Originally published 20 February, 2014
Laurie clowning around in the desert
Heather has said to me more than once that history means "his story". Today...she was right.
We like the places we visit, but a human connection to someplace makes it so much more than it is simply on it's own. It gives us a clarity on where we're at and what we're doing that tends to escape us without that human connection. We see objects and places, but to connect another person to the things and places makes them more intense, more real, more worth understanding. A connection like this was the high point of my day.
I am an aircraft buff. I've studied military aircraft all my life...since I was a little kid. I've read so many books and spotters manuals Laurie sometimes thought me obsessive. We wandered the 80 acre site and it's buildings, and yes I had seen many of the aircraft before. There were other aircraft that I had not seen......and sometimes the human story attached to an aircraft I was already quite familiar with made it all new again.
Curdes made several attempts to keep the plane from landing, and eventually (and carefully so not to damage the cabin of the plane) shot both the engines out on the plane and it ditched in the ocean, almost on top of his wingman. All the people on the plane, which included two army nurses, were rescued the next day, as was his wingman. For his efforts, Lt. Louis Curdes was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. As best they know, he is the only person ever to receive a medal for shooting down a FRIENDLY plane!
Laurie loved the art planes! This is #1
Art plane #2
Art plane #3
Art plane #4
We left the museum and took a wandering ride through the desert, checking out huge cactus, fancy houses, hiking trails, and the massive freight trains this area has so many of. We got a few train pics, and the engineer actually blew the horn and waved at that silly couple way out on that bluff in the middle of the desert.
We went to the show tonight, free for people staying here. An employee of the park operated the observatory and let everyone take turns looking at things. We saw star clusters, a nebula, and the planet Jupiter and it's moons. It was a really nice way to end the day.
Quote of the day- Bill to Col. Bushong: Thank you for what you've done. I'm glad you made it back. Col. Bushong: Me too!
Song of the day: Learning to Fly- Foo Fighters
I'm Bill. My wife Laurie and I love to travel and share our stories. We especially love it when we have been able to motivate our readers to start traveling on their own, and making their own stories.
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