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The retirement dinner was held out at Copper River for me, Sean and Danny. There was an excellent turnout and we all had a
grand time. I just about didn't make it, though. Late the night before my 104 degree fever broke. I was feeling kind of
miserable. But by party time I was ready to rumble :)
Joan Yelton (mom), Carol Yelton, Ron Yelton, Tom Westbrook, Steve Jennings, Ron Schrieber, Bob Yelton.
|I like this one. My uncle Bob who flew with the 194th, Me and my dad, Jim Yelton.||JAD doing some introductions. I think he treated us with one of his insightful and funny poems.|
|Jack "Lightning" Bolt, sometimes known as "VERN" was always entertaining.||
Put Lightning and Mork together and you're guaranteed to have your stomach hurt from laughing so hard!
Lightning and Mork give a typical SQ sendoff to Chilly
|Bill "Curly" Gore giving Danny Cerna his retirement pistol. Supervising the transaction is Larry "Cal, Achmed the Arms Dealer" McKoane. Who knew he had so many callsigns/aliases? :)|
Sean "Sparky" Bautista giving his farewell speech.
||Here's me getting a picture signed by all of my squadronmates. Bill Gore and I went way back to F-106 school and some really fun cross-countries in the T-bird. I got a cool retirement pistol, too. Nice to have just in case on all those lonely commutes back and forth to SJC in the middle of the night for AAL.||I guess I had to give farewell speech as well. I told the story about going out to Otis AFB looking for a job in the F-106 after F-4 school at Homestead AFB. Those guys were absolutely miserable out there and I realized how much fun I was having at Fresno. Sunday drills was like going to see standup comedy, flying any fighter with this bunch of guys was awesome, and the Christmas Parties are still being talked about today. Mork and Lightning doing skits, singing our modified songs with Pee Wee, J.T., and Stilly Sprague was an absolute blast. I'm proud to say that I was present for the very first appearance of The Fresno Rappin' Raisins. I loved every minute of being a member of the best fighter unit in the world, and I'll be forever grateful for the opportunities that my association with all you guys has given me. Thanks to Carol for all the support over the years during deployments and Alert over holidays, birthdays and a myriad of other special occasions!!!|
|Danny "Two Dog" Cerna giving his speech. Danny had his whole clan in attendance. That was fun! They were all so excited to be there with him. The excitement was contagious. Just ask Danny where "Two Dogs" came from.||Carol Yelton, Ron Yelton, Tom Westbrook, Ron Schrieber.||O.K., so this one is a bit out of order. Jack Bolt extorting money from the guests at the door before all the ties came off.|
Looks like everyone was having a good time.
I worked for Bob Hervatine in STAN-EVAL for 18 months after stepping out of the cockpit. It was really hard to hang around as the guys shared their new experiences in the C-model. Going from being in the inner circle to hanging out in the outer circle is really tough. You realize that you're not really one of the guys anymore. The retirement dinner just made it official. Now it's important to keep in touch with all the other retired guys. We'll all always be part of the unit but us retired guys now have our own inner circle group. :)
|Carol and I sitting with Steve Jennings and my mom, Joan. After 20 yrs of her son being a fighter pilot, my mom finally learned how to talk with her hands. That's an excellent Immelmann entry!|