Winter is always a great time to get updates from folks, so this set of class notes is chock-full of information.
I received a nice note from Tom Pegram, who’s living in Ridgeway, VA near where he and his wife DeeDee grew up. Tom has his own general contracting and land development business (TCP Construction), and does most of his work just across the border in North Carolina. The Pegram’s keep busy raising their kids Kara (17), Sarah (15), Hannah Grace (12), and Thomas III (11).
Tim Bosetti sent in an update from Germany, where he and Christi (his wife of 17 years), have been spending time with their son Joseph (almost 2) while the Army sees fit to keep Tim busy during the day. They’ve gone native during their time in Europe, diving head-first into the local customs & festivals. This summer the family will be returning to the U.S. and are heading to Ft. Lewis, WA.
Also from Germany, my roommate Brett Turner emailed an update that he and his family are probably moving back to the states this summer, but they are not sure where he’ll be posted. His family has enjoyed being in Germany and they’re trying to see more of Europe before they head home. He also let me know that about 10 alumni were getting together at their local club to celebrate Founders Day, and he was hoping to run into Tom Talley, who he had seen over the summer and is working at AFRICOM.
Checking in from Montpelier, VA, William Gaspar let me know that things are busy but going well for him and his family. He’s working with Sam Stocks on the new high school in Henrico County. With Sam’s project management and Bill’s structural engineering, I’m sure the high school will finish up ahead of schedule, under budget, and be the safest place in the county! Seriously, it’s always cool to see our BRs working together now that we’re almost grown-ups.
Andy Kvasnicka dropped me an update with what’s going on in his world. He’s a pipeline engineer with Columbia Gas in Petersburg by day, and has been an auxiliary police officer (some would say volunteer hero) for the last 11 years. He’s and his wife Tricia are the proud parents of Bain (8) who just finished his first season of tackle football and is a straight A student. Andy says that he gets his athletic ability and brains from his mom, but I think he deserves some of the credit for coaching & tutoring too.
I recently heard from our BR Jim Burke who extends a "Hi" to everyone. He was glad to read about his Rat roomies Payne and Liu in the last few class notes. Jim is married to his college sweetheart, Trish and they have twin 8-year-old daughters Bettina and Maraline. In his work life, Jim is a Senior Inspector with US Marshals, and for fun he's still an avid rugby player on the over 35 side. He says he plays with the younger folks too if they need players and he's in denial about his age on that particular day. Jim has broken both of his legs and ankles over the years, and just tapes them up tighter nowadays. If any BRs are still playing rugby, he's on the military alumni email list, and can be found at Can-Am, Ft. Lauderdale, and most of the old boy tourneys.
Word on the street is that after Chuck Smith returned from his tour in Iraq, he and his wife Wendy made the move to San Diego where he’s working with Aegis Combat Systems as the Testing Officer. Their kids Trevor and Emily have adjusted to California lifestyle quickly and are enjoying camping trips as well as the amusement parks the area has to offer.
Who would have thought that one VMI room could have spawned such a brain-trust, but Attorneys Mike Trahar, Bill Donohue, and Joe Burns spent some time with chemical engineer Pete Wick during a holiday roommate get-together. While the evidence they provided was a cell-phone self-portrait, it is obvious that the boys were enjoying some merriment. My bet is that they were embellishing stories of prior good times.
I managed to make it down to VMI for a couple of sports events since the last set of class notes - those always are great times to catch up with folks. The Ring Figure football game brought back many memories, and I ran into Todd Northrop & his family who were making a stop between their home in Georgia and visiting Baltimore for Thanksgiving. I also had a quick catch-up chat with Chilton Morris in the Cadet Bookstore while we were buying the VMI paraphernalia we all need. Matt Schwarzmann and his family helped me entertain my son Jacob (6) while we were in town. The Schwarzmann’s are living in a great home near the Maury River, across from the VMI cliffs where we learned to rappel and rock climb as Rats.
The basketball game against Liberty was a nail-biter, and I was able to catch up with Paul Kricorian who’s enjoying smallish-town life in Staunton, VA, as well as Chris Huff who had not been in Cameron Hall since our own graduation. Both guys look exactly the same as they did at graduation – they must be living right. Again offering local hospitality, Mr. Schwarzmann and his wife Joellen were kind enough to host a post-basketball gathering at their home. John Burleson, Dave Kaulfers, Keith Kornegay, John Aydlette, Mike Mullori, Kelly Musick, and Trey Wetsel all dropped by and we recounted old corps stories. Other rumored sightings during the basketball weekend included Chip Chenery and Chris Callahan.
Todd Blekicki dropped me a note to share a story about Luis Del Valle calling him from a bar in Manhattan one night last fall because Luis needed someone to vouch for him. Apparently Luis was having trouble convincing several skeptical female attorneys from New York, who of course were otherwise allured by his Cuban charm, that he also had a spiritual Zen side and that he was in fact, a “Surfer Dude” (Todd’s words). Luis’s surfboard is in Todd’s garage, so of course Luis called Todd to back up his story and to start coordinating an upcoming surfing expedition with the newly acquainted counselors. Yes, our BRs continue to coordinate field operations and act as virtual wing-men even when off duty and a thousand miles away.
Bob Butler sent me an update to share that he and his wife Marcella had their 8th child in April of ’08. Noah is approaching his first birthday and a joy to his siblings Kendal (15), Kelsey (13), Isaac (11), Daniel (8), Anna (7), Joy (5), and Mary (3). Bob has been working at the Capital Group (American Funds) since 1993, and has been managing a group of programmers for the last two years, which is always entertaining. Bob let me know that he had run into Lenny Carson and his daughters at the YMCA last summer and that he’s looking forward to our 20th reunion.
I reached out to make sure our BRs in Taiwan were getting their VMI mail (there’s no escaping the Institute mailings), and received an update from Charlie Lin. After spending 10 years with Verizon Communications (then Bell Atlantic), Charlie, his wife Mary, and kids Jessica (15) and Zachary (14) moved from Boston back to Taiwan in 2000. The kids are attending the American school in Taipei, and Charlie is working at the local phone company, Chunghwa Telecom, where he is the Senior Advisor for their Yellow Pages and Local Search operations. He’s also helping with his father's food export business during spare time.
Charlie let me know that he had recently seen Jay G Li, who has spent most of his career with the semiconductor industry and is currently the distribution sales manager at On Semiconductor in Taiwan. As of this writing, he and his wife, Rebecca, were expecting their first child to arrive at any moment. Charlie also received an e-mail from Peter Wang a couple of months ago, who has retired from the Taiwanese Army and is enjoying parenthood with his wife Mandy.
A great photo was forwarded over Barry Johnson of his son Carter and two friends at the New Year’s Eve basketball game against Richmond. The young men had painted VMI on their chests and went out on the floor of Cameron Hall shirtless, getting some air time on the TV broadcast. Barry keeps up with Damon Williams who lives a few houses away. Barry’s kids like to launch water balloons at Damon while he’s mowing the yard (you’re starting their artillery training a little early sir). Damon is busy officiating college basketball games and working at First Citizens Bank in Roanoke.
As always, thanks for keeping in touch guys. If you haven’t seen your name in print in a while (or you think an email may have been caught in the Yahoo spam-filter), please feel free to drop me a note. By the time you read this we’ll be about one year from our 20th reunion (April 2010). It really is amazing to think that it’s been more than 22 years since we first strained our way up to the 4th stoop.
Hope to hear from you all soon,
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Last Updated: October 22, 2009
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