Tim's December 2009 Checkpoints Class News Article

HELLO '68!! For those still slipping the "surly bonds of earth" you might want to consider practicing your "touch and goes" near Dave and Jeanne Allen's beautiful home located on an air park north of Colorado Springs. In addition to the more traditional offerings of a kitchen, living room, etc., Dave's property features a fully operational hangar, a taxiway, and a runway. To keep themselves busy, Jeanne and Dave have restored a 1934 vintage, open cockpit, WACO biplane and are in the process of restoring two more. They are very active in the antique aircraft community and love to share their passion by taking thrill-seeking passengers on rides. On August 1st, they hosted a get together for interested aviators, where all assembled had an opportunity to feel the wind in their face as they soared over the Colorado countryside. The photo and associated smiles tell you all you need to know about the day's adventures. To quote Carl Janssen, "It was marvelous!"

"Come Fly With Me!" L-R: Front Row: Carl Janssen, Tina Dudley, Jeanne and Dave Allen, and Garry Dudley; Back Row: Bill Wood, Doug Wilson, Al Burchett, and Bill Eckert. Not Pictured: Craig Baer, Bob Marks, Vince Rusinak, Roger Moseley, and Howie Towt.

BASIC SUMMER ROOMMATE GOLF COURSE SIGHTINGS: While it's been about 45 years since Brother Dave Mann and I shared the same living quarters, he has definitely been seen out and about on the links. The first sighting in 2008 was reported by Steve Mish who noted that Dave had run into Steve's brother at the USGA Senior Amateur in Fort Worth. Then in early 2009, while Steve was cheering on the USAFA men's team during a competition at his home course at the University of Texas Golf Club, the cadet team saw Steve on the 13th green and then met Dave, who was working as a USGA official, on the 16th green. They told Dave about meeting Steve on the 13th green, but by the time Dave got to 13, Steve had departed. To ensure a more successful rendezvous, Dave shot an e-mail to Steve and they were able to link up at the UT Men's Regional in the spring. So, the story is over, right?! No, not exactly. In August, my daughter, Melissa's father-in-law, was attending the US Amateur Golf Tournament in Tulsa and was wearing a USAFA golf shirt. A US Amateur official asked him if he went to the Air Force Academy and he responded that his son and daughter-in-law were grads. My daughter's father-in-law then asked the official if he had attended the Academy and the official answered, "Yes, in the Class of 1968." Well, when Melissa's father-in-law asked whether the official knew me, Dave just flashed a big smile and said "I believe I do. We were roommates!" This, my fellow classmates, goes into what I would call the "small world" department!

"41st Anniversary Reunion in Arlington, Texas." Attendees: Ken and Kakai Bowers, Frank and Brenda Moore, Doug and Lucy Batchelor, Dave and MarcheAnn Mann, and Scott and Sue Bohner.

'68'S 41st REUNION-TEXAS STYLE: Date: 5 June 2009 Place: A Tex-Mex joint in Arlington, Texas. Ken Bowers' Reunion Summary: "Swilled beer and chinchillas [or, it might have been chimichangas] as we swapped tales of the past and lies about the present. Keeping to our age cohort, we showed up for the early bird special and were gone during civil twilight." (Scribe Note: Do these guys know how to party or what?!)

With a host of busy and conflicting business and social calendars, our local crew elected to give Ed and Karen Eberhart a break from holding this year's East Coast reunion at their house and moved the venue to Annapolis. With a reasonable amount of forward planning, we were able to get a fairly decent showing of '68ers from hither and yon. Ed and Karen hosted a slew of out-of-town classmates from 16th Squadron and I took in some road-warriors from North Carolina (Bob and Thuy Johnston and Brooke and Cathy Bailey). Tom O'Beirne drove in from Round Hill, Virginia on the day of the game to join our group departing from Vienna. With Brooke driving, we then trekked off to do battle with the Squids. While we were around and about the USAFA AOG Tailgate in Annapolis, we saw or bumped into: Denny McLain, Sam Boles, Bill Bowman, Steve "Cisco" McPhail, Steve Polk, Jim Clark, Dave Prevost, Bruce Gerrity, Tony Eden, Charlie Coolidge, Danny James, Mike Wagner, Jim Seevers, Buck McCants and Greg Varhall. For those who watched the game, it was one where the defenses of both schools seemed to dominate the field as the respective offenses appeared to be channeling Ben Martin's "secret play" of consistently running up the middle. Despite unwavering and tumultuous cheering throughout the game, our Air Force Falcons lost in overtime after being done in for the seventh year in a row by the Midshipmen of Navy. Seeming to parrot the political fortunes of the day, the USAFA overtime field goal went wide left, and we drowned our misfortune at Mike's Restaurant and Crab House in Riva, Maryland after the game. To quote a familiar refrain, "Wait Until Next Year!"

"USAFA - USNA Tailgate": L-R: Bruce Gerrity, Charlie Coolidge, Bill Bowman, Dave Prevost, and Denny McLain

'68ER NAMED USAFA PREP SCHOOL EXEMPLAR: Our classmate, Larry Funk, is a 1964 graduate of the USAFA Prep School. In 2002, he was in the first contingent of Prep School alumni to be inducted into the Prep School Heritage Hall of Fame. The rationale for Hall of Fame honors is determined by different categories of achievement. Larry was selected within the military performance category as an F-105G Wild Weasel aircrew member where he was awarded 7 DFC's and 8 Air Medals for exceptional and heroic service performed during aerial combat in Vietnam. At the 2002 inauguration for the Heritage Hall of Fame, the Prep School also began an Exemplar program for each Prep School class. Exemplar candidates can be anyone, but are typically chosen from the Hall of Fame inductees. In 2008, Larry was chosen as Exemplar for the Class of 2009. This distinct honor involves one primary duty which is to deliver the graduation commencement address. Larry did so on 18 May at the Prep School graduation ceremony held in Arnold Hall. The Prep School Class of 2009, at over 200 strong, was the largest Prep School graduating class to date. As a side note, the new USAFA Superintendent, Lt Gen Mike Gould, is a former Exemplar. A copy of Larry's speech is on our '68 Class Website. Congratulations, Larry, on this very special recognition.

"Larry Funk, Class of 2009 Exemplar USAFA Prep School."

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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