Return to Scribe Page

Class Notes

USMA 1958

  September 2017


Corrections for August Class Notes.  First, a serious omission corrected by John Devens H1 CCQ, who quickly sent me an email as follows: “George, you missed Dan Carter's passing on 6/15/17.  H1 would like to have him remembered in your notes.  John Devens, H1 CCQ.”  Thank you, John.  My apologies to the Carter family, the rest of H1 and the class.  Scribe had the information about Dan’s death, but missed it in the notes.  No excuse, sir!

 This is sad information to begin this edition, but it leads off the Class Notes so that it does not happen twice in a row.  Dan Carter’s is another good entry in the 50-year book with a great photo of his shirt with class crest.  And, this becomes another chance for Scribe to encourage your reading Dan’s entry in the 50-year book.  While you are at it, read the whole book!  Let me know when you have read it all.  Special thanks to H1 CCQ John Devens for pointing out my omission in August notes.  As Scribe recalls, John and Dan were cadet roommates.

 So that I do not repeat the error corrected in the first paragraph above, I must sadly record in these Class Notes the death of Joseph D Keyes, D2.  Joe died on 16 August 2017.  Our prayers are with his wife Jan, their daughters and the rest of their family.  Joe is another with a great entry in the 50-year book which I just re-read.  It is a fascinating account of his transition from Infantry command track to computer combat simulation.  I encourage you to read Joe’s complete entry.  Joe is our 225th graduated classmate to have joined the Ghostly Assemblage.

 And, another late addition to the beginning of these Class Notes – Suzanne (better known as Suzi) Spurlock, widow of Lon Spurlock I1, died in her sleep on 22 August 2017 at Knollwood (Army retirement community).  Most will remember that Lon was KIA almost 50 years ago on 28 March 1969 while serving as a battalion S-3 in the 1st Infantry Division in VN.  There will be a memorial service for Suzi at Knollwood on 10 September at 1:30 pm.  She will be buried at West Point with Lon on 2 October.  Also at 1:30 pm.  They are together again at long last.  May they rest in peace.  Thanks to Tony Smith I1 and Jack Downing H2 for passing along the information.  Scribe hopes the DC gang can attend the service at Knollwood and that some will be able to attend Suzi’s burial at West Point.  Suzi was our 92d wife to pass to the next phase of life beyond this earthly existence.

And now another correction to prior Class Notes.  Last time various class email addresses were listed along with info on making changes or corrections.  For the record, please send snail mail address or telephone number changes to George Lawton G2 via his email or snail mail addresses.  Email or snail mail to George C Lawton, 11900 Paradise Lane, Herndon VA 20171-1519.  You can always call George at 703-715-0068.  You may get lucky and reach Mary Jane rather than George.  And, if you cannot reach George Lawton, you can call John Nun A2 at his Virginia number 703-317-9347 (Nov-Apr) or during the summer at his telephone number in Maine 207-655-2217.  Again, you might luck out and get Mimi at either number if she is not out selling houses to keep John in the style to which he has become accustomed.  And, if you do contact either (or both) Lawton and Nun via email, send a copy to Pete Trainor G1 for his class snail mail roster.  Pete’s email is and telephone is 757-345-3564 or cell 757-773-4470.  And, the advantage of calling on the telephone is the chance of reaching Vicki.  While you are at it, send me a copy of your email to Lawton and Trainor with your address and/or news.  Love to hear from you!

 2015 WPAOG Register corrections.  We have some class offspring whose register entries do not have the helmet which indicates they are descendants of graduates and are not listed on page 3-31 along with other class offspring.  One such omission is Sean M Coffey USMA 2013 (more below from his grandmother Gerry).  Another is Matthew L Brown 2007, grandson of Lynn Hale Allen.  Sadly, both of their grandfathers Ray Coffey F2 and Ed Hale L2 have died.  No doubt these Register entries need corrections.  I think the rest of our offspring, sons/daughters and grandchildren are properly indicated with helmets in front of their names.  I suggest that all classmates with offspring (grads or former cadets) look at their own Register entries and those of company-mates to insure accuracy, especially the genealogical accuracy.  Not a bad idea for CCQs to check on the Register entries for their company-mates.  More info about Register entries for offspring follows.

