Dave Liebersbach

Profile Updated: March 25, 2021
Dave Liebersbach
Residing In: Chugiak, AK USA
Spouse/Partner: Lora Harbo
Children: Tamiah Liebersbach, born April 1990-Master's Degree ('With Distinction') in International Economics More…and Banking from London School of Economics-now living in Anchorage; working for the Municipality of Anchorage.
Samuel Liebersbach, born February 16, 1997-graduated Montana State Univ. with degrees in Physics and Applied Mathematics, and a minor in Spanish-now in graduate school in second year of five year PHD program in physics, Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City
(I'm pretty proud of these two-can you tell?)
Occupation: Retired
Military Service (enter Branch or Name): US Army, 173rd Airborne Brigade, Vietnam  
Yes! Attending Reunion
School Story:

[All the stories told here are factual and as accurate as I can make them, but know that there may be 'fanciful dimensions' (my term for mental lapse) to any of them. Thanks for reading them-I hope they were at least enjoyable!]

Peter Bartsch winning the 1963 homecoming game against Shasta High with a game ending field goal.

I was driving south on 99/I-5 one night from Redding/Anderson with a group of 'classmates' hanging BAs out my mom's car windows (front and back) when I took a wrong detour/lane (I-5 was just being built and this was one of those transitions between 99 and I-5) on the hill just north of Cottonwood and ended up in the northbound lane on I-5 facing oncoming traffic/headlights at about 75-80 miles an hour-a near death experience (one of many) for all of us.

In our senior year a group of us (Jack Allen, Larry Bouett, George Fredson, Pete Catching, Peter Bartsch, myself and others?) undertook to teach ourselves to water ski-to include driving ski boats (we had two)-on the Sacramento River a couple of miles upriver from the bridge. During one of our early sessions Peter Bartsch had completed a flawless two ski circuit of the stretch of river we used and came sailing in to land near the little beach we were using. Due to a slight miscalculation of his speed, Peter was unable to slow himself enough to stop in front of the beach; so instead ran full speed onto the sand with both skis still on his feet. Well the skis stopped abruptly on the sand, but Peter continued up the beach spinning head-over-heels in a ball of sand and Swiss curses, disappearing into the brush and trees above the beach of the little island we were using. Lucky for Peter he was not seriously injured because the rest of us were rolling around laughing so hard that we couldn't have helped him if we'd had to.

The players: Tony Karol and Larry Bouett in a VW Bug-Jack Allen, George Fredson and myself in Jack's Model A Ford coupe.
The Location: Driving out the Lassen Park road from the ski area just approaching the junction with Highway 36.
The event: We were conducting a running snowball fight, the Model A in front with Jack driving; and me on the right running board holding on to a ski rack and George in the rumble seat, both throwing snowballs back at the VW where Tony was driving and Larry was throwing snowballs at us. As we came to the highway junction there set a car (driven by George Perkins of Mineral) stopped at the STOP sign! The road was snow covered and it was obvious that we were not going to be able to stop before hitting the stopped car. Jack put the Model A into a hard slide to the left and as we passed the stopped car its rear bumper brushed the calf of my left leg-remember I am still outside on the running board hanging on for dear life. We are now sliding across Highway 36 at 25-30 mph and Jack realizes I am about to end up between the 'A' and the 6 foot snow bank on the far side of the highway, so he cranks the wheel hard and reverses the direction of the Model A as we slam into the snow bank with the left side of the car. In the meantime the VW with Tony and Larry had no room to maneuver and, with us out of the way, they proceeded to slide into the rear of the stopped car. Well.., some cuts and bruises, a bent fender or two, and a couple disgruntled people (in the stopped car), but no great harm to anyone and we had another great story to tell.

March 24,1964 the great Alaska earthquake occurred, sending a tsunami down the west coast of Canada and the U.S. that arrived that night along the California coast. That day several of us from RBUHS were attending a 3 day human rights conference at Asilomar Beach State Park in Monterey along with hundreds of other juniors and seniors from schools all over California. Well, yada, yada, yada and that night when the police came to warn people of the tsunami (several people had already died in Crescent City) and clear the beaches they found scores of teenage couples in various states of disrobement scattered all over the sand dune beaches at Asilomar-future RBUHS alumni among them. That is how I will always remember where I was when the Alaska Good Friday Earthquake occurred-being herded by flashlight with 50+ other partially dressed teenagers off the beach at Asilomar-you've got to love it.

