Well here it is another holiday season in Florida. I've been watching the cold fronts move through other parts of the U.S. with record-setting temperatures. The weather here has managed to stay in the 70s or 80s throughout most of December. That warm weather is hard on you; it makes you lay outside and get a suntan or go for a swim. It's a tough life but I use my cadet training to find the intestinal fortitude to face each day as it comes along. I deserve a medal for the sacrifices I make to stay in Florida.
Now for my first letter. I got this one from Mike QUINTON in early October. "I hope this makes it in time for the deadline (sorry it didn't Mike). I just got the Checkpoints last week. The San Diego area Redtags had our biannual mini-reunion on Sept. 29, before and during the Falcons-San Diego State football game. As the enclosed picture demonstrates, a good time was had by all, at least until the kickoff. The picture is intentionally blurred to make us look better. In case you can't recognize them, from left are: Larry HARMON, Brad BECK, Charlie HALE, Bob CONNOLLY, and Mike QUINTON. Dave BOCKELMAN also showed up but did not make it on time for the photo opportunity.
"To bring you up to date, Larry Harmon is with American Airlines and flies DC-9 captain out of Los Angeles. Larry and his wife, Lois, live in the Rancho Bernando area of San Diego and are enjoying the Southern California life in the San Diego suburbs. "Brad and Gail Beck came down for the game and mini-reunion from Lancaster, CA. Brad was with the B-1 program in Palmdale until it folded and is now enjoying retired life in the high desert. "Charlie and Pat Hale came down from Moreno Valley. Charlie retired from active duty a couple of years ago and is a flight simulator instructor with McDonnell Douglas at March AFB. "Bob and Pat Connolly also came down from the Riverside area where they have been since Bob retired from active duty in '82. Bob is with the B-2 program at Pico Rivera and Pat teaches first grade at one of the local elementary schools. They were looking forward to the imminent birth of a grandchild. And to think I knew both of them when they were just kids.
"As for yours truly, Judy and I are holding our own. I am still working at the U.S. Attorney's office where I do my best to fight the forces of evil and Judy continues to teach for the local community college district. Our daughter Alice is a junior at the University of California at Irvine (in Orange County).
"Dave Bockelman (not pictured) came down from San Pedro where he has continued to live since he retired last year. Dave is with Hughes at El Segundo in the hardware side of the satellite business. Dave also has a daughter attending the University of California; his youngest started at Berkeley this year.
"That's about all the gossip and rumors I know for now. I am sure there are other Redtags in the Southern California area who just have not gotten the word so I will repeat it for their benefit: WHENEVER THE AFA FALCONS PLAY IN SAN DIEGO (JACK MURPHY) STADIUM, THERE WILL BE A PREGAME TAILGATE/PEP RALLY IN AREA H-3 OF THE PARKING LOT STARTING TWO HOURS BEFORE KICKOFF. YOU ARE INVITED." Thanks for that letter, Mike.
Got a call from Jack SWONSON recently who was trying to locate a classmate. He updated me on his personal happenings. Now I have to try to decipher my notes. He's involved in fund-raising activities for the USAFA AOG Building Fund and the Alumni Fund. They are receiving lots of donations in memory of a classmate. His daughter Heidi is now stationed in San Antonio. If I remember correctly, she is an Air Force nurse. Her husband is an Air Force doctor who has a five-year residency in neurology at Wilford Hall. They have an 18-month-old son and Heidi is expecting again. Jack relayed that Gen. McDermott's wife, Alice, died of cancer the week that Jack called me. She was 71 and was buried at Ft Sam Houston. Polly Ann is doing great and Jack loves his job at USAA. He mentioned that Dave ROE is the USAA chief financial officer now. Thanks for the update, Jack.
I got a note for a change of address that I thought you would all find interesting in case you want to write to retirees overseas. It's from Ed JACKSON. "My address is listed now as: USMTM, PSC BOX 1436R, APO NY 09038. However, as a retiree in this area, my APO privileges are limited to first class mail weighing less than 12 ounces. Since arriving here, I have not received any copies of the quarterly magazine. I assume it is sent out bulk rate so the Post Office here is returning it. Request you change my mailing address to the following: WMI/SAT/E A Jackson, 4600 Lee Highway, Suite 230, Arlington, VA 22207. My mail will be forwarded through that organization.
