Chairman's Report - Bob Downs '61

We are moving along on the 2011 Reunion planning and will have another committee meeting in February of 2011 to finalize the menus and pricing. Of course, the Hyatt Regency Hotel price is set in at the low price of $99/night. Also, we can advise you that there will be no increase in the Registration Fee of $30.00 per cadet. Nothing applies for our lovely spouses (we all know they are the backbone of this Association).

If you would like to get a BMA Alumni golf/polo shirt, I will send it to you, upon request. The lettering layout that are on the shirt, I have worn for the last two or three reunions. You may purchase your own white or purple golf shirt, maybe for a better deal, and then find a seamstress to apply the lettering at about $15 - $20.

I needed 40 orders at the Pasadena Reunion and only received 34. May I suggest that if we want to look spectacular – we get purple shirts for the cadets (if you can find them) and white shirts for the spouses? White is much easier to find.

Start saving your money now and get to the reunion - all your friends will want to see you and we are concentrating on the 50th reunion for the classes of 1960, 61 and 62 (Glendora), and the 60th reunions of the classes of 1950, 51 and 52 (San Diego). At our last reunion, we actually had a good showing of cadets from the early 40s and we honor them as well.

May I also suggest you consider purchasing the inland empire entertainment book for the coupon savings in Palm Springs. 

Hope to see you in 2011!               

Bob Downs '61, Chairman
Phone:  (602) 942-5409

Adjutant's Report - Doug Halbert '50

I continue to work at keeping our BMA Alumni Directory up to date. I remind you, it is only as good as you make it. If you move, change e-Mail address, get a new phone number, exchange your spouse for a new one, or anything like that, please let me know so I can keep your record up to date.  Many newsletters are returned when information has changed and I haven’t been notified, so keep this in mind when you have even the slightest change, i.e., zip code or area code or e-mail address.

Keep asking your fellow cadets to join our BMA Alumni Association. Let them know what fun we have at our Reunions and contact me with their name and address so I may send them an invitation to join our Association. This invitation tells them about our history and purpose. So get to work before the next Reunion in 2011.

Doug Halbert '50, Adjutant
518 Hilinai Street
Wailuku, HI  96793-9426

Treasurer's Report - Richard Parker '64

Our treasury had a balance of $2,389.11 at our October Alumni Association Committee Meeting. $481 was spent on a replacement supply of envelopes and letterhead, and a $300 deposit was made to secure the Hyatt Regency Resort Hotel in Palm Springs since the prior report. We received $20 from the sale of a DVD. The alumni committee approved a motion at the October 2010 meeting to purchase $400 in forever stamps, and this has been done which further diminishes our funds.

Since our last report, we have received donations from Howard Nelson ’55, Larry Curti ’56 and an anonymous contributor. We continue to distribute our BMA Newsletter to nearly 300 people and would appreciate any donations in order to keep the association operating.  Please make your checks out to the BMA Alumni Association and send them to me as follows:

Richard Parker '64, Treasurer
986 Colby Circle, Corona, CA  92880-7353

Newsletter - Dotti Schloss (Ron '50JC)

We are looking into a company who does Newsletters, and the owner is a BMA alumnus. They receive input, edit and publish/mail it.  Hopefully, the cost will fit our budget. They may be able to get us a non-profit price on postage. We will have more details soon. Keep sending your input to me or to Doug Halbert, adjutant, as we share all input.

Dotti Schloss (Ron '50JC)
Phone: 951-734-7615
2765 Gilbert Avenue, Corona, CA 92881

Reunion Plans:

Committee meeting: Bob Downs welcomed Joe Musial ’61 to our committee. Joe attended BMA both in San Diego and in Glendora, having entered the academy in 1957 and graduated along with Bob in 1961. Bob remembers Joe was one of the more accurate shooters on the rifle team. Also to his credit or chagrin, he made rank and was busted a few times. Still a great guy, we are glad to have him on the committee. Others in attendance included: Joe’s Sister Julie, Bob Downs ’61, chairman, Al and Marge Owings ’44, Howard and Margaret Nelson ’55, Bob Ault ’56, John and Sue Barnett ’56, Larry Curti ’56, Gary Moore ’63, and Richard and Judy Parker ’64. A number of members were absent at this meeting.