Another story: This story involves one of our classmates who shall remain undisclosed for now, but I will call him???Red. (For those-including Red-who try to identify this classmate, Red has attended all our reunions and lives in California. Red and I were close friends in elementary school but moved in different circles at Bidwell and RBUHS.) One night in the Fall of our senior year Red and I were at an event where he consumed a fair amount of alcohol-he was lip dripping drunk!! Red knew he couldn't go home in this condition and my mother had always told me to never allow my friends to get in trouble if we could help them, so I took Red to our house to sleep it off. I put Red in my room sprawled on the bed and went into the living room to sleep on the sofa. As I drift off to sleep-about 1:30 am-there is a great commotion and crashing around in my room. I enter and turn on the light to find Red trashing my room in search of some 'unbearable noise' that is wreaking havoc with his pounding head. We stand silent a moment and I hear nothing, but Red is shaking and pointing at my electric clock and then I too hear the quiet whir as the second hand sweeps around. I unplug the clock and Red sinks back to bed to sleep until Grandma wakes him for breakfast. All ends well. (Who are you Red???)

Our senior year and a bunch of us 'guys' are staying up at Jack Allen's cabin in Mineral and skiing and .... One night several of us (myself, George Fredson, Tony Karol, Gary Lotze and ???) find we are a little bored with 'night life' in Mineral and decide to drive to RB for the evening and Saturday night dance at Stout Hall. To make the excursion more interesting we pool some money as a bet on who will 'get lucky' and 'score' that night. After making complete fools of ourselves-as only 17 year old males can when they think they know how to impress girls at a dance-we drove back to Mineral with George being the winner of the money. As you can guess, it didn't take much 'getting lucky' for George to win. He 'scored' a kiss -just one.

The Spring of 1964 was a busy time at the Liebersbach house. Beside our core family of my mom, my grandmother, my sister and I, we had a bit of an extended family living with us that spring. Right at the beginning of the year Peter Bartsch moved in with us to finish out his exchange year at RBUHS. A little later that semester, Liz (ebeth/'Scootie') Ruttencutter (Rusk) came to stay with us, also to finish out her senior year at RBUHS (her mother had to move for employment-'Liz' left to rejoin her after graduation). So, the Guidance Counselor and three seniors of the class of '64 (to include our Swiss Foreign Exchange student-who had just won the homecoming game for us), one RBUHS sophomore, and the unsurpassed 'Grandma' all under one roof (1600 sq. ft., 3 bdrm, 1 bath). That combination drew quite a crowd at our house on most nights that spring. One evening, a 'school night'-Tuesday?, Wednesday?, Thursday?-I was having trouble doing homework due to the rumble of the background noise in the house, so I decided to take a count. BESIDES THE SIX PEOPLE IN RESIDENCE, THERE WERE 26 PEOPLE VISITING!!! at that moment. (And none of them were there to see me-I was doing homework!) That was how it was at our house that Spring of 1964. (And then Gary Lotze moved in-that story under 'In Memory", 1967, Gary Lotze)

It was the Fall of 1963, the week before our football game with Shasta. Myself, Tony Karol and ???. decided late one night to show our school spirit anonymously by painting 'BEAT SHASTA' on the front steps of the old main building of RBUHS. We did our 'artwork' using a bright green paint-it was ugly-and the next day the school administration was in an uproar. The paint was removed, there were no clues left and we were not found out. I had used my mom's Buick for our transportation that night; and two days later, as my mother and I headed home after school-me driving-mom says "Isn't that paint spot on the back seat the same color as was on the school's steps?" BUSTED, but that was the last I heard of it. (As always Mrs. Liebersbach did not cross the line between her students and the school's administration.)

One winter night (of many) a bunch (8-10) of us skier guys were staying at the Allen's cabin in Mineral-Jack, Larry, Tony, Peter B., Pete C., George, Gary, me,..? We were spread all over the cabin for sleeping-two bedrooms and the living area floor covered with mattresses. Tony had secured one of the bedroom beds, which included the luxury of an electric blanket. Just as we were collectively falling asleep for the night, I (sleeping on a mattress in the living room) smelled smoke and, while quietly alerting others, got up to investigate. The cabin was small, I rapidly found the source of the smoke; and when I opened the door to the bedroom where Tony and ?? were sleeping, I was confronted by the flames of a small fire on top of the blankets covering Tony, and by Tony's eyes the size of silver dollars looking over the edge of his flaming blanket. I realized immediately by the 'sweet' smell of the smoke that it was an electric fire started in Tony's blanket and my first action was to dive for the wall outlet and unplug the blanket. At the same moment Gary charged through the bedroom door, grabbed the burning blankets and dashed out the front door of the cabin with them still flaming. By that time the whole cabin was responding and the fire was rapidly quenched while Tony was checked to be sure he wasn't injured-he wasn't, just a little shaken. A good laugh, the cabin saved, Tony another blanket to stay warm and back to sleep-another story to tell.

