HELLO '68!! As I write this column,
Major League Baseball pennant races are featuring the long-suffering
Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, the political landscape is evoking
sentiments beyond rational description, and our Mighty Falcons are
vying for the Commander-in-Chiefs Trophy. From where I sit,
2016 is shaping up to be a truly historic year where anything is possible.
Lets hope for tomorrows to come that we are all still smiling
when the sun comes up and can heartily embrace the blessings of the
upcoming holiday season and New Year. AMEN!
Ferron Lays Down Some Analytic Basics for the Federal Reserve Board
WHO YOU GONNA CALL?! While hanging
out with fellow 68ers during my pilot training class reunion
in Rapid City, South Dakota, I had the opportunity to do some catching
up on our gangs latest comings and goings. Among those I spoke
to, our aviator-lawyer-entrepreneur classmate, J Ferron, answered
the call of the Federal Reserve Board of Chicago in September to address
changes in the automobile industry through 2025. A former partner
at J.D. Power and Associates and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, J currently
serves as the Chairman of the Society of Automotive Analysts. He and
his lovely bride, Lynn, remain ensconced outside Detroit in their
home of many years in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
WHERES WALDO?: With a tip of the hat to Vince Rusinak
for this information, you can now find ALL USAFA yearbooks on the
www.usafa.org website. Here is
one way that works:
a. You need to log in (you must be a member of the AOG to access this
area of the website).
b. On the right side of the page that comes up, under "Connect"
click on "Connect with Grads"
c. In the middle of the left side of the page that come up, find "view
class sites" and select 1968
d. Near the top of the page that comes up, you'll see "Yearbooks:
1968/1967/1966/1965. Click on any year and you'll be able to view
the entire yearbook for that year.
e. If you want a yearbook from another year, you can find it by clicking
on the year at the top of the page where it says "Select a Class
"Reese AFB UPT Class of 70-01s 47th Reunion
Photo In Front of a B-1B Bomber at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota.
REESE PILOTS DO ELLSWORTH, CRAZY HORSE, MOUNT
RUSHMORE AND DEADWOOD: Thanks to the outstanding
planning and coordination of Reese AFB UPT Class of 70-01s resident
South Dakotans, Tom and Michele Olsen, classmates, spouses, family,
and friends were treated to a veritable Home On The Range
experience where the buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope
play. Truth be told, the buffalo were a little more difficult
to find than we expected because most of them were hidden in the hills
prior to a massive round-up planned by park rangers and local citizenry
the week following our tour of the Black Hills National Forest and
Custer State Park. In addition to viewing the beautiful countryside
and wide-open spaces, the class 47th reunion featured a tour
of Ellsworth AFB, where we all had the opportunity to climb inside
a B-1B bomber. We then visited a work-in-progress known
as the Crazy Horse Monument, where after five decades of blasting
and sculpting the completion date is not anticipated for at least
another 50 years. The itinerary also included an evening tour of Mount
Rushmore, where members of the class participated in a flag lowering
ceremony after the impressive lighting of the monument was completed
and the national anthem was sung.
The next day included a visit to the historically notorious town of
Deadwood where Wild Bill Hickock was shot in the back at Nutall and
Manns Saloon Number 10 by Jack McCall on August 2nd, 1876 while
holding a poker hand of Aces and 8s--now forever known as the Dead
Mans Hand. After Deadwood, we took a break at the reunion
hotel in Rapid City to catch up on a little senior-citizen rest and
recuperation. After the R&R, we rallied for the final evening
banquet, where all the pilots had the opportunity to share some snippets
of things going on in their lives since the last reunion. One of our
number, namely George Hoffman, provided a humor-filled monologue
that was better than most of todays stand-up comics and left
us all laughing and crying for more. A really good time was had by
Abramsons Memorial Service at USAFA Cemetery, 7 October 2016.
L-R: Abes son, Greg; Abes
wife, Lorraine; Charlie Holland; Abes daughter, Jill.
THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS: On October
7th, we celebrated the life of our classmate Richard Abe
Abramson with a memorial service on a beautiful, crisp and
clear day at the Air Force Academy Cemetery. Rabbi Sarah Schechter
led the prayer service and Abes wife, Lorraine, thanked the
band of brothers from Black Jack (21st Squadron) and others in attendance
for their love and support of Abe and her family. The service was
marked by comments about the importance of the Academy in providing
Abe with eternal values of honor, self-less service, and integrity
that were embodied in his daily living and actions for the rest of
After the service, we carpooled to Gene and Jan Roses
beautiful home right outside the North Gate to attend a bountiful
reception with sumptuous amounts of food, beverages, and desserts.
On Saturday morning, Carl Janssen, led the Abramson family
and some of the 68 faithful on a special tour of the Academy
to include: the gymnasiums Olympic-size pool where Abe set so
many USAFA swimming records; the Visitors Center; the Cadet
Chapel; the new Polaris Hall, which houses the Center for Leadership
and Character Development; and a cadet-led tour of 21st Squadron in
Vandenberg Hall. That evening, Lorraine and her family hosted a farewell
dinner at Biaggis Restaurant in Colorado Springs, where tributes
and remembrances about Abe were offered by his brothers, Lorraine,
and classmates from Black Jack. In the sadness of Abes passing,
comes great joy in the life he led and the people he touched.
I have also been keeping our classmate Jeff Feinstein in my
prayers and asked Bill Hoge during the East Coast Reunion to
let me know how he is doing. Bill wrote: Per our conversation
at Ed Eberharts, I checked on Jeff Feinstein.
He is still in the Nursing Section at Covenant Place here in Sumter,
South Carolina. His recovery is taking a long time, but he welcomes
visitors and inquires. His contact information is as follows: Covenant
Place, 2825 Carter Road, Sumter, SC 29150, Cell: 803-469-7007.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: We should take time to reflect on the lives
of our fallen classmates. Mark Torreano has suggested that
we write reminiscences about the Gone But Not Forgotten
members of our class on our Class Website in the Memoriam section.
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