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Village Chat: 02/15/2012

Village Chat

From left: Blitz Fox, Del Tiedeman, John Long, and John Suprock standing in front of a Nanchang CJ-6, at the Petaluma Municipal Airport.
Feb. 4 was a special day for Del Tiedman and John Suprock, Oakmont residents and decorated World War II pilots. Fellow Oakmonter Jim Cotton helped to organize special “fly-in” for the two veterans. Tiedman, 91, and Suprock, 88, were dropped off at the Santa Rosa Jet Center off of Airport Blvd., and then flew in a Bonanza aircraft down to the Petaluma Municipal Airport. Pilots Blitz Fox and John Long met them there and then took Tiedman and Suprock up for some aerial maneuvers in colorful Nanchang CJ-6 Chinese warbirds. After the memorable flight, all parties sat down to lunch at the airport's Two Niner Diner, abundantly decorated with airplane and pilot mementos, as well as models of World War II aircraft. After an afternoon of “good food and plane talk,” the two vets flew back up to Santa Rosa.

Both men had memorable stories of their war years. Tiedman, a Lt. Colonel, served in the 306th Airborne Troop Carrier squadron, and flew a C-47 which dropped paratroopers, towed silent gliders, and airlifted wounded servicemen in a number of pivotal conflicts, including D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge. During his service, he received a European-African-Middle East Theater Ribbon with six Bronze Stars, as well as an Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters. Suprock also flew a C-47 during the war, but with the U.S. Army Corps 1st Combat Cargo Squadron in the Chinese-Burma-India Theater. Suprock would navigate dangerous skies, as well as the Himalayan Mountains (known as “flying the hump”), to drop food and ammunition to soldiers fighting in the jungles. Suprock was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Clusters. Cotton said he wanted the two heroes to have a day they wouldn't forget. Mission accomplished!

Nancy King (kneeling in front) and Timmy, with kids from the Kenwood School student government.
Back in December at Kenwood School the kids in student government held a spare change drive to raise money for the Pets Lifeline animal shelter in Sonoma. They raised almost $220 for the cause, which they chose on their own. Nancy King, Pets Lifeline executive director came to the school in person to accept the money and thank the kids. She brought a dog named Timmy with her, who is up for adoption, and he was a big hit with the students.

The Kenwood School Chili Cook-Off was on Feb. 3, and it was the usual tasty good time. There were two categories - kids and adults, as well as a raffle for a big-screen TV. In the kids category, first place went to Ethan Grove, second place to Liam Duryea, and third place was the third grade class. As for the adults, Bob Austin won first place and Best Overall. Second place went to Brad Eubank, and third to Michelle Sand. And the winner of the big-screen TV was Bobby Austin! Congratulations, everyone!

Standing under a huge banyan tree in Sarasota, Florida, (from left) Umit Ozkaya, Leanna Breese, Alec Vance, Cindy Ozkaya and Steve Rose. Not pictured, Colleen Rose.
Three Kenwood couples had a five-day reunion in Sarasota, Florida in mid-January. Colleen and Steve Rose came from Kenwood; Cindy and Umit Ozkaya came from Arlington, Virginia; and Leanna Breese and Alec Vance were “wintering” in Sarasota, from their main home in Kenwood. The Ozkayas moved to the Washington, DC, area two years ago, where Umit is a chef and Cindy works for the IRS. Since Steve is also a chef (Vineyards Inn), you know they ate well, sampling lots of the local cuisine (and beverages). It was so much fun, they hope it will become an annual tradition.

Jan and Roger Goeller at the famous Hotel Nacional in Havana, Cuba.
A funny thing - two different couples went to Cuba recently and sent in trip photos. Jan and Roger Goeller travelled for 12 days to four cities in Cuba in January, on an official People-to-People cultural tour. They wrote, “As Americans, the mystique surrounding Cuba has been ingrained in our psyche for decades. We felt honored to be among the first to experience Cuba at a pivotal moment in history. It is a country in the midst of major government reforms. Our journey focused on meaningful cultural exchange with the people of Cuba - who are warm, welcoming, and eager to interact with Americans. We experienced a rare, authentic view of daily life in Cuba today.”

Roxanne Thornton and Dave Johnson in Havana’s Revolution Square
Dave Johnson and Roxanne Thornton of Oakmont also spent 12 days in Cuba, visiting Havana, Cienfuegos, Santa Clara, the Bay of Pigs and Trinidad. They said that everywhere they went they found themselves captivated by the architecture, music and most of all by the people who they found to be so friendly.

That's it for now. Thanks for sending in your news and photos. And remember, if you have an item for Village Chat, you can email it to, or call 833-5155 and chat me up! — AQP


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