Model A Travels
[I'm sure most of you remember Jack Allen driving his (really his dad's-J.D.) Ford Model A (the A) around town our Junior and Senior years, usually with Fredson, Catching, Bouett, Bartsch, or... riding along-often in the Rumble Seat on the back of the car, From the summer of 1962 until summer 1963 the A was a coupe (car body with a fixed roof). The summer of 1963 the coupe car body was changed out for a roadster (car with no fixed roof) body-same car (engine, axels, frame, etc.) underneath. This is the vehicle in the following stories-stories corroborated by Jack Feb/2021.]

The winter of 62/63, when we were up skiing and staying in Mineral, Jack and I used the A to learn to drive in adverse conditions. We would take the car to the Lassen Park Ski Area parking lot during off hours-often at night-after a fresh snow. We would take turns 'roaring' up the park road and as we entered the parking lot stomp the brakes as hard as we could, crank the steering wheel and then try to recover from the spin(s)-often several 360^ worth-before we hit something. We got pretty good at it as demonstrated in the story above recounting the running snow ball fight with Larry and Tony.

It was a nice spring day in Mineral when four of us (Jack, George, Larry or Pete C. {not sure which one} and I) were headed back to Red Bluff in the A and decided to see how far we could get 'on fumes'. We left Mineral with one gallon of gas in the tank, Jack at the wheel and a lot of optimism. We knew we would need the engine to get us up the grade from Mineral to Lassen Lodge, but after that it was all down hill to Dales Station and we could run that in 'Chinese overdrive' (coast with engine turned off). We made it to Lassen Lodge with fumes to spare and Jack shut the engine down to start the long, 25 mile coast. Jack spent the next many miles finessing the A between too much speed for the skinny tires and too little speed to reach the next good downgrade. Crossing the almost flat stretch just above the Paynes Creek CDC camp (now a full Cal Fire compound); the three of us 'along for the ride' (me up front, George and Larry/Pete in the Rumble Seat) were hanging out the sides of the A with ski poles pushing for all we were worth to help reach the last little downslope before firing the engine for the run past Dales. Timing the start to maximize coasting distance, but minimizing speed loss (causing the engine to use extra fuel to accelerate) Jack set the throttle, turned on the ignition, released the clutch and brought the engine to life about two miles east of Dales. With cumulative breaths held we motored past Dales, the McKenzie ranch and up the grade to Hog Lake/Flat. Passing over the flat by Hog Lake Jack slowly accelerated to get up maximum speed-45 to 50 mph-before shutting down again for the last 'overdrive' run down to the junction with Highway 99E. Well, we made it; and with the last drops of gas available we arrived at Jack's house with an empty tank-once turned off, the A would not start again until we pored gas into the tank!

[The following story was told to me by Jack A.-I have no recollection of it-and he asked it be told here; so I have chosen to tell the story with Jack in the first person.]
One night Dave and I were in my Model A coupe on the old Mill Creek Road (Mill Cr. Rd. {MCR} ran between Childs Meadows and Mineral somewhat parallel to and south of Hwy 36) returning to Mineral from?? I was driving, Dave enjoying another/any adventure-the main reason we liked to drive the MCR was to test our driving skills on the little used, very twisty road. As we came down the grade approaching the straight away into Mineral we were in a series of fairly sharp switch-back turns when the A's headlights went out-nothing but black night in front of me-no idea what had gone wrong with the lights-a bit terrified as I tried to remember the road ahead now gone from my vision with the car doing 35-40 mph-a steep cliff-like drop off one side of the road. The switch for the headlights on the A was mounted on the steering column; and in the dead dark of the car's interior David-without saying a word or showing any sign of concern-leaned past the gearshift stick, reached to the switch and toggled the headlights back on. We drove into Mineral and Dave had another adventure under his belt. (I never figured out what caused the lights to go out, but David figured out how to get them back on in time for me to keep us on the road.)

