Dedicated to Alaskan Aviation Pioneers
Charlie Muhs - Editor
Dottye Muhs - Assistant Editor

Vol 9 May 2001      
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Editor's Notes

Our time has been notified that everyone must advise the Alaskan Region Human Resource Division if they wish to continue receiving Our time via the US Mail. This is very important!

Also, you must sign a waiver that will allow us to release your address.

Confusing? Well, the costs to publish this document has been increasing and the funding has been decreasing. If we are to continue publishing Our time then we must make every effort to keep costs down.

As you know, we now have our own Web Page. Every issue of Our time is on that site and can be viewed by anyone who has access to the Internet.

We have approximately 700 recipients of this newsletter. Of this number, we estimated more than 140 recipients have Internet access. We ask these folks to obtain their copy of Our time from the Web Page. By doing so, we can reduce costs of printing and mailing significantly and ensure the continuation of this journal.


In January, Dottye and I joined Dwight and Sheila Meeks for a trip (in our motorhomes) to El Dorado Ranch, San Filipe, Baja California, Mexico. We were joined by two other coaches, friends of Dwight and Sheila. In turn we hooked up with the El Dorado Ranch caravan. There were thirty RVs in the caravan. The trip from El Centro, CA to San Filipe is about 125 miles. The very narrow and pot-holed road took about five hours to get there.


In February, I was in Park City, Utah, skiing with some friends. On our last day, a Sunday, we went to "The Canyons" which is located just west of Park City. After three hours of early morning skiing in the new powder, I was pooped so I elected to wait it out in "Doc's Bar." It is located in the "Grand Summit Resort Hotel." Anyway, while sitting there sipping a brew and watching the golf match, a fellow asked if he could join me at my table. The bar was crowded. I agreed. He bought a beer and we began to visit. His name was Bob and he was from Gilbert (AZ). He said he was with two other friends, who eventually joined us. One fellow was named Dave and the other was Bill (Alber). After the usual introductions and get acquainted chit chat, I happened to mention I was from Alaska and that I worked for the FAA.

"Well," Bill said "you must know (and I think I have this right) my sister's, husband's, father." Yeah, sure - Alaska is just a small place, right? "He works for the FAA." Well, that is better. "What's his name?" I asked."Neil Martens." Bill replied. Man, it is a small world! But that was not the end of it. "Do you know Andy Billick?" He asked. "I put his pool in about three years ago!" 

Seems no matter where I go, I run into someone who knows someone I know. I guess that is what the FAA family is all about!

On the good news front, I am happy to report Herb Stanley is recovering nicely from his broken hip and subsequent replacement. He is still planning his return to Alaska for the summer.

Also, Maxine Jackson's progress from her stroke is encouraging. Frank and Maxine were able to make a brief visit to their Arizona winter retreat for a short time. They are back in Anchorage now where Max can get the physical therapy that she needs.

Just the other day we noticed that our neighbor sold their home. They had been trying for some time to sell this beautiful home so we were quite happy for them. A couple days after the "For Sale" sign came down, I happened to stopped by to congratulate them on the sale. Well, after a bit of chit chat, I discovered, much to our surprise, the new owners were Alaskans! Yep, and guess who? Bob and Joan Baldwin! Now, did I mention before how small this world is!

Finally, we have heard that Dee Nelson has received a heart pace maker. That device along with his well grooved golf swing will make it near impossible for this duffer to keep up with him on the golf course.

One of the nice things about living in Arizona is that we get to see many of our friends and former co-workers. At a recent party hosted by John and Helen Groeneveld, we were able to visit briefly with Sun Cities residents Jim and Charlotte Titus and Jim and Gerry Shave. Also, in attendance were: Dave and Marge Simpson, Ken and Sis Hill, Dave and Mary Lou West and Ellen Parker. As usual, the evening was complimented with good friends, food, and beverage - tall tales (?) - well, a few! (-:


Our time Newsletter

There has been some confusion regarding the need for Our time readers to complete the questionnaire which was attached to the January newsletter.

If you are not "On-Line" and you still want to receive the Our time - You must complete this form and return it to the Regional Office.

For those retirees who are "On-Line", we ask that you obtain your copy of the Our time from our Web Site.

The FAA needs to have your consent in writing and signed in order to release your name and address. You can do this by completing the January questionnaire or provide a written statement. 
This questionnaire was to be received by the Regional Office before May 2001, otherwise those individuals not replying would be dropped from the mailing list. However, your Editor has asked for an extension - which has been granted. The Attached Questionnaire Must be Received in the Regional Office by the 1st of September 2001. Last Chance Folks!


FAA Retiree/Employee Picnic

(I received the following message from Mary Lou Dordan. Mary Lou is liaison between myself and the Civil Air Club directors. Last summer, in a meeting with Regional Administrator Kerry B. Long, it was agreed to solicit input from the employees with regards to their desires to continue or discontinue the FAA Picnic. The contents of her message have been edited by me in order to keep the focus on the picnic and retiree briefing issues.)

March 8, 2001

Hello Charlie!
Just wanted to let you know the latest update on the FAA Picnic for 2001. The Civil Air Club Board of Directors voted unanimously at their March meeting to no longer sponsor a summer picnic for FAA employees.

We finally got the blessing of the 6 unions involved with FAA to disseminate the Civil Air Club questionnaire I mentioned when you and I last spoke. The responses we received were very anti-social when it came to functions outside of the normal workday. There were only 2 people who commented they liked the picnic idea.

I can't speak for Administrator Poe and his intentions for the Retirees Breakfast, however. The breakfast has always been the responsibility of the front office and Regional Administrator, so only Pat can answer the question as to the planning for that function.

