PROFESSOR DOCTOR YOOS? When I didn't see Chuck Yoos at our 40th Reunion and wondered where he was and what he was doing, I received a sea of blank stares and slumped shoulder "I don't knows" from my compatriots in 3rd Squadron. After viewing a comment made by Chuck in April that surfaced on a '68 environmental e-blog about USAFA going green, I decided to end the mystery and sent my query to him via e-mail. Chuck responded: "Since I retired from the AF in 1998 as a Professor Emeritus at USAFA, I have been a Professor at Fort Lewis College, Colorado's public liberal arts college. I also teach occasionally for academic terms abroad as a Visiting Professor at the University of Applied Sciences Regensburg Germany (2001, 2007 and 2009), École Superieure de Commerce La Rochelle France (2004, 2006), and the University of Applied Sciences Deggendorf Germany (2008, 2009).

In my last years at USAFA, I was the Senior Officer Advisor to the Dean and the Commandant on the Cadet Honor, and realized that the Honor System had become dysfunctional. I expressed that in several papers, notably "Habitat for Honor Within a Community of Character: Last Call for Reformation of the Cadet Honor System and Vitalization of Character Development at the United States Air Force Academy." Read that and two other related papers at my Fort Lewis College website: http://soba.fortlewis.edu/yoos/, with a picture of me about to be run over by a train!"

With Chuck's rapid response, the mystery is now solved. Chuck sends to one and all: "Gutentag und Bon Chance!"

"'68's Handballers: L-R: Kneeling: Du and Don Mrosla Standing: Marty Cole, Roger Wiles,
Jim Lozito, and Mike Thrower."

'68'S REUNION HANDBALL CLUB DOES IT AGAIN AT OUR 40th: While some played golf, others chose to get acquainted with the bartender, and still others (suffering from the altitude and a touch of old age) took naps, a core group of die-hard "handballers" proved, once again, that time had not passed them by as they took to USAFA's courts for our 40th reunion handball tournament. I am not certain of the final outcome, but you are welcome to ask Du and Don Mrosla, Marty Cole, Roger Wiles, Jim Lozito, and Mike Thrower whether they had a good time. My guess would be resoundingly in the affirmative!

REESE AFB 70-01 UPT REUNION 9-13 SEP 09: The Reese AFB UPT Class of 70-01 is holding its 40th pilot training reunion in the greater Washington, DC area from 9-13 September 2009. If you want further information, please contact Bob Daley, Bill Drennan, or me.

Bob Beanblossom is in the formative stages of organizing a Randolph AFB UPT Class of 70-02 Reunion. If you are interested in assisting, please drop him an e-mail at: bnjbeanblossom@hotmail.com.

'68 TRIVIAL PURSUIT: Which classmate has 7 children and 10 grandchildren? Which classmate has a winery and concrete business? Which classmate is working for the UN in Kyrgyzstan? Which classmate flies MicroJets? Which classmate looks like he might be related to a waiter at the Colorado Springs Embassy Suites? The answers to all of these questions may be found on our class website.

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 the Class Website to see photos included in this column in color and in full size. Ciao for now. Tim

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