Spring (then called 'Easter') Break of 1964 Jack, George, and I decided to give ourselves a little pre-graduation gift by going to Disneyland in style; and in style we went driving the Model A-then a roadster-to L.A. and back. We planned to drive straight through nonstop both going and coming. With a top speed 45-50 mph, that amounted to 3-4 days-we would use the rumble seat as a 'sleeper cabin' with driver and 'navigator' in the front seat. We would have a two day/three night stay at a motel near Disneyland and have a great time-none of us had ever been there. The trip from Red Bluff to the L.A. area was pretty uneventful. We averaged about 45 mph, but felt like we were doing 65+ as the roadster had no top (hard or soft); so we were always 'in the wind' and occasionally damp, but lucked out with no major rain events. We often were passed by cars with the occupants waving to us in encouragement. They were most often cars we recognized as having passed us a couple of times before and probably had stopped for refreshment or ??? as we repassed them-tortois and hare. (We don't think we won any of the 'races'.) Two other occurrences on the southbound part of the trip of note were, first: the seemingly wild ride-probably hit 60mph-down the Grapevine just north of L.A. (We made sure we were all awake for that experience!), and second: the phenomenon of doing 45-50 mph in the far right lane of a six lane freeway and suddenly the two right most lanes-including us-are sucked off to merge with another freeway going away from where we wanted to go. Us 'country boys' had no experience with such big freeways; and it was quite a ride trying to quickly cross-at 45 mph-those lanes to our left where cars and trucks were roaring past us at 70-80 mph, horns blaring and fists-often with extended finger-shaking. No sooner had we successfully negotiated that maneuver than again the two right lanes-us in the far right-were being exited to another freeway going to ???' We made it though; and found a motel within walking distance of Disneyland, so we would not have to drive the A around the big city the next couple of days.

MORE STORIES (post RBUHS) from dave l.:
(Is this the right place to include these or is there a better 'section' for them?)

It was late spring of 1965 and I was walking across the campus of the Univ. of California , Berkeley (I was a freshman) when I saw "Bomb Hanoi" spray painted on the pavement in front of Sather Gate. I asked myself "Who is this Hanoi?" Thirteen months later (June 25, 1966-my 20th birthday) I was laying in a rice paddy securing a helicopter landing zone (LZ) being used to accumulate, for further transportation, the airlifted (by rope) bodies of American soldiers. I remember saying to myself "I know who Hanoi is!"

In March of 1967, after the big ambush, Gary and I decided to take a short leave (seven days) and visit the island of Okinawa-home of the 173rd Airborne until they were deployed to Vietnam in 1965-and let off some steam/tension. We arrived on Okinawa with $1500 (a small fortune in 1967) between us; some of the money to buy gifts and stereo equipment to take back home, but most of it to just blow, and blow it we did. (Our last [6th] night on the island we did not have enough money left to pay for our hotel rooms-$6 each. Mamasan, who owned and ran the hotel, trustingly took our IOUs for the stay [we were 'good boys'] and we had a roof over our head that last night. During Gary's next six months with Special Forces he was able to get back to Okinawa and paid Mamasan the owed $12 with a generous interest/bonus.) One night during this debauchery we were in a bar full of marines (after the 173rd left the marines were the primary military entity remaining on the island); and buying lots of rounds of cheap drinks for and telling war stories to our new found 'comrades in arms'-none of whom had been to Vietnam...yet. Gary and I, in our civilian clothes (authorized when on leave), were the only two army men in the bar of about 30-40 marine patrons. Well some marine at our table made an 'adverse' comment about paratroopers that pissed Gary off; so Gary hauled back and gave him a full roundhouse sending the marine, and his chair, crashing through the nearby tables. Gary then stands up and at the top of his voice shouts "Marines suck sh...!" I, realizing we were badly, badly outnumbered (even for Gary and I), shouted "Down" and dropped to my hands and knees, Gary following. Now the marines were looking around for somebody to punch and not seeing either of us decided to start beating up on one another-BAR FIGHT! Gary and I, undetected, were able to crawl through the tangle of brawling legs and bodies to the front door; and were just exiting the establishment when the first Shore Patrol (Navy Military Police-the marines are a part of the Navy) arrived blowing their whistles to summon help-they would need it. Gary and I, unbruised, were given a glance and left to our own wiles as we strolled off down the street to another bar. "They had us surrounded, the poor bastards."

