July 2003 Class Column

Col. William B. DeGraf 
July 2003

After a cold, wet winter, Spring will be welcome. We had 44 inches of snow in DC.

All that did not dampen the Founders’ Day celebrations throughout the country. Several people very nicely sent me pictures, as you see. I also received an article from the Birmingham News, featuring our own Will Hill Tankersley at the dinner for the West Point Society of Birmingham and Central Alabama. He narrated a slide show on US Army battlefields and memorials throughout the world, drawing on his membership on the American Battle Monuments Commission.

Out in CO Dave Hughes continues to make news. Several of you wrote me about his letter to the editor on the unfortunate problem at USAFA concerning some of the women cadets. The Virginia Pilot had quite an article, calling him “The Cursor Cowboy” and discussing his work with wireless technology for the National Science Foundation. That effort has been very successful in Nepal, where Dave has now gotten installed links to be used in a climb of Mt. Everest. He is working with the Sherpas on that. You can follow his efforts at http://www.linkingeverest.com.

While I think of it, all of you with email addresses are encouraged strongly to send them to Win or to me and also to the AOG at address@aogusma.org. It is a great way to communicate. Also be sure to keep us informed of changes in address or phones.

Another newsmaker recently was John Wickham, appearing on Larry King Live on CNN. While it started out on the National Prayer Breakfast, he ended up debating Arthur Kent about Iraq.

Down in Atlanta Artists Center Priscilla Glenn took Best in Show honors at the Dogwood Show with her painting "One with the Sand and the Sea." There were 217 submissions from 87 artists, so that was quite an accomplishment.

Hurray for Vic Cuneo, who, fifty years, two months, and ten days after he left Korea, got his CIB. Ft. Bragg did much better on his Special Forces tab, taking only forty eight years, ten months, and fourteen days. He and Jake Allen worked with a Special Forces unit during the Korean War, dropping agents behind the lines. By the way Vic & Carolyn have joined the great-grand-parents club. Both their son-in-law (Linda’s husband)and grandson-in-law work for NSA in MD.

Meantime in CA John Begley was named Bridge Player of the Year for his region, winning the Ace of Clubs race there. He also was first in the Mini-McKenny trophy awards, something you dedicated bridge players will appreciate.

Several months ago the mayor of Boise, ID asked Jim Thompson to return "temporarily" to help "straighten things out in City Hall" after a recent scandal. Then the mayor resigned, leaving the "Chief of Staff" with many of the duties. As a result, Jim has been very active, remarking that "our cadet training comes in handy." It isn’t all work, however, for Jim & Karin are taking the time in June to compete in the Newport News Tennis Senior Olympics, representing ID. Their daughter Conny is now in Kuwait, working on LtG. Garner’s staff, helping to line up relief efforts from the UN and other countries.

We all watched the war unfold in Iraq and are grateful it went so well, but Jean Heard had a special interest in the area. The Heards’ son Falkner III was an advisor to the Saudi Army last year, so Jean and their daughter Victoria went over there to see him. Jean said he was an excellent guide and that they did not miss a thing in Riyadh or Jette.

 Got word from Lyman Hammond that he and Sara Ann have been busy there in Norfolk, VA. He plays tennis with Joe Love fairly often, since the Loves’ daughter Lee is a doctor nearby. In the Fall he had a chance to hear Eddie Ramos talk on US-Philippine relations during Eddie’s visit to the MacArthur Memorial. Lyman reports that Eddie looks "a lot younger than the rest of us."

 The class stays on the move. Sid & Jeanie Steele have deserted us here at Montebello for a lovely home on the lake at Lake of the Woods, VA. Joan Pimentel and her husband Frank (‘52) also left us to join Lin & Mae Mather at Heritage Hunt near Gainesville, VA. Don & Midge Creuziger will also be moving there by the time you get this column.

Connie Fullerton and her two dogs have returned from her winter’s stay in FL. It was great down there when we had snow here but eventually it just got too hot. Still she had a very enjoyable stay.

Let me remind you that if you are in the DC area on the last Wednesday of the month, join us at the Tysons Marriott about 1130 for our class lunch. You can always check on it by contacting Hank Strickland or me.

Enjoy the summer!