 Now to new information and/or poop not used last time in August class notes.  From John Schroeder M2 in an email to Jack Downing H2 with information on the funeral for Bob Tallgren M2: “Just received word that Robert's service will be on Thursday September 28 at 1:30 pm in the Old Cadet Chapel.  Do you have any guidance for family who are out of town and planning to attend the service?  I have a call in to the AOG, but if you have anything let me know.  Tough couple of months for the class.”  To which your Scribe can only add AMEN.

 No doubt Jack Downing will pass along more timely information than these class notes for anyone who can attend Tallgren’s final Parade and service at Old Cadet Chapel.  Scribe remembers car-pooling with Bob at Ft Rucker in advanced flight school and instrument training.  We lived in the Barbara Ann Motel in Ozark from July-November 1959.  This portion of flight school followed our being the final Army class to graduate from Camp Gary in San Marcos TX in June of 1959.  “Where have all the young men gone?  Gone for Soldiers everyone.  When will they ever learn?  When will they ever learn?” – close to the words from a song in our younger days.  As I recall, Peter, Paul and Mary sang it.  And, Bob Tallgren’s is another great write-up in 50-year book.

 More follow-up information from funeral for Doug Sedgwick G1.  This might be useful to anyone attending Bob Tallgren’s funeral on 28 Sep: “Hello Andy, et al -- We stayed at the Beat Navy House on post, which was outstanding and could not have been more convenient.  Natalia Lucero (, with WPAOG was incredibly helpful in every detail of the service including helping us secure rooms.  Interestingly enough, it’s also listed publicly here:  But through AOG family members have priority.  Let me know if there’s more I can do to be of help.  With warm regards, Laurie.”  This info was provided by Laurie D. Sedgwick, Director of Career Management, Executive MBA Programs and Alumni, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, 142A Sage Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853 Phone: 607.255.4838, Fax: 607.254.4222,,

 A word to the wise for those attending funerals or other functions at West Point: Military ID cards make it easier to get admitted to West Point these days.  And, for those with no DOD ID card, I think you can contact WPAOG before going to West Point to see if they have any hints for making it easier to get on-post.

 Class widows.  Scribe has spoken to Audrey Webb I2 who, along with Betsy Hall H2 and Margie Downing H2, constitute our “Widows Outreach Team.”  And, I received an informative email from Stan Bacon I2 CCQ.  Much of this info was in August Class Notes, but it bears repeating.  Stan wrote and Scribe quotes: “Class Widows List – the widows email list address is <>.  It currently has 34 subscribers. Those who would like to subscribe, please contact Margie Downing H2, the list moderator at <>.  Margie, along with Betsy Hall H2 and Audrey Webb I2 comprise the Widows Outreach Team. Our thanks to Sue Kernan C1 who established the widows email list and web site at <> in 2001."  Scribe adds my personal “well done” for Sue’s getting the widows organized.  And to Audrey, Betsy and Margie for continuing the work begun by Sue.  It should be noted that Margie Downing is not a widow, but is helping Audrey and Betsy with her computer skills and is, therefore, a member of the Widows Outreach Team.

Back to Stan who continued: “We (Webbs and Kernans) lived next door to each other at WP from 1969 to 1971.  Sue is well known and liked by many in the class and we encouraged her to rejoin by attending our 30th reunion together, which she did.  As I described earlier, she filled a major gap in supporting our class widows support effort.  Stan.”  Scribe hastens to point out here that Sue is not Jim Kenan’s widow – they divorced years ago.  FYI -- Jim’s widow is Eve Kernan C1 and I am working on Eve’s contact information along with Jerry Mitchell C1 CCQ and Dick Price B1 CCQ, who is in contact with Eve.

