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Had a great time AT Dayton, not so much fun either on the way in or back!

It was great to put faces to names and talk about all and sundry.

Happy was definitely the life of the party, and not just ours - the pitcher incident had some girls sitting behind us laughing in disbelief /applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=%7BSMILIES_PATH%7D/icon_biggrin.gif&key=64cd7b7a0036899205810ec0a5b90ed7121d5889dd92733089c47c9758b7f4ae">

I now know that Pierre not hearing comms and getting seperated from the flight has NOTHING to do with IL2 or teamspeak ;)

Sandy you bastard!

Chunk didn't snore anywhere as much as I feared.

Ohio was definitely 'interesting' on the sociology side of things.

In my absence work has piled up, would like to say more but I have a mountain to get through.

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I enjoyed meeting everyone as well. Was kind of nice to sit in the rocking chairs outside of Cracker Barrel and talk about...

MATTHEWS PARTY OF FIVE YOUR TABLE IS READY!


Of course we had to hang around Cracker Barrel so that Happy was in a target rich environment for his skirt chasing since they were too quick for him at Hooters.

SPENCER PARTY OF TWO YOUR TABLE IS READY!


And Dub had that great story about the time he and a buddy of his went to Tijuana, had to much tequila, spotted a cathouse and ....

MATTHEWS PARTY OF FIVE, SECOND CALL,YOUR TABLE IS READY!

by the time he sobered up he was covered with ants...or at least one. I'm not real sure.

Even though we have teased Happy about his Inertial Navigational System (defined as a lost object in motion continues to stay lost in motion unless acted upon by an outside force like someone telling Happy to fly course 240 until we find him) it should be noted he managed to navigate to the Wright-Patt AFB museum before the rest of the guys despite starting there later.

It was good to meet BF and see he is far from needing Decoder rings in person as he told us the story of....

JONES PARTY OF FOUR, YOUR TABLE IS READY!

...at least it seemed coherent...

Oh, and I was surprised with Ken-Doll's appearance. Defintely didn't seem to fit with the rest of us old farts. We'll have to fix that.

working on getting my pictures dumped off the camera...

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Salute Wing Walkers!

Just wanted to thank you illustrious gentleman for allowing my family and myself the pleasure and honor to meet and join you all for dinner and for your gracuous extension of the three tickets to the air show.

Pierre, it was my extreme pleasure to finally meet you my friend /applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=%7BSMILIES_PATH%7D/icon_biggrin.gif&key=64cd7b7a0036899205810ec0a5b90ed7121d5889dd92733089c47c9758b7f4ae">

Thx again to all of you and to one hell of a squadron! /applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=%7BSMILIES_PATH%7D/icon_biggrin.gif&key=64cd7b7a0036899205810ec0a5b90ed7121d5889dd92733089c47c9758b7f4ae">

S! Murph

PS for the record I can attest that Happy is most certainly one happy camper /applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=%7BSMILIES_PATH%7D/icon_biggrin.gif&key=64cd7b7a0036899205810ec0a5b90ed7121d5889dd92733089c47c9758b7f4ae">

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Sorry about the Ice_Tea incident guys /applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=%7BSMILIES_PATH%7D/icon_wink.gif&key=940dab18e6395dabf49383a0bb376331df53e6f1880bab3f9e4e80745a8cc9ca"> But i was dieing of thirst after all the talking i did :lol:


Hehe, don't worry about Happy. WWs like a take charge kinda guy...

WWIceTea....hmmmmmmm

8)

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S! Murph

It was good to meet you and your family and a pleasure to have you join us Friday night and Saturday.

We're glad the tickets went to good use.

S!

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I certainly echo the sentiments of all who attended the Dayton gathering of WingWalkers and thank everyone who put forth such a great effort in so many ways.

I could take this time to post my highlights of the trip but, if you would allow me, I would like to post from the bowels of my emotions and spirituality at this time.

Friday night's WW dinner was a marriage of pure joy and absolute sorrow. I was quieter than my usual self that night because I was wrestling deep inside as to whether I was going to say a few words about Art. Chuck certainly gave everyone that opportunity as he opened the floor and I was about to take advantage of it but, I couldn't. You see, I have not yet grieved over the loss of my friend of 30 years. I feared that I would lose all control of my emotions and turn such a joyous event into something Art would not have wanted.

One of my prepared speeches was actually a poem that moved me so very deeply at my most recent family loss that truly hit the mark and represents so well Art's life and the Memorial Award in his honor. Allow me to share it with you now.

