Well here we go again. Caroline and I will be heading for the Springs in five days to spend the time with family. I will probably stop out to tour the Old Place again. Should be fun. Got some Christmas newsletters which I will have to paraphrase to meet my space limits.
First, I got a letter from Randy SCHAMBERGER: I can't believe we're planning for the 35th reunion already. But it'll be here before we know it. We (Lieu and 1) just had our 25th anniversary (in July) and we celebrated by going on our first cruise. After a white-knuckle flight to Miami we had a glorious seven-day cruise of the eastern Caribbean. In all my years of Air Force flying, I've never encountered turbulence like we had on the Tampa-to-Miami leg. Of course, all the screaming civilians didn't help matters much. Anyway, it looks like we took our cruise just in time. All the Caribbean islands are being methodically wiped out by the forces of nature. Maybe we'll try to cruise Alaska next time. Earthquakes, anyone? Lots of Redtags in the local area now: Mike BUTCHKO, Dave PEDERSON, and Dick HOFFERT; that's not lots, is it? Anyway, we see each other occasionally. We don't run in the same social circles ... they're wimpy golfers and I'm a dawn-to-dusk tennis nut ... I play 2-3 hours per day, five days a week. Got to leave some time for family ... See you in '97." Thanks for the letter, Randy. By the way, Caroline and I celebrated our 25th anniversary, too, in July. I went to a Toastmasters Conference in Nassau, Bahamas. After the conference, we spent four days on our own. What a great time we had. The Bahamians know how to have a party. See you in '97.
Got a letter from Peter ROBINSON in October. "I got the message in the Summer Checkpoints that it was about time to send you a note. I retired at the end of June and Pat and I took off about 10 days later on a second honeymoon ... We visited Tahiti, Australia (Canberra, Sydney and Cairns), Indonesia (Bali and Java), Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand (Chaingmai and Bangkok) ... I would recommend Bali to anyone who is looking for someplace different to visit ... We had decided some time ago to settle in Albuquerque after retiring." After some apartment living they had a house built which they have occupied by now. They're developing contacts and looking for a second career. There's an active grads association chapter there and he occasionally runs into John BROTHERS and Hesh ALTMAN. They saw the New Mexico football game in Sept and really enjoyed the victory. Thanks for the update, Pete. Let me know what happens on the job market.
Got a card and newsletter from Ted and Marcy DYKES. They sent along a picture of them with Alex Drebek of Jeopardy fame. Ted received recognition award from the wine industry and Alex awarded him the elegant tray. Previous winners were Willard Scott and John Warner. Al" owns a winery in California and is a known connoisseur and collector of fine wine. Marcy ran for office as a county board of supervisors member. In a three-way primary, she got one third the vote and came in second. They are going to be grandparents again, by the way of daughter Tammy who is expecting #3. Lou is in first grade and a blue belt in karate. Joe is in pre-school. Hubby, Montana, made major in the Marine Corps. He recently ran in the JFK 50-mile ultra-marathon and finished in 13 hours. (Way to go; I couldn't finish in 13 months.) Chris and Sandy are traveling and working hard. Chris designs neonatal equipment. Sandy is a nurse and gets to use some of his designed equipment in her work. He stays busy with his side design business and will be doing the bulk food section for Giant food chain. Marcy continues to be the nemesis of the county trying to keep them honest. She wants to revive her glass business from five years ago. Thanks for the news and pictures. Have a great year.
Got a newsletter and card from Willie and Nancy GRAY. This will be their 13th year at the current address, just down the road from us in Satellite Beach. Nancy hints about a return to Nebraska but Willie thinks Florida is just fine. I wonder which team Willie will cheer for in the Fiesta Bowl. Willie is still working for Lockheed Martin Services Group and is currently working on the bid for the contract at Vandenberg. But he continues to think of real retirement with increased frequency. His golf game has been severely impaired lately because of a torn rotator cuff. He had orthoscopic surgery scheduled last week but had some heart problems during prep. "Fear," he says. It's been rescheduled. Nancy still teaches at a local Montessori school, 1st and 2nd grades. Her busy schedule keeps her out of the malls, much to Willie's delight. She keeps busy with her singing in the Praise Singers, a church choir. Willie is always on the road especially with his commuting between Satellite Beach and the latest proposal location. But Nancy did manage to go with Willie on a trip to Colorado Springs and a family visit to Minnesota. Daughter Christine is still in grad school at the U of Florida. She and hubby, John, are busy with school, work and two kittens. Son Larry is enjoying life in Atlanta. He is working in a restaurant there while his band, Rheum, waits to be discovered any day now. (Willie says unfortunately they only play at night.) Thanks for the news. Hope to see you both soon in the neighborhood.
