38 Chowning Dr.
Hampton, VA 23664
5 Nov í96: Invitation in the mail today for a retirement
party for Jack Wood on 23 November, at the Ft. Meyer Officerís Club.
Unfortunately, I wonít be able to get up to DC for the party; too bad,
as Iím sure it will be fun. Jackís invitation specified "no gifts."
We obviously donít think alike. I would never pass up an excuse to get
gifts. If anyone feels the urge to give Jack a retirement gift, but doesnít
want to offend him, you can send it to me. Iíll be happy to accept it in
his behalf. No word on what Jack will be doing in the afterlife.
6 Nov í96: Cyberbabble from expatriate Zeke Wimert on my computer today, providing a brief, but long overdue update of his existence. Zeke still lives down in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where heís been for longer than I can remember. Been a busy and rewarding year for him: he adopted a baby girl, was elected the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Brazil (largest in Latin America) again, his new company (Unitools of Brazil) is doing very well, and he won few mountain bike races in his spare time. Is concerned about the fact that heís getting too old to get dates with women of the age he likes. Perhaps the problem isnít his age?? Plans on being at the reunion. So should you all.
7 Nov í96: Nice note from Emmett Mahle, along with a photo of him and his son Colin, taken during a recent Parentís Day weekend at VMI, where Colin is a Rat - VMI-speak for Plebe. (ED NOTE: Insert photo # 1 here) Colin is attending on an Army ROTC scholarship, and is really wrapped up in Civil War history, which makes VMI a particularly good school for him. Emmett, a lawyer in Sacramento, continues in his attempts to get murderers off - with some success (is that good or bad?). He reports having seen the Unibomber, as some of Emmettís clients are in the same cell area of the Sacramento jail. Emmett says heís real friendly, but I still wouldnít want to get a Christmas card from the guy.
9 Nov í96: Long Lost Souls department: Jim Ruhl checked into the net today for the first time in my memory - which is, admittedly, flaky for anything more than about an hour ago- with a nice, newsy letter. The Ruhls live in Cameron, MO, and Jim pulls down a buck or ten as a distribution analyst with Banta Publications Group, a magazine publishing company. This past May his wife Linda graduated with honors from the Veterinary Technician Program at Maple Woods College in Kansas City. Prior to graduation she was elected to Phi Theta Kappa, the honorary organization for very smart people. Is there a similar organization for very dumb people? I know a few folks who could be president emeritus of such a club. Iíll bet Ed Dewey already has a resume prepared. Anyway, on the 5th of October the Ruhlís son Brian got married to Becky Olson up in Granite Falls, MN. Their oldest son Ken graduated from Kansas City Community College with a degree in Law Enforcement, and is now employed as a policeman by that school.
22 Nov í96: Fax from Bob Miller today - another guy whoís been out of touch with the class quidnunc for a while. Bob, a Ph.D. and J.D., lives in Pompano Beach, FL, and has just finished up the first of a trilogy of spy novels, based on his brief career as a spook after USMA. This first book, Spy School, has been sent to various agents for presentation to publishers, so hopefully weíll find it in better book stores everywhere in the near future. In the meantime, Bobís already started work on a sequel, which draws on his experiences in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia back in the good old days. Those were the good old days, right? Maybe at the reunion Bob will have a book signing table set up in the lobby of the hotel.
25 Nov í96: Itís Monday, which is bad enough, but itís also my birthday. None of my kids remembered. Suzi gave me a broom and mop. Guess that was better than the bar of soap she gave me for Christmas one year. I couldnít even sleep late today. Phooey. Did get a nice note and photo from Jim Tankovich. The photo was taken on Veteranís Day at the Vietnam Memorial in DC, where Tank joined other 11th ACR "Blackhorse" veterans to honor their VN War dead. (ED NOTE: Insert photo #2 here) Tank also reports going to the "Mother of all Reunions" of Blackhorse veterans last summer in Louisville last summer, where he was joined by Tom White, Max Bailey, and John Caldwell in celebrating their prior service with that great regiment. Tank passed along the news that his and Margaret-Annís daughter Catherine is now a freshwoman at Univ. of Va.
