Sunday, January 15, 2017

Camarillo CAF Museum

Yesterday, Young Daughter, Young Son, and I visited the Commemorative Air Force museum in Camarillo CA.   It is located at a former airbase that was active from WW2 to 1970 and has an active runway and great facilities.   I've driven past the airfield many times over the years but never stopped to visit until this weekend.

Last year on my birthday the family got together to buy me a ride in the museum's P51 Mustang two seat fighter.  Unfortunately the engine failed and has been being rebuilt ever since then.  It is supposed to be back in the plane in March.  I figured I might as well check out the P51 to see what it looked like!

The P51 that is at the museum was used in the film "Battle Hymn" starring Rock Hudson.  At the time the plane was assigned to the Texas Air National Guard.  The museum's P51 is painted to resemble the fighter flown by the person the movie was made about.

Sadly the plane does indeed seem to be missing its engine so no flight for me in the near future!

Young Son and I sitting in the museum's C-46 Commando cargo plane.  It is the largest 2 engine plane ever made and was used extensively for flying over the Himalaya mountains (the Hump) between India and China.

Another of the museum's aircraft, a late model Supermarine Spitfire.

The airfield is very active and a privately owned P-51 was doing touch and go landings while we were there.  The sound of a Packard Merlin engine is something to hear!

The P-51 is the sliver aircraft on the runway.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Some Pink Martini for New Year's eve

Once again the Missus and I visited the Disney concert hall in downtown Los Angeles on New Year's eve to see the stellar eclectic music group Pink Martini perform.

They were excellent as always and had a wide variety of guest performers but the surprise for us was the presence of Rita Moreno of West Side Story fame.  She is 85 years old and performed like she wasn't a day over 50!

It was a great show and thanks to someone in the audience who ignored the stern warning at the beginning of the show not to record the performance, I bring to you, Rita Moreno and Pink Martini!

"You Can Never Go Home Again"

I've gotten sucked into the black hole of Facebook which in turn has bounced me into parallel universes in which I'm still young, virile, and the event horizon extends to infinity.   I'm talking about revisiting my high school and my active army days via Facebook groups.

Nostalgia is fun and all but I realized today that the words of the immortal Thomas Wolfe are even more true than ever:  

 "You can't go back home to your family, back home to your childhood ... back home to a young man's dreams of glory and of fame ... back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory."

I'm vowing right here to not become one of those old guys who talks endlessly of the world as it was when I was young.  I've caught myself doing just that recently.  

All that said, I did come across this picture of me as a young guy, 35 or so years ago.  I had no idea then of the adventures, the joy, and the sorrow that was waiting for me up the line.  

So, did I tell you about the time that I.......