I survived the infamous Ides of March and am enjoying a warm but wet St Patricks Day here in the Central Florida paradise. Lots of things happening in the Redtag realm. First, some sad news. Arlene HENDRYX succumbed to cancer in Ohio in February. Fred and family buried Arlene at the Academy cemetery a short time later. Some of the Redtags in the area attended the ceremony. Fred was very appreciative of the support he received from the class throughout the ordeal.
Colin RICHARDSON also expressed his thanks for the support he has received as he continues his battle against cancer. He has finished a round of chemo treatments and is now undergoing radiation treatments. As he told me a few days ago, he expects to start glowing in the dark. He is maintaining a good outlook on his situation. Drop him a line of support and encouragement.
Got a short burst from George HARRISON. "...Sure was nice to see you , if only for a few minutes, when you came through (in September.) Since then, I have had a spectacular experience- in October I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and in December, had a radical prostatectomy. The result is all good news, ie, they got it all and I wont need chemo or radiation. Ill also have all normal quality of life functions, as the surgeons so delicately put it. Im not going into all this in a sympathy bid. The real point is that I came out so well because I was detected early. If any of our classmates arent getting annual PSA tests, they need to do so. By the way, the hardest part of the whole process was my ignorance at the outset. I know a lot more now and am willing to pass my knowledge on to anyone in similar circumstances. Sorry about the long epistle on an unpleasant subject. I hope its helpful."
Got some news from Ron TAYLOR about his wife, Bobbie. She was diagnosed in early July with cancer. She went to Walter Reed in late July and was operated on 2 August. She had chemo done by the National Cancer Institutes. Ronnie has had his hair shaven to show support. Her form of cancer is normally very aggressive but she now has a better than 80% chance of living past five years. They are both planning to be at the reunion.
By the time you read this column, this news will be six months old. The people who are on the Internet and have e-mail have known about this and been writing to each other and receiving updates for the past six months. If any of you have e-mail addresses, let me know what your address is so that you can be included.
Got a late Christmas greeting from Hesh ALTMAN. Daughter, Jodi, graduated with honors from Palmer Chiropractic College and moved back to Las Vegas. Son, Joel, is engaged to be married in May. He was just promoted to Asst Dir for VIP Relations at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas. Wife, Bobbi, is a recruiting specialist with Kelly Services. Hesh is still Dir of EG&G Albuquerque Operations Business Dev. Thanks, Hesh. Got a late Holiday greeting from Bill HAUGEN. Bill and Sue are still living near Philadelphia. It is Sue not Ann as I mentioned in the Spring issue. Sorry! Bill is still selling MV-22s for Boeing. Daughter, Linda and USAF Maj Caise Vickery are at Wright-Pat. Daughter, Cindy, will be married this June and then move to Pittsburgh with husband, Elad Levy, who starts a neurosurgery residency. Son, Mike, was married to Stephanie Joseph in Sept and is working in Chicago. I have enclosed a family picture which was taken at their wedding. The Haugens stay in close touch with Chet and Evalee GRIFFIN, who moved into a new house recently south of Washington, DC. Also Bo and Nancy OHMANS daughter, Nanette, was accepted for USAFA this fall. Thanks for the news, Bill.
Got a Holidy newsletter from Charlie and Pat HALE. Son, Curtis, and Brigette moved into their renovated house. Results look good. Son, Charles, is still working for McDonnell Douglas in Long Beach. The Hales made a few trips last year including a wild rush into childhood at Disneyland.
Got an e-mail from George THOMPSON who is back in Pskov, Russia. The ice on the Veliki River is starting to break up. He is teaching Western Civ, American History and American Govt. He is planning to be back for the 35th reunion. Also just got an e-mail from Phil MERKEL. Phil wants to be added to the e-mail list and start corresponding. Got an e-mail from John BROTHERS who said hi and is now on the e-mail list. I have about 25 names already. Hope to reach 100 by years end. Lets go!
I downloaded my e-mail an hour ago and had a short note from Edgar Allen JACKSON. He and Alfie are planning a cruise in late April and will be in the local area here. Hope we can get together for an evening. By the way, I have a list of on line addresses. Ill be sending it out on the Internet periodically as it is updated.
Got an e-mail from Dave LYON saying his family had moved to a rental house in Kuna, ID., while they search for a new location on which to build a house. Got a short e-mail from Bob LIGHTSEY. More to follow.
Owen and Connie HAWKINS stopped by to visit Caroline and me in February. Our son-in-law was here on a TDY as a member of the investigation board that looked into the Delta rocket explosion at Cape Canaveral Air Station. We all had dinner out and had a good time. The 3:56 AM launch time discouraged Owen from seeing the launch of a Shuttle on a launch pass. We all watched it on TV replay. Owen has registered the Internet domain, Redtags.Org, for our use. Alternatively, Sam DEHNE has set up a Redtag home page on his home page. The address is: www.renocitizen.com/class62.htm.
Tune in to Sams page and give him your inputs to be included there. Let me know what your preferences are. Any other suggestions?
John FLANAGAN passed along an e-mail he got from an NCO at the Academy who was helping to put together an award to be presented to the Outstanding Military Advisor of the Year in honor of SMS William H Coltrin. I dont know if the NCO is still working on it or not. He is Tsgt Dayton F Rogalski, MTA CS-18, 719-333-6634. If any of you have supporting information, please contact Sgt Rogalski. Also got info on a possible mini reunion at the 50th Air Force Anniv in Las Vegas. Someone send me words and photo, pls.
Got an e-mail note from Jim MACK, several from Gail PECK, Pete ROBINSON, and Don SHEPPERD. I sent a reply to Dons note, to wit:" Who says Im healthy? Im about 100 lbs overweight, have some arthritis, have high blood pressure controlled by medication and have been declared by my family as the king of flatulence. And when people ask me how Im doing I say Outstanding. About 10-15 years ago, I used to overhear some of the many retirees in this area talking to each other about the many ailments they or their mutual friends had contracted. I thought that they sounded very morbid and that when I got to their age I would not have to worry about things like that and that I would talk about happier things. Well, here I am talking about things like that and it almost sounds natural. I guess that when you are younger, you talk about your kids and bore the hell out of older people. Now that you are the older people, you talk about ailments and bore the hell out of the younger set. Such is life. But boy do I feel good today."
Some of the news in this issue was sad. I hated to be the one to carry the message. But thats why I get paid such big bucks by you. As we sprint ....totter... into retirement and old age, the column will have some sad news from time to time. I think that it is important to let our classmates know when someone is having troubles so that the support network can go to work to make the time seem more bearable. When I get news, I will assume that it is for publication unless you tell me otherwise. If it is a sensitive and delicate matter, then I will call to ask your permission.
One more plug for the internet and e-mail. Send me your e-mail addresses. Avoid that 3 month delay to catch up on news. See you at the 35th. Cheers,