SIR Branch 37

Sons in Retirement
Auburn, California


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News from July 2019 Bulletin

Posted by sirbranch37 on June 17, 2019 at 2:45 PM

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Summer is with us! While it is not official yet, the temperature does not read a calendar, and is hitting the highs of summer. Bocce has moved its start time up by an hour (to 9 am) to avoid the heat, and my air condition-ing is now on (at least as long as PG&E co-operates). So remember, when you are out and about, slow down your pace a notch, and avoid too much sun. This is also the time of the year when Little Sir Woody will be contact-ing members to fill all the Committee Chairs (see p.4 of the Roster) for 2020. While it is often easy to just sign-up the 2019 chairs for another year, that is not the best thing for our Chapter. It is important that we get "new blood" involved as chairs/assistant chairs. That does not necessarily mean new members, but it would be really great if a number of our new members contact Woody no later that the middle of July for a committee assignment. At the June luncheon, we had both a great lunch and entertaining speaker. We were also able to welcome three guests (with sponsors): Mark Dalton (Don Moran), Jon Knott (Walt Reno), and Ron Tucci (Joe Cuffe). The best way to get new members is to convert guests to members. Thank you sponsors, and keep the guests coming. Have a great Fourth of July!!, and don't plan to celebrate it at a SIRs luncheon. Our next luncheon is on July 11, same time and place.

Your BIG SIR Dave Wheatley



It takes a lot of dedication, not to mention persever-ance, to make E-9 in the U. S. Air Force. That’s Chief Master Sergeant for us civilians. Three chevrons, three rockers. You don’t mess with that. What makes it all the more remarkable is, this was after he’d already put in time in the Gulf of Tonkin, guiding air strikes for the Navy.

Richard Fisher is another of our native sons, born in North Sacramento on January 31, 1949. This was back when you could still define the edges of the city with truck farms and hop fields. He had a brother and a sister, Richard was in the middle.

Like many of us he started working early, earlier than the law said he was supposed to. He and his buddy got work picking tomatoes by putting slips of paper in their shoes with “16” written on them. That way they could answer “Yes,” when the foreman asked if they were “…over sixteen?”

Most of Richard’s summers in high school saw him on his uncle’s cattle ranch in British Columbia, doing everything on the self-sufficient spread, from dawn ’til dark. If it wasn’t feeding the chickens, it was milking cows. When it wasn’t milk-ing, it was haying. Did I mention chopping firewood? Sounds closer to 1863 than 1963. Rich-ard said, after his uncle’s farm, being in the Navy was a piece of cake.

During the school year he worked in a restaurant. He started as a bus boy, but one night had to pinch hit in the kitchen. They discovered he was so good at peeling carrots he never went back to bussing tables. It wasn’t a place that went in for fancy titles, but he was the sous chef, no doubt about it.

Richard graduated from Norte Del Rio High School in 1964, just as Viet Nam was heating up. In ’65 he joined the Navy, back when the Navy promised you’d see the world. He saw Viet Nam. That was the Gulf of Tonkin business. He said something I’d never thought of before. It was a different war, depending on what part of the country try you were in.

Richard was on “Yankee Station 1”, the most northern in the gulf, aboard the Mahan, a guided missile destroyer, shepherding air strikes. “We guided ‘em in, and brought ‘em out,” he said. A lot of pilots are collecting social security today because Richard was at his station.

He was on active duty from ’65 to ’69, and 2 years of reserve after that.

Back in civilian life, he worked for the Weston Oviet Lumber Company in Eldorado hills. A lumber mill in Eldorado hills? Remember lumber mills? He’s happy to say he came away with all his fingers.

He devoted a year to caring for his ailing parents. After a short stint in retail flooring, Richard signed on with the San Juan School District in their maintenance division, and gave them 23 years before retiring in 2005. This situation dovetailed neatly with his summer obliga-tions to the Air Force Reserve. He had a number of jobs as he rose through the ranks. He speaks fondly of fixing battle damage on the A-10 thunderbolt II, which they called the “hog.” He said, “You could patch that thing up with bailing wire and duct tape and send it back out.”

Richard was in the Air Force Reserve from ’81 to 2005. Before he was through, he’d fought in two more wars: “Desert Storm,” and “Iraqi Freedom.” But the reserves had its benefits, too. Over the years, in between war zones, Uncle Sam sent him to Turkey, Italy, Spain, and the U.K.

Richard’s second wife, Gail, retired from a career as a respiratory therapist. They have been married 25 years. They have one daughter, a school counselor, who has given them 2 grandchildren. Richard is an ambitious and dedicated gardener, always experimenting. He belongs to the Garden Club. When he’s not weeding, watering, pruning or planting, he’s out on the links, square-dancing with Gail, at Saint Theresa’s for bingo, or volunteering at the library. He claims on the weekends he goofs off, but I find that hard to believe. He’s been in Sirs since 2009.

After what you’ve heard, you won’t be surprised to hear Richard’s reflection on a well-lived life: When you’re helping others, you’re actually helping yourself.

Gentlemen, Richard Fisher.

Frank Nissen, Profiler



The July speaker will be Police Chief Ryan Kinnan who was ap-pointed Auburn Chief of Police November 2018. Prior coming to Au-burn he served 12 years at the City of Citrus Heights police department as a lieutenant. Education: Union Institute & University, Bachelor’s de-gree, Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration 2010-12; Na-tional University, Masters of Public Administration 2013; FBI National Academy 2017.

This should be a great presentation, be there!

Jim Maneggie, Program Chairman


July 11 Luncheon Meeting

July 15 Bulletin Material Due

July 25 Executive Board Meeting, 8:30 am @ Original Mel’s Dinner, 1730 Grass Valley Hwy, Auburn - All Sirs Welcome