1 Dec í96: Talk about long lost souls - got a phone call this evening from Mike Dunn, my first contact of any kind with him since graduation day. Mike retired from active duty in í92, and is now living in San Antonio, TX, where he teaches Special Ed. He drove a school bus for a year or so before teaching, to make sure he could tolerate kids. Good idea. I probably should have done that before Suzi & I started having kids. Life may have turned out a lot differently. Mikeís got 3 sons and a daughter, who got married in í93 and is now living somewhere in North Carolina. The reason Mike called was that he had heard some rumor about a reunion of some sort in September, but didnít believe it could be true. Welcome back to the world, classmate.
8 Dec í96: Have just returned from a marvelous trip to the Army-Navy game. It was a great rip for three reason: first, and most obvious, was the game, and itís outcome. It doesnít get much better than that. Secondly was the fact that I didnít have to sit in the rain to watch the game, thanks to some particularly nice seats. And thirdly was the opportunity to visit with a number of classmates and their wives, among whom were Tony & Angie Nida. What a pleasant surprise that was. Itís always such a treat to see Angie. Oh, donít get me wrong - itís nice to see Tony, too, but five minutes with Angie provides enough entertainment for weeks. Iím still trying to figure how to best describe her current hair color - none of the 256 colors on my computerís color palette seem to match. The good news is that gray was definitely not in evidence. In Tonyís case, the color can best be described as glare. Tony is officially retiring from active duty in January, and he and Angie will be settling in the New Orleans area. Not sure exactly what Tony will be doing, but this move should allow Angie to infuse some cajun flavor into her cooking, so we can expect to see some more of her award-winning cookbooks in the future. Her most recent one, Cooking with Hemlock and Other Spices, is right up at the top of the charts.
13 Dec í96: Today the snail mail included a letter from Ray Jones, number one hamburger chef in Fayetteville, Arkansas. This past October Ray joined P.J. Penny, Mike Cain, and Ken "Fuerte" Strong on a manly expedition to the nationís heartland - Iowa - to rescue that part of the world from an invasion of mutant killer pheasants that were running amok, terrifying the local populace and slaughtering the livestock. The worst assaults by these vicious birds seemed to be on Aaron Coeís farm in Mt. Pleasant, so thatís where our intrepid militia members launched their counteroffensive. The fighting was fierce, but Iím happy to report that our warriors returned from the battle victorious and unharmed. Ray even sent photos taken on the battlefield to attest to the fierceness of the conflict. (ED NOTE: Insert photos #3 and 4 here) Itís hard to see in the photos, but it looks like they actually did manage to kill one baby bird, although there is a chance that Coe is holding up some road kill for the camera.
Ray reports that he still owns a McDonaldís franchise in Fayetteville, AR; PJ Penney retired from active duty last year and now lives down in south somewhere, Alabama, about 20 miles from Ken Strong, whoís still a BG in the reserves and an optometrist and part time farmer. Cain and his wife have a suitcase full of licenses and certificates (real estate, securities, CPA, etc.) that allow them to take other peopleís money and profit from it, down in Panama City, FL.
The last thing Ray mentioned in his letter, almost as throw away line, was that one of his kids had a wedding in the last couple of monthís. Gee, Ray, it would be nice to give the class quidnunc a few more details, and maybe even a photo. Or were you all out of film after the hunting trip?
25 Dec í96: Christmas day. There were more hair-balls from our three cats under the tree than there were presents for me. To make matters worse, I forgot to go to the Class 6 store yesterday, so I ran out of Bloody Marys before 9 am. At least now that my kids are all teenagers I didnít have to contend with them getting up before the crack of dawn to check out their loot; only Suzi still does that, and she let us sleep in Ďtil 6 this morning.