Should Kerry B. Long decide to continue the Retirees Breakfast, I might be able to entice some of the Civil Air Club members to volunteer their time during the workday to enhance the program and put together some photo collages, door prizes, more food than just donuts/bagels and coffee, etc. Mary Lou


The annual coffee and cake get together will be held on Friday June 29, 2001 @ 9:00 a.m. in the Regional Office MIC Room.


Dear Charlie, I don't know if you remember me or not. I worked in the Anchorage Flight Service Station from March 1968- July 1972, that was while John Bassler was Chief. You were at King Salmon as I recall, and you would drop in from time to time. I transferred to Montgomery Alabama FSS in July 1972 and retired in December 1985. You may remember my wife Velma Thrasher who worked in the Accounting Division Payroll section during that time. She retired from Air Force Accounting in March 1994. Our Daughter, Sheila Reed, still lives in Anchorage. Her ex and our ex Son-in-Law, Joe Rollins, who we love very much, still works in the region. You may know of him. Please add my name to the E-Mail list. We really enjoy reading of your adventures and other stories that you publish. Best wishes.

Bill Thrasher


Hi Charlie, I received the link for the FAA Region and would like to ask you to add our email address to the list. What a wonderful service to provide this to us old retirees.

Dottie and I now live in Texas. We have grandchildren right across the street! I still play lots of golf and manage to maintain a low handicap. Dottie is our church secretary and plays lots of bridge. We don't do much traveling anymore. After 150,000 miles on a motorhome, we're ready to settle down again!

Contrary to the rumors I heard a few years back, I did not die of cancer. I am fighting a good fight and am still in reasonably good health for an old fart!

We would love to hear from you and any others from our great Alaska days.

God Bless! Doug and Dottie Earl


Hi Charlie, Joe Boswell here. I was wondering about your trip to Mexico and how that works going down there in a motorhome. My wife is kind of nervous about driving into Mexico. She has visions of banditos taking everything and using a machete on us in the process!

We spend 6 months in Georgia now and the other 6 in Idaho. We have a nice little place in Idaho and one on Southern links here in Stateboro, Ga. Southern Links is an 18 hole course here. Of course I just took up the game one year ago, and I am a danger to everyone around. I knew you played - hard.

Anyway, I was wondering about the mechanics, where to go, do's/don'ts of taking a motorhome into Mexico etc. If you get a chance, maybe you could shed some light on this? Hello to Dottye. Take care. Joe Boswell, Mountain Web Services, 4098 Canyon Creek Rd., Orofino, Idaho 83544


Charlie, I really appreciate getting "Our time." It has been a good way of keeping track of the "Old Timers." The fish fries were also a good way of keeping track, but all good things must come to an end sooner or later. Sandpoint weather hasn't been too bad this winter and we are looking forward to spring. Jim Cusack

(Along with the FAA Retiree/Employee Picnic each June, the long running Whitey Machin picnic, which has been hosted for the past several years by Al & Lois Bruck, has come to an end.)


Charlie, I enjoy reading the articles and information in Our Time. My Alaska duty was in Galena and Talkeetna in the fifties. Keep up the good work. Ken Persson, Bridgewater, MA


Charlie, I greatly appreciate your solid efforts in keeping us informed on fellow FAA/CAA retirees. I was with the Anchorage ARTCC from 1954 to July 1972. I was training Officer when I left for the Seattle ARTCC in 1972. I retired in September 1980.

I started with the CAA at Moses Point in September 1948 as a Communications Operator.

I don't recall you but I feel I know you through "Our time." Take care and God Bless. Martin L. Greiner, 1803 C. Street SE, Auburn, WA 98002-6606


Dear Charlie & Dottye: I am returning my signed copy of the form indicating I will be receiving Our Time via internet herewith. You have done a good job getting this established and I can appreciate the postage costs of mailing. One suggestion--maybe an e-mail message or a post card notice when a new addition is out might be helpful to those on the internet.

After reading about the exotic trips and experiences that other retirees are taking, it makes me wonder if I am doing the right thing on my retirement. I just enjoy a quiet life without too much worry in a nice house in a quiet neighborhood. I have "been there and done that" most everywhere I have ever wanted to be several years ago when I was much younger and more energetic than I am now.

Both my wife, Thelma and I are in reasonably good health with aid from our doctors and a few pills. I note most retirees settle either in Alaska or the west coast of the US. So we find ourselves somewhat isolated from the others who never get this far east to Boise. But as time goes on this isn't too bad. 

We find we have outlived many of our old friends and associates and there are fewer left. We just have to make new friends. I have retained my membership in the Lions for my civic activity and meet many new people that way. There is lots of good skiing in this area, but my wife and daughter don't let me do this anymore. I get my excitement watching the stock market go up and down and try to not lose too much on the bad days. Ed Blair


We got the latest issue of Our time, thanks for all the hard work you two put into that. We just got back from a 3-1/2 week trip to Australia and New Zealand, had a wonderful time, parts of it reminded us of Hawaii with all the rainforests and other parts just like being in Alaska with the mountains and fjords. Met great people everywhere, very laid back and 'no worry'. It's good to be back in Hilo and we're sill here until the end of April.

Glad to hear that you've regained most of the sight in your eye Charlie and hope it continues to recover fully. Bill & Dee Dougherty


Have been enjoying memories from Our Time for many years and I want to say Thanks for all the time and effort you and Dottye put in. I know it is enjoyed by many.

