Tuesday, October 11, 2011

After the VSPA Reunion....part 2

Another great early fall day is at hand...last night we were still wearing shorts and short sleeve shirts officiating the JV game here in Celina...the Bulldogs came out on top 33-14 over Lima Shawnee, thus making up in small part for the 63-20 ass whooping they received from the Indians on Friday night in the Varsity game....some of the visiting fans had their fine "whine" on during the game.  It never ceases to amaze me how utterly clueless some fans are, and that goes for quite a few lower level coaches as well.   They really don't know a damn thing about the game....any game, name your game!

Today, we are scheduled to reach 78 for a high and the forecast looks good, albeit a little more cloudy, for tomorrow, before rain moves in late week.  Tonight I stay in Celina, for a Junior High contest....

VSPA Reunion Friday October 7th_____

Friday was basically an off day at the reunion.....it was everybody on their own.  Most headed to the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson.  Patricia had a dermatologist appointment about 20 miles north of Dayton, in Troy, Ohio...and it was at 6:30 in the AM.   We got up at 4:30 or so, and headed the Nitro out on the Interstate...done with the routine appointment, we headed back to the Holiday Inn in Fairborn, and grabbed a buffet breakfast at the Hotel...after that we packed up before heading out....I managed to get some quality "war stories" in with several of the guys, before we finally called it a day.  I had a football game to officiate Friday night at Allen East, near Lima...and also to deliver a friend of Hal's car back to Celina.  Matt had loaned Hal one of his vehicles, while Hal's was in the shop getting the Hail Damage repaired from last Summer....some $6100 worth of work, that the insurance company took care of.

So that was it for Friday...the game went off, and despite the poor records of the two teams, it was a pretty well played contest which the home team won 33-22.  The crew headed for the Beer Barrel in Lima after the game....where we dined on Wings and drafts....I, still exhausted from the week to date, finally fell into the sack about 1:45 in the morning.

Saturday October 8th______

Patricia and I had already decided to save a few hundred bucks and spend only two nights in Dayton....Wednesday and Thursday.  With the games and her doctor's appointment, there was no reason to lay down cash for Friday and Saturday....the drive is only 80 minutes or so, so once the Saturday night banquet was done, we would head home.

Plenty of small talk and small war stories were to be had once we arrived back in Fairborn at 4pm....the banquet was a couple of hours away, so we took the opportunity to get into some discussions with the other guys, and some "Old Timers" as well.

There were three reunions going on at once at the Holiday Inn...among those were a group of World War II flyers of the 13th Air Force....these guys spent the war flying in Burma, and despite many in their late 80s and early 90s, they were a treat.  One spry 86 year old in particular, named Glenn, wove some stories for us young guys(in our 50s through 70s).  After the war, Glenn went on to become a teacher, then principal, and finally a school superintendent....like me, he refused to wear a necktie to his banquet, saying "I wore one of those damn things for 48 years, and no longer have to, and don't own one"....being one of a half dozen or so not wearing a coat or tie to our banquet, I could see Glenn was a pretty sharp guy....and like I said, pretty damn entertaining.

Our banquet saw plenty of speeches, plenty of raffle door prizes,(Patricia and I were shut out, dang!), and plenty of awards, which seem to get recycled each year among many of the same people....dang shut out again, Sam Lewis and I joked about needing a truck to haul all of our awards away....trouble makers we are.  

Patricia and I sat with some of our Mini-Reunion co-horts, Bob Griffith, Sam and Ruth Lewis, Doug Davis, and Tommy Webb...I mingled back towards the back tables where the gang from Nha Trang were seated, and also got to visit with my old hometown, Scott, Ohio, buddy Bill Marshall and his wife Karen, who also hails from Van Wert County...I know here brother Doyle well.   The event ended close to 11pm, and we said our farewells and got some final photos with the Nha Trangers.....before making the drive back to Celina...arriving just before 1am...it had bee an exhausting 4 days.

All-in-all it was a great time...frankly I still like Kokomo and our Mini Reunions in Dayton, but this was a chance to see folks like Harry Bevan, whom, although we had corresponded over the last decade, I had not seen since he headed home in November 1969.......and that in itself made it all worthwhile.

We are planning a mini-reunion in March of 2012 back at Wright-Patterson, but first I will enjoy the memories of this big reunion(some 135 Sky Cops were on hand with 100 or so wives and guests)...

back later>>>>

Photos-(1) Some of the pins, collectibles, and mementos from the reunion, I also managed to grab the last of the Nha Trang Coffee Cups, and some decals which I placed on the rear  window and bumper of the Van, when I returned home.

Three Air Force and Army Air Corps groups were holding their reunions at the same time...the interaction was pretty darn neat...Glenn, the former school teacher/principal/superintendent entertained us "younger" guys and wives, before he left for his banquet.  Other photos, include me and my Scott, Ohio hometowner Bill Marshall at the Memorial Dedication.  Doug Davis a Sky Cop K9 handler who was stationed at Wright-Patterson and Vietnam, Doug traveled all the way from Traverse City, Michigan...Sam and Ruth Lewis, and Tommy Webb pins a Life Membership pin on Bob Griffith....Bill and Karen Marshall awarded Bob his LM pin....he joins 700+ of us now calling ourselves Life Members of the VSPA.

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