26 Dec í96: OK, lets check out the Christmas card gossip thatís come my way so far this season. Chuck & Carol Swanson are still out in Richmond, CA, where Chuck works as a civil engineer with the National Park Service on the Presidio of San Francisco. Carol has been traveling a lot, between Army Reserve duty in Alabama (wonder if she works for Fuerte?) and Mary Kay Cosmetics unit development all over the US. She has also accepted a new job as executive director of a home health and hospice center. Daughter Cheryn and her husband John have moved to San Antonio, where he works at USAA headquarters. Younger daughter Carolyn is busy in Phoenix planning her 15 Feb to Bill Stokman. Maybe someone will send a photo J. She just received a promotion with Motorola, working with the govt on a worldwide satellite communications system. Fiance Bill is an engineer with Allied Signal. (ED NOTE: Insert photo #5 here)
The Donnells remain firmly ensconced in Albuquerque, NM. Alton changed jobs last March - still in the consulting business, but now working for Parallax. He also changed knees, getting a new one made of stainless steel and plastic to replace his old one. I warned him about all those years screwing around with things that glow in the dark. He may have to get a stainless steel brain next. Still make him smarter than some people we know. Carolyn is the arch-typical soccer-mom (politically correct phrase of the 90ís), and also spends a lot of time on the local ski patrol. Tyler, 17 is a HS junior and soccer star, and Ashley, 13, is a 7th grader, and also a soccer player of some note. Carolyn included a couple of photos with her card; the first shows a gathering of the Albuqerque bunch on the occasion of Ray Winkelís visit down there in August, and the second shows Alton and Mark Fischer along with their sons Tyler and Wade at the all-state soccer awards banquet. (ED NOTE: Insert photo #6 & 7 here)
Dave & Sandy Jones are way up in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where Daveís in the construction business and Sandy and son Michael (28) own and operate a shop called "Somethingís Fishy" in Portland. Daughter Krissy (27) is a scientist doing in-vitro fertilization in Boston. Dave sent along a clutch of photos with his card; since Iím already over my allotted quota for this issue, Iíll just include one of them here, and save the rest for the next Pooper Scooper. (ED NOTE: Insert photo #8 here)
Hank Uberecken recovered from Ranger-School induced depression long enough to send out a Christmas letter this year. He and Eileen are down in Houston, where Hank is the Technical Director of something. He was a little short on details, which means nothing has changed since he was my Ranger buddy. Eileen teaches, son Mark is at Louisiana Tech on a baseball (I think) scholarship, daughter Ann graduated from HS is now at Baylor, preparing for Med School. Oldest daughter Ali and her husband Larry both work for Synergy/Aptitude, she as the director of marketing and sales and he as a programmer/consultant.
2 Jan í97: Deadline was three days ago, and Iíve already used lots more words than the editor allows; better put this road kill in the mail ASAP. However, I would be remiss if I didnít include a couple of folks recently Mentioned in Dispatches and thereby worthy of High Roller Roll Call honors: MG Ed Smith is now the Commanding General, US Army Southern European Task Force (SETAF) in Vicenza, Italy. He assumed this position in September. Prior to this job, Ed was the Assistant Division Cdr of the 82d Abn Div. MG Chuck Sutten is the Commanding General of the Army Signal Command, at Ft. Huachuca, AZ, as well as the G-6 of US Army Forces Command. You guys done good; pop up those scrawny little chests.
I did get an e-mail note today from Macy Brown, reporting a good class turnout at the Independence Bowl game: Ray Winkel, Rich Adams, Randy Pais, Paul Kern, Jerry Walker, Tom Dyer, Tom Parr, and Bob Lenz were seen cheering on the Rabble in their magnificent effort. What a class team Army put on the field this year. Makes you damn proud to be an old grad, doesnít it.
OK, sports fans, thatís it. As I said, Iím late and too long. Lots of Christmas card gossip to share - Iíll catch that up in the next Pooper Scooper in April. Meantime, you guys get your reunion plans made, send in your $, and start squeezing into your tuxedoes and evening dresses. (Lenz, you wear the tux; let Ronni wear the dress this time). God Bless us one and all. BEAT NAVY!