Lets see, I was a Marine radio operator CW in Juneau during early 60"s and was there for the '64 quake. Moved to Fairbanks after and was a ET there during flood of '67, transferred to Cordova in '69 and was Range ET at Cordova and Strawberry Point on Hinchenbrook (many trips there with good friend Elmer Hedstrom). After Cordova took a transfer to Hill Building in Anchorage. Traveled 90% of time (Moses Point, Nome, and Barrow in the winter, Yakatat in summer.) I have been able to see and experience a lot in 38 years here.

After my wife died I put my electronics education to work as a Slot Machine Mechanic for the Ramada Express in Laughlin, NV. I returned home to Palmer when the temperatures started hitting 120 each day. I recycled my Nevada paychecks back on the crap tables. I never did play those slot machines - I learned a long time ago the only machines that pay off are ATM"s .

Oh yes, I retired from the FAA at King Salmon in 1974 - the old Carl Fundeen good times. Thanks again Charlie. Keep up the golfing. Chris Fowler, Butte AK


Hi Charlie: My wife and I were in Alaska with the CAA in 1947 until l951. We have always remembered - fondly - that time in our life and all the experiences we had while there. I served in Kodiak, Anchorage, Unalakleet and Kenai.

We visit friends in Coopers Landing most years and hope to be there this summer. Today when we visit Alaska, we feel like we are in Wisconsin - there has been so much development, excellent roads, motor homes and Cheechako. (On our first trip back to Alaska in 1976, I was surprised to learn that a friend of mine is now a historic figure in Kenai, old Moose Meat John.)

We enjoy reading OUR TIME, although we seldom come across a name that is familiar to us. I will take OUR TIME via the internet and will send your letter of 1/25/01.

Earlene D. Day and Anthony T. Giambruno -


Hi Charlie. I don't remember if I gave you new address, etc. It is now 69262 Lariat, Sisters Or 97759. l haven't moved but they moved our mail boxes about 30 feet, which naturally changes everything. Also new E-Mail is Thanks and keep up the good work.

Had knee surgery again and they are trying to grow new cartilage . If it works I'll end my 2 months on crutches and maybe get back to the cabin again. If not.....well.....I won't be any worse off than I was. Take care. Gordon Halsten


Charlie and Dottye, what an outstanding January 2001 edition. As you accurately put it at the regional retiree morning, I have not made it to the retiree ranks yet...but one day I will. I am in Washington DC for about 3 months supporting the AF organization.

I was sorry to hear of the passing of Dave Stroebel. He was Sector Chief of the old CERAP when I worked there in the 60's. He was a kind person and knew the FAA system operation & maintenance very well. He was a tremendous help to me and many other young ET's coming into the FAA. He retired a number of years ago, and made an attempt to attend the CIVAIR picnic for many years. Best regards to you and Dottye. Dave Morse


Charlie - Sorry to hear about the loss of your vision in your one eye. Is there any hope you will eventually get some or all of it back?

I saw you in Fred Meyer in, it must of been June. I lose track of time. We were both pretty much whole then. On August 31 I lost an argument with a brush whacker and lost 40% of my right knee cap (patella). I underwent emergency surgery and the orthopedic surgeon was able to wire me back together less the missing part of the patella. He did a second surgery on the 2nd of September to ward off the risk of infection. This amounted to reopening the knee and washing it out a second time with antiseptic and redoing his closing so it was neater and had a better chance of healing without the need of skin graft. I am grateful to say he was successful and now I am working to get my flexibility back. I figure I have about 50% flexibility in my right knee. I do not know if I will ever gain 100%.

I really enjoy the Our Time news letter. I hope we can keep it going on the internet. My best to you and Dottye. If the Lord wills we will continue to stay in touch with this miracle of the 20th/21st centuries. Regards - Cal Hoggard

(Dottye and I are happy to report that the vision in my right eye has returned almost to normal. We thank everyone for their concerns, words of encouragement and prayers. We are very thankful. Charlie)


Charlie, Just had a talk (April 18th) with Charlie Stack, an old Alaskan who retired from the Fairbanks Center several years ago after having been at Annette Island and several other stations in AK. Charlie is recovering from triple by-pass surgery at his home in Lyons, Oregon and expects to be out and about soon. Joe Grube

Since the last issue of Our time, your Editor has learned the following friends and co-workers have passed away.

Ray Anderson (W7ZS) died peacefully and painlessly at the home of his son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Sarah Anderson, in Oroville, CA on 2/13/2001. Ray was an old-timer with the FAA and served with the CAA in Alaska during World War II. Ray served in Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks during his 10 years in Alaska. He followed this service with duties in the Washington, DC office for ten years, serving the facilities section and setting up the ground center capabilities in Iceland, then moved to the Los Angeles area for another 11 years where he had senior administrative responsibilities for airport and radar facilities. In 1971 he and Pauline moved to Reno, NV where he had senior administrative responsibility for the region for 3 years before he retired of a disability. His wife, Pauline, passed away 3 years before he did. Ray was 86 when he died.

Harry J Burton, former AF Electronics Technician serving in Barrow and Anchorage among other stations, passed away October 2000 in Bentonville, Arkansas. Harry was one of several Electronics Specialists recruited by Lee Hammerly from Multnomah College, Portland, Oregon. Harry went on to OKC where he was a RADAR/RML instructor followed by Washington and foreign tours.

Fran Brazil, 97, wife of former AF Manager Herb Brazil, died on her birthday, February 23, 2001, in Medford, OR. Herb was a maintenance technician in March 1946 with the CAA in Fairbanks. He spent much of his career in Juneau and all of it in Alaska. Herb is well physically, His address is: 333 Mountain View, # 123, Talent, OR 97540.

