De' fliengde Vuogtlänn'r

Observations, rants, etc. from a guy who really gets around.


Hanging In There

Sometimes, life is merely a matter of "enduring to the end". The rest of my stay at Maxwell was just more of the same, day in and day out. I did get to travel a bit, several times to Florida, which I really enjoyed. The one odd thing is that I kept wanting to make a trip up to Kentucky to see the Mammoth Caves, which I never did. Kind of like my Dad never going into Florida.

In June of 1979, I finally got my black belt, which was a major event. I never really thought I had the talent for it. In early '80, I took some classes at Troy State University/Montgomery. The Business Law class was the best, as it was taught by a retired judge who had been a Staff Judge Advocate in the AF and a judge. The guy really knew his stuff and knew how to make it interesting.

Somewhere along the way, the dentists talked me into getting my wisdom teeth removed. I don't know if it was really necessary or if they just needed the practice. It wasn't really all that unpleasant, but it might have save me a lot of aggravation later. On Friday before Memorial Day, 1981, I got my deviated septum fixed. It was a miserable weekend, but left me able to breathe much better than ever before.

During all this time, I also kept up my practice of Zen, and it showed. I got a couple more books, one of them ("The Way of Zen", by Alan Watts) was very informative.

Barb graduated from Auburn, but stayed in the area. I still got to visit her from time to time, but the relationship never recoverd. Still, she was a big comfort in my life. One incident I vividly recall was one evening when I had a very strong impression that something was amiss. It was too late in the evening to go driving out there, so I went the next evening. She was upset at me that I had driven all that way without clearing it with her first, but when I told her about my impression, she was very forgiving.

During our conversation, she told me that there had been a disturbance there at the apartment complex the night before. Her complaint was that she had called the police and it took them 20 minutes to get there. To emphasize her point, she noted that the police station was right across the street and that had been a major factor in taking that apartment. Ah, says I, that was her first mistake. If she had taken an apartment across the street from a donut shop, they'd have been there in a flash. She didn't find that all that amusing at the time, but later it brought a smile.

There were so many aggravations with the Air Force, it would be useless to list them all. The only real problem with my job was that I had assisted in a complete re-write of the program that computed all the statistics for the SRSS. Most of the people were on board with it, but I was still having trouble with some of the people up at AFIT, especially a 70-year-old military retiree. I kept trying to make a trip up there, but my request kept getting shot down. The Colonel just wouldn't allow it. He probably thought that I just wanted to boondogle.

One day in September, I was picking up our mail from the mailroom and noticed a form that showed he had an approved retirement for 31 December 1981. I was scheduled to be discharged in October, 1981. So I went over to Personnel and got my enlistment extended to April of 1982. As soon as he was gone, I again made the request to go to AFIT, and the new guy approved it. So, in late January, I made the trip, cleared up all the problems, and returned to Maxwell. No more problems. And a few weeks later, I packed my bags and left Maxwell for good.

The night before I left, I stayed with John and Marlene out in Prattville. The only thing I would miss would be the friends I had made during my stay. The next morning was typical Alabama winter weather -- cold, grey and miserable. But my spirits were high, because I knew already a bit of what awaited me in Albuquerque.



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