Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

At the Zoo

By Bob Levins

196301121_LevinsBlunt_sm.jpg My first airplane flight was my trip from Philadelphia International Airport to Colorado Springs with stops in Pittsburgh, and a few other places. I got air-sick for the first of many times on the leg from Denver to C Springs. I woke up bright and early on the 27th and got on the first bus to the Academy. BIG MISTAKE!! My cousin, who went to Annapolis the year before, had washed out after six months. He told me what to expect. HE LIED!! In addition to June 27, 1960 being my first day at the Academy, it was also my 19th birthday.

Like all of us, I had great roomies, but Tim Kline and I spent several semesters together. Tim (or Twaz) had a thing about nick names. I had several: (Rolo, Zorch, etc). Mitch Cobeaga was “Bumaga”, Ray Blunt was “Buddha”, etc. (Fred Malmstrom wrote a great article recently in Checkpoints about nick names). Tim was one of the creators of the “Twentieth Troll” mascot. (NOTE: Doug Jenkins did a great job researching the history of the “Twentieth Trolls” and he recently presented a paper to the Twentieth Squadron describing his findings).

Bishop White

Bishop White entered CS20 with our class but did not graduate. Bish was the Brad Pitt of '64. His "California surfer" look attracted women the proverbial way "bees are attracted to honey".

Bish was my roommate Doolie year. When 20th had a picnic that year Bish insisted I go on a blind date with his current girl friend's roomie. Bish's date was, as usual, Angelina Jolie beautiful plus some. However, her roommate (she made her own clothes ...... REALLY!!) had more hair on her body that the Geico caveman!! She and I spent the night listening to Johnny Mathis records and talking about the pros and cons of the Gillette vs. electric razors. I was a Gillett guy; she liked the electric razor because it had multiple functions: legs, underarms, face, sideburns, mustache, etc. Meanwhile Bish was in the bedroom "doing his thing".

Todd always thought of him as our own Troy Donahue, and the many smiling ladies he took into back rooms were all Sandra Dee. Bish came to Todd’s wedding in the summer of 64 (in California) in shoulder-length hair, with a beautiful blond girl at his side, and they were the buzz of the reception. All Todd’s local friends wanted to know what films these two had been in, and what could he say but: "Surfing movies" No one could imagine Bish as an old guy.

Ray and BJ Blunt saw Bish in Arizona where he was going to the University to get a PhD in political science. They were coming back from Vandenberg where he was learning to shoot Minutemen missiles to destroy humanity if the Commies dared to attack us. Fortunately we kept them from shooting at us and humanity is still at it though cooking up new schemes. Bish had a beard by then, looked professorial, spoke with a lot of technical jargon, and had married a beautiful blond girl of statuesque proportions. Not sure if she was in movies or at Todd's wedding, but she played to role of poor grad student's wife quite well. Ray and Bish wrote for a while but lost touch.

Ghoul Pools

Location: Fort Benning Time: Third Class Summer Field Trip Activity: Mandatory Dance with the Lovely Ladies of Fort Benning.

I remember putting a dollar into a "Ghoul Pool" and, at the end of the evening, voting on which one of us had the ....uh....most "unattractive date" that night. Who ever won got the money.

Interestingly, the ladies of Fort Benning, most of who were Army Brats who knew something about cadets and junior officers, had their own "Ghoulette Pool" going as well. Result: The guy who won our pool was selected as the winner of the "Ghoulette Pool."

Herb Bevelhymer and Miss America

Location: Ohio Time: Second Class Summer Break Activity: Cadet Escort at the Miss Ohio Pageant

As I recall, Herb Bevelhymer served as a cadet escort at the Miss Ohio pageant. He and the beautiful lady he was escorting hit it off, and they dated for awhile after that. She won the Miss Ohio title and went on to become Miss America.

My family, all seven (3 brothers, 2 sisters) of them, flew out for graduation. It was the first time they had ever flown. You might remember it rained almost all of June Week and rain was the forecast for June 3rd. The night before graduation, Mom put her plastic statue of the Blessed Mother in her hotel window and, as she predicted, graduation day was sunny and dry (except for the grass we marched out on). I was so low on the Order of Merit list that, when I finally got my diploma, Dad was in the men’s room and my younger brothers, Bill 8 and John 7, were asleep. We had to watch the rerun on TV that night to prove to them I really graduated.
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