Harold Doebler, former Air Traffic Manager, died on February 15, 2001 after a long illness. He will be buried in the Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Fl.

Robert W. Edlund, passed away at the age of 79 on January 6, 2000. He worked for a brief time with the CAA in Alaska. Robert retired from the FAA in 1971 as AF Manager for the Oklahoma Sector.

Bob Girt, husband of Logistics Specialist, Janet Girt, passed away after a long bout with lung cancer.

John Goetz. (See following article)

Linda K. Hunt, wife of AF Division Manager Tom Hunt, died suddenly, of pancreatic cancer at age 78. Linda loved Alaska and thoroughly enjoyed the four years we spent there. Most of those I worked with in Alaska knew or met Linda and knew her as a gentle sweet lady. I knew her as a life partner (over 53 years ) and as my strength. Tom

John W. Musser Jr., former Bettles FSS AT Specialist, passed away November 18, 2000, after a battle with cancer.

Dee Dee Omalia, wife of former AT and ROC Manager Tom Omalia died in Anchorage on April 7, 2001,of a brain tumor.

Jim Perham of the Airports Division, passed away suddenly on May 4, 2000. He was flying out to visit his ailing mother that afternoon and died at the Minneapolis Airport quite suddenly of heart failure. Jim has worked in the Alaskan Region Airports Division for over 30 years and worked for AF one year before joining Airports in 1970. Jim is known to many as a warm hearted individual. Jim had been struggling with cancer for several months and believed it to be receding from experimental drugs he was taking. He felt so good that he started back to work part time a week ago. (See following article)

Mike Peterson (See following article)

Margaret Twigs. (See following letter)

(In an earlier edition we incorrectly reported George Gilbert Sink as a former AF Manager. George was former AT Division Manager and passed away January 9, 2000 in Peoria, Arizona. Editor)


Hi Charlie, I have been holding two obits of people that go a long way back. I don't know how far back the Our Times people are interested in. I go back to 1942 so there must be some who remember them. It is interesting to know what happened to them even if it has been many years since we knew them. I am sending attachments converted to RTF which you should be able to open. If not let me know and I will send as text.

The first one is John Goetz. I saw him in our offices but I knew him more from the ski club. We always talked about taking a ski trip to Europe but never happened.

The second was Mike Peterson. He was our field boss when we built the VHF system. That was the system that took FAA from Annette Island to Anchorage and Anchorage to Woody Island. That was the years 1948, 1949, and 1950. That was the system that took FAA from CW to teletype. John Gonnason


Dear Ernie: First of all my wife Margaret passed away on January 6, 2001. She had pancreatic cancer. She was a tough lady and survived the problem for many months. I am still in a state of shock. Had she survived, we would have been married 58 years. We were able to do some traveling, took a Caribbean Cruise, trip to Wyoming and California by train. These were things that she wanted to do.

Please tell Charlie Muhs that I think he has done an excellent job in keeping us informed, but I have not seen many items about the old Anchorage FSS/IFSS, mostly about the regional office and staff there that he was acquainted with. There are still some of us alive that would like to know what has gone on with some of these people.

I hear from Clara Steiner (Rusty) frequently but let's hear what has developed over the years from 1981. Sorry to learn of Clarence Estes death but time goes on and we all go sometime. How about Bob Stinson? A good friend-- I'm sure he is retired but where and is he still with us? Hope I haven't driven you to drink but many times I think of the wonderful people that I worked with and want to know what has happened to them. I will get the news from the internet. Warren Twiggs, 660 Ratcliffe Dr. SE. 664-14, Salem, Oregon 97302 -


Marilyn Bjurstom retired May 1, 2001, after 27 years and 10 months of service. During her career, Marilyn held numerous positions with the US Army and the FAA. Beginning in 1972 as a Bookkeeping Machine Operator Fort Richardson. Additionally, she worked as a Computer Aid in the Anchorage ARTCC and Flight Data Monitor at the ARTCC. In 1976 Marilyn became an ATCS/S in the Air Traffic Training Pool. Her first assignment was to the King Salmon FSS. Future positions were held in the Anchorage IFSS/FSS, Kenai AFSS, and finally as AUS in the Anchorage FSDPS. 

A retirement party was hosted for her at Humpy's in downtown Anchorage. Music was provided by a string quartet that two of her grandsons are in as well as a group of saxophone players that a third grandson is in and a saxophone solo by her co-worker Cindy Brenton. Marilyn received a Bryon Birdsall print of a float plane departing Lake Hood.

Shirlee & Chet Sobczyk Remembered
By Bob Riedel

I noted "In Memoriam" that Shirlee Sobczyk had died in Sun City, AZ, her winter home. She was a longtime friend. Her husband, Chester (Chet), was a Training Officer at the FAA Academy part of the time I was there ('51-'57). Chet was detailed to Alaska to set up Anchorage TRACON. While there, someone took him fishing. He was hooked: after returning to the Academy in Oklahoma, he bid on and got a position in the Alaskan Regional Office.

He was responsible for pulling me back to Alaska and we were neighbors in Anchorage. Chet and Shirlee were my youngest daughter, Shirlee's, godparents - Shirlee Riedel was named for Shirlee Sobczyk.

Shirlee Riedel was the first girl born in the State of Alaska, January 4, 1959. She is the only one of my five children who does not live in Alaska. Her husband's engineering specialty, design of fire suppression systems for commercial offices, warehouses and factories, is not in demand in Alaska so they live in Kansas City.

Chet became a Branch Chief in the Air Traffic Division and later moved to the Denver Region. After his retirement, he returned to live in ANC, where his sons still live. (One is manager and all or part owner of BC Electrical Supply.)

