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» Saturday, October 07, 2017An Uncommonly Nice Day
It started out a little dicky, however; James woke up feeling a little odd, but it turned out to be low blood sugar and a serving of juice straightened it out. This got us up earlier than we'd planned, so we were able to have a slow breakfast and then get on the road. It was spritzing lightly, so we covered the power chair and got on the road. Hurricane Nate [neé Tropical Storm Nate] has put a crimp in the weekend, leaving heavy clouds everywhere, although it's good for James and I, as neither of us are supposed to be out in the sun.
By the time we got to Peachtree-DeKalb Airport, the spritz had gone on the fritz and we were able to have a good time at the Warbird Weekend. This year they were celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Tuskegee Airmen, and two of the gentlemen were actually here!
We were greeted practically at the gate by the IPMS folks, including two of the guys from IPMS Marietta who had sent James a get well card. There were several exhibition booths there, including a display about service chaplains that looks like it was borrowed from the Tennessee Air Museum, and then we walked out to the flightline. There were a good dozen planes out there, and I'm starting to be able to recognize some of them (but then Corsairs and Stearmans are very recognizable, and the DC3 said "Douglas" right on the side).
We walked about and took photographs of all of the planes, plus a World War II-era ambulance and fire truck. Some folks were dressed in period dress, and there were other vintage items dotted about. (One "Rosie" had her little boys in caps and shorts and they were adorable! There was also a General MacArthur; as he walked by I whispered to James "He has returned!") There was a film you could see about the Tuskegee Airmen, but there was a long line and no way for James to step up into the theatre. Then I took a seat on my folding cane and James tooled around a bit on his own, taking photographs himself. We also had a tangerine ice that was very orange flavored (colored an orange not found in nature) and listened to a trio of women sing World War II tunes!
However, we were able to listen to one of the Tuskegee Airmen talk about his career. This was Lieutenant Colonel Harry Stewart, who played with wooden airplane models as a boy and fought imaginary World War I battles with his friends. He volunteered for the service instead of being drafted so he could choose where he went (if you were drafted you went where they sent you). He had already heard they were choosing young African American men to learn to fly, and that's what he did. He made a record three kills in one day (he shot down two planes, and the third crashed trying to follow him) and won a Distinguished Service Cross. After the war, when the Air Force was incorporated, they decided to reinstate "Top Gun" wargames to keep up the flyers' expertise, he and his Tuskegee companions came in first!
He also had a very funny story about when he was training in a P-47 during the war. The rule was that if another fighter plane entered the training area, he was to engage it as if in a dogfight. Whichever plane got on the tail of the other plane was the "winner" and the other plane had to acknowledge being "shot down." So he was doing training maneuvers in his fighter when another P-47 appeared. He waggled his wings at it and then engaged the other P-47 in "combat." Well, two "Lufbery" (tight turn) moves later, this other P-47 was on his tail! He acknowledged the "kill" with a wag of his wings, then turned back to the airfield. The other P-47 turned back to the airfield. He landed. The other pilot landed. He rolled to a stop and got out of his P-47. The other pilot rolled to a stop and got out of his P47. Stewart took off his helmet to face the guy who'd beaten him. The guy took off his helmet and he saw flaming red hair...
...fall down around the pilot's shoulders.
The P-47 was being transported by a WAAF!
About this time the sun came out and we had to beat a retreat into the shade since neither of us can be in the sun, so we missed the final five minutes of his interview. We left after that and went in search of further lunch (James had a sandwich with him, but I had just had a Kind bar and a juice box) and ate a bit at Wendy's, then went to Trader Joe's to pick up pumpkin fruit bars before they are gone (they are only sold in the fall and James likes to have them all year long). We brought some salad greens as well.
Finally got to the planned event of the day, the October Hallmark Ornament Premiere so James could get his Sherman tank. He also bought the Airplane! airplane, plus bought me a cute little silver bird with a cheeky look on his face and a little resin Christmas tree that was on discount.
On the way home James waited outside at Sprouts while I ran inside and got more shredded chicken. We had it for supper in a salad while watching Father Brown, and later watched the first episode of the new season of This Old House (featuring Mike Rowe, as this year is dedicated to advising young people to go into trades). Then it was back to Britcoms.