Sorry to start with some sad news, but as many of you heard, we lost BR Rob Forgie just before Christmas. I probably received a dozen e-mails from guys relaying their memories of Rob; he was one of those guys that you just don't forget. Rob was living in Montvale, Virginia, and is survived by his wife, two daughters, one sone and a large extended family. Several of our classmates asked about sending flowers, so I sent a red, white and yellow "funeral spray" display to the memorial service in the name of our class. Steve Fitton attended the service and let me know that the flower display was a great touch.
In happier news, Jim Hynes left me a voicemail that at the end of last year he had attended the inaugural meeting of the Greater New Orleans Chapter of the VMI Alumni Agency. Jim was one of 15 Alumni, ranging from the class of 1951 to 2009 who attended, and he conveyed that it was a great event that connected him with some really good folks. The chapter is covering folks from Slidell to Baton Rouge (that’s a pretty big area), so they’re going to vary the meeting locations from time to time. If you’re in the area and interested, I know Jim would welcome some company.
Andy England touched base and sent me the following update from Kansas:
"I received my Review yesterday and realized I had not caught up in quite a while. All is well in Salina. Kids are busy, as are Katy and I. Big changes are on the way for the Englands. In June of 2010 I will become the President of St. John's Military School. It is a private all boys military school for grades 6-12. I've been involved with their Board for years. The opportunity presented itself and I felt strongly pulled towards it. I am in the process of selling my portion of my company and will move up there in June. General Peay was at St. John's last May for Commencement. It was neat to host him and he gave a great speech.”
I gave Andy a call to congratulate him, and he let me know that he’d been supporting the school board for 6 years and operating a small business, and when offered the position he felt compelled to support the school. He’s not going to be in a uniformed position, but I’m sure he’ll appreciate everyone calling him “sir”. St. John’s is lucky to have him!
Dusty Crone was kind enough to give me a call with an update. He and his wife Stacey have two kids – Alli(16) and Tanner(14), and they’re living in Chesterfield, VA where he runs into a few classmates. If I recall he keeps in touch with Keats Wade, Ley Havird, and Trey Rhodes from time to time. Dusty’s been working for Citizen’s & Farmer’s Financial Corp for a few years in their Auto Finance Group. He had gone to work for General Motors right out of school and it looks like he’s kept with the auto theme.
Greg Hatchett and I had a great chat about what it’s like
watching our BRs advancing in their careers, and being 20 years on the other
side of graduation.
He works in Rockville, MD for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of New Reactors where he’s the Environmental Projects branch manager for a team that reviews issues with new reactors. Greg lives in Bowie, MD with his wife Dolline and children Addison (2), Justin (9), and Maya (12). He let me know that he was able to make it to the VMI Football Hall of Fame game in October, and had connected with Mark Dick and Tim Feagans.
2009 was a bumpy year for many of us, and no different for Andy Kvasnicka. He’d gotten laid off from Columbia Gas, did his unpaid volunteer police officer duties for a month, got his hands dirty working for Plantation Pipeline for a while, then took an entry level job with Dominion Power to get his foot in the door. He was working down the hall from John Fisher ’05 who decided to leave his engineering job to go to the DEA, so Andy applied for and got that position. Andy’s now happy to be back in the engineering world, and obviously he worked hard to make it happen. He recently spoke to Kevin Handford who is self employed in Warrenton at Handford Financial Strategies, Rodney Edwards who is still in the Marine Corps and is at Quantico, and last but not least, Thomas Cotman who is in the tidewater area. He conveyed that they were all are doing well. Andy also had lunch with his uncle dyke, Mike Moore ’87 yesterday who is an Assistant United States Attorney , and learned that his dyke, John Johnson ‘87, and his other ’87 uncle dykes (Ernie Edgar and Bob Hinson) are also lawyers. Andy suggested that as a Rat he wasn’t very observant, because he had no idea that they had that much brain power in the room.
I happened upon a resume from Chuck Smith that was broadcast through the Potomac River Chapter and I gave him a call. He’s retiring from the Navy and is starting to think about where to go next. Chuck’s about ready to leave San Diego, and has been considering moving back to the east coast but really is looking for an interesting job. He let me know that Tim McLaughlin is semi-retiring and going into the civil service, but is also part owner of the Battlefield Brewing Company in Fredericksburg, VA. Chuck said that they make a pretty good brew!
One late evening recently John Lanzillotta called me to see if I had a VMI flag he could borrow because he was going on a trip and wanted to get a picture taken with it. It turns out he was going mountain climbing, so I gave him a small VMI spider banner and he forwarded along a photo standing at the base of Fitz Roy in Patagonia, Argentina. Fitz Roy is the mountain image depicted in the logo for the Patagonia clothing line. John was traveling with some childhood friends, and said the trip and the views were incredible.
That’s it for this round, gentlemen – thanks for keeping the notes coming. I hope to hear from all of you soon!
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Last Updated: June 21, 2010
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