Dec 2000

Hi Redtags,

Well, There’s a Space Shuttle in space as I type, provisioning the Space Station for activation in the near future. We’re back flying again! But how are all of you doing? Let me know. Next issue is the Christmas issue and I need to get your Christmas cards and newsletters by 15 December. Put it on your calendars.

First an email from Gail & Peggy Peck. "All is well with the Pecks. We head for Houston tomorrow for a follow-up for Peggy at MD Anderson. She has done really well through the chemo ordeal. Now we are anxious to find out what’s next. Arrive Houston, get blood tests Tuesday and a CT scan and then see the docs on Wed – oncology and surgery.

Sorry we missed the cruise. I almost tried to make a last minute arrangement. Couldn’t get a flight into and out of Vancouver. Almost decided to fly the T210 up there but decided I didn’t have time to learn about Canada ADIZ., etc. Then my Dad got sick and it was just as well that we didn’t go. He is OK now but he gave us a scare." And we all wish Peggy the best results. Keep us informed.

Got a copy of a newspaper story about Tuck McAtee. Here are some excerpts. "Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. of Fort Worth announced that it will sell its T-50 trainer jet to South Korea before offering it to the United States military. The deal will make Lockheed the first US company to sell a military jet overseas before making a sale at home. ‘This is a unique situation. We’re truly a model.’ said Tuck McAtee, Lockheed Vice President, at the Farnborough International 2000 Air Show. "The Department of Defense has a plan for their trainers, and at this time there is no commitment from the U.S. Government,’ referring to the T-50. South Korea had the inside track on the T-50, known as the Golden Eagle, because Lockheed and Korean Aerospace Industries are developing it. "Both companies hope that the T-50 will find a home with one of the U.S. Military branches." Good luck with the T-50, Tuck.

And this from Jim Mack. "Here is a short synopsis of the first Redtag cruise – to Alaska. Mike Major is sending you a group photo to go with this little "travelogue". And how ‘bout them Falcons!!!

The first "occasional" Redtag cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas to Alaska (via the beautiful Inside Passage) was a smooth sailing success. Reveille for breakfast was normally 8-10 AM when most of the group would form up at the ship’s "Vista-dome" for breakfast, endless doughnuts and good stories. The Hubbard glacier day (See ‘group’ photo of Hal & Nancy Keck, Jim & Penny Mack, Terry & Mike Schieber, Monica & Duke Green, Karen & Ralph Spory, Rose & Dan Pemberton, Mike & Patti Major and Susan & Mitch Eckel.) was worth the trip!!! The beauty of the mini-reunion for us was that we could and did do fun stuff as a group or do our own thing on and off our beautiful ‘cruiser’ when we wanted. Sidetrips onshore had our intrepid Redtags taking train-rides, dog-sledding, salmon fishing, etc., etc. A few of us found our way to the Red Dog Saloon in Juneau (and we incredibly found our way back to our ship!) and Karen Spory even helicoptered onto Mendenhall Glacier. Rumor has it that maybe a year after the next reunion, we may try another practice cruise, perhaps through the Panama Canal, or around the Mediterranean, or ? ? ? .

Got a letter from Mike Major. "Enclosed photo of the Redtag contingent on the cruise ship in Alaska near the Hubbard glacier. A really good time, both restful and very enjoyable. Wish you and many others could have joined us. While you were missed, we had lots of fun without the whole crowd." I also got a letter from Dan Pemberton. "Jim Mack called looking for a picture of all of us who were on the Alaska cruise last month. The photo turned out pretty well and has 16 of us in it...Hope we can arrange another cruise in the future and promote it at the next reunion...Mike Major retired from Northrop-Grumman on August 30th. and Vern Wood retires from Delta Airlines on September 24th.

I got an email from Duke Green. "On June 1, Irmgard Monika Baker and I were married in a private ceremony in Dayton. As you may recall, we have been together for a number of years and decided it was time to make it official. D. K. Vaughan and Herb Weatherhead represented the class at our party. We are still in Dayton most of the year, but plan to spend increasingly more time at our place in Fort Myers."