The Dash - by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the date on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came her date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life's actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

Art lived a good dash. I miss him.

Sorry for the long post.

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Art lived a good dash. I miss him.


Amen.

Wonderful poem Pepe. /applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=%7BSMILIES_PATH%7D/thumbsup.gif&key=740950605ea2b767b0522526afb1c81551f03118b6b4457f095c43ae8aab1fd4">

~~

From a country tune I heard today...

  • It's not what we take with us when we go
    it's what we leave behind when we're gone



Art left a legacy of enjoying life, family and friends.

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Well, it was one of the highlights of my life, for sure.

Somebody, Pepe, I think, said: "I think about the WingWalkers every day." That's true for me as well. We can only get stronger.

My folks were waiting for me at Kelly Lake International when I arrived. They are both in their eighties with Mom having a few years on Dad. They were looking pretty frail standing there at the bottom of the stairs.

They are in pretty good shape yet, though. When I got back to the house I saw that they were still buying green bananas; that is a good sign. /applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=%7BSMILIES_PATH%7D/icon_wink.gif&key=940dab18e6395dabf49383a0bb376331df53e6f1880bab3f9e4e80745a8cc9ca">

Good to see all the pics.

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Wow! What a wonderful time!!!

My higlights for the week:

:arrow: Day One:
14 hrs on the road
Blew right on by Meteor Crator in AZ; saw the crater rim from the hi-way
Thunder-showers about 80 miles N of Phoenix, through Flagstaff, with clearing between the crater and Winslow.
Beautiful canyon scenery entering NM, spoiled by a billboard every 200 yards advertising local crafts.
T-Showers again approaching Albuquerque NM, with clearing again about 20 miles east of there.
Stopped for the night in Santa Rosa NM

:arrow: Day Two:
14 hrs on the road
Rain until 10 miles into TX followed by partly cloudy skys
Wonderful 2 hr stop in OK City to lunch and visit with Mr. and Mrs Zapp (terrific mexican food, and even better company!)
The MO Ozarks is a beautiful area (at least what I saw of it from the I-44 corridor.)
Crashed in Pacific MO for the night (just W of St. Louis)

:arrow: Day Three
8 hrs on the road
Missed half of IL due to early morning darkness
Not much to note of IN (looks very much like the I-5 corridor in NW OR and SW WA. Drive was pleasant non-the-less
Arrived in Dayton at noon-30-ish.
Called Monte back on is cell from just outside the room (just to make sure he wasn't trapesing about in women's underwear before I walked in...)
Sat about chatting as if we'd always done so, while we waited for Ian to make his appearence.
Ian, Monte, and I BSed for a few minutes before we hopped in Ian's rental and headed to the AF museum.
The three of us met Chuck, Tom, and Curt there and we spent a good 2-3 hours maveling over the vintage AC. Conversation was lively and company excedingly enjoyable.
Back at the hotel, the six of us met-up with the rest of the troupe and we headed the the local Cracker Barrel where we had a light munch and shot the sh%$ for the next couple of hours.
Next it was time to freshen-up and head over to the Crab Shack for the official start of the festivities.
Chuck, Ian, and Happy stood to address the group and honor Art. Monte choked me up with his gracious acceptance of the Art Stacy Award, tears came to my eyes with Ian's tribute to Art.
Thanks again to Chris and Scott for buying the drinks. What a very thoughtful gesture, and well appreciated!
Curt EARNED his new online nickname!!!
Sleep that night came all too easily when we got back to our rooms.

