The City Beat was going to blog about my story on the rural health care shortage today; I feel like I didn’t do it justice because the issue is so vast and I had limited space.
But yesterday was a really exhausting day — 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., with a dinner break in between — so I’m gonna take it easy today and relate an e-mail I got from an old vet from Grand Forks Air Force Base. I like these old stories about the old days at the base.
OK, here’s Rick Nelson from Arvada, Colo., a former missile silo maintenance guy:
Dear Mr. Tran, I want to thank you for your article on the show [Link is mine; it's not in his e-mail.] and the Air Force for putting it on. My interest in the area is due to my being stationed at GF AFB from 1966 to 1968. While browsing the Internet I noticed some info about the air show, plus Oscar "0," an LCF (Launch Control Faculty), is open to the public to tour. Since I had serviced that facility while in the Air Force, I made plans for a tour.
Myself and my ’57 Corvette at GF AFB in 1967. We cruised the streets of Grand Forks many times in the 2 1/2 years we were there.
43 years later the ’07 and I cruised the streets of Grand Forks.
Friday afternoon I cruised Grand Forks looking for some of the places we used to hang out, they’re all gone, or I could not find them. Grand Forks has at least quadrupled in size in the past 43 years. The only place I recognized was "Weekley’s Salvage Yard", where I had purchased a hard top for my ’57 Corvette there.
Oscar "0" was an interesting place for me to visit, brought back a lot of memories, and the chance to see one of the computers I worked on so long ago really attracted me.
The updated version of the P465L system that I worked on, and now even the updated version is obsolete.
The air show was absolutely wonderful. I attended another at GF AFB in 1966. I wonder if at least one of those KC-135s was there in 1966. The Thunderbirds are really a polished group of performers that we as Americans can be proud of.
Arvada CO 80007
P.S. That shiny red ’57 Corvette that I cruised Grand Forks in, I still have; it’s in my shop getting a well deserved restoration.
I wrote Rick back and asked if I could publish this on the blog. He said yes and then he sent more images:
There was a captain in the 319th BW [That's 319th Bomb Wing, predecessor to the 319th Air Refueling Wing] with a very good artistic talent. Every now and then these bulletins would appear. I thought they were so good that I acquired copies. Thought you might enjoy them also.
[Look at the header with the, Minuteman missile, the B-52 and the atomic symbol. Gawd this is old school. I love it.]
[That's a B-52 blasting the runway, by the way. Four engines and that funny wheel at the tip of the wing. Also, there are still machineguns sticking out of the tail. Modernized BUFFs don't have guns.]
Pretty neat, eh? Thanks Rick! Come back and visit again!