Saturday, May 27, 2006

Last Woman Out!

During the withdrawal of American staff and troops from Vietnam and the subsequent evacuation of Saigon City. We were assigned as cover support to the evacuating American Embassy and Ambassador.
Just before take off I happened to take this picture.
The smile on this Vietnamese woman's face clutching her two small children shows relief and the hopes of a future.

Mr. Stempson's Tiger Lilies in Bloom

Five years ago during an evening of volunteering at our local hospital Mr Stempson died while myself and a nurse were transporting him to have a MRI.
They "crash staff" tried without success to revive this dear man right in front of me while I was holding his telemetry unit in my arms.
After Mr Stempson was pronounced the nurse and I returned him to his room and prepared him for his family and the funeral home staff.
Mr Stempson's family presented me with a small lily, which were his favorite, from his room.
Beth and I both believe that Mr Stempson visits our garden every year. This year Beth counted over 50 beautiful blooms.
Thank you Mr Stempson!

Mothers Day Flowers

Keeping with what has become a family tradition here in Atlanta and something I personally enjoy Beth and I planted new flowers in her Mom's outdoor planters.
June requested all white flowers this year to high light the purple something or others she had purchased at Pikes.
I think this years attempt was a success!

Happy Mothers Day!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Fly Boy!

When I was younger, a lot younger I served our country in the USAF.
A resent reunion with an old dear friend has landed me many pictures of place fought for and visited.
Here I am at 21 enjoying one of those wonderful in flight lunches and still to this day I have never seen chicken parts that looked like that.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Welcome To New York's LaGuardia Airport.

Rain, rain go away!!!
The Big Apple's LaGuardia Airport welcomed me Tuesday with an all day down pour!
This picture was taken out the airplanes window as we taxied to the gate. It rained all day!

The land that LaGuardia Airport occupies today was first occupied by Gala Amusement Park, the site was turned into a 105-acre private flying field in 1929. Ground was broken on September 9, 1937 for a new airport, which was built jointly by the City of New York and the Federal Works Progress Administration. It was dedicated on October 15, 1939 as New York City Municipal Airport. On November 2, 1939, the name was changed to New York Municipal Airport-LaGuardia Field. On December 2, 1939 the airport was opened to commercial traffic. On June 1, 1947 the airport was leased to the Port Authority and renamed LaGuardia Airport, after one of New York City's most celebrated figures, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. A new Central Terminal Building was opened in 1964, enlarged in 1967 and again in 1992. The airport celebrated its 65th anniversary of commercial flight on December 2, 2004.

For more visit:

East Hampton Long Island NY

Tuesday 05/16/2006 found this traveler visiting a CVS reset in the beautiful town of East Hampton NY. Located near the east end of New Yorks Long Island and mentioned in the book "1776" by Danid McCullough it is steeped in history.

East Hampton was first settled in 1648, by a group of English Puritans who had migrated from England to the colonies of Massachusetts and Connecticut in the first half of the seventeenth century. The first settlers of East Hampton purchased some 31,000 acres from the colonial governors of both Massachusetts and Connecticut who had previously secured the land from the Montaukets, the indigenous people who inhabited eastern Long Island at the time.
For the eight years of its existence, "Maidstone" (as East Hampton was first called, after Maidstone in Kent, England, the original home of some of the first settlers) was an independent "plantation." The settlement attempted to unite with the colony of Connecticut, but after the Dutch surrendered New Netherlands to the English in 1664, East Hampton reluctantly bacame part of the province of New York, later to become known as New York State.

East Hampton still looks a bit broken off of New England with the broad Main Street with towering elms, grey-shingled sloping roofed eighteenth century houses, and beautiful dunes overlooking the open sea which have inspired artists for more than a hundred years.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

CVS Corporate Office Woonsocket RI

On Wednesday after five years of building CVS Pharmacy's I was able to visit the corporate offices located in Woonsocket RI
It was such a thrill to finally put faces to all the kind voices that I have come to know over the years. I was given a tour of the corporate campus and treated to a visit to the new cafeteria.

For a brief history of CVS visit:

Waterbury, CT.

Tuesday found me staying over night in Waterbury CT. The Holiday Inn was located downtown. My room located on the 8th floor commanded a wonderful view of downtown and the home covered hills beyond.
Waterbury, the fifth largest city in Connecticut, is the home of 107,271 (2000 census) citizens of diverse ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. Conveniently located at the junction of routes 8 and 84, the city was once known as the "Brass City" because of its long history as the center of the nation's brass industry. Today, Waterbury is known for its advanced technology capabilities, historic architecture and facades, and most importantly, its strong communities and neighborhoods!

For more visit:

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Mall of Honor.

What a fantastic afternoon at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum located west of Washington’s Dulles International Airport.
This is a picture of the mall area that leads to the museum front door. Plaques along the walk honor all who have contributed to the museum.

