Thursday, June 14, 2012

Up the nose

July 4, 1969: America celebrates her freedom and I am looking forward to my first taste.

My first airplane ride: heart pounding as the plane took off down the runway with more G force than the time we drag raced in Larry Pelts suped-up GTO down Hall Street at 100 MPH with my head pinned to the back of the seat, the hot rod's RPMs and my pulse competing for high number.

Off to Alaska: to join my soldier husband in a remote little frontier town, Delta Junction, formerly called Buffalo, because a free-range herd roamed the town located at the end of the Alaska Highway .

Fourth of July celebration two days after I arrived: Full Bird Colonel Rhodes the keynote speaker on the parade grounds where dependents sat on bleachers and observed in complete silence (because if we disrupted, our soldiers received the dreaded Article 15...enough of those and families were sent back home.)

The honor guard, carrying a variety of flags representing country, state, military etc. preceded the esteemed speakers. The first guy, carrying the American flag looked just like scrawny actor, Don Knotts. The wind gusted at times to 30 mph and dust swirled. This guy gave it his all, walking against the wind, bent like the hunchback of Notre Dame strutting across the parade grounds trying to balance the flag pole on his midsection. The wind died down and the flag bearer stood up straight. The colonel rambled on and on, and the wind kicked up.

I have always been observant. I nudged Sheila, my neighbor and pointed at the guy with the American flag trying to stand perfectly still without shifting his eyes or weight while the flag fringe flew up his nostrils every time the wind gusted. We giggled under our breaths and had to put our hands over our own mouths to keep our husbands from getting that dreaded Article 15. I can't watch The Ghost and Mr. Chicken without laughing out loud at the memories of the color guard with fringe-filled nostrils.


Sioux Roslawski said...

What a wonderful, funny memory.

Janet Smart said...

Funny memory. I love Don Knotts!

Pat Wahler said...

Tee-hee! Wonder if anything like that ever happens to the deadpan palace guard?

Critter Alley

Val said...

Now I will think of Barney Fife whenever I hear Bob Seger's Against the Wind.

Susan said...

Oh man, that must have been hard to stifle the laughter, Linda. Cute memories. Susan

Tammy said...

Funny memory! I can sure picture it, too.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Funny story, Linda!

Karen Lange said...

Fun memory! Thanks for sharing! :)

Michaele Sommerville said...

A funny memory, and one that includes a connection to me: I'm a former Miss Deltana, Fair Queen for Delta Junction, Alaska. How wonderful for you to leave such a warm comment on my blog with an invitation to visit you here!

Hooah! :)