While enroute from Hahn to Scott we spent several weeks in Cincinnati visiting. My dad arranged reservations at Winton Woods Golf Course (read here, my mom did the calling) for an early morning tee time. In the foursome were my dad, myself, Bob Brockmeyer and Vince Laehr (the latter two, friends of my dad for over 50 years). I decided to take my video camera along and take shots whenever I knew it wouldn't delay the golfing. We all played really good (Showing off for the camera, I suppose) and afterwards drove to Colerain Bowl for a few beers to cool off. While we were drinking I popped the tape in the bowling alley lounge's VCR and we watched the golf match. As soon as it started playing, Vince said "Oh no, you didn't tell me it had sound!!" It was almost an X-rated video with all the comments Vince made when he had a bad shot. He got over it though when he heard Brocky say "I knew I was going to do that" at least a half-dozen times. COLERAIN BOWL was my dad's favorite place to hang out the last 10 years of his life and I would like to publicly thank Fran and all the guys he hung out with for the kind way you have treated my mother in the years since he died. THANK YOU.
During our two plus years living near St. Louis we had many visitors. Some were relatives and others were visitors out of our past. My mom and dad never came to Fairview Heights to visit because we drove back to Cincinnati about every two months as it was only a six hour drive. Both of my sisters and one brother came to visit. Larry Lafayette, one of my best friends for the four years at Hahn flew in to Lambert Field in St. Louis and stayed several days. Monica and Steve Etscheidt, our neighbors in Rhaunen drove over from their home in Iowa. We made occasional weekend jaunts to Plattsburgh, Nebraska to visit with our friends Ross and Lorrie who were stationed now at Offutt Air Force Base. Of course they paid reciprocal visits once in a while also.
Some of our fondest memories of the area involved the Anheiser-Busch Company. (If you click on this you probably won't come back to my site today as Budweiser has a pretty cool home page). I enjoyed the visit to their web site almost as much as the frequent visits we made to their free brewery tours. (I was prepared for the electronic visit with a couple of Silver Bullets). Another fantastic place developed by the Busch Family is Grant's Farm
a wildlife preserve and theme park featuring the World famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses. You could also enjoy free samples of the Budweiser line at their hospitality house on the grounds. Am I starting to sound like a Budweiser commercial. Can't help it, I have the utmost respect for all the things they did for the St. Louis area. Just one more plug for Budweiser and August Busch III. Through the generosity of Mr. Busch, servicemen had a free invitation to any baseball game at Busch Memorial Stadium the home of the St. Louis Baseball Cardinals. I don't know if that policy is still in effect but it was the entire time we were at Scott. Usually I attended when the Cincinnati Reds were in town.
Our Home In Fairview Heights, Illinois
NEW DRIVERS LICENSE
Doug had just completed his high school driver training class and was operating with his newly acquired drivers license and wanted some quality time behind the wheel. We all piled into our 1980 Ford Fairmont station wagon heading for Alton, Illinois to visit a card collecting friend of mine named Dan Hubbard. (I just recently found Dan's e-mail address through an ICQ search). We made it there safe and sound without getting stopped for any traffic violations; which is more than I can say about the next time I went to Dan's house with me driving. That time I was stopped by some small hick town sheriff for doing a couple miles over the posted speed limit.
It was the first time I had ever been stopped by a law enforcement officer in over 25 years of driving and
he wanted to throw me in jail because I had an out of state drivers license (Ohio) while residing in Illinois which I was authorized to do because my legal home of record was Ohio. If Dan hadn't come up with $50 to post bond I'd probably still be in custody.
One place we visited within a few minutes of our home was the Cahokia Indian Mounds. (See photo) The height of the primary mound was in excess of 300 feet. Since we were there I understand a visitors center was added so it should be an awesome place to learn about the American Indian.
On the return trip home we went past Sam's Mart or something like that. It was Sam Walton's first store. Now known as Walmart. What a dump it was, who would have thought it would turn into the gigantic corporation it is today. I heard a distressing rumor about Walmart the other day that they were going to stop flying the American Flag at their stores because it cost too much money to replace the flags when they wear out. Time to write your Congressmen and Representatives. I already have.
NATIONAL SHRINE OF OUR LADY OF THE SNOWS
Within 10 minutes of our home was Our Lady of the Snows Shrine. During the Christmas holiday season the grounds were decorated with a half million Christmas lights. The place was awesome to begin with but at the holidays spectacular.
ST. LOUIS ZOO
We had an outing at the
St. Louis Zoo
with my sister Kathy and her husband Dave along with my brother Ron, his wife Renate and daughter Rosalee when they came to visit in November 1982. Rosalee (had just acquired her license) was the driver and I can remember praying the entire ride. St. Louis zoo is one of the very few zoos left that has free admission.
with my sister Evie and her husband Alvin when they came to visit in late August 1983. The temperature was still in the high 90's at that time and Carlyle was a refreshing place to go on a hot day.
It is located about 50 miles east of St. Louis but was less than a 30 minute drive from our house. Carlyle is Illinois' largest man-made lake (26,000 acres) and contains over 50 different species of fish.
Alvin and I pitched horseshoes for hours on end in the near hundred degree heat. As long as the Silver Bullet Supply lasted we did fine. According to my statistics I had a slight edge in games won and double ringers thrown.
SUE AND DEB AT HEADQUARTERS MAC
On the 27th of May, 1984 I was working my last graveyard shift and decided to take my two daughters to work with me that night so that they could get a first hand look at what my job entailed the two years at Scott. They were most impressed with the huge magnetic boards we used to track the locations and proposed flight schedules of the T-39 aircraft. We used colored magnetic strips that adhered to the boards, which were made in the office. I believe they spent the entire night on the machine making their own strips. Sue made one that she loved John Cougar Mellencamp. Deb produced one saying Loverboys. We could not find our refrigerator the next day because it was covered with strips of all colors and sayings.
Following the retirement ceremony (see story on Scott AFB page) we were heading to Nashua, New Hampshire to house and job hunt. Liz easily found a nursing job but the only thing I found of interest to me was with the Federal Aviation Administration as an Air Route Traffic Controller near Boston. I definitely did not want to live in a big city and didn't like the idea of commuting an hour every day either. Not only that but houses were pretty expensive so we decided to see what was available up in Maine. That's where our friends Ross and Lorrie were heading (He was retiring the same time as I was.) We had stayed in Maine before and liked the area. Besides that I didn't really care if I found a job or not, I was retired. OFF TO RUMFORD.