Hotel contract: Judy Parker (Richard ’64) reported at the October committee meeting that we have been very happy with the cooperation and concessions that the Hyatt Regency Hotel has been willing to make to accommodate our BMA Reunion. She has noted that the contract resulted in easy to reach hotel night guarantees and low food and beverage commitments that will help alleviate the pressure of last minute sign-ups. The catering director has been in contact with Judy and will have menu options for review by the next committee meeting. They are willing to work within a budget to meet our needs. The committee has been very grateful for the efforts of Judy and Richard on our behalf.

Reunion schedule: As in the past, we will gather informally on Friday evening.  Those playing golf will spend Friday on the course.  It was agreed at the committee meeting that a Saturday brunch and evening dinner worked best and provides for people to have time to enjoy the sights on their own. A schedule of possible activities will be provided in the welcome envelope as there are many things to do and see in the Palm Springs area depending on your interests. Judy Parker is checking into possible group rates to take the tram to the top of the mountain and to see the Air Museum. She will report back at the next meeting.

Memorabilia donations: Remember, one of the most interesting things we enjoy at our reunions is the outstanding memorabilia display. If you wish to donate anything, please be sure to contact Gary Moor '63 at or (626) 793-9379.

Selecting a charitable organization: It was agreed at the committee meeting to once again have a 50/50 charitable drawing with half the proceeds being donated to a charitable cause of our choice. Suggestions will be reviewed at the next meeting and decided upon. If you wish to make a suggestion, please forward it to our Chairman Bob Downs.

Golf participation: Richard Parker ’64 agreed to contact Skip Brown ’64 and Mike Hinton ’64 to assist in the planning of a golf tournament. Skip has organized this for us before and the hotel is willing to assist in making arrangements with one of the many golf courses in the area.

Events in Palm Springs: Besides the above-mentioned possible group activities and golf, Palm Springs offers beautiful sights, great shopping opportunities, entertainment and a casino. More on these in our next newsletter.


Bob Downs, chairman, heard from Joy Huitt (Doug Huitt ’61). They were excited to find their names on our reunion contact list and plan to attend next June. They were excited to share with us photos of their daughter, Kristin, who graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2004 and is a pilot. She considered it a pleasure to receive her diploma from President Bush and to fly missions with him as well. She is a captain and is working toward her major boards. We will share the photos of Kristin and the former president on our Memorabilia Table at the next reunion where we look forward to seeing Doug and Joy as well.

Richard McDermott wrote to us in June to say he learned of the passing of Mark Landon and Ben Westlund who attended BMA until it closed. Mark was an 8th grader at BMA. More about these cadets below under “Final Taps”.

Richard attended BMA for one year and would have been in the Class of 1964. After he completed college he was a hospital administrator at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, Utah and is the administrator of the Sevier Valley Hospital in Richfield, Utah. He received his Ph.D. in accounting from Oklahoma State University and is currently a professor of accountancy and health care administration at Weber State University in Utah. An author of four textbooks, Richard has also started a foundation that has provided scholarships for over 450 women heads-of-household.

Final Taps:

Ben Westlund: Ben was a close friend of Richard McDermott’s family although he was several years younger than Richard. He attended BMA until it closed. His family was instrumental in an effort to provide funds to keep the academy open; however, the owners determined it was necessary to close the academy and turned down the offer of donations.

Ben then went on to graduate from Oregon Episcopal School and received a Bachelor’s Degree from Whitman College in education and history and pursued some graduate studies at the University of Oregon. He moved to Central Oregon in 1974 and lived near Bend, running a ranch, with his wife Libby and two children, son B.J. and daughter Taylor.

In 1996, he was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives as a Republican. In 2003, he was appointed to the Oregon Senate and elected to that position in 2004. (In 2006, he changed his party affiliation). In 2008, he was elected the Oregon State Treasurer and served until his death on March 7, 2010. More can be learned by logging into Wikipedia.

Donald James Nelson (Class of 1959): Doug Halbert ’50, our adjutant, reported he received an e-mail from K.C. Jones that ‘Jim’ Nelson has passed away. K.C. attended the memorial and noted over 1000 people attended. Born in Boise, Idaho, Jim attended Boise High School and then graduated from BMA. In 1965 he graduated with a BA in English from Columbia College in New York City.

During his life, he enjoyed traveling with his wife to over 20 countries and throughout the United States. One of his latest undertakings was driving his VW Bud to Guatemala to learn Spanish.

