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Merry Christmas 2015
from the entire Arnold Family
Merry Christmas from the entire Arnold Family
Once again we come upon a Christmastide, remembering those who have gone before us that we might live free in this wonderful country. We give thanks to God we were born here, into loving families, at this time. We thank God for our family members who have gone before us and given so much that we might live free and thrive. In particular, we acknowledge the un-payable debt we owe members of our Armed Forces protecting our freedom, at great cost to themselves and their families, under extremely difficult circumstances with little support from the government at home. God bless the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coastguardsmen and contractors of our country and their families.
This letter is customarily started on the Sunday of Thanksgiving Weekend, a four day weekend dedicated to thanking God for our good fortune this past year. Not everything has gone our way; with God’s help, we will get past that. But so much has gone our way; we are all healthy, we are employed, we are free to worship and we do. All in all, we can but marvel at blessings bestowed upon us. The thing that stands out above all others is our friends. We have been blessed to work and worship with good people around the country who have become our friends. Each year we grow closer to our friends and family. Two things have not changed, we are still so very blessed and we all know it and the Cessna 150 has not flown. (We know we say pretty much the same thing every year at first, but it is true and needs saying!)
The Silver Tipped Grizzlies (STG) (mostly retired Air Guard people) still get together as they have for the past 18 years, about quarterly, the third Saturday of some month at a local Los Angeles area airport for breakfast. Take a look the website: http://www.grzly.org and see what we have been up to. Better yet, join us. We know you have heard this before, but Pat Rodgers has been putting together Number 11 prototype F-4; like our Cessna 150, it will fly soon! Maybe even sooner than it was going to fly last year. If you want info, send a note to our SOF: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We lost our very good friend Bernie Coogan in November. Bernie was one of the finest men we have ever known, he knew our Lord, he knew planes and was at one with both. A fighter pilot’s fighter pilot, he flew whatever he could get his hands on; he was famous for teaching himself to fly a helicopter, a Sikorski S-55 / H-19, one particularly bad day in Laos. Bernie left behind his wonderful wife JoAnn, son Chad, daughter Rebecca and a host of other family members. If Hap ever grows up he wants to be just like Bernie. Don’t worry, not happening.
Just like every year since 2001, no family vacation, but this year we did a lot of travel! Once again, Hap has been to Dallas and Seattle a number of times each on business, this time no San Francisco trips. A fair amount of Aztec flying, which makes Hap happy, so to speak. No cool operational evaluations, but a fair amount of flying. All in all, a great year for travel.
OFA Mid-Year once again we took the Aztec so we could all go. Good plan! Fogo de Chao with its all you can eat Brazilian beef, chicken, sausage and others, BBQ for lunch and a chance to meet our friends. Great way to spend three weekdays!
Okinawa Trip for Jack – April 2015 – Jack spent about two and a half weeks in Okinawa visiting our erstwhile neighbors, the Thomases, who moved there from Guam. He had a great time with them, he always does. This time he non-rev’ed on Japan Airlines! Jack is already working out travel plans for next year!
91st Tactical Fighter Squadron Bluestreaks Reunion – September 2015 – We traveled to Dayton, Ohio for the reunion – HUGE THANK YOU to Don and Aurora Makris, Ron and Gerry Hunt, Wendell and Sandy Ward for a super time. And a really special THANK YOU to Jay Jabour who organized Wright Flyer B rides which we all rode! Mostly the same people, but a few new ones; notably Ed and Joan Loy. Ed was one of the two finest squadron commanders Hap ever had and the youngest ever. Ed was a great guy to tour the National Museum of the Air Force with as he knew everything about anything we cared about. He has gone into the lay ministry and we all had that in common also. We missed some of our favorite people, Bucky, Sherry, Bob and Bobette did not make it. On the other hand Flash and Shep did. Such a wonderful time, we are looking forward to Charleston in 2018.
Organization of Flying Adjusters annual meeting in Phoenix – October 2015 – Kitten was sick and we had to leave early, but at least the Aztec was Code One on RTB! The conference went extremely well! Ken and Carol Harris did a great job, the Rustler’s Rooste was a kick.
William and Melanie Arnold’s marriage – October 2014 – We came back from OFA early to attend William and Melanie’s marriage. That was an amazing surprise for us and so nice to see them.
We know this will be a major surprise to the reader, but for the seventeenth year in a row, our 180 or so horsepower Cessna 150 is still in pieces. Once again, it was supposed to fly by Jack’s birthday, but that slipped. It is getting closer. As this is being written, the engine is back in, all sheet metal work completed, the avionics almost done. Propeller bolts were a problem, but they have been custom fabricated. All it needs is the avionics finished, weight and balance. Soon! The Ercoupe is actually flying. The Aztec is operational with no epic system failures this year, amazingly enough. It does need its Avidyne 540 installation finished; still we cannot more highly recommend anyone than Aircraftsman, Inc., Corona Engines and Affordable Avionics!
