Now that I knew how to fly the C-130, it was time to learn how to land
it in the dirt
. So I got into my old Porsche and headed for
AFB, where they teach such things. I was born in North Carolina
and I keep
Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, April 21, 1970
My route of travel takes me within 10 miles of Strawberry Plains, Tenn,
Ron Knight's home. I'd stop to see his mother there but I can't
recall her name (she's remarried). I met her only once, at Moody
when we graduated from pilot training.
Ron Knight was a good friend in pilot training
October 8, 1969
when the EC-47
he was flying caught fire
always regretted not looking up his mom.
I took the long way to North Carolina so I could visit Mike and Carol
Fairborn, Ohio. I've known Mike since 1956 and Carol since
1963. While we
were roommates at Duke, Mike purchased a 1960
Renault 4CV (which he still has). Thus began his career as a
died-in-the-wool car nut.
Head Hunting, April 22, 1970
After breakfast we
drove down to Dayton Cracked Block (honest, it's a real
company) to see about getting a cylinder head for the Renault
repaired. As it turns out, it'd be cheaper to replace than
repair, so no soap there. On the way back we stopped at the
Porsche dealer and picked up a needed oil cap for me.
When we got
home Mike started calling junk yards to find a head and then we were
off to a couple of them to locate same. No soap. Just lots of
wandering through the yard looking at dead cars (which Mike dearly
loves to do).
On the way
home we stopped at the body shop that's
working on Mike's 1948 Fiat. Looks like they've finished the
bodywork, so now Mike & I will tow it home Monday so he can start
sanding in preparation for painting. It's really a cute little
car. So now Mike is painting a door sill on his Renault.
Home Security, September 1970
Mike was an intel officer at Wright-Patterson AFB. He got orders
to Vietnam while I was at CCK. He decided to buy Carol a .38
revolver. He wrote further...
I am also going to get me an
ambulance siren... and hook it up to a switch by the bed.
Then if Carol hears a noise in the night she can trigger the siren
which will trigger the dog and cause almost any would-be intruder to
run up his laundry bill.
Finally at Pope April 24, 1970
I drove about 5 hours with the top down (it was a beautiful day once I
got out of Ohio) and have got myself a noticeable sun/wind burn.
a marine from Camp LeJeune a ride. He was overdue on returning
from a pass from LeJeune. He'd gone home to Memphis--500 miles is
a bit far to hitchhike on a pass. When I asked him how long he
had left in the Marines he said he was about to receive a
Here I am at
Pope Airplane Field Base.
I think. There's not even a gate. I just wandered in and
ran into the base ops cafeteria, so I decided the first order of
business was supper.
Lieutenant Baker, April 25, 1970
I flew enough hours as a C-141 copilot that I was able to go directly
C-130's as aircraft commander. The flip
side is that I was the most junior AC in my C-130 class, so I got
Monday flying schedule is up and since RHIP (rank has its privileges)
guess who got the earliest flight. Yup. Good old yours
truly. I'm the only lieutenant pilot.
going to drive up to Harrellsville to see my relatives.
Harrellsville, April 27, 1970
at my Aunt Callie's house in Harrellsville in one of the 5 bedrooms
(this one was once the parlor) of their old farm house. Saw my
cousin Nell & her husband Harvey for the first time in ages--they
have a couple of really neat kids.
After supper I
drove over to my cousin Richard Jr's. He and Jackie have 2 boys
and it was Mike's birthday so a couple of his little friends were over
for his birthday party. They wanted to ride in my car (boy did
they ever) so I took the flock for a ride and they seemed to get a big
charge out of it.
I had lunch
with my Aunt Susie & Uncle Richard. Nell and Harvey were
there with their kids (Leah is a most precocious 5-year-old--she thinks
like a 10-year-old). Richard Jr. and Mike joined later.
After a couple of hours I returned to Aunt Callie's (Mike & Leah
wanted to ride in my car so I drove them to Richard & Jackie's).