Tim's September 2018 Checkpoints Class News Article

HELLO '68!! It is definitely 50th reunion time and it will be great to see so many of my favorite senior citizens, again! Based on the planning and preparation of Mike Parkinson and our Colorado-based reunion committee, it should be a spectacular and memorable gathering for all who attend-particularly during our newest event--the Doolie Squadron Brunch.
For those who have a difficult time remembering what it was like to live in Colorado, here are a few reminders:
• Your only sense of direction is towards the mountains and away from the mountains.
• April showers bring May blizzards.
• Your golf bag has a 9-iron, a 3-wood, and a lightning rod.
• You think the major food groups are granola bars, tofu, and Fat Tire Beer.
• You've used "checking for ticks" as an excuse to get others to take their clothes off.
• Your last Colorado memories were of USAFA in your rear-view mirror.

"Legacy Class Sabre Presentation" L-R: Ed Eberhart, Phil Pignataro, Carl McPherson, and
Class of 2018 Wing Commanders in Between.

'68'S WING COMMANDERS PRESENT SABRE TO CLASS OF 2018: Many thanks to Carl McPherson for sending me the photo and summary of our '68 Wing Commanders' presentation of a sabre to the wing commanders of our Legacy Class of 2018. There are now three wing commanders for each class--one for the summer, fall, and spring. To handle this change in leadership opportunities of the Cadet Wing, Ed Eberhart and Carl McPherson had our Class President, Phil Pignataro, fill in to serve as our class' summer wing commander. In addition to the sabre presentation, Ed, Carl, and Phil spoke about their experiences to some of the squadrons during their commissioning ceremonies and stayed for the graduation and Thunderbirds demonstration. Carl said a great time was had by all and they were proud to represent the Class of 1968 at Legacy Class presentations and ceremonies.

I have been corresponding with Geoff Gorsuch about attending our 50th and received an announcement of his retirement from the Navigators after more than four decades of service. In Geoff's response to my e-mail, he wrote: "Since my remarriage to Teresa, I have been living in California. My cancer is in remission and I am in decent health. Thank God! With respect to your kind invitation/reminder about our reunion, I scheduled a farewell tour of Asia before I knew the reunion dates. People over there have already scheduled events around my travels and I am locked in. However, if, for some reason, the 20-hour return flight leaves a little fuel in my tank, I will certainly make an effort to come and stay with friends in the Springs. May God bless you and yours. " To Geoff and Teresa: Best wishes for a successful farewell celebration in Asia and my sincere hope that you can find the extra fuel to join us in Colorado.

"Third Generation of Mish Pilots Retires" L-R: Steve, Shaleigh, Kylie, Jayne, and Jerry Mish.

THUNDERBIRD PILOT'S SON RETIRES: As luck, fate, and providence would have it, I happened to be at Randolph AFB in June when Steve Mish's son, Jerry, retired from the Air Force after 20+ years of service. Jerry was assigned to the Office of the Air Education and Training Command's Inspector General and his boss happened to be my son-in-law, Colonel Fred Cunningham (USAFA '94). The ceremony was held at the Parr Officers' Club on base, which happened to be on the same street where Fred and my daughter, Melissa (USAFA '96), live. Since I did not have a vehicle, the 100-yard walk from the Cunningham abode to the O'Club provided a modicum of exercise and an opportunity to join the Mish family and friends for Jerry's retirement ceremony and celebration. The family put together an excellent slide show of days-gone-by that captured the essence of growing up in an Air Force family with a grandfather, father, and son all serving our country as fearless aviators. Jerry's final remarks about who was the best pilot in the family brought a good round of smack-talk and laughter from all who attended. Mucho congrats to Jerry, his family, and his Thunderbird Dad.

"The Fruition of 4-Years" L-R: Katie, Jim, Joe, Nita, Kathy, and Pat Russell.

WEBMASTER'S GRANDSON GRADUATES FROM COLLEGE: The premier class webmaster in all of Checkpoints Land, Pat Russell, was in my neck-of-the-woods in May to attend the graduation of his grandson, Joe, from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. While in the area, Pat and his family took in the sights and sounds of Washington, D.C. and spent some time touring the Smithsonian and Holocaust museums in between dodging a slew of thunderstorms that plagued the area for a couple of weeks. In addition to seeing the sights, he was also able to get in a nice visit with Bob and Sue Pauli. Congrats to Pat and Nita on their grandson's graduation and many thanks to Pat for all he does on our behalf. Our class is truly blessed to have such a dedicated and professional webmaster to keep us online and connected.

THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS: As we prepare for our 50-year class reunion, take a few moments to remember those who we've lost along the way. It is said that no one truly dies until no one else remembers them. Please take time to remember. In Memoriam: Dan Tedford, John Griffin, Dave Stewart, Ken Orvis, Jack Duffy, Tex Fehrenbach, Denny Haas, John Ryder, Russ Voris, Elmon Caudill, Charlie Kollenberg, Grant Uhls, Jim Hoppe, Walt Sigafoos, Byron Burnett, Jim Alexander, Skip Jackson, Ted Hallenbeck, Zack Stidmon, Steve Roseman, Ralph Bowles, Ed Greene, Steve Reid, Dale Stephens, Jim Pueppke, Dick Frey, Art Moxon, Bill George, Bob Shumway, Buzz Sawyer, Armando Castro, Kim Anderson, Michael Cartwright, Rob Linsmayer, Marty Eggert, Ian Duncan, Craig Squier, Frank Birk, Jim Meyer, John Watkins, Gerry Brown, Mac McAdory, Bob Hager, Bill Gregory, Joe Hedrick, Bob Pulver, John MacKay, Pete Marek, Larry Merideth, Jocko Hayden, Carl Richardson, Jon McCreight, Russ Walker, Steve Thomson, Jim Lyons, Jon Rand, Larry Pigg, Cary Hunter, Wally Curtis, John Cobb, John Lambert, Jack Kostiuk, Phil Stitzer, Tom Draper, Carl Knopke, Glenn Gillette, Greg Varhall, Steve Paige, Don Harrington, Dan Barker, Jim Heffer, Gary Dikkers, Jim Madsen, Jim Hix, Mike Sotak, Don Risher, Abe Abramson, Arnie Julich, Dan Hites, Bobby Ross, Elton Pollock, Mark Wise, Tom Meyer, Michael Grail, Jim Estes, Russ Schwengels, Stu Thomson, Wayne Peterson, Wayne Rowell, Jerry Runnion, Bob Daley, Dave Kapp and Pete Davis.

May God bless us, everyone. AMEN.

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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