Got a card and newsletter from Charlie and Mary Jo PRICE. "Merry Christmas from the Prices in sunny Valdosta, GA. It has been an uneventful year compared to some recent ones. No moves, no promotions, no holes-in-one, no new pets, etc. We did take a couple of fun trips that were unique. In March, Charlie traveled to Phoenix for a company wide business meeting. During the meeting, the company made a surprise presentation of an award to Charlie. Part of the surprise was their flying Mary Jo out from Valdosta to be there for the presentation. It was a true surprise, and in addition we had a great time playing golf in the desert. Later in the year, as our 30th anniversary present to each other, we golfed for three days at Pinehurst, NC. Pinehurst is our equivalent to Scotland's St Andrews. It is always a thrill for us to play golf at a place so much a part of our golfing history ... Keep us posted. We invite you to come by and see us. Lady Maxine of Bellemeade is one year more 'slightly spoiled.' If you like dogs, you'll love Maxie." Thanks for the update. With you being so close, maybe one of us can scratch out a visit this year.
Got a copy of Sam DEHNE's Reno Citizen. He was part of a local voter revolt about the proposed plan to condemn a neighborhood for noise pollution. Looked like it was a successful campaign. Good work Sam. You know, I still have a hard time calling you Sam after calling you Dennis for 30 + years. Anyway, thanks for the periodic updates.
Got a letter from Charlie and Pat HALE. Charlie is now employed at the March Federal Credit Union as VP of Administration. So they get to stay in the house near the kids. Curt and Bridgette just got their first house. It's a fixer-upper but they like that challenge. And they're only a half hour from the Hales. Other son, Charles, is still going to school and working for McDonnell Douglas. He is almost finished with his second year. It's difficult making schedules to match with class offerings. But he's hanging in there. In the spring, Pat and Charlie spent a week in New Orleans. They recommend the Pete Fountain Show. But in October, Pat's dad died from cancer. Pat had spent two months with him in North Carolina. They also said that Stan PATRIE's dad passed away in late November. They knew him well and were grieved by his passing. Thanks for the news.
Got a letter from Larry and Penny GOOCH. They're still in Cleveland (What Browns?) and he is still with Analex. They just had an annual physical and are fine except for some of the natural aging process problems. (Larry, every morning as I prepare to leave for work, I say tenderly: "Nurse, throw my arms around around my wife so I can kiss her goodbye.") Larry is now officially a senior citizen. (All the dogs in his neighborhood bark: 'AARP, AARP, AARP'.) They had quite a few trips including Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Rochester, middle Michigan, San Antonio, Denver, 12 days in Scotland and more. Larry's company got a five-year renewal on its contract for NASA. Larry invites all to come to Cleveland. He calls it a grand city and brags about a championship baseball team, a new Rock and Roll hall of fame, a great theater district, a superb metro-park system and the NFL Possums-at home they play dead and they get killed on the road. Kids update: Laura got her MA in counseling and is in foster care counseling in Shasta, CA. Winnie is expanding her jewelry line and consulting with Oracle software. Jennifer is thriving at Coors-she isn't CEO yet but tomorrow is another day. Their sons-in-law are busy learning the lessons that Larry has been following for 33 + years: don't sass the lineage of Grandma Musa. Thanks for the words Larry. I look forward to seeing you at Space Congress if you visit this year.
In September, I visited Colorado Springs and touched base with Jon STAPLES. He invited me over for dinner. Had a great time with his family and neighbor. After dinner it was time to head back to my hotel. I am enclosing two pictures: one was taken in his house and the other one was in his driveway. When I entered his house, the roads were clear. As you can see, there was an early snowfall. I eat slowly and I can sometimes eat more than the normal bear. But I know I wasn't at Jon's house long enough to have that much snow accumulate. I suspect he has a snowmaking machine in his garage or on the Mountainside. Probably some kind of Colorado practical joke. It wasn't too harsh and was melting by the time I reached the interstate.
One change of address: Al JACKSON left Oklahoma City and is now living in Mary Esther, FL. That's it for now. Have a great year and send in your updates when you read this column. Go Redtags!