Chet, like you, was a dedicated golfer. On the 9th tee at Settlers Bay many years ago, he swung for his drive and threw the club thirty feet, missing the ball. After retrieving it and laughing about the miss, he swung again and collapsed backward -- a brain tumor had knocked him down. Though it was removed and he began a recovery, it returned later and we lost him. I miss both of them.

(Dottye and I remember Chet and Shirlee well. They were our neighbors in Eastridge II. In 1981 they bought our truck and camper. As you know, Chet was a big man and we often wondered how he would fit into such a small place. My first contact with Chet was when I was a trainee at the Galena FSS. In those days, just the sound of his name made you cringe. He was in evaluations then. But, as I came to know him, he was a professional and great person with a good heart. Yes, it is always hard to say goodbye to good friends. Editor)


Charlie. Just a quick one to ask that my email address be included in the Our Time list. will do it. Not much going on here - we've had a great winter weather-wise but are really suffering for water and electricity. We got caught in a couple of those rolling blackouts in California last February and they weren't any fun. The earthquake here rattled us pretty good but no damage to anything but our nerves, but being veterans of the '64 shake in Anchorage we managed to get by in good shape. Enjoy the publication and send our thanks for the job you are doing. Take care. Doyle Bushman


Charlie: Please let me know if and when the retirement party will be held. We plan on being in Alaska in June and July.

We served in Alaska from l947 until l952 and have come up several times with RV and in recent years visiting friends in Coopers Landing, arriving via airlines.

I remember flying with Jack Jefford from Anchorage to Cordova with the forward visibility being nil. Jack would look down out of the side window for navigation. A. Giambruno


Cancer Free!

Hi Charlie & Dottye: On this 16th day of February 2001, Bea and I are very happy to celebrate the 5th year since her cancer surgery. Bea's doctor has declared her officially cured of cancer. We thank God, friends and family for their prayers and good wishes.

Bea and I really enjoy reading about other FAA retirees and old friends from home. We congratulate you and Dottye for the excellent job you guys do on this great publication.

We try to get back to Alaska at least once a year to visit our kids, 6 grandkids and friends.

Sequim (WA) has proven to be a wonderful place to retire. I play golf 3 days a week, maybe 4 if Bea wants to play. Today is only the second time since we came here in 1990 that I've been unable to play due to snow.

Great to hear the good news Charlie about your vision returning to your right eye. Look forward to seeing you and Dottye in Green Valley in November. Popo & Bea Richardson
(Hey Popo, that is GREAT NEWS! We are so happy for you and Bea.)


Good Morning Friends. I have returned from Nicaragua. I don't know what is it about me that takes this kind of chance.

I went to do a job I was dubious about. My confidence was low and I didn't think that my knowledge of coffee was good enough. I was wrong. I realized at the first meeting that I was up to do the job. I knew more than their own Agronomists about the characteristics of coffee. In a nut shell, a resounding success.

Now I am to design plans to establish non-profit cooperative processing plants in the Cities of Matagalpa and Jinotega. If I can get complete the plans in the next sixty days, it will give them the time to fund the projects. I will then return to Nicaragua to organize the construction sometime next January.

Nicaragua is a beautiful country, the people are very warm and they treat you like they have known you forever.

Regards, Frank Babiak, Kaibab Farms, P.O. Box 928, Honaunau, Hawaii 96726,


Hello Charlie and Dottye: Leon Chesler told me about your "Our Time" news letter for old Alaskans. It was good to read through what you are doing. I know some of the folks you talk about. I keep in touch with Bob Lewis some. Our oldest son lives in Wasilla, and one of our other sons three children live in Anchorage, so we still have some ties with Alaska. You may remember I transferred to Oklahoma City in 1986. I retired in Jan of 1997. Iona and I spent 18 months in Germany and then another 8 months in Switzerland for the church. We have been here in Coppell Texas (Northeast of DFW about 10 miles) for the past year focusing on Iona's health with four surgeries and 22 chemo sessions for cancer. We think, and very thankful, she is in remission now. Hope all is well. Thanks and best regards, Neil and Iona Reese, 161 Kilmichael Dr., Coppell Texas 75019


Hi Charlie and Dottye, Just a note to tell you I appreciate the news you send us. I am volunteering at the Transportation Museum in Wasilla, again. I am trying to organize some of their photos. I am working on some photos of Experimental Aircraft, this is a collection taken by pilot William Fike over his many years as pilot for Alaska Airlines and his association with Experimental Aircraft. There are loads of photos of people, strange airplanes, engines, wings, etc.

Imagine my surprise to see a familiar face amongst all this stuff. There was John Cooley standing beside his home-built airplane. He kept the airplane tied down at Merrill Field next to the Flying Club planes and I went up with him once just to see how it flies. Well this darned thing had a canopy on it that was held down with 4 sliding door bolts. I was so miserable thinking about not being able to get out of that thing that I didn't pay much attention to how it handled. Anyway John either rebuilt it or built another one and was flying to the Oshkosh Air Show and crashed somewhere over Canada and I can't remember the year. Talk about doing what you loved right up to the end. Anyway it made my day much brighter to see a face and an airplane I knew something about. John always came down to get the Notices to Airmen that we printed. I remember he was one that really read them. Well take care and we appreciate the news you send. Sincerely, Mary Smith


Hello Charlie: I saw your note on the "I Love Alaska," Cold Bay site last night. (Our Time Web Site. Editor)

I started my FAA career at Cold Bay International Flight Service Station in 1968. The international portion was remoted to Anchorage sometime during the latter part of the year. I knew some of the people you mentioned.