Eddie Rickenbacker "Hat in the Ring Squadron"

Before famous WW1 ace Eddie Rickenbacher flew Spads he flew this French built Newport into battle.
Eddie enlisted in the U.S. Army in May, 1917 and arrived in France on June 26. Although interested in aviation, the AEF assigned him as staff driver for General John Pershing at the rank of sargent first-class. With the connivance of high-ranking friends in the AEF, Rickenbacker was accepted into the air corps. He trained at Tours, France, was promoted to lieutenant, and became the chief engineer at Issodun air training facility. In March, 1918, after training in aerial gunnery at Cazeau, Eddie was assigned to the 94th Aero Pursuit Squadron, the first all-American air unit to see combat (April 14, 1918). He became an ace, and won the French Croix de Guerre, in May by shooting down five German airplanes and was named commander of the 94th, the "Hat-in-the-Ring" Squadron, on September 24. The following day, Eddie shot dow two more German airplanes, victories for which the U.S. government awarded him a belated Congressional Medal of Honor in 1930. His twenty-sixth confirmed victory occurred on October 30, and the last victory (the 69th) for the 94th occurred on November 10, 1918. World War I ended the next day.

Truly a time when "Men were men!"

For more visit:

Bell Rocket Belt!

When I was a kid this was the future of personal transportation and I can remember dreaming about having one! Well here it is the last of it's kind. Sadly it's not for sale!!
In about 1962 or 1963, Wendell F. Moore, an employee of Bell Aerosystems, in the US, worked on a personal flight system which became know as the Rocket Belt. According to some accounts, it was intended to be portable, and light enough for battlefield use. Moore undertook a series of test flights on a tether (safety) line, his final flight resulting in injury.
The Bell Rocket Belt is powered by a hydrogen peroxide reaction rocket engine which consists of a tank of compressed liquid nitrogen which pushes hydrogen peroxide out of two other tanks into a reaction chamber. There a chemical reaction creates an extremely hot high pressure stream that escapes from the flight nozzles and propels the unit and pilot.
The sound of the rocket is said to be incredibly loud, almost unbearable, and more a scream than something more identifiably a rocket noise. Two hand controls control the pack with considerable accuracy which leads experienced pilots to insist that it flies like a dream.Although the U.S. military displayed some early interest in the rocket belt concept during the 1960s, the short flight durations and exposure to enemy fire made the belts unappealing as combat tools.

For more visit:

Friday, May 05, 2006

Space Shuttle Enterprise

Enterprise, the first Space Shuttle Orbiter, was originally to be named Constitution (in honor of the U.S. Constitution's Bicentennial). However, viewers of the popular TV Science Fiction show Star Trek started a write-in campaign urging the White House to select the name Enterprise. Designated, OV-101, the vehicle was rolled out of Rockwell's Air Force Plant 42, Site 1 Palmdale California assembly facility on Sept. 17, 1976. On Jan. 31, 1977, it was transported 36 miles overland from Rockwell's assembly facility to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Facility at Edwards Air Force Base for the approach and landing test program.
The nine-month-long ALT program was conducted from February through November 1977 at the Dryden Flight Research Facility and demonstrated that the orbiter could fly in the atmosphere and land like an airplane, except without power-gliding flight.

Notice the leading edges of both wings are missing! NASA removed them to conduct fuel tank foam impact tests after the Columbia disaster!

