Sunday, Jan 31, 2021: Jay's email asking me to call him arrived. (Jay Stewart and I were A-2 plebe/yearling roomies.) On the phone, Jay related that class leadership was looking for a secretary/scribe to replace Step who suddenly could not continue. Jay thought of me because together we enjoyed managing parts of our 50th Reunion. We joked about it, but Jay was serious. Pat Kenny and I had a conversation. So . . . here I was, at the end of January bored out of my mind because of C-19. By Valentine’s Day, as Step's replacement, I was busier than a one-legged man in a butt kickin' contest.
With changing of '65 Scribes, and before I offer some biography, I thought it would be interesting to look back at our succession of Scribes since graduation.
|'65 Scribes Through the Years|
|1. Jim Hennessee||1965-1968||7. Jack Lyons||1978-1980|
|2. Grant Fredricks||1968-1969||8. John Higley||1980-1981|
|3. Mert Munson||1969-1970||9. Denny Coll||1981-2011|
|4. Bob Frank||1970-1974||10. Rick Bunn||2011-2016|
|5. John Swensson||1974-1975||11. Step Tyner||2016-2021|
|6. Bud Fish||1975-1978||12. Gerry Buckosky||2021-|
Note: Before getting this historical account from Chuck Nichols, Denny Coll's name came to mind first. Now I understand why. Wowser! Denny was our 9th scribe, but what a term of service! He shall be henceforth known as: “3 Decades Denny.”
I cannot try to match Step's mastery of the English language or wit, but I will continue with his “despatches” moniker to preserve our memory of him. His last was #70; my first is #71.
For those who do not know me from cadet daze, plebe year, to distinguish my name from that of Tom Borkowski, and to make sure which one of us was being called out, upperclassmen placed emphasis on the first part of my name by saying Boo, when “Buck” was appropriate.
In those days, as plebes, we took what upperclassmen said, only to reply: “Yes Sir!” So, I dare not raise a question. In A-2, I became known as "Boo," as it was incorrectly phonetically pronounced “Boo-cow-ski.” For the record, there is no "cow" in Buckosky, (“Buck-oz-key”), though Jay suggests there is plenty of “bull!” Jay and I joke about the advertisement for the B.D.O. British accounting firm slogan: “People who know, know B.D.O.” Our version is: “People who know, know B.O.O.”
I grew up in Riverview, Michigan, south of Detroit. My first company affiliation was A-2, then K-2. Upon graduation, I was commissioned in the U.S Air Force as a management engineering officer stationed at Beale AFB, California, north of Sacramento. After 4 years of mandatory service, relying on GI Bill benefits, I left to study law at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. For extra income, I rejoined the Air Force as a Reserve (AFRES) Civil Engineering Officer stationed northwest of Detroit at what was then Selfridge AFB where I spent one weekend a month and two weeks each summer deployed to other stateside installations with a civil engineering emergency response team.
After 3 years, and upon receiving a (J.D.) from U. of M., I returned to Northern California settling in the San Jose area. By serendipity, I was offered and accepted an opportunity from AFRES to spend a year in Europe installing microwave antennae to support broadcast of Armed Forces Network television to our forces in the European Theater. I continued my reserve participation until the late 1980s, retiring as an AFRES Lt. Col.
Upon return from Europe, I passed the licensing examination and became #59189, a member of the California Bar. (Bar is short for “barristers”). I started practice with a small San Francisco maritime law firm and federal court complex litigation involving a fleet of barge carrying ocean-going cargo ships ported in San Francisco and constructed in New Orleans. I then moved on to do insurance defense, before closing out my career as a sole practitioner.
Since 1980, I lived in Marin County (Novato) California. However, by 2006 the Bay Area changed so much, and for other reasons, I decided to move to San Diego County (Carlsbad) California where I now reside. My daughter lives in Oakland, CA. She is an entertainer, so her mother’s last name works best as her stage name, Lilan Kane. I am proud to say that, as her part-time marketing agent, she has a number of YouTube videos.
In 1965, from across the United States and elsewhere, we received appointments to the United States Military Academy. As classmates we bonded as part of the “Corps of Cadets.” After graduation, we went separate ways. Our esteemed colleague and classmate, Robert “Bob” Doughty, who eventually became USMA History Department Head, recorded and published our history, Strength & Drive: The West Point Class of 1965. We have enjoyed reunions every 5 years and our class recreation sport is golf. Regrettably, C-19 has largely immobilized our country's social interaction for a year now. Hopefully, with vaccines and survivor immunity, our country's population may soon reach “herd-immunity.” The good news is that the class will celebrate 55th +1.
In closing, I am honored to be the 12th '65 Scribe. I want to be a worthy, if not an outstanding, Scribe. However, I can only report what information I am given by each of you. I need your help and I encourage classmates to send what news you each may have, any time, to me via email. My email address of record at USMA was firstname.lastname@example.org. I continue to receive mail there. However, I am using a fresh account for '65 business. Please correspond with me at email@example.com. I communicate best using email, but can be reached by phone @760-828-8721. May I hear from you?