Carl Fundeen was the area manager. It seemed every time he came to Cold Bay for a visit I was working nights and he would come to the FSS after supper and we would sit and talk for hours. There wasn't much else to do at that time of night. I remember him being kind of a quite man, very unassuming. At first I was quite nervous when he'd come up, I'd say to my self "why me." Here I was, a brand new GS-9 and he was the area manager, my boss's boss. I was still in the first year of employment with the FAA - subject to termination for just about any reason. However it didn't take long for him to put me at ease and we got along fine from then on.

Cal Reeve was still the Reeve's station manager, Sue was still the postmaster, or is that the postmistress? There was a young girl their named Kathy Reeve, not sure if she was Cal's daughter or niece. Anyway she ended up marrying Lynn Mayo who also worked in the flight service station, although it didn't last.

Tom O'Mallia was the FSS Chief during my stay in Cold Bay. Gene Litz, George Bella, Marvin Mack, Lynn Mayo, Jo Ann Thomas, Cliff Bailey and myself were the FSS journeymen. There was one other but for the life of me I don't recall his name.

After Cold Bay I transferred to the Anchorage Center and spent a number of years their before relocating to Albuquerque Center. I ended my FAA career at Houston Center and retired in 1998.

I believe I may have met you at one time or another, although I'm not sure. It may have been at one of the dinners that were held at the old Volcano Club when VIP's would come in. Anyway the reason I'm writing, you mentioned you write a newsletter for Alaskan Region Retirees. Although my wife and I left Alaska after seven wonderful years there, I'm still interested in old friends and what's happening in the region. How do I get on the mailing list? Robert G. Budlong, 17811 Freida Ln. Spring, Texas 77379-6107


Dear Charlie, How does one say enough, without rambling on too much? Well, first, please enter my subscription to your much needed, appreciated, and well done Our time , and bill me for the subscription fee.

But how did I find out about your newsletter? Well, it began in 1975 when I started my second stint at ANC IFSS. Breaking in with me was Jim Walcutt. A year or so ago, with both of us retired, Jim was in Roseburg, Oregon, on his way to Arizona and remembered that his old buddy, Dean, lived here. So he looked up my number and called. We had a great time with those wonderful nostalgic memories.

I had written a book about my experiences on the E-459 position during the two periods I was at the Anchorage IFFS - 1958 to 1965 and 1975 to 1982. Even at that, I still had not found all of our old crew. I wanted to send gift copies to each. I did not have Phyllis Fechner's address. Jim did not know her address, but said he would be seeing Marilyn Maines at Prescott FSS who knew Phyllis. Marilyn did send me Phyllis' address and I sent a book. She had kept in contact with Warren Twiggs (not on our "team," but a fellow ATCS during both periods I was there. Warren retired just up the road from me, a hundred twenty miles, in Salem, Oregon.

Warren called me and I gave him directions to my house. He stopped by for two wonderful hours of reminiscing. When he got back home, he sent me your January issue of OUR TIME. (Wow, reading it, even all the "Letters to the Editor," were like reading living history.)

Long story, but that is how I came to be writing today to get myself on your mailing list.

If you print this, I would surely appreciate receiving mailing addresses of a few people who figured prominently in the book.

1. George Woodbury, Chief of Personnel in 1975. Yes I saw with great regret, in this issue, that George has left us. But if anyone knows his widow, or any of his children, I would like to send a gift copy to them. George was a traveling ATCS in '58 and '59 but was stationed at ANC FSS when not traveling. We were the best of friends. He was truly one of the best. No wonder he made Chief of Personnel in later years.

2. Ed Jones, Supervisor at Anchorage FSS around 1960. There are two Ed Jones in the directory that Warren sent. I will try them, but again, if anyone knows the right one, and/or a widow or son or daughter. Sure would appreciate passing along to me.

3. John Bassler, Chief at ANC FSS 1975 to about '78 or later. I'll try the John Bassler listed in the directory.

4. Greg Repoff. He was our "instructor" when Walcutt and I were breaking in on E-459 in 1975 or 1976. I heard a few years later that he was at NHB; but no information since then.

5. Kim House. We worked together at Homer for a year in 1975 before I transferred to the Anchorage IFSS. I heard she was at Merrill Tower and had gotten married.

Not much in the way of clues but would so much appreciate any information that your readers can supply. Most sincerely, Dean Nichols DN POB 934 Winchester, OR 97495 e-mail:


Charlie: In your latest Our time you published a letter by Jim Vrooman where he made reference to a poem written by Doyle Bushman called the "Coward of Gastineau."

Enclosed is a copy that I found in my files. (Isn't it amazing how these "tid-bits" show up after all these years. Editor) Maybe you could get Jim and Doyle's permission to publish it. We are still enjoying life in Yachats (OR) and doing some traveling. Keep up the good work. Lyn Pruett

(Lyn, great to hear from you. It has been a long time. I don't know how Jim and Doyle feel about publishing this poem. I know it is a "harmless" essay, however, I must remain politically correct and sensitive to today's environment and decline any offers to make this humorous poem public. Editor)


Charlie: Please continue mailing me Our time. I enjoy it so very much. It brings back so many fond memories when I read about , and so on. Helen Logan, Frank and Fran Scott, Al Iverson, Waggy, Erland Stephens, Grotts, Rogene, Lardy

Kathleen and I are still kicking but not very high. We are staying close to home these days. I keep fairly active playing duplicate bridge and par three golf.