[Reader alert-snake story] It was the second day of our patrol, having been inserted by rappel from a helicopter the evening before without incident. In single file, our six man team moved slowly and quietly through the jungle toward our assigned recon target. I was serving as radio man (RTO) on this patrol and, therefore, was third man in the 'line of march' right behind the team leader. As we crossed a somewhat open area where there was knee high grass and the trees were more widely separated our point man suddenly stopped with his foot in the air poised over the log of a fallen tree he was stepping across. "Snake." he whispered loudly as he pointed at the log. The team leader, having a fear of snakes, motioned me forward to deal with the situation. I moved up to the point man, still frozen in place with his foot above the log and asked, also in a whisper, "Where?" Again he pointed to the log and whispered "Snake." There was a bit of terror in his eyes and fear in his voice and this man, I knew, was not easily shaken I looked on both sides of and left and right along the log for the snake as the man remained fixed, foot in the air; but I could see nothing and assumed the creature must have slithered under the log. I whispered "Where did it go?" With increasing visible anxiety and frustration, the Point again whispered "Snake." and just pointed to the log. Using the tip of my rifle barrel I began to roll the log over to expose the snake, expecting it poised to attack; but the log did not roll! My rifle barrel pushed into the pliant side of the log-THE SNAKE!!! The log was the snake; the biggest snake (probably some species of Anaconda or???) I had/have/will ever encounter! The good news was it must have eaten fairly recently because it was completely lethargic lying there in the grass. We estimated it to be well over 18 feet long (we estimated using body length-mine-laid out next to the snake.); and, when I found its head under a bush, I could see it was the size of the back of both my hands put together. Well, having been awed but not really threatened, we had a patrol to finish, so we each carefully stepped over our 'log' and left it sleeping as we stealthily moved back into the gloom of the thicker jungle; knowing we had another great story to tell.

My return from Vietnam at the end of April 1967 began with a long (18+ hour) flight from Saigon to Travis AFB in California-the closet military air transport base to my new duty station, Oakland Army Base (OAB), Oakland, California. Although I was taking a couple of weeks of leave before reporting for duty, I was given a bus ticket only from Travis to Oakland-that was the Army's 'responsibility'. Not wanting to delay getting on with life I took my ticket and decided I would use it to first visit my sister Barbara (RBUHS ^66), a freshman at UCB, and maybe a few friends in Berkeley. After that I would just hitchhike back up to Red Bluff as I had done many times during my year (64/65) at UCB. [To be finished soon.]

[During the fourteen months (5/67-7/68) I served at OAB a number of our RBUHS classmates were also engaged in life in the Bay Area. Dave Morrison, Steve Crenshaw, and Judy (Coffman) Ratcliffe were attending UC Berkeley; Pam (Williams) Pitts was in her last year of Nursing School at Univ. Cal, S.F.; Larry Bouett worked at the Ski Hut in Berkeley; Jack Allen attended SF Art Institute; Linda Povey was attending Mills College in Oakland; Pete Catching was in the East Bay doing??; Tim O'Brien was living in San Francisco; and my sister, Barbara (RBUHS class of '66), was attending UC Berkeley. The following stories (^) were then and there.]

^When Jack Allen and I had coinciding free time we would often get together for some Bay Area adventure. On one such occasion we were leaving Oakland heading south on I-17 in my MGB-top down-at a fairly high speed (75-80) when a CHP cruiser popped up-out of nowhere as always-behind us with red lights flashing and siren whaling. I pulled over to the right lane to get out of his way; but he came over behind us, so I pulled over and stopped as did the cruiser. The officer exited his vehicle, walked up alongside the MG and, with stern face, flipped open his ticket book. Jack, in the passenger seat, leaned back smiling, looked up at the officer and said "Two cheeseburgers and chocolate shake please." I groaned-this was not my first speeding ticket-anticipating a not pleasant response and repercussions. The patrolman's face registered a brief moment of surprise; and then he doubled over laughing, tears in his eyes, and, upon recovering his composure, 'sternly' issued me a 'warning citation'. Thank you Jack for having a brash moment!

