It seems like a lifetime ago since I submitted the last set of class notes, but I guess it’s just a lot of VMI events that have passed. The weekend after sending the last set of notes, I was able to relive the college road-trip experience by convincing Jim Hynes to leave D.C. around 9pm on Friday night so we could attend the VMI/Citadel football game the next morning. We arrived in Lexington at midnight, which mandated a beer at the Palms where we ran into a bunch of our Rats from ‘93 including Pat Foley, Brandon Freel, and Sean Farley. They were staying in the bunk-room in Moody Hall reliving their VMI-experience by sleeping in a 6-man room, sharing communal showers, and taking accountability the next morning (one man unaccounted for, sir).
The morning of the game, I ran into a few folks including Trey Rhodes, his wife Theresa, son Carson (6), and infant daughter Lily who were tailgating on the parade ground. Trey & Theresa were braver than I to take a baby on a road trip, but Lily was an angel and Carson was a very well behaved little guy. I had a quick chat with Fred Minnigerode on the parade ground too, but we were running in opposite directions and couldn’t chat for long.
At the Potomac River Chapter Founder’s Day Dinner I ran into a couple of our Brother Rats. I had the pleasure of dining with Kenny Robinson who recently went out on his own as a financial planner. He and I had a good chat about how it’s always a little scary to step off the ledge, but how it also can be very fulfilling. It sounds like he’s doing well, as was the other ’90 attendee Rob Gudz, who is an engineer by day and a police supplies dealer during his “free time”.
John King dropped me a note to tell me that he and his wife Grace had relocated the family from Chicago all the way down to Alpharetta, GA. Their kids Katie (9), Harrison (7) and Annie (4) all are adjusting well to being down south, and John has run into a lot of people since the move. He’s still doing healthcare work for McKesson and was recently promoted to the Staff Assistant to the COO. One of the major perks of being in Georgia is that he gets to see Paul Holland every day! (John put in the exclamation point). Paul also received a promotion and is now the Staff Assistant to the VP of Sales. Paul and John also spent a few days in South Dakota pheasant hunting, and John passed on that the VMI weapons training proved its worth as nobody got shot (excluding the birds)!
John recently heard from Andy England, who is out in Kansas where his construction business is going well and his family is fine. Mr. King also had the chance to bump into Tony Zang at an Atlanta Alumni meeting, where they watched Big Red football go up against the Citadel. Unfortunately it was a joint VMI/Citadel event so they had to endure a bit of ribbing about the game. He also saw Quill Healey at another Atlanta Chapter event not too long ago where Bobby Ross ‘59 was speaking. John sounds like he could set up a mini-reunion in Atlanta without a whole lot of effort!
Chuck Smith sent in a few great pictures from Iraq where he reported to the US Army Corps of Engineer's resident office in Baghdad just before Christmas. He’s the officer in charge of the International Zone Resident Office, where he runs all corps of engineer's reconstruction projects in west Baghdad (more than 60 projects and about $175 million in contracts). He says he’s busy, but I think that’s an understatement. His team is a mix of military, US civilians, and Iraqis, and one of the civilian resident engineers is Dr. William Deleo ’63. Chuck recently ran into Scott Bradley '86, who is a State Department employee working on economic development in the Karkh district of Baghdad. With any luck by the time these notes are in print, Chuck will be back at home in Chesapeake eating oysters and enjoying a cold one.
I recently heard from Charlie company BR Elson Hin who has joined Neovera as a Senior account manager. Elson recently switched jobs and probably cut his commute by 80%. While he’s marveling at the new time he has in his life, he said that “additional duties” have been popping up at home (imagine that). Elson had touched base because he wanted to reconnect with high school buddy and BR Dave Wright.
Chris Whittaker sent an update to say that his battalion change of command at Ft. Hood would be taking place in the spring, where he’ll be taking command of the 15th Brigade Support Battalion part of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cav Division. The whole Brigade Combat Team (6 battalions and the Brigade) will change on that day. Congrats Chris – I know they’re in good hands.
Angela Gottwald dropped me a quick note with an update about her elusive husband John, and included a picture of their 18 month old John Warriner Gottwald who is a cute little guy. Our BR John (also cute) recently moved back to Richmond where he’s taken a position with Richmond Pharmaceutical Co., and he’s happy to be back at home in Virginia.
Todd Northrop sent an email and filled me in on what’s going on with him and his roommates. Todd’s spent the past 12 years in Albany, GA working with his father Ed Northrop (’62) and his brother Brent in the family Burger King business – they own 6 stores around I-75 in South GA. (Todd jokes that his CE degree is being put to good use). Todd and his wife Anne (Mary Baldwin ’90) have two beautiful children, son Bryce (8) and daughter Ellie (2). He let me know that Pat Poon is still in the Air Force and is stationed in Guam for another 6-10 months and then should be moving back to the Ft. Bragg area. Pat and his wife Kik have 4 children, 2 of whom are with them in Guam. Todd said that while he would not have pictured him as a career military officer while at VMI, that Pat has done really well in the Air Force, and he is very proud of him and all of our classmates who have served our country.
Todd also let me know about Monty Craft who lives in his home town of Uvalda, GA, and works for the Georgia Dept. of Labor in Statesboro, GA. Monty has helped Todd over the years with answers to questions about his business and labor issues, and has generally helped keep Todd out of trouble. Monty and his wife Sonya have 2 children.
The most aloof of the roommates is Brad Lawrence who was last rumored to be working for Johnson & Johnson near Little Rock, Arkansas. Brad and his wife Honie have 3 children.
Doug Dillon sent me an email with his current status. Doug is has been serving in Iraq with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, serving his 3rd deployment since September 11th. When he’s not deployed he teaches history for Loudon county Public Schools in Leesburg, VA, and I know he misses his family when he’s gone. Doug and his wife Paige have been married for 18 years (they dated while he was at VMI), and they have 4 sons: Noah (12), Luke (10), John (6), and Jacob (4).
And last but not least, after watching an amazing VMI basketball game last weekend I got to spend some time with Matt Schwarzman who has hit the ground running at the Alumni Association. His family is adjusting to the slightly slower pace of life in Lexington, and Matt’s helping the Association further their use of data management systems to help serve us all better.
That’s all of the updates I have for this round folks. If you haven’t been in the notes for a while, please drop me an email or give me a call. Hope to hear from you all soon!
Back to Class Notes
Back to the Main Page
Last Updated: October 22, 2009
Site Created by: Richard L. Neff II, '90 - Network Technologies Group