Tim's December 2012 Checkpoints Class News Article

HELLO ’68!! Sir! This is “Fourth Call” for ‘68’s 45th Reunion in 2013! Uniform of the day is whatever you are wearing. We have not established our reunion dates yet, but you should plan to link-up with us sometime between mid-September and the end of October. Security Flight Out!

To assist in communicating with you, please send me your current e-mail address and any other contact information you wish to share with your classmates. Many have changed service providers or are no longer affiliated with former employers. The outdated addresses and phone numbers make the job of communicating with you much more difficult. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated!

40 Years of Wedded Bliss and Still Counting!

AIN’T LOVE GRAND?!—PART DEUX: In the summer 2012 column, I featured our newest newlyweds, Bill and Crys Hoge. For our fall column, I am sending you greetings (and a great photo) from Barney and Sandy Mills, who celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in 2011. Barney retired from the Air Force as a colonel in Los Angeles on April Fools’ Day in 1996 and moved to Colorado Springs. During the next 13 years, he worked as a Defense contractor for ANSER Corporation supporting Air Force Space Command at Peterson AFB and then for SPARTA supporting the Missile Defense Agency at Schriever AFB. As Barney says, “I retired for good on April Fools’ Day of 2009 and haven’t looked back!” So, how do the Mills’ spend their golden years? Barney writes, “After retirement, Sandy and I have been playing while we can: little golf, little fishing, elk hunting, etc. And, we bought a used 40-foot Class A diesel pusher RV and have traveled to PA several times to see our 3 grandkids - - also to Ocean City, Alaska, Carlsbad Caverns in NM, Cape Canaveral to see the last launch of the space shuttle Endeavor (missed it due to delays in launch), Buck and Linda McCants in SC, etc. We’ve been on a cruise every year since retirement – including a 2 week one to Italy and surrounding areas with Neal and Sharon Starkey. In addition, we rented vacation beach home on the Outer Banks of NC, and done some off-shore fishing. We go out to dinner about once a month with the Starkey’s and talk about how good we were (the older we get, the better we were!) Anyway, life is too short not to have some fun.” Thanks for sharing your experiences from the “good life” with us, Barney!

FIRST CONTACT UPDATE RECEIVED FOR 45TH REUNION: A special thanks goes out to Russ Burnham who checked in with my first ‘68er contact update. Russ now lives in Kansas City, Missouri and works for Butler Manufacturing Company as a computer software engineer. His daughter was recently promoted to captain in the Air Force, is a pilot and computer web designer, and flies UAVs.

Hall of Famers from the Buckeye State. L-R: Carl McPherson and Chuck Yoos.

One of the most rewarding aspects of being your Class Scribe is the ability to share in the many accomplishments and recognition received by so many of you for the positive impact you have had on our society. In April 2012, two of our classmates, Carl McPherson and Chuck “CJ” Yoos, were inducted into Lisbon, Ohio’s Alumni Association’s Hall of Fame.

Carl writes, “CJ and I were both raised and attended schools in the small 3,500+ person town of Lisbon OH. CJ was a few high school graduating classes behind me. I enlisted in the AF immediately after graduating in 1960, and he entered USAFA immediately after high school. When I was turned back to the Class of 1968, we ended up in the same graduating class--the awesome "68 We're Great" class. As you will recall, I was the spring semester wing commander and CJ was the 5th Group Commander. At that time, we made the local newspapers when our parents were presented with awards from the local Rotary Club and citizenry, which in turn led to CJ and I being presented with plaques by the Vice Commandant of Cadets in recognition of our leadership positions. Now, fast-forward to April 2012. CJ and I were honored, again, by our hometown, but this time to be inducted into their Hall of Fame.” To Carl and CJ, please accept your classmates’ very heartiest congratulations!

Class President Wishes You the Best for the Holidays! L-R: Front Row: Phil and Martha Pignataro; Back Row: Greg and Taylor Pignataro

CLASS PRESIDENT SENDS GREETINGS: As 2012 comes to a close, our Class President, Phil Pignataro, sends best wishes to one and all for a blessed holiday season. As Phil notes, the boys are still in soccer, Martha is still bolstering our healthcare system with her nursing skills, and Phil is keeping the coffee freshly brewed and hot in his hometown.

THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS: Amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays, please take a few moments to think about and pray for classmates who are dealing with a range of serious issues.

Based on recent news from Neal Starkey, I ask you to re-double your prayers for Bill Markham. Bill has been in the hospital undergoing a series of chemo and radiation treatments and blood transfusions for months to combat cancer of the esophagus. If able, please give him a call to say hello. His phone number is: 253-222-1396 and his e-mail address is: sbmarkham@gmail.com.

Prayers are also requested for H.T. Johnson’s wife, Fair, who has an aggressive and debilitating form of Parkinson’s disease that has sapped her strength and spirit. H.T. is thankful for the excellent care received from the doctors at Duke University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, but feels that he runs out of hours in the day to juggle all the things that have to get done for her care and to meet his own needs, as well.

Vic Bonfiglio found himself on the operating table in 2012 when his left knee locked up and caused him intense pain. The MRI revealed that the cartilage had worn away and the meniscus (pad between the bones) was torn. Medical procedures, thus far, have included three shots of an artificial synovial fluid called "Supartz" inserted directly into his knee; many hours on the stationary bike and Nordic elliptical; and lots of weight training and swimming. In June, he went in for arthroscopic surgery and the doctor gave him a 50/50 chance of being able to walk again without canes or crutches.

In addition to these recent additions, I ask for your continued prayers for: Bob Daley, Abe Abramson, Dan Barker, Dale Oderman, and Rhip Worrell.

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

Return to Scribe's Page