An email from Nick Carlson B1 had this information: “There is little to tell from my end.  I left San Francisco at the end of 2013, had lived there for 33 years.  I'm now back in Vacaville which for those who have traveled in these parts is the town associated with the Nut Tree Restaurant and shops, now all changed.  My ex, Cookie, still lives here and I see her frequently, especially at our Episcopal Church where she is the deacon.  My daughter Margaret is also a deacon but in Minneapolis.  Glad to have read that Bob Bunker's son is now in Seminary.  The number of men in Seminary these days is extremely low.  Thanks to the women who have taken the call.”

 Nick’s email continues: “I was traveling some in past years but have quieted down a bit.  I may go to Chile later this year to see Santiago since my trip last year was only to Iquique on the edge of the Atacama desert.  My next trip is back to Minneapolis in early September for my granddaughter's wedding.  She just graduated from U of Chicago with an MA in non-profit management.  Her fiancé is an attorney in international law working in New York.  They will live in that area.”

 New Plebes.  It appears we had three grandsons sworn in as New Cadets in early July.  Having completed Beast Barracks, they are now full-fledged Plebes in the class of 2021.  Can you believe it: 2021?  An email from Peter Bahnsen C2 provided this information: “So far by my count there are grandsons of Ray Coffey, Dick Graves and my grandson Peter G Echevarria.  Are there any more?”  Scribe pleads ignorance, but is checking with Tony Smith I1, who along with Jack Downing H2 makes presentations to class offspring who graduate.  Tony keeps up with them from the time they enter as New Cadets, become Plebes then progress as Yearlings and Cows and First Classmen all the way through to graduation.  I asked Tony for information.  He PROMPLY sent an old email of mine with data.  I then had to ask Tony for my old email a second time.  His computer filing is much better than mine.

From an earlier email, Gerry Coffey F2 provided this information about her class of 2021 grandson: “Our grandson, Sean Coffey's younger brother, Greg, studied little in school and was hardly a sterling high school grad.  He enlisted shortly after graduation and was eventually assigned to Syria where, bored to death, he started going to the gym, was inspired by some of his Army buddies and, to make a long story shorter, last week he graduated from USMAPS and will soon be joining the class of 2021.”  End of quote from Gerry.

 Scribe’s addition: older brother Sean Coffey is USMA Class of 2013 and now his younger brother Greg is a Plebe in 2021.  Their aunt, who is Ray and Gerry’s daughter Valerie, graduated in 1985, a USMA classmate of Meg Roosma, daughter of Garry & Jill H2.  Meg retired as a colonel a few years ago.  Valerie was a LTC in USAR, but Scribe thinks she must be retired by now.  Talk about a black, gold and gray families: Roosmas and Coffeys!  And your Scribe notes for the record that Ray Coffey F2 and Dick Smith F2 were my roommates in 3d New Cadet Company during our Beast Barracks way back in July 1954.  Sadly, Ray died 5 Jun 2009, missing his grandsons when they joined the Long Gray Line.  Ray Coffey kept up with Dick Smith, they were roommates in F2, but your Scribe has not heard from Dick for far too many years.  I hope to see him at our 60th next April.

And further information from Bob Shellenberger L2 CCQ about Matthew L Brown (63221) Class of 2007, grandson of Ed & Lynn Hale L2 (now Lynn Hale Allen): “Don't know what kind of match you are looking for but I felt I should go to a highly reliable source. Had a delightful chat with Lynn (Hale) Allen (Ed's widow) and, among other things confirmed, that Matthew Lee Brown is indeed the grandson of Edward Gordon Hale Jr.  Matthew is now a captain, recently graduated from Georgia Tech with a Masters in Aerospace Engineering and is going to Navy Test Pilot School! Not sure what else I can provide in the way of help so hope this will seal the deal.”

I followed my own advice and looked in the 2015 Register of Graduates and Former Cadets for offspring of classmates in addition to those already mentioned (who will be mentioned again).  The following classmates have children and/or grandchildren listed in the Register – provided here because some of you saved money by not buying the Register (too cheap to buy the Register?) and/or might be too lazy to look up the information (too lazy, not 1958).  And your Scribe needs something to write about in these Class Notes.

