Class Poop

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Class Notes First Quarter 2018

Bob Wolff Named Executive Director for QL+

Robert WolffQuality of Life Plus (QL+) announced the hiring of Dr. Bob Wolff, P.E. as Executive Director. “We are delighted to welcome Bob Wolff to the QL+ family,” said Quality of Life Plus Founder Jon Monett. “QL+ provides challenges for design and engineering students, allowing them to work directly with our wounded veterans, harnessing technology and common sense engineering practices to improve their daily lives. Bob’s extensive experience is a perfect fit for QL+.”

Bob earned his Ph.D. in civil engineering from Stanford University. He worked for the US Army Corp of Engineers in the area of water resources planning and engineering, and then both the Army and Air Force in military construction, operations, and maintenance. He then served as the Executive Director of SAME (Society of American Military Engineers) for twelve years, retiring from that position in 2014. “We work with engineering programs that are respected globally,” Monett added, “QL+ is excited to bring Bob on board. His vast knowledge of engineering and nonprofit management will help us focus the passion and talent of our QL+ engineering students on helping our nation's heroes.”

Throughout the academic year, QL+ mentors, monitors, and supports the collaboration between the veterans and the student teams. At the conclusion of the academic year, the student teams formally present the completed assistive device or modified hardware to the veteran for use in their daily life. Each project is unique, and the innovations created will give the veterans the confidence and independence to engage in the activities they enjoy. While these assistive innovations are tailored to the needs of individual veterans, the solutions created by students frequently result in helping other injured veterans.

Dan Christman Joins Sarcos Robotics’ Advisory Board

Lieutenant General (R) Daniel W. ChristmanSarcos Robotics, a global leader in the production of versatile robots announced that retired Lieutenant General Dan Christman, former superintendent of USMA, former Commandant of the U.S. Army Engineer School and the 19th U.S. Representative to the NATO Military Committee, has joined the company's Advisory Board.

Christman is currently the Senior Counselor to the President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He previously led a decorated 36-year career in the Army, where he held a variety of highly visible and strategic positions. He is a four-time recipient of the Defense and Army Distinguished Service Medals, the Defense Department's highest peacetime award, and also served as assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Entegris, Inc. and Teradyne, Inc.

"With his expertise, leadership and years of distinguished service in the Army, Lieutenant General Christman will be a valuable advisor to Sarcos," said Ben Wolff, chairman and chief executive officer, Sarcos. "We are honored to have Dan join our Advisory Board and we look forward to working with him and the other members of our Advisory Board to deliver robotic systems that can make our soldiers safer and more capable."

Despatches #29 -- 180102

Dear Classmates,
Herewith a few breaking items from our far-flung fold (alliteration sucks, right?):

A long ago (and far away) mini-reunion

Ralph "Loco" Locurcio has been digitizing many years’ accumulation of photos, and in the process came upon this one, taken in Cu Chi in late 1968 or early ’69.

L-R, Back Row: Buddy Bucha, Tad Ono, Ralph Locurcio, Terry Throckmorton, and Paul Barber Front Row: Harry Joyner, Barry Levine, Dave LaRochelle, and Rocco McGurk.

Ah, the fresh faces of the Young America of 49 years ago, each exhibiting the pleasant realization that, "Gee, nobody’s shooting at me just now!"

I always try to figure out what’s going on in candid photos, so I have constructed an elaborate scenario wherein Harry and Barry are attempting to go Large Richard on that bottle of spirits on which Dave has laid a protective hand. Whatever frolic preceded that event must have involved gambling, for I also note that Rocco seems to have lost his shirt. We won’t go into the source of Loco’s beatific smile … guess he’s just glad to be there. Tad is wearing his "I can hold this Iron Cross longer than you can hold your breath" grin. I’ll spare Buddy, Terry, and Paul my
smarmy comments; after all, they never done nuthin’ to me.

The big payoff

This from Kent Brown: "Jeff is our oldest son. He and his wife Liz are USAFA (’91) grads. He is an AF COL (ret) and Frank & Doré Skidmore are his Godparents. He was paying off (there is a bottle of Jack Daniels behind the airplane) for our traditional Army vs AF wager [first photo following] and also reminding me, and everyone else, that I have had to buy him many more bottles over the years than he has bought me [second photo]. However, based on our performance this year, I am looking forward to receiving many more in the future.