Jack finished his Master of Business Administration at Western Governors University (WGU) in September, it took him 10 ½ months, studying every day before Hap woke up and after work at the office. Jack is not riding horses, but he is motorcycling. Jack traded his Suzuki S40 650cc cruiser for a BMW R1100RT, which he rides to work most days with Hap on his BMW R1150RTP and just this month the Subaru Outback he ordered came in; he now has the coolest car ever in the family and the most bluest ever! He is working full time at the office with Hap running the Collections Division and now doing invoicing. Jack is still working hard on the guitar and his progress is incredible.
The horses are doing pretty well, no one rides Luke and Leia, no one drives Liberty, but we think someone may some day. They seem to be happy as giant pets. Liberty has developed some type of a foot problem, but seems to be getting better. Perhaps this will be the year we get a circle pen, if not at least Jack and Liberty can go for runs together.
Angelina Catalina Arnold, aka Angie Cat, has diabetes and some form of pancreatic problems. She has a feeding tube, needs blood sugar testing, thus insulin, and antibiotics and other medication daily. Angie has kept Dru very busy; in addition to her monitoring Jack’s college, researching the living heck out of horses and cats, particularly the medical part, keeping the family, including horses, fed and watered, and helping with church. She is keeping well and keeping us well.
On the church front, our parish (www.faithfulcenturion.org) is one of two Anglican Orthodox Church (AOC) parishes West of the Mississippi, (www.anglicanorthodoxchurch.org), the other is Bishop Roy’s Saint Paul's Anglican Church in Moberly, Missouri. On the other hand, the Bible based Anglican church has dioceses and affiliated parishes in 25 countries. Jack and Bishop Jerry are set to head to Serbia and Macedonia next spring. Jack is teaching two classes at Latimer Hall School of Divinity (www.latimerhall.org); Church Basic and the Received Text. He continues to be our parish’s primary sermoneer (as we term it) and preaches amazing sermons every week. The church is a huge part of our lives and we appreciate it an awful lot.
William seems to be doing very well, having married Melanie in October. Please join us in giving thanks for their marriage.
Sister Jacquie is doing reasonably well at getting fit, she lost her position assisting a disabled Bay Area city executive, but otherwise seems well.
Brother Bruce is still working sometimes in his law office, he spends a lot of time in Mexico; his daughter Megan is back attending college in High Point University in North Carolina and seems to be happy there. He had a son – Bruce Junior - with Mily, a Mexican National, and now has a stepdaughter KiKi. We saw them for Thanksgiving; everyone seems to be happy and well.
Brother Tuck, wife Robie, daughter Alison and son in law Albert are doing wonderfully. Ali is still teaching elementary level at WD Hall, close to her home and should be eligible for tenure this year. Brother Tuck has had a bit less to do with the Black and White units as he spends more time with the Mounted Unit of El Cajon Police Department. Tuck heads to London for work in January again. Robie seems to enjoy her job teaching Art at Valhalla High School a bit less and is seems like she is headed for retirement at the end of this school year.
This year we had Thanksgiving Dinner at Tuck and Robie’s cabin again this year with Georgina (Robie’s mom), Ali and Albert. Bruce and his family were there, sadly Megan was in school. Dru did a great job on the turkey, dressing and genuine cranberry sauce.
Mrs. Kay Denton, our excellent friend from York, in the UK, celebrated her 71st birthday this fall. In reality, she is still pretty sick; but, you will never hear that from her, nor be able to tell by looking. She has been in and out of the hospital. She has neck and thumb deterioration problems, in addition to the heart and kidney problems, which require her to undergo dialysis. When you talk to Mrs. Kay, you cannot help but be in awe of her attitude. She is the most grateful person on the face of this earth and a positive joy to talk to. Thankful in all things comes to mind. Nonetheless, your prayers are appreciated.
This year there was a Saturday after Thanksgiving; less participation: just Hap, Dru, Jack, Butch and Steven. But there was a whole flock of Pumpkin Cromwells to shoot at. The weather was perfect! We look forward to a Boxing Day Desert Shoot.
Please keep our family members in your prayers – particularly Mrs. Kay, William and Melanie Arnold.
As we celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, we look back over the past year and count our blessings: health in soul, mind and body. Those of our family here on earth are all healthy and extremely happy. Once again, we have concrete evidence of just how kind God has been to us this year. As we look over our Christmas list, we think of our friends, some we have seen, most whom we have not, and a few no longer with us. We think of years gone by, time spent together. We wish we could have spent more time together. May God be with you, as He has made so clear He is with us.
Best wishes and Love,
Dru, Hap/Bill & Jackson, Mr. O and all the Buddies
10603 Burrell Way, Descanso, CA 91916