So, here goes: Paul Johnson L2 has son Jay K Johnson (41236-1984); George Robertson H1 has son Russell G Robertson (39696-1982); Ray Coffey F2 (died 5 Jun 2009) has daughter Valerie G Coffey (41990-1985) and grandsons (nephews of Valerie) Sean M Coffey (69389-2013) and his Plebe brother Greg; Bob Grete M2 has grandson Robert D Grete (65442-2009); Alan Claflin B2 (died 21 Nov 2000) has son Robert A Claflin (41978-1985); Ron Hudson L2 has son Dale E Hudson (42254-1985); Dave Clarke D1 has son Timothy R Clarke (44046-1987); Mil Pederson F1 (died 27 May 2014) has son William M Pederson (39640-1982, ret LTC); Paul Bons C1 has son Vincent C Bons (42960-1986 ret LTC) and grandson Michael J Hill (63503-2007); Bill Gillette D2 has daughter Deborah Gillette Nagel (39309-1982); Bud Moentmann C1 has son James E Moentmann (38665-1981) along with grandsons Thomas W Moentmann (66691-2010) and Grant Peterson (71044-2014); Dale Hruby L2 has son Dale E Hruby II (40306-1983); Mike Daley I2 has granddaughter Briana C Burnstad (71524-2015); Fred Kulick H1 has son Todd A Kulick (40383-1983); Ken Herberger L1 has grandson Christian P Herberger (70690-2014); Mel Drisko K1 (died 23 Jun 2005) has son Michael D S Drisko (47181-1990); Wes Loffert H1 has son John W Loffert Jr (42371-1985); Pat Donovan G2 (died 4 Oct 2002) has son Michael E Donovan (38305-1981) and grandson James E Link III (70856-2014); Will Merrill C1 has sons Will G Merrill III (40471-1983) and Michael F Merrill (41381-1984).

Longer than expected, therefore, Scribe is breaking up the paragraph.  John Devens H1 has grandson Michael W Devens Jr (69450-2013); Dick Thomas E2 has son Clifton R Thomas (42710-1985); Ed Weckel D1 has son Thomas E Weckel (41731-1984); Tom Kelly C1 (died 8 Nov 1997) has son Kevin W Kelly (37547-1980); Garry Roosma H2 has daughter Margaret (Meg) A Roosma (42583-1985); Dick Graves M1 has sons William W Graves (39323-1982) and Thomas C Graves (43215-1986) along with grandson Collin W Graves (67470-2011) and his Plebe grandson whose name escaped from my brain; Gary Graves C1 has son Scott A Graves (46221-1989); Bob Finkenaur H1 has son Robert G Finkenaur III (40186-1983); Link Jones I1 (died 16 Jan 2013) has son Peter L Jones (42290-1985 -- who just retired in August as an Army BG and “day before yesterday” was a Webelos Scout when I was his Den Chief in Colorado Springs); Heyward Hutson E1 has two sons Heyward G Hutson III (47336-1990) and his brother Robert W Hutson (47337-1990); Daryl Jaschen K1 has son Daryl D Jaschen (39418-1982 -- who was promoted to BG in 2014); Corky Henninger E2 has son Kermit P Henninger (38461-1981); Ed Lucci K1 has son Edward B Lucci 40422-1983 – went to medical school); Ed Hale L2 (died 8 Jun 1966) has grandson Matthew L Brown (63221-2007); Bill Buchly B2 has son William P King (43350-1986); Ray Tomlinson E1 has son Roy C Tomlinson (43761-1986); Stan Slater E1 (died 5 Aug 2001) has son Scott C Slater (53668-1996); Dick Bauchspies F1 (died 16 Mar 2009) has grandson Brandon B Lawrence (67661-2011).  End of list.  Pretty sure that Scott Slater is our last “child,” but he is no longer a child.  If I missed anyone it should prompt some email or phone calls.  And, the parents should encourage these younger grads to update their Register entries.  That admonishment goes to our 1958 classmates as well.

Long Gray Line prompts a question Scribe has pondered before: when did the Long Grey Line as it was called in our 1954 Bugle Notes become the Long Gray Line?  For the non-English hives here the question is one of spelling the word: grey or gray?  Beats me.  Any answers from readers?  Hope so.  Meanwhile, I much prefer the spelling gray in Long Gray Line rather than grey.  But, when did it change?  Sometime after our Plebe year, but when?

