After graduation, I enrolled in the University of Arkansas with Chemical Engineering as my major. In January 1961, I was asked personally by the Dean of Engineering to make room for a more serious student. Calculus and I just didn’t hit it off. (Note: My freshman year roommate was my good friend, David Gover, also FSHS ’58.)
Before I left Fayetteville, I visited all the military recruiters in town and ended up joining the Air Force. After basic training, the Air Force sent me right back to college - to Syracuse University for nine months of intensive Russian language training. After Russian school, Ina Elkins (FSHS '61) and I were married and moved to Germany for my first Air Force duty assignment. Other language assignments included Lackland AFB, TX, and Fort Meade, MD.
In 1967, I was selected for the Air Force Airmen Education and Commissioning Program and was sent to the University of Washington in Seattle for a B.S. in Meteorology. (I actually made an A or two in the five calculus courses I had to take.) After graduation in 1969, I attended Officer Training School and received my commission as a brand-new, 29-year-old Second Lieutenant. After two years as a weather forecaster at Altus AFB, OK, I was sent to the University of Oklahoma in Norman for a Master’s in Meteorology (1973). I then spent the rest of my Air Force career evaluating the impact of weather phenomena on the performance and effectiveness of precision-guided weapons. My tours of duty included Korat AB, Thailand; Wright-Patterson AFB, OH; and Eglin AFB, FL.
I retired from the Air Force at Eglin in 1984 with 23 years of service. I then spent the next 23 years working as a contractor with the Air Force and Department of Defense. Weapons test engineering was my expertise. I remained at Eglin until 1995; then moved to Alexandria, VA, to accept an executive position with my employer. I retired for the second time in February 2007. We currently live in Fairfax Station, VA, just outside Washington DC. Our daughter, Jennifer, lives in Florida with her husband and our three grandchildren and our daughter, Teresa, lives near us in Virginia.
We now enjoy traveling. In addition to visiting the grandchildren in Florida and our families in Arkansas and Oklahoma, we have recently visited Italy, England, Russia, China, Alaska, and Puerto Rico. Our most memorable experiences include visiting St. Peter’s in Rome and the tombs of Michelangelo and Galileo in Florence; seeing Westminster Abbey in London and Stonehenge; visiting the Church on Spilt Blood in St. Petersburg and standing in Moscow’s Red Square; walking the great wall of China and spending a day with pandas as a helper at the Panda Breeding Research Center; standing on the frozen Arctic Ocean in Barrow, AK; and seeing the big radio telescope at Arecibo. We plan to travel more in the future.
Some of my favorite things then and now:
Music then: Elvis and Little Richard - Music now: Alan Jackson and Reba
Food then: White Spot hamburgers - Food now: Baby back ribs at Smokey Bones
Sports then: Baseball - Sports now: Golf (playing and watching)
Sports idol then: Stan Musial - Sports idol now: Jack Nicklaus
TV then: Milton Berle - TV now: The Golf Channel and NASCAR
Thanks to Dick for the great web site and I wish all my classmates the very best.
Edward Hugh Kelly - 2008