Class of 1967 Message Center

Class of 1967 Message Center
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Air Force Appreciation Day

It rained boys and bears last night. This was the kind of rain people in town talk about when you see them on the street. Yesterday was Air Force Appreciation Day and it came off with perfect weather and smiling people. I have not been to the parade in years, but Red wanted to go and sit on the porch at the Morton house, and watch the people. When I first met Red she was an 18 year old college student and an archer. She can still out shoot me with my bow. It has been busy here and I think Red wanted a break. Delaney came and stayed with us. She is a little 15 year old redhead with a drivers permit. She wanted me to teach her to drive a stick shift. I took her out on the back roads south of town and introduced her to my 1950 Ford pickup. The gears in that old Ford are not synchronized, so I had to teach her to double clutch. We were off with fits and starts, jerking and bouncing or spinning the wheels on the gravel road. She would watch the shifter and drive into the barrow pit. Fords are built tough. The only trucks we met on Division Road or Beet Dump Road were farm workers who would grin when they saw us and wave. At the end of her lesson Delaney said she felt, "invincible." That wasn't really what I was looking for. That evening, when I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth, Delany came in, stood beside me, talking 90 miles an hour, telling me about the fun she had driving that day. Yesterday we sat in plastic lawn chairs on Doc Morton's front porch and watched our neighbors in full parade. Two fighter planes from the air base flew over at exactly 10:30 and started the festivities. The flag went by and we all stood. We had tractors pulling hay wagons, driven by farm girls with the kids sitting on hay bails. The marching band went by looking good. The best float was put on by the squadron from Singapore. They built a pirate ship on a trailer and shot off noise canons with confetti and orange smoke. We all laughed and cheered. In the end the street sweeper came along and cleaned up after the horses. Red and I went over to the park for some of that free food they were serving. We ran into Song and she got in line with us. We had paper plates piled high with food and orange drink in styrofoam cups. To get to the picnic tables we had to cross a plastic barrier strip. I asked a woman in line if we could cross in front of her. She smiled and said we could. I held up the barrier and had Red and Song cross over. When I was past, a woman in line called out, "You can't go there." I looked back at the line and could not tell who had addressed me. I grinned at the whole line and said, "I know people." The line of guys laughed and one woman called out, "I want to go with you." Life is good.