 March Back.  Scribe returned from West Point on Monday 14 Aug after participating in the shorter March Back from the Ski Slope.  While there I saw our full March Backers Wally Ward M1, Ed Weckel D1, Will Collett L1.  They were our three classmates who walked to whole way with the New Cadets from Camp Buckner to West Point.  This was the 18th March Back for Wally and Ed and 17th for Will.  For the record, Wally was the oldest March Backer and led all the grads during the shorter March Back from the Ski Slope to the Supe’s quarters!  And, for the record, these three Marchers were accompanied to West Point by their wives Jo Ward, Cathy Weckel and Andrea Collett.  Scribe enjoyed dinner with the Wards and Weckels on Saturday and all three couples on Sunday.

 Also seen at West Point were the other two other classmates who participated in the shorter March Back from the Ski Slope.  One was Dick Graves M1, father of grads William W Graves 1982 and Thomas C Graves 1986, both of whom marched back as well.  The older son William has a son Colin Walter Graves USMA 2011 (hope this is correct, my notes are fuzzy here).  Proud father and grandfather Dick was there with his wife, mother and grandmother Bev.  Another classmate seen was Dale Hruby M2 who was there with wife Dodie.  I enjoyed lunch with Dale and Dodie after the March Back while Dick and Bev sat with their sons.  It bears repeating so that it is not lost in the noise of this column, we have three grandsons in the class of 2021 who will graduate 63 years after our graduation.  Wow!  Think about it – 63 years!  This info is in the truly difficult to believe category.

Here is a link to March Back photos, I think, but I could not open it.  Beats me.  You try it.

Ski Mini Reunions.  The class has a ski reunion web page.  Skiers should go to the ski reunion web page and not rely on your non-skier Scribe.  Here is a partial list of the Ski Reunions for the past number of years.  Sorry I do not have the actual dates.  Contact one of the skiers for more information, especially about future skiing reunions like next year in 2018.  2017 was in Snowmass CO.  2016 Park City UT.  2015 and 2014 Snowmass CO.  2013 was somewhere, but I have no info.  2012 and 2011 Snowmass CO.  2010 Big Mountain Whitefish MT.  2009 Heavenly Valley.  2008 Park City UT.  2007 Breckenridge CO.  2006 Steamboat Springs CO.  2005 Steamboat Springs CO.  2004 Park City UT.  2003 Copper Mountain CO.  2003 Whistle BC Canada.  2001 Breckenridge CO.  2000 Austria.  1999 Keystone/Breckenridge (Summit County) CO.  1998 Alta UT.  1997 Breckenridge CO.

 Mini Reunions.  Our first Class Mini Reunion was in Palm Springs CA in the year of 1989 hosted by Dick & Marg Groves K1.  In fact, it was organized by their daughters.  This Mini was our 31st Reunion.  Sadly, both Dick and Marg have died.  I believe the Ski Minis began a few years after our first Class Mini Reunion, but I cannot find my notes.  Perhaps Palmer McGrew I2 can help on the history of Ski Reunions which began after the Mini in Winter Park CO a few years after Palm Springs.  The first Ski Mini might have been in 1997, in which case this is a complete list of the Skiing Reunions.

 Elvis Presley and the Class of 1958.  Scribe asked a question about Elvis and his Army service with classmates and was fortunate to receive many replies which are reported in random order.

 From Tom Morgan A2: “I liked a story that I read in a magazine some years ago where Elvis agreed to put on a show at Fort Hood at the NCO Club. The wives in attendance got so excited that they tore his uniform off his back. He had to be reimbursed for his uniform.”

 From Dale Hruby M2: “Last year while returning from an Ohio family wedding, we stopped for gas in a small West Virginia village about two miles off the Interstate.  The place was a kind of one-pump, Mom & Pop operation featuring nightcrawlers and beer in addition to cheap gas. In a corner near the cash register was a kind of floor to ceiling shrine to Elvis featuring a whole bunch of newspaper articles, magazine covers, and photos of the owner (not present) who had served with Elvis in 1/32 Armor in Friedberg.  I am sorry I didn't write down the names of the place and of the owner, but serving with Elvis was clearly the highlight of the man's life.  And from an earlier email reply from Dale: George -- I think it was probably John Brinson who was in the 32d Armor in Friedberg in 1959 when Elvis was in their scout platoon.”