^One warm evening-1967/68-a bunch of us RBUHS guys (Dave and George Morrison, Larry Bouett, Pete Catching, Jack Allen[?], myself, and [???]) and others (not RBUHS) were 'visiting' at Dave Morrison's apartment in lower Berkeley. (Dave M. was a student a UCB-he and I had been dorm roommates the year ['64/'65] I was a student there. Dave's apartment building was several [3-5?] stories tall with all the apartments opening unto open air passageways-much like a motel.) Well we were all 'under the influence' of one substance or another and having a great time chasing one another with a bunch of plastic pistols that shot little plastic discs as 'bullets'. We had been running up and down the passageways, up and down the stairs, up and down the elevators pursuing one another with our 'pistols' for about 15-20 minutes. We were taking a break back in Dave's apartment-all lights turned off except for a couple of candles on the dining table that we sat around taking turns at trying to shoot out the flames of with our plastic disc dispensing pistols. Just as I had my pistol extended in front of me to take my shot, a flashlight beam illuminates my hand and pistol, and an authoritative voice calls out "BERKELEY PD, FREEZE, LAY THE GUN DOWN NOW!" There were two of them standing in the doorway, weapons drawn and aimed. I slowly turned my hand and pistol on its side and lay it on the table, raising my other hand open, palm out, into the air over my head (I was a Military Policeman at OAB at the time and knew they were not joking!). In a matter of seconds-long ones-the encounter was deescalated as the PD determined our 'guns' were in fact plastic toys and communicated with fellow officers, now surrounding the building and in search teams on every floor, to stand down; the situation was in hand. It turns out that someone in another apartment had seen us running by their window with the pistols and had called the police reporting a possible gun battle in progress. Well we filled out statements, exchanged apologies, promised no more play and gave a sigh of relief-had we still been running up and down the hallways when the police arrived and had come around a corner with a drawn 'pistol' there's a good chance one of us might have died that night in a hail of gunfire.

Educational Background:

1964-65 University of California, Berkeley, CA
1968-69 College of the Redwoods, Eureka, CA
1972-73 University of Alaska, Fairbanks AK (UAF)
1983-85 UAF
1988-UAF/B.S. Degree, Natural Resources Management (only took me 24 years!)
LIFE-Marriage and two children

Work Background:

I preface this chronology by saying that my 'work background' is also a great part of the 'special things you've done' because I have never worked at a job or place that wasn't an exciting, great adventure for me (except for a week in 1965 when Jack Allen and I worked in a King Crab cannery in Seldovia, Alaska-we only took the work because we were broke, stranded and about to be hungry [$2.12 left between us]); and which I was surprised someone would actually pay me to to do-so follows part of my great life adventure!

Summer of 1962: Upon getting my first driver's license, I went to work for an aircraft radio sales and repair shop ('West Coat Avionics') located at the Sacramento airport. My primary job was pickup and delivery, but that was not over taxing; so I learned, under the supervision of FAA certified technicians, to do aircraft radio wiring and installation. With this experience I also participated in many post installation aircraft check rides/trips-a cool job for a sixteen year old!

-Summer 1963 & 1964: Firefighter, California Div. of Forestry-Red Bluff. Summer 1965: cannery worker, construction laborer, odd jobber-Seldovia & Soldotna, Alaska.

-10/65-7/68: combat soldier, US Army, Long Range Recon Patrol, 173rd Airborne Brigade-Vietnam. (8/66-11/66: recovering from wounds and malaria-Camp Zama Army Hospital, Japan), Military Police/Criminal Investigator-Oakland Army Base, Oakland, CA.

-1968/69: After the army I worked as a firefighter and forest fire truck driver for the California Div. of Forestry-Red Bluff, and as a trail worker, National Park Service-Lassen Nat'l Park, Mineral. I went back to school at College of the Redwoods-Eureka winter of 68/69.

-In December of 1969 I began 14 years of alternating between winter work (professional ski patrolman/snow cat operator/ski equipment salesman at Sierra Blanca Ski Area-Ruidoso, NM) or travelling (Europe-2 trips, North Africa, Peru, South Pacific islands, Mexico), and summer work in wildland fire management (smokejumper, fire dispatcher, suppression equipment operator, suppression foreman, fire management officer, field station manager) in Alaska with the US Dept. of Interior, BLM. (During the time employed with BLM I also led wildfire responses to the provinces of Ontario-1980, Alberta-1981 and Yukon Territory-1982 of Canada. Also during this period I spent my first full winter in Alaska-1972/73-attending college at UAF and experiencing my first -40^F weather. [We rented an apartment from Larry Bouett in Fairbanks.])

-1983/96: At the age of 36 I began my first year-round employment (except for the army), working for the USDI, Bureau of Land Management's (BLM's) Alaska Fire Service, Glennallen District and Arctic District-all in Alaska. During this time I served as the Fire Management Officer at McGrath and Galena, the Fire Coordination Center Director in Fairbanks, District Manager at Glennallen and Director of Renewable Resources for the Arctic District. In the winters I taught night classes in Fire Management for the Natural Resources Department at UAF and Tanana Valley Junior College in Fairbanks. During this 13 years I also led Alaska's National Type 1 Interagency Incident Management Team in response to major wildfires in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and South Dakota; and in response to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and major flood events in Alaska. Additionally I instructed fire management courses at the National Advanced Resource Technology Center (NARTC) in Marana, AZ. (I also managed to finish college and get my degree during this time.) In September of 1996 I retired from the BLM at the age of 50 with 29+ years of service.