The Boise community benefited greatly through Jim’s generosity. He raised money for the Morrison Center. Then the greenbelt became his focus. He and a friend built an outdoor amphitheater for BSU. He served on various boards, West One Back, BSU Foundation, Boise Art Museum and St. Luke’s Hospital. He served as president of the Hillcrest Country Club and of the Associated Contractors of Affection.  For more than 30 years, he was president of Nelson Construction, a major employer in Idaho.

Jim lived a good life and had a loving family and many friends. He is survived by his wife, Karin, two children and four grandchildren.

Fred Pridmore '49: Ann Koball wrote to Doug Halbert noting that she had some old records of her late father Fred Pridmore. Doug responded that the diploma she referred to was Fred’s 8th grade BMA diploma. Doug noted that he remembered Fred who was a 9th grader in Doug’s Senior year. Doug said, “He actually signed my yearbook to a great guy and swell buddy, ‘Squirt’ Pridmore. He was appointed to the Color Guard in the spring semester of his freshman year which was quite an honor for a freshman.” Doug sent condolences to the family.

Mark Landon: Mark attended BMA during his 8th grade year. He was the adopted son of actor Michael Landon. Mark’s mother was Michael Landon’s then wife, Dodie Levy Frasier.

Mark appeared in three movies including the CBS television movie “US” (1991).  In 1997, he appeared as a Navy Seal in the movie “Goodbye America”. He passed away at his home in West Hollywood on May 11, 2009 at the age of 60. He was well-liked by his peers.

Ed Cramer '45: We received notice from Ed’s wife of 58 years, Dianne “Donnie” Cramer that Ed passed away from cancer in December 2008. Following BMA, he graduated from Stanford University in 1949. He was a third-generation San Diegan, and his family founded Cramer Baking Co.

Ed’s community involvements were many and varied as well as his involvement in his children’s activities growing up in sports and serving as president of the PTA. He cared about the community, was very thoughtful and well-spoken and would always have a good word.  Benefactors of his contributions with his wife were the Salvation Army, orphanage projects in Mexico, Kenya and Mozambique, and MOPS International, a non-profit Christian organization for mothers of preschoolers. He held several offices for service organizations.

Ed Cramer retired as Fed-Mart’s vice president of merchandising and served on Fed-Mart’s board of directors, helping create the model for low-cost wholesale and retail operations. He was a founding partner/investor in Sinegal’s Costco Corporation.

Mel Malow, Faculty Member: When Mel’s Newsletter was returned to Doug Halbert, he contacted Ashton Brown, who was Mel’s long term friend. Ashton was a bugler and played special taps for Muy. Ashton went on to a career at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory.  Ashton responded that sadly, some months ago, Mel Malow (‘Muy Malo’ to those of us in his classes who spoke some Spanish, meaning very bad) had died. 

Following is information from Ashton which he prefaces by saying, “Not everything that went on at BMA was by-the-book, and it’s way past the ‘60s now. Who has not, in some moment pondered the koan, “Question Authority”?

It would need too many words to describe my regard for Mel…certainly the freedom he allowed me, in the form of access to the ‘lab’—including the keys, for use over vacations, weekends and such—helped me to get into Cal Tech and into a career that suited me well at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories. At BMA, he was my lone faculty friend, as all our interactions were absent any military hierarchy—thus, for me an oasis of normalcy away from the gamesmanship of the Academy. We even made some minor explosives together on occasion. We both had fun. He played the piano well (I, the cornet, not as well), and I recall particularly his ept performance of some Brahms Intermezzi; thus, some cultural experiences for me transcending the AM radio fluff du jour like, “A you’re adorable, B you’re so beautiful”. Quite a lot, for ‘50s America, I later realized.

Muy was generous in helping me, and I will be forever grateful for his unvarying friendship and a first lesson in trust: with those ‘keys’ I could well have experimented to some ill-effect. Yet not once did Muy ‘remind me’, or feel he needed to, “Hey, don’t be stupid; you could get us both fired”.

Years later, Muy brought his class to LBL and the Bevatron where I gave him the Fermi-grade tour and the class enjoyed the blinking lights and busy oscilloscopes in the Control Room of this particle accelerator. I will miss him forever. He had a long run…85 I believe, and in his final year was teaching a friend to play Bach!

Dates to keep in mind:

June 3-5, 2011 (BMA Palm Springs Reunion)
More details and a registration form forthcoming in February.

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