 From Tony Smith I1: “I recall that he (Elvis) was in Lon Spurlock's unit, whether that was Lon's platoon, company, or battalion I do not recall.  Bill Taylor, not a USMA grad, but whom many of us know from his time as a Sosh P, first from 1965-68 and then later for many years as a PAP (Permanent Associate Professor), was Presley's platoon leader and wrote a book about it, ‘Elvis in the Army.’  The book is available in paperback (used) on Amazon for $3.84 and has great reviews.  Bill Taylor - RIP - was himself a bit of a legend.”

 Tony’s reply prompted one from John Brinson C2: “Tony, Lon Spurlock I1 and Dick Lynch I1 too were in 2/52 Infantry, CCC, 3AD, Ray Barracks, Friedberg. Presley was not in 2/52 Infantry, and Lon was never his CO.  William Taylor was Presley’s platoon leader prior to March 1959.  After him, and until Presley left in 1960, the Scout Platoon leader was 1LT Richard Coffman, an outstanding young officer and Korean War veteran. The Platoon Sergeant was SSgt Billy Wilson, another Korean War vet, a great soldier.  Presley was his driver.”

 And in another reply from John: “Dick Coffman was Elvis’ scout platoon leader for Elvis’ last year in the Army, 1959-1960.  He had a great record in Korea as an enlisted man, was commissioned after college, and served in Germany and later in Vietnam.  Perhaps some of you Armor files will remember him.  I knew him and his wife Betsy well, and thought he was a great soldier.  He was rare because he had fought in Korea, rising to Master Sergeant and earning many decorations, before college and commission as an Armor Officer in 1957.  He retired as a Colonel.  He had a wry sense of humor, imitating crybaby soldiers: ‘it’s not my fault – nobody told me.’  To my dying day, I will regret resigning and missing serving with the likes of Dick Coffman - and many of you.”

 From Jack Bradshaw M2 about Dick Coffman: “These days anyone who has worn a uniform is called a hero.  Maybe because all other public institutions enjoy so little admiration.  It is invigorating to read about a real hero, John.  Thanks.”

 From Joe Schwar I2: “John Brinson correctly reported on Elvis (at least my recollection is the same as his).  I was in the infantry battalion in CCB of 3rd AD.  Those were the days of post level football.  I remember the Sunday afternoon the CCB played CCC. Elvis was there.  Had an MP detail to keep the crowds away.  As a 2d Lt I was above asking a lowly soldier for his autograph so I did the next best thing.  I sent Pat to stand in line and get his autograph.  She got it.  Wish I could remember what happened to it.  Other Elvis sightings during training exercises but nothing as exciting as getting the autograph saga.”

And from Pete Trainor G1 more about Presley’s military service: “Elvis Aron Presley entered the United States Army at Memphis, Tennessee, on March 24, 1958, and then spent three days at the Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, Reception Station. He left active duty at Fort Dix, New Jersey, on March 5, 1960, and received his discharge from the Army Reserve on March 23, 1964. 

“During his active military career Mr. Presley served as a member of two different armor battalions. Between March 28 and September 17, 1958, he belonged to Company A, 2d Medium Tank Battalion, 37th Armor, stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. During this assignment he completed basic and advanced military training.

“Mr. Presley's overseas service took place in Germany from October 1, 1958, until March 2, 1960, as a member of the 1st Medium Tank Battalion, 32d Armor. For the first five days of that period he belonged to Company D of the battalion, and thereafter to the battalion's Headquarters Company at Friedberg, Germany.”