1996/2007: In September of 1996, after a weekend of retirement from the federal government, I began a 10 year career with the State of Alaska as Director of the Alaska Division of Emergency Services (the state counterpart to FEMA) and later-post 9/11/2001-the Alaska Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (the state counterpart to the Department of Homeland Security). (This position was by appointment of the governor[s] of Alaska.) Our agency responded to large fire, flood, avalanche, fuel shortage, search & rescue, earthquake, high wind and severe weather events/disasters, and whatever else threatened the citizens of Alaska. From April of 2004 to September of 2005 I served as the President of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA). I retired from the State of Alaska January 2, 2007.

I am still retired and will stay retired!!! I serve as a volunteer with the American Field Services (AFS) Student Exchange Program (the same program that brought Peter Bartsch to Red Bluff), Alaska Chapter and every few years I serve at election polling stations.

So, I didn't quite stay fully retired. I just completed (re-retired 8/21/2010) a short stint of intermittent employment-5 months-with the U.S. Census Bureau. I worked for their office of 'Remote Alaska' travelling to places like Wainwright (Arctic coast) and Akutan (Aluetian Islands)-and a lot in between-counting and interviewing people for the 2010 census. Great fun, easy work, travel across my favorite state and I was even paid to do it!!

I did it again-I worked for the U.S. Census Bureau in the 2020 census. I started in August 2019 with address canvasing (confirming houses were still there and occupied, and adding new addresses since 2010) and then worked again in the Remote Alaska section until Covid-19 shut us down. Back in retirement now.

Special things you've done:

-Met my love in 1984 while attending UAF (we had classes together) and we married in 1989 and had two great childern-Tamiah and Sam.

-Summer 1965: Hitchhiked from Anchorage, Alaska to Red Bluff (down the Alaska Highway) via Denver, CO (that is where one loooong ride took me) in 10 days. (Jack Allen, my travelling companion that summer, left Anchorage 2 hours ahead of me-we split to travel home because we felt we would have a better chance of catching rides-and arrived 7 days ahead of me! Now there was a ride.)

-Parachuted from airplanes (Army Airborne-GA & Smokejumper-AK) and helicopters (Vietnam).

-Sailed 32' cutter rigged sailboat from California to the Marquaesa & Tuamotu Islands and Tahiti with Jack Allen and two 'friends' in 1977.

-Travelled through the Sahara Desert (Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco) with Peter Bartsch in 1981.
-Rode a cammel in the Sahara Desert (Aoulef, Algeria).

-Travelled behind the Iron Curtain to Dresden, East Germany in 1982 with a wanted Czech defector and smuggled her family heirlooms out to West Germany in the door pannels of my car. (Bananas and Czech beer made a great gift for the East German border guards-they looked no further!)

-Travelled through Turkey by bus-spent Christmas Day 1984 on coast of Black Sea (Trabzon, Turkey).

-In 1987 Jack Allen and I trailered a 14 foot sailboat behind a VW pop-top camper to San Carlos (SC), Mexico which is just north of Guaymas in the state of Sanora and on the mainland (east) side of the Sea of Cortez/Gulf of California. (SC was the filming location of 'Catch 22'.) We sailed the boat in the gulf along the coast north from SC for two weeks of wildlife/bird watching, hiking, camping and meeting local fishermen and their families. A great time was had by all!-Jack and I.

-In late Februaury/early March, 1979 I spent a month travelling by train and bus through Peru. I had gone there to find Peter Bartsch, who was also travelling in Peru, but we never connected; although I did get to have lunch with the Swiss ambassador to Peru and his wife when I showed up at his home asking about Peter. I met some great French girls (in the hot pools of Aquis Calente), traveled with a Swiss couple and some Germans, drank a lot of cheap ($1/bottle)rum and chewed a lot of hash leaves. The 'highest' I got was drinking Peruvian beer while crossing the Andes through a 15,000+ ft pass on a narrow gage railroad.

(More to Come-maybe?)

-Resisted writing a book about all of this, but...

