Schrock, Derel

Derel Schrock

{Derel is pictured here with the “guys”}

“After EHS, off to OSU, then shuttled between OSU and OU till graduating back at OSU in ’60. Back to OSU for grad school, got bored, then joined the Peace Corps and went to Nigeria. Later parted with the PC by mutual agreement and returned to OU. The draft began to breathe down my neck (no pun intended), so rather than fight it, I joined the AF where I learned to fly (at Vance!), then flew many-motor transports all over the world (loved it). Got out after a tour in Vietnam, but remained in the reserve flying Air Evac DC-9s and DC-10 tankers till the Peter Principle kicked in, got promoted, and spent my last 5.5 years in the Five-Sided Nuthouse (the Pentagon) which I thoroughly enjoyed, but then I wasn’t a full-timer.

“In between the regulars and the reserves, I flew for TWA briefly, then got laid off. Became a sky marshal and later a G-Man (“O’Schrocknik, US Treasury” — anyone remember “O’Hara, UST?”). The AF later made me a better offer to become a full-timer (air reserve tech) in the reserve. (BTW, I was learning to love law enforcement, and I would have been hooked had I remained a few more months. I’ve also become a cop junkie and avid reader of crime fiction.) After 5 years in the air reserve tech racket, went back to work for TWA and got farmed out to Saudi Arabian Airlines in Jeddah for 2 years; came back and got laid off again. This time, got hired as airfield manager at Richards-Gebaur AFB near Kansas City. After a couple of years, I got lucky and went to work for Piedmont Airlines in NC. USAir (USelessAir) came along in ’89 and bought us out, then trashed us, but somehow I survived to retire on favorable terms in ’98.

“Hm. I seem to have left out getting married in ’74 to an AF flight nurse I met on one of my flights, and we split up amicably in ’81; no kids, but she gave me custody of 2 cats and 2 parrots. Nothing long term since nor anything on the horizon. Hey, I’ve learned there are worse things than being single!

“Since retirement from the AF & the airlines(s), haven’t turned a wheel in any remunerative manner. Call me a parasite on the body politic. A few years ago, however, I discovered that even an old timer could be useful by becoming a member of the Peterson AFB Honor Guard. They call me out when they need me to present the folded flag to survivors of more senior deceased officers at military funerals (many in our territory). I’ve since branched out to help the Army at Fort Carson when they run out of brass for army funerals, and if the families don’t mind an AF weenie sullying their ceremonies. In all seriousness, getting to do this is the most satisfying, rewarding thing I can think of to pay back the military and to honor my comrades, and I’ll continue till that time when I need one of my own. Yes, I can get choked up when Taps is played, but I need to do this.

“I’ve also become active in my smallish congregation of mostly old retired Army folks who attend the chapel in the big Army hospital at Ft. Collins. My small Yorkiepoo fraternal twin sisters attend with me, and everyone loves them. There I am, singing my lungs out on the hymns, and the pups don’t even howl! Who woulda guessed I’d ever get righteous? I also love to host whingdings at my house several times a year for us where I do the main course and “refreshments,” and the others bring the rest. We get out 50-60 to these events counting other invitees. Fun!

“This brings me up to date. I grow old gracelessly and languish in serene, splendid isolation in Colorado with my little family of Charlie, the 50ish surviving parrot, and the 2 pups, Loulou and Claire, named after 2 of the 4 pups who used to live here with their mistress, Heidi, daughter of friends in MN, while she went to college here. The “guys,” as I call them, and I enjoy long car trips around the country (I hate flying anymore). Currently, my only other project is “mentoring,” if you could call it that, a young lady (16) who responded to a newspaper feature about my cooking and offered to help and learn whatever I had to offer, so I put her to work with the latest whingding. She’s very bright and efficient and is progressing rapidly. Now the paper is featuring her in an article. She intends to go pro, starting at the school I’ve attended many times in Boulder which offers a pro course. My other avocation is writing rabble-rousing nasty-grams to editors, many of which get printed, several by the Washington Times Weekly, so now you know my politics. Yes, I’m a news and politics junkie.

“Did I say short? Oh well, I got the more-or-less sweet and sour OK, I hope. Stay safe till the reunion — I’d hate seeing that obit list get any longer.
Best wishes, Derel Schrock, aka Schrocknik (from when I was a Russian Studies major)”