Checkpoints Fall 2014
As always, I hope this finds everyone well and remembering how much fun we all had this summer. Even in the California desert trees are turning color (we have more than Joshua trees here…honest) and temps are finally lowering. We’re getting ready to fly to NY tomorrow for the USAFA-USMA game while spending some time with our Woop (Sophomore) and Zoomie (senior going to UPT) as well. As you can imagine, service academy games are never boring in our family (our Marine safely home from his infantry tour in Afghanistan wasn’t too impressed with AF v. Navy however).
I reported last quarter of the walking miracle that is Frank Gahren! I’m most happy to report that Frank continues to improve at a rapid rate. Back in late summer he went back to work full time as the Director of the Reading Enhancement Program at the Zoo. While back at the Academy for our final Parent’s Weekend in September, I was able to have breakfast with Frank and Kip Warton. It was great to see both of them again and I just marveled at how well Frank is doing after all he went through. There is no doubt in his retired military mind that besides Divine healing, the amazing outpouring from our class during his ordeal was a huge factor in his recovery—and continues to be. We took a quick happy snap as we were leaving so you can see just how much Frank has improved since he left the hospital last Spring (yeah, you have to look at my mug again and the only guy not wearing AF stuff—sincere apologies!). Kip is also staying busy with his UAV site manager job at USAFA and starting his PhD dissertation at Regent University.
Also last quarter I mentioned that Sal Speziale has opened up a high end Italian restaurant in the VA area and that a local get together was planned. It did go off as “fragged” with quite a few folks showing up. Smacko reported that dinner started at 7:00 PM and went until 10:00 with a severe good time had by all. Bill Troy brought along the our Freshman and Senior Polaris books with folks looking at pictures of all these young, slender kids “with lots of hair who had names like ours.” He also sent a great shot of the gang below. Left side front to back is Grace Hollerbach, Jeff and Marlene Brake, Pat and LC Greenwood Keye and Carol Sabol, and Elaine McVinney (Paul is just behind her but unfortunately out of view). Right side front to back is Bach Hollerbach, Puff and Diana Puffenbarger, Chris Krisinger, Mike Ausserer (in from Dayton), Pete Demitry, Bill and Carol Troy.
Well done as always Smacko!
Speaking of Puff and a small world, I ran into his brother Mike in October while I was at a Global Hawk related conference in Dayton. Mike coincidently goes by Puff, flew Buffs for many years and retired from the AF a few years back. He works in ACC/A5 and is involved in Global Hawk issues among other things. Puff also sent an update on what’s going on with his gang. Oldest son Mark (USAFA ’09 and now a Capt) was recently in Afghanistan as a contracting officer and rotated back at the end of September. As you may recall Mark had quite the battle with cancer during his USAFA time but graduated with a commission only medical. However, after 5 years of being cancer free and consistently fighting to get a medical waiver, he regained a pilot training slot and will be attending UFT at Columbus AFB, MS in January!
Daughter Haley (USAFA ’11 and a 1Lt) is racking up the hours as a C-17 pilot assigned to Charleston AFB, SC. She went to Altus AFB for Airdrop School upgrade back in September and already has over 500 hours in the jet. Youngest son Steven is a senior at the University of VA majoring in aerospace engineering. He’ll be hitting the job market hard early next year when he graduates. Well done Puff!
Joe Reheiser sent a couple of excellent updates and pictures (my apologies but I can only post one due to space limitations…will do my best to get them published next quarter) on the Atlanta crowd. Four couples from the greater area meet monthly for dinner (what a concept!). Initially (over 2 years ago) it was the Spears and Reheisers enjoying each other’s company and sharing dinner. Since then CD and Diane Smith along with Ted and Linda Truex have joined. They’ve gone to some of Atlanta's best restaurants, dinner theater where the diners join the actors, and even to baseball games. Selecting the dining location, and or activity rotates between the four couples. Since they don't live close to each other they’ve dined all over the Atlanta area. Glenn and Kim live in John's Creek, 20 miles north of Atlanta. CD and Diane have a condo in Mid-town Atlanta. Ted and Linda live in Peach Tree City, 35 miles southwest of Atlanta. Finally, Donna and Joe live in a small town 35 miles south of Atlanta. Back in September the group met at a high end Italian restaurant in Buckhead called Antica Posta for some excellent food and wine. Joe highly recommends the place to anyone visiting the Atlanta area. From left to right are: Joe and Donna Reheiser, Ted and Linda Truex, and Glenn and Kim Spears.
More folks, mostly from Wareagle 15 traveled to Atlanta the same month to play in the AOG golf event, attend the USAFA vs Georgia State tailgate and watch the game. Joe, Glenn and Kim, Glenn Frick, Ted Otero, and Suzzane and John Paterson met in a downtown Atlanta location (Max Lagers) on the Friday evening before the Saturday game. The next day, Glenn Frick (Charlotte, NC), Ted (C-Springs, CO), Mark Fulks (Youngstown, OH) and Joe played golf before the game. Joe mentions that: “We shot a 61, not bad for a mature foursome, and finished third overall. I should mention our foursome had the only caddies as Glenn Spears and John (C-Springs, CO) cracked jokes and basically had fun at our expense as they accompanied us for the entire round. Mark was visiting his son and Glenn, Joe, Glenn Frick, John and Ted (all from CS-15) sat together for the game where the USAFA fans outnumbered GA State by nearly 5 to 1 (winning the game had to make it all the more special). I think these guys (and CS-15) have certainly set the bar for the rest of us! Many thanks Joe for taking the time to send everything!
That’s a wrap for this quarter Gents, may everyone have a wonderful Fall and don’t forget to write your friendly scribe ☺.
´78 is Great!
Class of 1978 - United States Air Force Academy
as of 27 Feb 2016