Thursday, October 18, 2007

On down the East Coast

Ft Knox was a bit of a let down. Not a horrible assignment, just not what I imagined. (For the record, I didn't have a single horrible assignment while I was on the road.)

The gold Repository was, well, smaller than I expected. My bet is that there's nothing in it.

I did run into a friend on site. We had been roommates in sunny Selma, AL a few years earlier. I've run into him off and on and here and there since then.

That stop was the last time, to date, that I've seen another friend from Selma, JD. He was pretty much the first friend I made in Cell Block 915.

On down to Orlando. Now, that was a great stop!

My wife and daughter came down to stay for the duration.

All three of my "Little" brothers were born in Orlando and I had a lot of memories.

Thanks to Bill U. we were comp'ed into Disneyworld for a day. (Do Not ride that damn 'Small World' ride first, if at all. That song will kill ya!)

Bill U. took a day or two off to go see his cousin get blasted into space aboard the space shuttle!

Work was interesting. Two or three things come to mind...

One morning I was out in the hangar and kept hearing a tinkling noise, like a dog collar. I finally dislodged myself from the plane far enough to look across the hangar. The noise was coming from shackles!

It seems that the place was a stop on the Con Air Express. They were marching con's off of a DC9 and in to the bathroom. (I wonder if they saw Dallas that night?)

We went to Canaveral to see the museum.

We got to work another morning to find that one of the guys had decided to "Sweep Up" the hangar. He even talked a pilot into helping out! They pulled a U21 out of the hangar and fired that muther up!!! Can you say 'counter productive'? Using a King Air to sweep the hangar, while it must have sounded like a good idea, at the time... I can only hope neither of them said, "Here, hold my beer and watch this!"

In second place among the Orlando Adventures goes to...

The lead man of the site and I were out front. OK we were out there smoking. As we talked I saw all of these HIGH dollar rides pulling up to the gate and being admitted to the ramp.

When we went back inside, the previously vacant FBO was full. It was full of really big guys. We were separated pretty quickly in the crowd and I found myself in a 'Steady Bearing Decreasing Range Situation' with the biggest guy of the bunch. I accelerated. Just as I thought I was clear...

This hand came out of the sky and landed on my shoulder. I turned and looked eye to belt buckle with this dude, then craned my neck to look up to see his face.

"Say, Bro, they got a soda machine around here?"

"Sure. Follow me."

I got a cup of coffee and he went for a soda.

When I got back to the hangar deck, the lead man and Bill U. were laughing their heads off.

"What's so funny? What did I miss?"

"Do you know who that was?"

"It was the biggest sum-bitch I've ever seen in my life but, no..."


Rookie year. Orlando Magic.

The single coolest thing about the trip...

Remember, my brothers were born in Orlando during the Apollo days. We'd watch the launches on the Today Show. When it was 'time', Daddy would gather us up and we'd head to the back yard to actually watch the rockets go up.

Remember Bill U's cousin?

The morning of the launch we woke up late! You can imagine my first word of the day. I hit the remote on the hotel TV, "Launch delayed." Sweet words!

I held my baby daughter as we watched the Today Show. When it was time, we walked out on the balcony and watched the shuttle launch.

That, boys n girls, ranks among the Top Moments of My Life! My daughter may never remember it but I will never forget it.

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