I feel that the world is passing me by and I'm showing my age - I don't own a computer! Sincerely and Many Thanks, Richard Moore

(Well Dick, sometimes I wish I didn't own a computer - especially when it seems to have a mind of its own and decides to take a break - always in the middle of something important! Anyway, Dottye and I are more than happy to keep you on the mailing list. That is what Our time is all about - keeping the FAA family in touch with one another. Editor)

Wedding Bells

Jim Jensen Sr. and Judy Hoeldt will marry June 9, 2001, at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Yakutat. The Rev: Mike Schwarte will officiate. Bruce Jensen will be the best man and Angela Howard will be maid of honor. The bride will be given in marriage by her brother, Joe Lehman. A reception will follow at the church. Judy is a retired teacher from Yakutat and Kaltag. Jim is a retired Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Control Specialist.

(Congratulations Jim & Judy! We wish you all the happiness in the world. Editor)

Hi: Herb Owsley and I returned home Sunday after helping a friend bring his boat from Newport Beach to San Francisco. We had nice weather except for the wind. We anchored in San Simeon Bay a few days waiting for the water to settle down. We'll do the rest of the trip from SFO to Seattle later this spring. Meanwhile, we're back on line. Dave Jones


3/9/01, Mesa, Arizona
The latest "Our Times" caught up with us a few days ago. It was excellent as usual, although there are fewer people mentioned in each issue who I know. Mary and I will head north the 4th of April if Delta Airlines pilots don't go on strike. Except for a couple of minor ailments we are both healthy. Fortunately for us that doesn't seem to be the trend for most retirees in our age group.

I've enclosed an article taken from the UAA Phelps Shipmate's Bullhorn, a quarterly newsletter. It is about a one dollar bill. I've never looked at a dollar bill quite that way. Also, here is a ditty for your "Senior Moment"file. Unfortunately I can't give the authors credit since I don't know who they are.


Still on the Job

We've got 11 grandkids now, speaking of how old the kids are. Our youngest, Kristen, had a baby boy last May. He'll be 1 on May 17. They live here, and we get the biggest kick out of him. He's a flirt and loves a lot of commotion. He went with us to Marilyn's retirement dinner, and he loved the crowd and the music (I played my saxophone and MJ's grandkids played their strings). He's extremely good natured and pleasant, and I appreciate that a lot. (I'm not really very good with babies and small kids, especially if they're fussy!)

Husband Charlie, is still working and will for another 3 years, I think. He'll be 54 this summer. He loves his job, but I think he's limited on the time he can work there because it hinges on his military status. He just had a procedure done on his heart. He gets bouts of tachycardia (very fast heartbeat), and they've gotten more frequent the past two years. I used to get it, and I know what it feels like, but I haven't had an episode for 20 years. His happens at times of rest, work, etc., and don't hinge on activity. The last episode was 6-8 weeks ago when he was asleep. The heart started racing and was going 188 beats per minute. The heart specialist went into the blood vessels in the groin (both legs) with fiber optics and up into the heart. He cauterized the two places they found that started the erroneous electric signal. His chances for recurrence are only 5%, but if it does they'll just repeat the procedure. The cost was almost $10,000 just for the hospital; haven't seen the doctor bill yet. But, isn't it something that they do that as an outpatient? He had to lie flat on his back for 4 hours, then got up and walked around for 20 minutes, then got in the car and came home. It made him tired for a week or so, but he went to work anyway.

I don't have any plans to retire until I get darned good and ready. I'd go stir crazy! I work three jobs now and have for about 4 years. That's too many, but I like them all. I am a hearing reporter for the Social Security disability hearings when the judges are in town from Seattle. It's a VERY interesting job, and I do it around my work schedule. I've learned about disease states of the body that I never knew existed!

I have a web page address  It has family pictures as well as dog pictures. Cindy Brenton

Hi Charlie and Dottye, Just a note to tell you I appreciate the news you send us. I am volunteering at the Transportation Museum in Wasilla, again. I am trying to organize some of their photos. I am working on some photos of Experimental Aircraft, this is a collection taken by pilot William Fike over his many years as pilot for Alaska Airlines and his association with Experimental Aircraft. There are loads of photos of people, strange airplanes, engines, wings, etc.

Imagine my surprise to see a familiar face amongst all this stuff. There was John Cooley standing beside his home-built airplane. He kept the airplane tied down at Merrill Field next to the Flying Club planes and I went up with him once just to see how it flies. Well this darned thing had a canopy on it that was held down with 4 sliding door bolts. I was so miserable thinking about not being able to get out of that thing that I didn't pay much attention to how it handled. Anyway John either rebuilt it or built another one and was flying to the Oshkosh Air Show and crashed somewhere over Canada and I can't remember the year. Talk about doing what you loved right up to the end. Anyway it made my day much brighter to see a face and an airplane I knew something about. John always came down to get the Notices to Airmen that we printed. I remember he was one that really read them. Well take care and we appreciate the news you send. Sincerely, Mary Smith


By Ken Peavyhouse

On November 13, 2000, as 5:00 a.m. AST - I'm aboard a China Airlines B747-400, en route from Anchorage, Alaska to Bangkok, Thailand for a four week visit with my friend Boonnet (Phra Maha Boonnet Buakhai) or B, a Thai Buddhist monk. I met B two years ago, when I became a volunteer English tutor to him and two other monks three mornings each week at the local Buddhist Wat.
(For the complete story check the Our time web page)

Dear Lord,
So far today, God, I've done alright. I haven't gossiped, told off-color stories, haven't lost my temper, haven't been greedy, nasty, or overindulgent. I'm thankful for that.
But in a few minutes, God, I'm going to get out of bed. And from then on, I'm going to need a lot more help. AMEN

Say hello to Dottye for us.. Dee & Mary Nelson


The Dollar Bill

Phelps March 2001 Bullhorn, submitted by Mike Wido

Take out a One Dollar bill and look at it. The One Dollar bill you're looking at first came off the presses in 1957 in its present design. This so-called paper money is in fact a cotton and linen blend, with red and blue minute silk fibers running through it. It is actually material. We've all washed it without it falling apart. A special blend of ink is used. The contents we will never know. It is overprinted with symbols and then starched to make it water resistant and pressed to give it that nice crisp look. If you look on the front of the bill, you will see the United States Treasury Seal. On the top you will see the scales for the balance - a balanced budget. In the center you have a carpenter's T-square, a tool used for all even cuts. Underneath is the key to the United States Treasury.

