Tim's December 2007 Checkpoints Class News Article

HELLO '68!! ATTENTION IN THE AREA! Seasons' Greetings and best wishes for a bountiful 2008! Block out the dates on your electronic do-dads and make travel reservations for Colorado Springs from 1- 5 October 2008 so you can join in the revelry of our 40th Class reunion. Reunion headquarters will be the Embassy Suites and we will be seeking to wrest the Commander-in-Chief's trophy away from the "Squids" for the first time in six years. To get the latest information, please check the Class Website at www.usafa68.org. If you have any questions or suggestions (e.g., class gift, social events, etc.), please forward them to: ablum68@hotmail.com.

C-Springs Summer Visit

"Summer Visit to Colorado" L-R: Steve Staley, Pat McBride, Rhip Worrell, Scribe, Garry Dudley, and Carl Janssen.

SUMMER VISIT TO COLORADO: As summer plans went, this was another great year for visiting family and friends. With interim stops in Monument and San Francisco before embarking on a cruise to Alaska, I called the "Classmate Hotline" in Colorado and received great support for get-togethers from Garry Dudley and Carl Janssen. Garry set up a dinner with some of our crew in early June during the front-end of my visit and Carl set one up at the back-end after stopping in Colorado before returning to Virginia. The photo above was taken at a local C-Springs Italian restaurant, where the wine and conversation flowed continuously for several hours. To see the photo of the second group with Bill and Sue Eckert, Gary and Nancy Vasek, Craig Baer, and Carl and Debbie Janssen, please visit the Class website.

"Colorado Summer Visit #2 Photo" L-R: Front Row: Sue Eckert, Nancy Vasek, Debbie Janssen, Bonnie Davidson (Scribe’s sister), Melissa (USAFA ’96) and Fred (USAFA ’94) Cunningham. Back Row: Bill Eckert, Gary Vasek, Carl Janssen, Friend of Craig Baer, Craig Baer, and Scribe.

Gillette Wedding

"The Gillette Family at Diana's Wedding." Glenn is to the left of the bride (Diana) and Jeannie is behind him with kids, parents, sisters, and a few more relatives included throughout the photo.

BREAKING NEWS FROM CENTENNIAL: After sending an SOS for some class news, Glenn Gillette checked in with an update from Centennial, Colorado. Using well-honed IT skills from his Air Force career, Glenn spends most of his time consulting and writing computer software for Triple-Protection Auto Care, which sells after-market programs (oil changes, etc.) and identity-protection products to automotive-related dealerships. Beyond his day job, however, Glenn says he would rather be writing fiction. As Glenn notes, "Learning the craft and trying to sell my stories take up most of my spare time. While I did sell a few some time ago (see www.fictionwise.com/eBooks/eBook1145.htm), getting back into the entertainment business is proving to be quite a challenge."

From their family news department, Glenn and Jeannie were delighted with the marriages of two of their daughters and the addition of two sons-in-law in 2007. They were also excited for the success of their other daughter who fulfilled a dream since junior high school to work on Broadway. She is currently working as the assistant stage manager in the Disney musical production of Tarzan where she runs the aerial work and has become good friends with Phil Collins. Following combat in Iraq, as a Marine, their son left the service and is now attending the University of Colorado in Denver with a major in engineering. As Jeannie limps around with a broken ankle, they are not running many marathons these days, but they do hope to cruise the Mexican Riviera in January 2008. Thanks for the great update, Glenn!

Dinner at Mike's After AFA-USNA Game

"Dinner at Mike's After AFA-USNA Game." L-R: Bob Johnston, Dave Prevost, Scribe, Steve McPhail, Mark Torreano, and Jim Seevers. Not pictured but seen at the game: Charlie Coolidge, Paul Flynn, Bruce Gerrity, and Bill Sasz.

AFA - USNA GAME: The sun shone brightly as the temperature percolated in the mid-70s with a clear Air Force blue sky and a beautifully clipped field of Norman Rockwell-esque green grass. As the enthusiasm for Falcon football mounted to a fever pitch, I asked myself, could there be any better day to play football than right here and now? And, my inner voice responded, "No! This is the day and this is the time for Air Force to end Navy's reign as the King of Service Academy football!" For the first half and well into the third quarter, the Falcons and the Rams squared off with seismic hits and competitive runs and passes. But, somewhere between the second portion of the third quarter and a few defensive lapses in the fourth, the game went south and our cadets came up a little short. Despite the fifth straight loss to Navy, our '68 contingent cheered throughout the game and rejoined at our favorite restaurant just west of Annapolis at Mike's to commiserate how close we came to winning on the fields of friendly strife. With a cry of "Wait until next year!" we went out separate ways and vowed to join up again in Falcon Stadium for our 40th Reunion and cheer on our team to victory. For more photos taken during the game, please see our Class website.

2007 A/TA Conference

"'68ers at 2007 Airlift Tanker Association Conference" L to R: Scribe, Bill Begert, Charlie Coolidge, Charlie Holland, "Bob Daley," Tony Robertson, Bob Durham, Carl McPherson, and Mike Moffitt.

2007 AIRLIFT TANKER ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE: After a 21-year absence since my last attendance at the Airlift Tanker Association Conference, I had the pleasure of attending the 2007 rendition at the enormous Gaylord Opryland Resort and Conference Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Shortly after arriving, I headed back to the lobby area with a friend, when from within the midst of the huge crowd registering for their rooms I heard a familiar voice shout, "Hey, Dad!" As I stared in utter disbelief, there was my daughter, Major Melissa (Davidson) Cunningham (USAFA '96), who had just arrived at the resort with her husband Fred (USAFA '94) from Colorado. It was their first A/TA and none of us realized we would be at the same conference together. Needless to say, this was a clear sign of more serendipity than a body can stand! In addition to seeing family and many friends, this largest A/TA conference (4,400 attendees), gave some of us from '68 a chance to commune with one another for three days and nights. The photo above shows eight of us who were there, and we used a very dear friend, legendary airlifter, and A/TA Hall of Fame member, Major General Jim "The Bagger" Baginski, USAF (Retired), as a stand-in for Bob Daley, who we fully expected to be among us at this gala event. During the 4-Star Generals Panel, Charlie Holland and Tony Robertson were on the stage giving their views on the state of affairs for the Airlift and Tanker Communities, while Bill Begert, Charlie Coolidge, Mike Moffitt, Carl McPherson, Bob Durham, and I listened with rapt attention and engaged in a side conversation or two.

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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