Perhaps these stories will prompt more memories of US Army service by Elvis.  Another great topic follows with more after that.  Read on…

150 lb football.  Scribe expressed interest in 150-lb football (now called Sprint football team).  Dick Schonberger B2 provided the names of our classmates from the first 150-lb team: “Thanks for your interest. There were five of us who played and lettered, John Brinson, Brad Johnson, Me, Bill Shely and Jude Theibert.  I happened to be the one who went this year.  We were really the core of that first team and need to be looked at that way.”  Scribe hopes each of our five letter-men makes the trip to West Point to collect their Major A letters with Navy Star (see Dick’s remarks below).  This should be one of their goals while attending the 60 Reunion next April.  In fact, Scribe hopes each attends the 60th Reunion.

Anyway, I received more info about our “first 150-lb team” from Dick via email: “I volunteered to talk about the beginning of the 150 (reunion) program.  I can assure you there was real interest among the younger classes since I guess there's no real history.  I spoke at the Friday dinner, well attended by previous players and many families.  I didn't dress for the game, but wore the game jersey we all got reflecting our class.  Some of the younger guys wanted me to go in for one play, but discretion got the better of valor.  As in told the audience, I first learned of the 150 lb football league our Yearling year from of our '57 intramural players, and that Navy had a team.  That in turn led us to go to our TAC and ask why Army didn't have a team.  He told us he had passed it up the chain, and that we heard nothing till that announcement in the Spring of 1957.  Also told them of our tryouts and season record, to include having the President come to two of our games.  Something you may not know is a clipping of that first A-N 150 game is contained in our time capsule.  You should have heard the reaction when I mentioned having the people read about that first victory over Navy on the 100th anniversary of our graduation.

“Since I was by far the oldest player there, Mark asked me to be defensive captain, and a 68-er, next senior, to captain the offense (that was just for the coin toss).  If you don't know, the grads scrimmage the current Sprint team, four 12-minute quarters. I was surprised at the age of some of the players, many who go back every year.  I was surprised too, when after saying a few words before kick-off, Mark asked me to address the teams and crowd as an ‘original’ from the first team.  I will humbly tell you the reception I got throughout the weekend was overwhelming.  You can't believe how pleased the people were to hear about the origin of the team.  I received a standing ovation when I was introduced and after my talk at the dinner.  All weekend, people were having their pictures taken with me and expressing their appreciation, including a picture with the youngest grad, Class of '17.  They are really a great group and Coach West has really inculcated a spirit that transcends cadet years.

“If you haven't been back, you'll be surprised to see the playing field we used.  It's now called Shea Stadium on what I think we called the lower playing field (Scribe addition: pretty sure it was named Shea in our day, but the stadium is new). In addition to the small stadium dedicated to Sprint football, there is an electronic scoreboard, and artificial turf on the playing field and surrounding track.  As I told the crowd, what a change from what it was 60 years ago.  I guess I came across as a real fossil since after the game since the cadet team wound up coming by me (standing behind the grad players) to high five, hug and do things opposing teams do after the game.  What an experience, and one I will always remember!

“The weekend began on Thursday evening with cocktails and buffet dinner at the Zulu Bar of the Thayer.  Friday morning began with a memorial service for fallen players, with the rest of the day for equipment issue and golf.  If you're not playing nor play golf, it’s pretty much down time until the cocktails and dinner.  This year was German cuisine including German beer and snacks for cocktails.  We were also given a small Sprint football beer mug for the occasion.  According to Mark, he goes out of his way to make each successive year better than the previous year including change of venues and menu.

“Saturday AM was breakfast at the Thayer then equipment issue, warm-ups with the game about 1230.  Following the game there was a barbecue lunch for all the players and families.  All-in-all, a really great time.  I can guarantee if you go back you will really be super it while you still can!  One more enticement if you're interested.  During the weekend, I spoke to Coach West about the team letters and mentioned we received minor A's and understood players now receive major A's, and have for some time.  I don't know if they still have major and minor sports.  The coach said he could take care of that and I'm receiving a major A with Navy star even if it's sixty years in the making.  Coach said the offer stands for our entire cohort, with one caveat.  You will need to go to West Point to collect it.  Hopefully, that will be an incentive.  Hope you find this interesting and maybe stimulating.  Beat Navy!   Dick.”  Scribe can add his heartfelt thanks for this information.