For more visit

Winnie Mae

The Winnie Mae, a special Lockheed Model 5C Vega flown by famed aviator Wiley Post, completed two around-the-world record flights and a series of special high-altitude substratospheric research flights. It was named for the daughter of its original owner, F. C. Hall, who hired Post to pilot the plane, which had been purchased in June 1930.
With the consent of his employer, Post entered the Winnie Mae in the National Air Races and piloted the plane to the first of its records, now inscribed on the side of its fuselage: ‘Los Angeles to Chicago 9 hrs. 9 mm. 4 sec. Aug. 27, 1930.’
On June 23, 1931, Post, accompanied by Harold Gatty as navigator, took off from New York to make a world circuit in record time. The first stop was Harbor Grace, Newfoundland. From there, the fourteen-stop course included England, Germany, Russia, Siberia, Alaska, Canada, thence to Cleveland, and finally to New York on July 1, 1931. The circuit was completed in 8 days, 15 hours, and 51 minutes. Halls admiration for his pilot manifested itself in the gift of the Winnie Mae to Post.
Wiley Post spent the following year exhibiting the plane and conducting various flight tests. The airplane was groomed with an overhaul of the engine, and a radio compass and an auto pilot were installed. Both these instruments were at the time in their final stages of development by the Army and Sperry Gyroscope Company.
On July 15, 1933, Post left New York. Closely following his former route but making only eleven stops, he made a 15,596-mile circuit of the earth in 7 days, 18 hours, and 49 minutes.
During its high-altitude flight research, the Winnie Mae made use of a special tubular steel landing gear developed by Lockheed engineers Clarence L. Kelly’ Johnson and James Gerschler. It was released after takeoff by the pilot using a cockpit lever, thus reducing the total drag of the plane and eliminating its weight. The Winnie Mae would then continue on its flight and land on a special metal-covered spruce landing skid glued to the fuselage. During these flights, Post wore a special pressure suit, the world’s first practical pressure suit and an important step on the road to space. The suit was the third type developed by Post and Russell S. Colley of B. F. Goodrich Company. It consisted of three layers: long underwear. an inner black rubber air pressure bladder, and an outer cloth contoured suit. A special pressure helmet was then bolted on the suit. It had a removable faceplate that Post could seal when he reached a height of 17,000 feet. The helmet had a special breathing oxygen system and could accommodate earphones and a throat microphone. The suit could withstand an internal pressure of 7 psi. Bandolera-type cords prevented the helmet from rising as the suit was pressurized. A liquid oxygen container, consisting of a double-walled vacuum bottle, utilized the natural "boil off" tendencies of supercold liquid oxygen to furnish gaseous oxygen for suit pressurization and breathing purposes. This early full pressure suit is the direct ancestor of full pressure suits used on the X-15 research airplane and manned space voyages.

For more visit

Enola Gay

One of histories most famous and in some opinions most infamous aircraft the B29 Enola Gay stands completely restored and ready to fly again! Enola Gay is the center piece of the World War Two exhibited.
The B-29 Superfortress bomber was the single most complicated and expensive weapon produced by the United States during World War II. Nearly 4,000 B-29s were built for combat in the Pacific theater, including the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima. Assembled on a rush basis by a vast manufacturing program that involved hundreds of thousands of workers, the B-29 boosted the Allies' wartime fortunes as it transformed the economies of cities and towns from Seattle, Washington, to Marietta, Georgia, and from Wichita, Kansas, to Woodridge, New Jersey.

For more vist

National Air and Space Museum Washington Dulles

I finally realized a long held dream and spent Thursday afternoon visiting the National Air and Space Museum.
Located at the west end of Washington’s Dulles International Airport the museum is the new shinning gem of the famous Smithsonian and allows it to finally display all it’s precious and treasured aircraft.
Housing over 200 aircraft including the Concorde SST and Space Shuttle Enterprise it’s any incredible addition and offered me a full afternoon and a planned return visit.

For more visit

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Philadelphia "City of Brotherly Love"

When we think of Philadelphia we think of Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches but Philly is much more than that! I hear Philadelphia has something important to do with our early history!
For the next few weeks I'll be watching over several CVS resets in the area and of course will explore the area.

At the time the first settlers of European descent arrived in the area now known as Philadelphia, it was inhabited chiefly by Native Americans who called themselves Lenni-Lenape; settlers called them Delawares. Intertribal warfare had weakened the native tribes, and the advance of colonial settlement pushed them farther west, causing great hostility.
The Netherlands laid claim to the area in 1609 when Henry Hudson, an Englishman in the Dutch service, sailed into Delaware Bay, and around 1647 the Dutch began to build trading posts. The Dutch were ousted by the English in 1664.
In 1681 England's King Charles granted William Penn the territory now known as Pennsylvania in exchange for a debt owed Penn's father. Penn, wealthy and well educated, had committed himself to the Society of Friends, also called Quakers, who practiced a form of religion generally regarded by society with suspicion because of its tenets and its insistence upon simplicity in speech and dress. Penn himself had been imprisoned four times for voicing his beliefs, and King Charles was only too happy to be rid of him and his followers.
Although he had been granted all the land in Pennsylvania, Penn chose to buy the claims of any native people still living there, which set a new standard in colonial settlers' relations with Native Americans. Penn dispatched his cousin to lay out a city, which he called Philadelphia, from the Greek for "brotherly love," and which Penn envisioned as a haven for his fellow Quakers to enjoy freedom of worship and the chance to govern themselves. He charged his cousin with laying out a "greene Country Towne, which will never be burnt, and always be wholesome." The city was laid out in a grid, with large lots, wide streets, and a provision for five city parks, four of which still survive. Historians note that Philadelphia was one of the first cities in the New World built according to a plan.

For more on Philly visit:

When I Die!

When I die I would like to come back to a loving family as a dog!
This loving family would care for me, feed me, bath me, walk me, brush me, dry me off when I’ve been out in the rain, trim my nails, share their food with me and most importantly tuck me in at night so I could dream of how happy I would be.
Shhhhh, don’t wake me!!!!!