Beat Air Force and Navy for the foreseeable future!

Well, Kent, I won’t accuse you of having started early, but Jeff looks barely old enough to have legally purchased the bottle of Jack, let alone be a crusty old retired COL. Clearly, good genes and clean living, although with all that booze you’ve been supplying him, the latter is suspect.

Contacting Johnny Johnson

As many of you know, Johnny Johnson has had some health problems in recent months, and several Classmates have contacted me requesting his current address. Johnny is receiving excellent care in a rehabilitation facility not far from his home, and can be contacted by mail there – Mr. John Johnson, c/o National Health Care, 7601 Parklane Road, Columbia, SC 29223. His wife Mary and brother Ollie (USMA’69, I believe) visit him often, as do Rollie Stichweh and Walt Oehrlein.

Why not drop Johnny a note and let him know you’re thinking of him? He may not be able to respond promptly, but I’m sure he’d appreciate hearing from you.

Tyner Pontificatus

It’s been several issues since I belabored some point of grammar, punctuation, diction, rhetoric, and the like. Here are a few that have occurred to me and others recently:

Confusing parts of speech – "The Colts will really have to defense (no, defend) against the triple option today." There are many other illustrations, but you get the point.

Recursive quality in English pronunciation – "DE-fense" (no, de-FENCE), "IN-shurns" (no, in-SURANCE). This tendency to shift the emphasis toward the beginning of a word is well remarked by scholars of English, and often occurs on a regional basis. "CEE-ment" is almost entirely restricted to the American South, for example, and the Brits and Canadians (and the Aussies, for all anyone not from Oz can decipher) pronounce corollary as "co-RAH-lary," whereas we say "CORO-lary." Those same Brits make a fetish of placing the emphasis on words borrowed from French in precisely the wrong place, as in "a-TATCH –ee" rather than "atta-SHAY" for attaché and "GARE-udge" rather than "gar-AGE" for the place where one park’s one’s motor.

Sometimes, where the accent falls determines the part of speech for words spelt similarly. Consider consummate: pronounced "con-SUM-ut," it is an adjective, meaning perfect or to a very high degree; pronounced "CON-sumate," it is a verb meaning to bring to completion. Try it out in the following sentence: "Henry VIII procured an annulment of his marriage to Anne of Cleves by asserting he could not consummate the union because of her excessive ugliness. Of course, Henry was a consummate liar; she was actually quite comely."

"Oral dyslexia." I don’t know the correct rhetorical term for this error, but we have all heard possessors of advanced degrees in the subject refer to "nuke-you-lar" physics (it’s "nuke- lee-ar," of course). Another error as common as dirt is referring to a particularly credentialed real estate agent as a "ree-luh-tor" rather than a "ree-uhl-tor." This error is hardly common to our side of the pond, for our British cousins exhibit remarkable tenacity in mispronouncing names intrinsic to their national history. The Duchy of Grosvenor possesses vast tracts of urban London centered around "Grovesnor Square."

Of course, British perfidy in pronouncing proper names is limitless. Beauchamp becomes "Beecham," Beaulieu is pronounced "Byooley," Tallafierro has morphed into "Tolliver," and Chomondley becomes "Chumley." The surnames Beauchamp and Tallafierro are prominent among old Virginia colonial families, and the British mispronunciation obtains there as well.

Among the British nobility and landed gentry, in fact, it is considered prestigious to have a surname whose pronunciation is at considerable variance from its spelling, simply as an indication that it is ancient enough to have undergone many generations of transmogrification.

Finally, a pet peeve. If a food is "healthy," that indicates that its vital signs are within normal ranges and it suffers no chronic or acute pathology. "Healthy" means to enjoy good health, not to promote same. The correct adjective to describe wholesome foods is "healthful."

Okay, Rangers, that’s it. I get paid by the word but the treasury has its limits, so I’d best put this issue to bed. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been enjoying this gig for nearly a year, but I am sure that most of you do not find it at all difficult to believe that you’ve been enduring it for that long!