Favorite Vacation Spot(s):

Kodiak, Alaska/Puerto Vallarta, Mexico/Maui, Hawaii/Lugano, Switzerland/ship cruises-anywhere

Favorite Movie(s):

The Martian
Band of Brothers-HBO TV movie series
The Great Debaters
Saving Private Ryan

Favorite Book(s)

Caravans-James Mitchner
Slow Waltz In Cedar Bend-Robert James Waller
High Plains Tango-Robert James Waller
The Killer Angels-Michael Shaara
Lonesome Dove-Larry McMurtry
The Milagro Beanfield War-John Nichols
The Sound of Thunder-Wilbur Smith
The Old Man and the Sea-Ernest Hemingway
All of Patrick O'Brian's works
East of Eden-John Steinbeck
The Long Valley-John Steinbeck
Time Enough for Love-Robert Heinlein
Lord Jim-Joseph Conrad
Kim-Rudyard Kipling
The Martian-Andy Weir
Joe Pickett series-C. J. Box
Walt Longmire series-Craig Johnson


Living a full and satisfying life-keeping the glass full even if it means spilling a little here and there!

"Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks."-Robert Heinlein, 'Time Enough for Love'

"Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win."-Robert Heinlein, 'Time Enough for Love'

"...fine line between eating smart to live longer and boring oneself to death."-James Patterson, 'Cross Fire'

The following are favorites from fortune cookies:
-'There is always time for you to try a new path in life'
-'You may lack ambition, but not the ability to succeed'
-'A zesty partner can help you in your efforts to get ahead.'
-'Romance and travel go together.'
-'You have a flair for adding a fanciful dimension to any story.

From the movie 'The Martian':
-I'll have to science the hell out of it"

From maritime flare gun instructions:
-'After all precautions, pull trigger.'

From HBO series 'Band of Brothers' (101st ABN siege in Bastogne):
-"We're paratroopers; we are supposed to be surrounded"

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Jan 16, 2021 at 10:41 AM

Happy Birthday Young Lady! Have a Great Day, Stay Happy, Stay Well!

Take Care,

dave l.

Jan 08, 2021 at 12:28 PM

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Ron! I still have a picture of you and Rick playing ball with our Boston Terrier 'Toughie' in our backyard on Sherman Drive. Hope this finds you and yours well and happy-Have a Great Day!
dave l.

Jan 08, 2021 at 12:22 PM

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Rick! I still have the picture of you and Ron playing ball with our Boston Terrier 'Toughie' in our (Liebersbach's) backyard on Sherman Drive.. Hope you are still enjoying your retirement-Have a great day!!
dave l,

Jan 02, 2021 at 12:26 PM

Happy, Happy Birthday Jeff!! Three quarters of a century may sound like a long time, but how does it feel? Maybe not so long? Here's to the the next 3/4s, or whatever we can get out of it. You and yours be well-Take Care!!
dave l.

Dave Liebersbach posted a message. New comment added.
Nov 30, 2020 at 11:29 AM

Posted on: Nov 30, 2020 at 10:56 AM

Dave Liebersbach
Hi Jody! (Not sure how all these replies work, so I'm sticking this in several places in hopes it gets to you-and others.)
Thanks so much for your interest and comments. Gary's name is not on the memorial because he did not die in combat in Vietnam. While he was in the army at the time, he was home on leave between six month assignment in Vietnam when he was lost. I am sorry about that (and, as you will read later in his story, so most definitely was Gary-probably). If you are in the DC area again, and so inclined, Gary is buried in Arlington National Cemetery (resting place of many other heroes and presidents) in a 'group' grave with the recovered remains of other service (mostly Navy) members on the flight with him when the aircraft went down in Alaska

Dave Liebersbach posted a message. New comment added.
Nov 30, 2020 at 1:57 PM

Posted on: Nov 29, 2020 at 1:32 PM

Working on it now-thanks so much for your interest-spread the word


Nov 28, 2020 at 6:01 PM

See my narrative on Gary Lotze's life 1964-67 under "In Memory" 1967.

Dave Liebersbach has a birthday today.
Jun 25, 2020 at 1:33 AM
Dave Liebersbach has a birthday today.
Jun 25, 2019 at 1:33 AM
Dave Liebersbach has a birthday today.
Jun 25, 2018 at 1:33 AM
Dave Liebersbach has a birthday today.
Jun 25, 2017 at 1:33 AM
Dave Liebersbach has a birthday today.
Jun 25, 2016 at 1:33 AM
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Jun 25, 2015 at 10:35 AM

Posted on: Jun 25, 2015 at 1:34 AM

Jun 20, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Happy Birthday David,
Well our 50th is almost here. I think that it is going to be a great time. I have enjoyed reading all that you have done in your life. I look forward to seeing you at the reunion.
Happy Birthday! Judy