Finally, I got a letter from Dick KLASS with some class news. "I trust you received the AOG mailing regarding the RTB's donating the $1,500 proceeds from our fire-damaged goods (largest dollar value was in 25th Reunion memorabilia) to the AOG Building Fund. The donations from Redtags have been quite astounding. We have gifts and pledges over $5,000 as of two weeks ago. (Dick's letter was dated 21 Dec.) Well Done.
"On another note, our 30th reunion is less than two years away. I'd love to hear some suggestions as to what we should do. At the request of the AOG, 1 have appointed an on-site point-of-contact for them to work with. (I repaid Jon STAPLES for his many years of RTB tailgate booze after the Army/Navy games with this high honor.) We are not committed to a USAFA-based function or any particular time of year or format. Anything from reliving a day of doolie summer at USAFA to rafting down the Colorado with Nels NIEMI. Let's hear the ideas.
"On a personal note you will find me in General Dynamics trying to do strategic planning in a chaotic world, to support GD sales in the Far East and Latin America and trying to survive the corporate 'right sizing'. You will find my 21-year-old son Will wandering on a junior year abroad somewhere between Katmandu and Karachi; my 16-year-old daughter Ingrid driving my car somewhere within 30 miles of the White House and my wife, Margo, wondering how she got involved in all this. All is normal. Keep up the good work. Five more years as Chief Scribe and you get an RTB retirement -- lifetime supply of throwing doughnuts. Cheers." Thanks for the news, Dick. I want to add my two cents worth: support the Building Fund. It's a great cause. Let's show the rest of the classes how generous we can be. If all you can afford now is $10, send it in. When you can afford another $10 or $25 or $47 or $72 or whatever, sent it in; it all adds up.
I received a letter from Ted and Marcy DYKES with their annual Christmas family photo that appears with this column. Here is the letter. "1990 will long go down in the family history books as a year to remember. In May, Chris married Sandy Bazis in a lovely formal wedding ceremony at St. Mathew's Cathedral in Washington. We had the reception here at our home and a good time was had by all. She is a wonderful girl and a true asset to our growing family. They are residing in Laurel, MD, which is about 15 minutes to each of their workplaces. They have a small apartment and are saving for their first home.
"Our other happy news is that Tammy is expecting her second child in August. We are so excited to know the patter of little feet will continue for some time to come. Tammy and Montana were here for the wedding and spoiling that grandson was a dream come true. He's a precious baby and loves to dance and swing to music. Montana will be on his way to Saudi before the New Year. Poor Tammy has sure been alone a lot, but such is the life in the military. "The tax revolt has taken a different turn in that Marcy has had to take over the helm most of this year. The year has been spent in many courtroom battles and on the front page of the newspapers and TV programs. One of our main lawsuits will be heard before the VA Supreme Court in January. Though not shy, Marcy has had to overcome her fear of mini-cams and public speaking which isn't easy. She even taught a government class for a day at George Mason University. Talk about personal growth! Now the pressure is on us to run for public office. The truly beneficial outcome of this whole experience is that two people can really make a difference. We have a legion of workers who have put their souls on the line and supported us to the hilt. A year and a half ago they said nothing could be done. We have been featured in statewide press and college students have been doing term papers on us, including those from William & Mary, VPI and GM. Here's wishing one and all a Holy and Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year. P.S. Redtags are still raising Hell!" Thanks for the letter Ted and Marcy. Keep plugging away at those tax-mongers.
Now for some change-of-address cards. Larry GOOCH has moved to Santa Maria, CA, where his new position with EG&G took him. George BIFOLCHI has left Redlands, CA, for Colorado Springs. No other info on the card so I assume it's a new job. George THOMPSON has moved from Lenoir to Kernersville, NC. Howie CARROLL has a new street address in Stowe, VT. And, finally, Charlie PRICE has changed addresses in Valdosta, GA. I'm at the limit for the length of the column. Not only that, I'm out of material. So it's time to say goodbye. Have a happy and satisfying and prosperous New Year.
SO LONG REDTAGS!