:arrow: Day Four
Breakfast at "Crackle Barrer" picked up right where we left off from the night before (BTW... there was nothing wrong with the PA system; that was her real voice, as I witnessed it person when she announced that the "Donner party of 4... no... 3..." was ready to be seated.)
5 of us, packed like sardines in my vehicle, started off for the air-show and I had to demonstrate how well my Nav-system worked; "please turn left in .3 miles... please make a legal U-turn at the next intersection... please make a legal U-turn at the next intersection... please make a legal U-turn at the next intersection..." I lost my composure at that point and surprised my co-pilot (Ian, and drew a chuckle from the gunner positions) with my natural command of the Naval language.
Regardless, we arrived at the airshow with all of our parts still arranged in their normal places, with little to show for the wear and tear.
Spent the rest of the morning trundling about the static displays and browsing the vendor tents.
The airshow started about 40 minutes late, but the Tora-Tora-Tora show was an enjoyble watch. Since I'm not much into modern jets, the rest of the show was OK to watch, however I did like the p-38/F-16 fly-bys. As Frank mentioned, I did have a moment of "startling amazement" when the F/A-18s did a sneak fly-by. A 20-foot leap is about average for me when I'm "calm." You should see me when I'm terrified!
The wait in line for our shuttle to the parking lot was enirely enjoyable with our close company and Tom's insistance that the Ventura on display was wearing the WW Shield. ;)
The drive back to home-base was much more relaxing, even though it still took us the better part of an hour to navigate the 4 miles (typical event parking-lot grid-lock).
Refreshed and decked in our evening-best we made headway to the Outback, but decided the hour long wait was not worth it, so we sauntered across the parking-lot to the Lon Star, with the same result. By the time we reached the next restaraunt (Matt and Emma's...?) the hour-long wait seemed reasonable after-all and, like the children we are, found ourselves crawling through the little home-built aircraft shell dislpayed just outside the front door.
Once inside the door and Tom had a chance to survey his surroundings, he made mention of the lonely-looking iced-tea pitcher left unattended near the waiter's station... losers-weepers, I say, and dared him to self-serve himself. Non-chalantly, Tom strolls over to the mini-wall, and quickly checks-6 as a waitress breezed by. No sooner had the threat passed when Tom siezed the opportunity, took possession of the prize, and made-quick his escape to friendly territory, whereby he chugged nearly 1/2 the contents directly from the pitcher; ice-cubes and all found their way, quickly, down his thirsty gullet!
After we'd dusted off our plates, we separated into a couple of groups to talk about our glory-days and swap war stories.
Once we'd closed the shop down, some of us met in Paul's room to watch a movie and wind-down for the night, we only made it through 1/2 the movie before we found ourselves heading back to our own rooms to sleep off the day's excitement.

:arrow: Day Five
Breafast at the "Crackle Barrer" was had and some of us needed to head out while others were planning on doing the AF museum tour. This is where I said my fare-wells and hopped back into my trusty mount for the return trip.
Many hrs later I found myself in Joplin Mo ready to chase ZZZZs.

:arrow: Day Six
3am start had me blowing through OK city around dawn. Mr. and Mrs. Zapp had extended an invitation to stop by again on my way back, but I worried that dropping in so early in the morning would not be the neighborly thing to do.
My day ended before sun-down in the eastern outskirts of Albuquerque, NM, where a record down-pour flooded much of the city. Discression being the better part of valor, I decided that waiting out the storm in a hotel was much more advantagious than attempting to slog through flooded streets and rush-hour traffic.
After eating a pepperoni, olive, and mushroom pizza, slumber arrived with a welcome embrace.

:arrow: Day Seven
On the road again at 4:30am and home by 6:15pm, with nothing much to report other than to mention how beautiful the Flagstaff, AZ, area is in the sunshine.
As soon as I got in the house, I called my daughter to let her know I was back in town and set up a 3 day visit.
Next I opened up IRC and let you folks know I was back home safe and sound.

I want to say, again, how much of an honor it was to finally meet you all in person and how much I enjoyed all of your company!! I can hardly wait until our next gathering!

Salute WW!

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Whew /applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=%7BSMILIES_PATH%7D/icon_wink.gif&key=940dab18e6395dabf49383a0bb376331df53e6f1880bab3f9e4e80745a8cc9ca"> That was a long trip for you dub. Glad you had a good time and a safe trip. it was a pleasure meeting you in person. WWICE _Tea :D

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This just in.....WWKen_Doll made a return trip to "the restaraunt that shall be nameless" and ran into Jen Tilley. Odd, I know but I have proof.

poker_g_tillylaak_275.jpg.3afd9519d3242d81b5464ab30dad7317.jpg

Edited by Guest

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:mrgreen: /applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=%7BSMILIES_PATH%7D/icon_clap.gif&key=b3c3b69dc821e094f8e6a428b61d77ca8c19db84efe7e1e7ef7215326ff9b4bd"> :D/

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jen is a friend of our family /applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=%7BSMILIES_PATH%7D/icon_biggrin.gif&key=64cd7b7a0036899205810ec0a5b90ed7121d5889dd92733089c47c9758b7f4ae">

try not staring at her at christmas dinner after seeing bound ;)

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nope - she's MINE!

haven't seen her in years unfortunately. Brother in law goes stupid around her.. oh wait. He's just stupid ;)

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