Another new topic -- recent edition of “Tof’s Tips” is repeated for those of us still above the grass.  “ALL: Benefits of walking: Prevents/manages heart disease, improves circulation, aids in sound sleep, supports joints, eases joint pains, lowers blood pressure, aids in thwarting type 2 diabetes, improves balance/coordination/circulation, strengthens muscles, helps to lower or maintain healthy weight, boosts immune function, slows mental decline, gives you more energy.  Frankly, walking boosts your mood/morale. Makes you happy by reducing stress/anxiety.  Walking 30+ minutes daily will be good for you. Walk anywhere: around the block, at a track, mall, park...just anywhere.  A treadmill is good too.  During your walk, at some point, play like you are almost late for an appointment or plane so pick it up for 5-10 minutes (brisk walk).  MOST DOCTORS AGREE THAT THE BEST NATURAL FORM OF EXERCISE IS WALKING.  Hang in there. Chuck, E-2 CCQ”

And the Tof’s Tips received a quick endorsement from Bob D’Amore C1 who wrote: “My father was living proof of Chuck's walking fitness program.  He walked at least a mile every day.  He built a track in his basement so he could walk in bad weather.  As he got older he built a railing around the outside of his house so he could grab something if he fell.  A fast-moving cancer killed him just before his 96th birthday - just after he had renewed his driver’s license.  He lived alone, cooked his own meals and scared everyone silly when he drove to do his shopping or go to church.  He also did calisthenics every morning.  He played golf almost daily until age 92 - at which time he gave up drinking - he drank a lot!. He felt that latter move was responsible for his impending demise.  Would appreciate Chuck's assessment of using alcohol as a senior.” 

Scribe chimes in that we all need that Toftoy’s assessment of alcohol.  This might be the subject of a future “Tof’s Tip.”  I hope that many in DC caught Chuck Toftoy on TV (Channel 7 ABC, today, 30 Aug).  Here is what Tony Smith I1 wrote about the interview: “Great reporting on your fast walking, et. al!  Bravo!  The WJLA newscasters were literally awed by your exploits and the ‘can do’ attitude, especially the line about ‘can't wait to be 90, won't be so much competition then.’  We're proud of you, man.  To think that I once played basketball against you in the 5th grade!  To the DC gang, if you missed the segment on Chuck, see if you can find it on line.  WJLA-TV in Washington.”

Class Executive Committee (EC).  “Classmates, the Executive Committee will be meeting on 6 September. If you have any matters of interest or concern to be addressed by the EC, please contact the undersigned by return email NLT 4 September. Your timely responses appreciated.  For the Class of 1958 Executive Committee, Dick Schonberger, Chair”

DC Class Luncheon on Thursday 21 September at ANCC Fairfax.  Contact Jack Gordon A1 for reservations and more information.  If you are interested in playing golf after lunch, contact Andy Andreson G1.  One regret already for lunch: “Andy, Phooey, I could play but we will be in Barcelona sampling tapas, etc. John Herren G2.”  Scribe would never say phooey to being in Barcelona.

 Another foreign traveler heard from – Bob Shellenberger L2 CCQ.  “First, our thoughts and prayers go out to all those, especially those of our L-2 family, along the Texas coast in the path of Hurricane Harvey. We pray you are all safe and sound and have found shelter where/if the need arose. When you can, let us hear from you so we know you are safe.

 “Margaret and I will be leaving for Italy and Germany on Tuesday (29 Aug) and will return on 22 Sep. We will spend the first few days participating in some World War 2 memorial celebrations near Bologna. As some of you already know, Margaret's Dad fought in North Africa, Sicily and up through Rome and the mountains of north central Italy.  The second and third generation Italians are wonderful about remembering what we did there and really insist that Margaret and her sister be participants in the ceremonies. Following these few days we will take a few days to relax on our own and then fly up to Stuttgart to spend some time with our son and his family. Our one-year old grandson will be christened on 17 Sep while we are there.”

 This is getting too long and it is getting too late.  I will send this to our Webmeister Dick Buckalew to see if I need to break this up into two messages.  More next time.  George