'68!! Attention in the Area! Hey you Baby Boomers! Time to stop thinking about
yesteryear's fabled times at the stag bar and amble, as you are able, with your
new bionic hips and surgically replaced joints to your nearest Social Security
office to sign up for Medicare. Can we really be that old?! And our spouses, significant
others, children, and grandchildren collectively reply: "You betcha Senior
Citizen!" Cue music fade-in with the Four Preps singing, "I was a big
man yesterday, but boy you ought to see me now."
Editor Tom Kroboth and Class Scribe
SALUTE TO CHECKPOINTS EDITOR: As many classmates have mentioned over the years,
our class column in Checkpoints has been a touchstone for latest class news, accomplishments,
and days in the lives of very dear friends. It has provided a kind of glue that
has bonded us together virtually, even though we may have been on opposite sides
of the globe when we read about each others' exploits. The gentleman at the helm,
who massages our individual class columns into coherent articles for this award
winning publication, is Tom Kroboth. Tom spent his early years flying KC-135 tankers
and has been at USAFA editing this lifeline to all Academy classes during both
Mark Torreano's and my tenure as your humble Class Scribes. So, after more
than three decades of stellar service, it is my honor to send Tom a very sincere
'68 salute and our heartfelt gratitude for a job well done.
AT USAFA FOUNDERS' DAY BANQUET AND PARADE: As mentioned in my winter column,
Ed Eberhart was named one of the two USAFA Distinguished Graduates for
2010. Several of the usual suspects from our gang mustered at our alma mater for
the Founders' Day banquet on 1 April and the parade on 2 April. To put the veritable
icing-on-the-cake, we executed a successful rejoin at Carl and Debbie Janssen's
beautiful home in Monument after the parade to complete an outstanding weekend
of festivities filled with tales of '68 lore and legend.
During his banquet
acceptance speech, Ed paid tribute to the Academy for the manifold opportunities
it afforded him throughout his military and civilian careers and noted he was
humbled by the significant recognition and honor. He then expressed sincere gratitude
to the Class of 1968 for its faithfulness to our nation and the camaraderie we
genuinely share with one another. I believe it is fair to say we could not have
been more proud of our stellar classmate and friend!
At Founders' Day Banquet. L-R: Standing: Gene Rose, Gary Vasek, Al Blumberg, Bill
Eckert, Dick Mosbach, Doug Wilson, Pat McBride, Bob Denny, Steve Staley, Bill
Maywhort and Tim Davidson; Sitting: Pat Russell, Frank Palermo, Rhip Worrell,
Ed Leonard, Ed Eberhart, Steve Polk, Sam Bole, Steve McPhail, Bill Bowman and
Tom O'Beirne. Not pictured: Mike "Fitzer" Fitzgerald.
the time we arrived at Carl and Debbie's abode, those who had been to the parade
were easily recognizable by their sunburned faces and noggins. The co-host and
sergeant-at-arms, Garry Dudley, greeted us at the door with his effervescent
smile and manly handshake. In passing he noted "Torreano does not
have a snow balls' chance to beat me in the hand-stand competition at our 45th
reunion." (Scribe Note: And from Hawaii you could almost hear a "DeNiro-esque"
reply from Mark in his best "Brooklynese," You talkin' to me, Dudley?!
Another sound bite from our gathering included the very successful January
release of a new best-selling book authored by Steve and Connie Staley
titled FOCUS on College and Career Success. The book, several years in
the making, instructs college students how to succeed in college and their future
careers by using tools, audio visual exercises, and techniques that Steve and
Connie have honed over their decades of experience in Academia. Congrats to Drs.
Staley for their most recent contribution and life-long dedication to educating
our nation's college students.
While schmoozing around the living room,
your Scribe caught up with Mike Parkinson. Mike and his wife, Marie, retired
and moved their Beechcraft Debonair (and themselves) to Colorado Springs in September
Mike and Marie were married the day of graduation and have since
moved twelve times. They completed second careers as academics after a stint practicing
law together in Illinois. Their law practice included family law and both criminal
law and prosecution. Their teaching experience ranges from teaching Illinois prison
inmates legal research to advising Ph.D. candidates.
Both were on the faculty
at Texas Tech, where Marie had a joint appointment teaching government courses
for the Political Science Department and communications law for the College of
Mass Communications. Mike had a dual appointment as associate dean for graduate
studies and associate dean for faculty in the College of Mass Communications.
moving to Colorado Springs the Parkinsons have enjoyed connecting with
classmates living in the area. Mike is a Founding Director of the Academy Endowment
and does volunteer teaching for Cadet seminars. Marie says she is developing the
fine art of "doing nothing."
Throughout the two days of get-togethers,
Pat Russell and I snapped a slew of photos which may be found in full size
and living color at our class website by clicking on "Reunions." Please
take a few minutes to check them out!
and Marie Parkinson on Retirement Day 2010
COAST REUNION DATE SET: For those classmates and guests
who are in the greater Washington, D.C. area on 14 June, please accept a cordial
invitation to attend the 2011 East Coast Reunion at Ed and Karen Eberhart's
home at 3444 Roberts Lane in North Arlington, Virginia beginning at 6:30PM. Should
out-of-towners need a place to stay, please contact your Scribe for classmate
lodging arrangements at your earliest convenience. Finally, RSVPs are requested
by Ed and Karen by 7 June for planning purposes.
AFB CLASS OF 70-01 REUNION UPDATE: At last count, 34 of 50 living UPT graduates
from Reese's Class of 70-01 and their guests are signed up to attend the upcoming
reunion at the San Diego Embassy Suites Downtown Hotel from 13-16 October. If
you plan to attend but have not registered your attendance, please contact Bob
Daley or me.
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: It is my sad duty to
note the passing of our classmate Dr. Greg Varhall on 15 April from complications
following a trip to the Pacific Rim three weeks earlier with his wife, Brigadier
General Linda Urrutia-Varhall. Greg's life was honored and celebrated at the Old
Post Chapel, Ft. Meyer, on April 26. He was laid to rest, per his wishes, at the
Air Force Academy on 10 May. Our sincere condolences go out to Linda and the Varhall
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 our Class Website to see photos included in this column in full
size by clicking on Scribe's Page. Ciao for now. Tim