That's all pretty easy to figure out, but what is on the back of that dollar bill is something we should all know. If you turn the bill over, you will see two circles. Both circles together comprise the Great Seal of the United States. The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men come up with a Seal. It took them four years to accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved. If you look at the left hand circle, you will see a pyramid. Notice the face is lighted and the western side is dark. This country was just beginning. We had not begun to explore the West or decided what we could do for Western Civilization. The Pyramid is uncapped, again signifying that we were not even close to being finished. Inside the capstone you have the all seeing eye, and ancient symbol for divinity. It was Franklin's belief that one man couldn't do it alone but a group of men, with the help of God, could do anything. In God We Trust is on this currency.

The Latin above the Pyramid, NOVLUS ORDO SECLORUM, means A new order has begun. At the base of the Pyramid is the Roman Numeral for 1776. If you look at the right-hand circle and check it carefully, you will learn that it is on every National Cemetery in the United States. It is also on the Parade of Flags Walkway at the Bushnell Florida National Cemetery and is the centerpiece of most hero's monuments. Slightly modified, it is the seal of the President of the United States and it is always visible whenever he speaks, yet no one knows what the symbols mean.

The Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol for victory for two reasons: first he is not afraid of a storm, he is strong, and he is smart enough to soar above it. Secondly, he wears no material crown. We had just broken from the King of England. Also, notice the shield is unsupported. This country can now stand on it own,. At the top of that shield you have a white bar signifying congress, a unifying factor. We were coming together as one nation. In the Eagle's beak you will read, E PLURIBUS UNUM, meaning one nation from many people.

Above the Eagle you have thirteen original colonies and any clouds of misunderstanding rolling away. Again we were coming together as one. Notice what the Eagle holds in his talons. He holds an olive branch and arrows. This country wants peace but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace. The Eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in time of war, his gaze turns toward the arrows. They say that 13 is an unlucky number.

This is almost a worldwide belief. You will usually never see a room numbered 13, or any hotels or motels with a 13th floor. But think about this: 13 original colonies, 13 signers of the Declaration of Independence, 13 stripes on our flag, 13 steps on the Pyramid, 13 letters in E PLURIBUS UNUM, 13 stars above the Eagle, 13 plumes of feathers on each span of the Eagle's wing, 13 bars on that shield, 13 leaves on the olive branch, 13 fruits, and if you look closely, 13 arrows. And for minorities, the 13th Amendment.


Why don't we know this: Our children don't know this and their teachers probably don't either. Too many veterans have given up too much to ever let the meaning fade. Many veterans never came home at all. Tell everyone what is on the back of the One Dollar bill and what it stands for, because nobody else will. God has blessed our country and he has blessed each one of us. Hold next to your heart all those things you know are dear...and hold the United States of America close also. Her sons and daughters, through their sacrifices, have made it all possible for each of us to be proud that we are all Americans.

(Dee Nelson, former Air Traffic Manager, 
is a Pearl Harbor survivor. Editor)

I was born on June 14, 1777.
I am more than just cloth shaped into design.
I am the refuge of the World's Oppressed People. 
I am the silent sentinel of freedom.
I am the symbol of the greatest sovereign nation on earth. 
I have led your sons into battle from Valley Forge to the Bloody Ridges of Viet Nam.
I wait in silence with your Honored Dead, to their resting place beneath the silent White Crosses, row on row.
I have flown through Peace & War, strife and prosperity, and amidst it all 
I have been respected. 
My Red Stripes symbolize the blood spilled in defense of this Glorious Nation.
My White Stripes signify the burning tears shed by Americans who lost their sons.
The Blue Field is indicative of God's heaven under which I fly. 
My Blue Stars clustered together, unify 50 States as one, for God and Country.

"Old Glory" is my nickname.
Proudly I wave on high.
Honor me, Defend me with your lives and fortunes. 
Never let my Enemies tear me down from my lofty position lest I never return.
Keep Alight the fires of Patriotism. Serve earnestly for the Spirit of your Republic. Worship God and keep His Commandments 
I shall remain the bulwark of Peace and Freedom for all Mankind.

(June 14th is Flag Day. Editor)

FAA Regional Administrator Kerry B. Long
Editor, Charlie Muhs
OUR TIME is published by the Federal Aviation Administration, Alaskan Region, 222 W. 7th Avenue # 14, Anchorage, AK 99513-7587. 
Send correspondence to: Charlie Muhs, 3705 Arctic Blvd., # 1153, Anchorage, AK 99503
Our Time Web Site @ -
Send address changes and subscription requests to: Federal Aviation Administration. ATTN: Ernie Fleece, AAL-10, 222 W. 7th Avenue # 14, Anchorage, AK 99513-7587, Phone 907-271-5471 or Fax 907-271-4809


Have a Great Summer