Got this letter from Stan & Mary Anne Patrie. They sent me a menu from a Jamba Juice store. They said, "Couldn’t resist sending this (menu) along to you – we recently returned from Southern Calif. where we go several times a year for ‘baby fixes.’ While we were there we noticed EVERYWHERE these Jamba Juice stores – they make wonderful fruit and coffee smoothies and appear to be very successful. We were thinking that your last name is not exactly a common one, so if these are not family members that own this chain, maybe you might want to get to know them. We are well. Stan just finished his first year of retirement. He misses the flying but neither one of us has enough hours in the day. Thursdays, Stan hikes with a group from here and he has seen some wonderful waterfalls & views in the Pisgah Forest and Blue Ridge. After a year, we feel very comfortable with our decision to move here. We were very saddened to learn of Alphie Jackson’s death. We are glad that we had a chance to see Al & Alphie last January."

And this email from Fred & Helen Hendryx. "We are now in New Orleans for a week; quite a contrast from the deserts of Phoenix and Tucson last week. We left Tucson Monday and went thru El Paso staying in Van Horn TX. Nothing there but a wide spot in the road. We were in San Antonio for three nights and spent all the time down on the River Walk and Spanish Market. Saw the Alamo and three other mission churches built in the 1700's; all except the Alamo are still active parishes. Spent two nights in Houston near NASA. Toured Johnson Space Center; quite a difference from KSC. We did get to see the Mission Control Center and got an update on the shuttle mission. It was closing on the Space Station. Saw two astronauts in the CAPCOM since it was the one hour overlap in the shift change. Now we will be doing the tourist bit here visiting the French Quarter and sampling all the delicious food. When we leave here will be going back to Dallas Ft Worth to visit my younger brother.

I visited Murle & Kathy Wilson in Denver. Murle gave up his woodworking business, making knicknacks and Kathy selling these in various craft mini malls and craft shows in the area. After several months of retirement he went back to work. He now drives cars for one of the rental agencies at Denver Intl., working three days a week. Helen and I had dinner with Jim and Mary Kay Qualey in C Springs. He still promises to take me fly fishing when I come back and spend more time. Talked to Rudy Bow in Phoenix. He is still a corporate pilot but only for two more months. He retires when he turns 60. Sorry nothing more, I did not take notes. See you all in January."

And finally, I got this email from Randy & Lieu Schamberger. "We went to Europe for three weeks in late June-early July and had a great time. We spent 5 days in London. We went to Wimbledon. Waited in line for 3 hours just to get in the gate and then had to wait in line to get into standing room only areas to watch the play. Got to see a few famous names and then went home and watched it on TV.

Soon after we headed for France. We spent a week outside a little town called Foix, near Carcassonne, and then headed for a weekend in Barcelona, Spain. We drove about 5 hours through the Pyrenees to get there. What fabulous scenery! Barcelona was much nicer than France, in my opinion. The only bad thing about Barcelona was I got my pocket picked. Somebody threw some dark liquid on my shirt and shorts when we were walking though a shopping area. Some guy comes up and tries to clean me up and while he’s doing that he picks my right front pocket where I kept my wallet. But I caught him, so he hands it back to me and takes off. Those guys don’t want a confrontation. They say God protects idiots and small children. He was protecting me that day. I didn’t have much money, but had credit cards and ID’, etc. There’s not much I could do to report it to anyone. He was gone and I speak un poco Espanol.

But the rest of the trip was great. After the weekend, we headed back to France, this time to Lodeve, which is near the Mediterranean Coast. The beaches were nice but not as nice as we have here in Florida. No white sand - just powdered volcanic ash and brown sand. The water was very blue, however. The food over there was great, but they don’t eat dinner until about 9 or 10 at night, so we really had to adjust our schedules. Well, before we knew it, our time was up and we headed home. It was nice to visit for a change, but there’s still nothing like home sweet home."

Well, that’s it for now. Keep the emails and letters coming. I expect my next deadline to be 20 December. Give me your inputs by 15 December. Have a great holiday season.

Go Redtags!