Travels With Ponsie – Wherein An Old Sailor Makes a Road Trip South

| January 5, 2013

With apologies to John Steinbeck.

“We need a vacation”, The Wife explained. “We’ll head down to Florida for Christmas and New Years and bask on some warm sunny beaches instead of freezing up here on the ridge in West Virginia”, she elaborated.

Murphy was ready too… Much more below the break.

Knoxville offered up THE worst rain storm I’ve driven through in some time. Made for slower progress than planned, and a few exciting moments behind the wheel.

By Chattanooga the weather had improved, but a semi wrecked and traffic stopped. We finally got off the interstate, found a room, and rested.

Arrived at Eglin AFB more less when we expected. Checked in at the visitor center (we had reservations to stay there) and discovered that the ID card I’ve been carrying for 20+ years was no longer valid. We were directed to a building where I was issued a new card – eventually. The Wife got a bit of a thrill when our route took us under the flight path of several landing F-15s. I should also note that the folks at Eglin treated us great, and that our room was fine.

But… the temps at night were mostly in the 20’s. AND there was little sun to bask in as well.

I’ve already noted some geezer visible anomalies about the base , but there were a coupla side notes:

At the “Designated Tobacco Use Area” I met a gentleman from Malaysia. He had left there after surviving some Islamic rancor. He moved first to Singapore and then to California, and is a citizen here now. Works for an Apple subsidiary. He certainly had an interesting perspective.

Also met a lady from Spain… working as a maid on the base. Her perspective on things in Spain was also enlightening.

Both were decidedly worried about the US with a clarity that was a bit spooky.

Did manage to visit various attractions in the area. Fort Pickens , The Armament Museum, and The Kohbar Towers Memorial, for instance.

Got pix, of course, including The Wife sitting in an A-10 trainer, but I won’t bore you further.

And we visited with Col. Harry and his (much to good for him) wife Mary. Also met Frankie and Lacy.

BTW, we did, indeed get ONE day of warm during the trip on Sanibel.

Category: Air Force, Geezer Alert!

Comments (3)

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  1. streetsweeper says:

    How are COL and Mary? Oh crap, contact me on FB unless you have my gmail addy while I am thinking about it. Gracious.

  2. Harry says:

    Nice to hear the hillbilly’s made it back to the ridge…what’s the temperature these days on the ridge? We’re in 60s and 70s this week……you picked the wrong weeks….
    Glad you had a safe trip…it was our honor to visit with you both and fellowship…….

  3. Devtun says:

    The 2005 BRAC has transformed Eglin into a super joint service base. The 7th SFG have completed their move fron Ft Bragg and the base is the official training center for fighter pilots who will fly the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter AF/USN/USMC. The Army 6th RTB and Navy controlled EOD school still going strong.

    Eglin AFB was U.S. Army property back when it was founded in 1936 and they are taking it back…often you see more soldiers than any other service folks at the hospital, BX/commissary, food court, Burger King, and the east/west gate track and field.