A New Set Of Digits


(Captain Blowdri with his old C-141, photo courtesy Leon Hammack)

Last month while spending about 16 days in Tucson, AZ, I got to spend a day at Davis-Monthan AFB, the home of the military “boneyard” for their retired aircraft.  The bus tour through the acres upon acres of jets, both fighters, bombers, cargo, utility jets, as well as, propeller driven vintage military airplanes, was very interesting and nostalgic for this old USAF pilot!  I wrote about my cool adventure and all the emotions that ran through my brain that day.

Having celebrated a monumental birthday this week, and acquiring a new set digits, “60” big ones, I have been reminiscing about my days with the old “relics” of my past.  As I pondered over my trip to the “boneyard”, pleasant thoughts rushed through my brain when I thought about my time flying the T-37 Tweet and T-38 Talon during my thirteen months of USAF Undergraduate Pilot Training at Williams AFB, located just on the southeast side of Phoenix back in 1973-74.  Even more great memories lingered in my brain regarding my days at the helm of the C-141 Starlifter, flying all over the world from 1975-79.

Nevertheless, I was quite disappointed to see that just because these aircraft had gotten older, in essence they have inherited a new set of digits when reflecting their age as well, that their days of usefulness were terminated, and rather unfortunately, placed out to pasture in the “boneyard”.  It appears that we, as a culture, are quick to “put out to pasture” things that have gotten old, or been assigned a new set of digits!

Now that I have taken a medical retirement from United Air Lines, received a new set of digits (60’s), I might be getting a little paranoid that “they” are soon coming to put me out to pasture, like the aircraft that I flew in youth in the USAF!  I mean after all, I have been retired, and my time of usefulness most likely has run out!  With those thoughts running through my head, I think that I need to acquire some disguises for when I do venture out of my house.  Thereby prolonging my sense of security, and prolonging the day in which I am found out and “put out to pasture” with the rest of the old relics!

I am thinking that I need to possibly purchase a Superman costume.  What do you think? After all, I do know how to fly with over 24,000 hours of flight experience!  But I am having trouble leaping tall buildings with a single bound.  Oh by the way, I am afraid to try to stop a speeding bullet!  On the other hand, kryptonite has absolutely no affect on my strength, or lack thereof!

Oh I know, maybe even a Billy Gibbons disguise.  You know Billy Gibbons don’t you?  He is the singer for that little Texas band, ZZ Top!  You know he wears those funky wool hats, sunglasses and a beard down to his navel. “They” would never be able to discover who I really was with that disguise. Maybe yet I could get a Jerry Garcia disguise from Grateful Dead.  Oh man just one problem, Jerry died a quite few years ago……

HMMM, on second thought, not a good idea!

Maybe I could get a Bill Clinton disguise, yes that’s ticket!   Ummm no, maybe that is not such a great idea either, I remember that he didn’t have such great tailors. It seemed like his zippers always seem to fall down!

Oh I got it yeah, yeah, yeah, I could get either a Sara Palin disguise or a George W. Busch costume, after all they both have 24 hour a day security details with them.  With either I could be well protected from being “put out to pasture”.  Well nevertheless, on closer review, probably neither are great ideas!  After further analysis, with one I would need to get a boob job, guess which one!  However, and here is the kicker, with both I would most definitely need to have a frontal lobotomy!!

Is being 60 years old over the hill, or is 60 the new 30? YIIPPEE!!  Viagra anyone??

What am I to do, now that I have acquired a new set of digits? Is it paranoid time or party time, you be the judge??

Maybe I will start wearing my sunglasses at night!



3 Replies to “A New Set Of Digits”

  1. Capt. Leon, as one who is about to acquire a new set of digits (70’s) myself, I can assure you that life is just getting started for you. 60 is most definitely the new 30, at least as far as your mind goes. You may not come off the starting line like a top fuel dragster, but you’re still on the track with the competition trying to catch up. Just savor your days with all those things that are important to you: family, friends, racetracks, etc. And don’t forget to include me in your travel plans. The latchstring is always out for you here in SoDak. Regards, Denny Schaar

  2. I can understand your feelings my friend. When I hear a siren, I still have to look and my adrenaline starts to flow. Just last week the Chippy’s had chased a car thief into the golf course behind my house. They came to the door and wanted to use my gate to go look. Did one better; got the ole 45 out and piled into my golf cart and “roll on it 1-Adam12”. Now I am looking for a light and siren to mount on the cart and start pulling over those duffers..

    Take care.

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