Strength and Drive, dammit! Step

Despatches #28 – 171228

Dear Classmates,

Well, I have waited for the last dribble of Navy Game photos to return through the gap in the wire, so it’s been more than a month since I conveyed news of the comings and goings, actions and musings, and collective adventures of the Class of 1965. Football certainly dominates this column, so let’s begin there.

Army Beats Duke

The Duke game was remarkable in two respects: first, Army wasn’t supposed to win. Second, our Classmate Bob Jones was honored at the game along with several other distinguished former POWs of our nation’s wars.

Bob Jones being introduced to crowd at Duke game.

Lamentably, there was not a stellar selection of photos from which to choose, but one, subjected to some cropping, produced a fine likeness of our Classmate. Thanks to Ross Wollen for his persistence in hounding the Academy’s information office until they managed to find some shots of the event. And thanks to you, Bob, for service to your country more arduous than most of us could ever imagine.

Army-Navy 2017

This year’s game was fully as tense a cliff-hanger as the 1963 contest, though with a much happier outcome. Various Classmates have submitted photos, both from Philly and from gatherings elsewhere. The theme is “smiles.”

Photo Right: The Corps of Cadets after the march-in

L-R: Denny & Karen Sellers, Fred & Mary Ellen Smith

Fred Smith, co-Honcho with Chuck Boohar of Class festivities, renders this succinct report: “We all were thrilled at the outcome of the ARMY victory. The cold, snowy, wet and even miserable 5 hours in the elements were instantly forgotten with that missed field goal. Thanks to the Philly Police and their shutdown of the bus rendezvous location, the exposure to winter weather was extended. After the game, 75 of the USMA Class of 1965 – along with wives, widows and guests -- assembled in the Doubletree Hotel for a wonderful dinner and evening of celebration, reunion, and festivities. Our President Russ Campbell addressed the group. All in all, a wonderful day and weekend.“

Roger Frydrychowski submitted a photo that emphasizes the inclemency of the weather in Philadelphia that day.

Roger Frydrychowski (3d from left) with children, grand-daughter Sayla Moore, and friends

Army Team in winter camo, courtesy of Paul Schultz

Karen Sellers sends this evocative shot, reminding all why conditions were not conducive to Navy’s making that field goal.

Photo Left: The Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy returns to the proper hands, photo courtesy of Johnny Wells

Ross Wollen submitted a photo of the Secretary of State together with the new Chairman of the Board of Directors of the West Point Association of Graduates and his lady, the latter two better known to us as Joe & Lynn DeFrancisco. Lamentably, a combination of format problems conspired to prevent my displaying that photo here

As most of us know, the Navy Game is best viewed in the company of Classmates, whether freezing to death in Philly (where, I am reliably informed that it is nonetheless always sunny) or snugly ensconced in a warm room – or a warm climate … as the following photos attest.

L-R, Linda Concannon, Ellen & Bernie Ziegler, Jean & Larry Bennett

Chuck Moseley (right) and family members demonstrate that they have all the right props for the occasion

L-R: Susan & Frank Arnall, Jerry & Peggy Merges, Marcella & Dave Gnau, The Villages

Finally, Jon Thompson demonstrates why older men always look so much more dashing than us kids (as he impersonates Admiral Nimitz) …

And Gene Manghi sends along a shot of a USMA cheerleader’s megaphone used at the 1937 victory over Navy; note old world craftsmanship, as evinced by brass mouthpiece.

But wait, there’s more!

Not a set of 12 Ginzu steak knives, but several pics from the fitting cap to Army’s football season, the defeat of Cal State San Diego in the Armed Forces Bowl on 23 December.

Photo Right: Bob Axley (right) and party at the Armed Forces Bowl

In all, a most eventful month for the Team, the Corps, and, especially, us Old Grads who never tire of seeing the Big Rabble prevail.
May it always be so!

Photo Left: Army rooters join the Corps and Army Team in singing of the Alma Mater, Armed Forces Bowl 2017

Strength and Drive, and health and happiness in the year to come!