VOLUME 1, ISSUE
MAY 28TH, 2002
firstname.lastname@example.org -165 Payton Avenue-Warwick RI 02889
MILITARY AND VETS TRAVEL SITE MAP
On May 24th and 25th,
2002 , 22 people ( see photograph for details) attended a wonderful get
together sponsored by the Space A Travel Board held on Chaleston Air
Force Base, Charleston South Carolina. There were two scheduled events:
a reception at the Charleston AFB All Ranks Club at 20:00 on the 24th
and a cookout in the Charleston AFB Recreation Area at 14:00 on the
25th. Bob Mergle and Dirk Pepperd are to congratulated for their
efforts for making this event a very rewarding experience for all of
us. A special thanks to Ellen Ramsey for wonderful photographs of the
of Ellen Ramsey
Attendees-(from Left to Right, kneeling-Starting from the bottom row) Dirk Pepperd, his son, and Kevin the CHS PAX Rep. First Row- standing, L to R. Ellen Ramsey,, Mrs Ransom and Carter, Peggy Davis, Nancy Zimmerman, Kathy Pepperd and Daughter, Barbara Flynn, Me, Kevins Wife, and Al Zimmerman. The back row left to right are Bonnie and Lewis Wirfs, Tom~D (in sunglasses), Louis Davis, Ann Miller, Bob Mergle, Rick Miller, and Bob Flynn.
asked me to write the "Official" CHS OUTING Report.
To think that I had second thoughts about attending the CHS Outing even
after purchasing the airline ticket. The room was not booked until the
morning of the trip. John Doyle was passing through my area and had
considered cancelling and having lunch with him in Providence RI. Upon
reflection, what a dreadful mistake it would have been to cancel.
Meeting and sharing life experiences with you 22 wonderful people truly
enriched my life. Thanks to all of you.
TO CHARLESTON OR THERE ARE NO COINCIDENCES
Jeep!", I shouted. "We are late."
and I had awakened late on Thursday morning. It was 6:00 am. There was
no way we were going to make the 6:40 am flight from Boston to
Charleston SC. I live 70 miles away in Warwick RI. My son was driving
me to the airport.
at the clock, I said to him, "Go back to bed"
on-line to check the prices for a last minute flight. Found a $1,200
round trip price on Orbitz ($680.00 one way). Boy, do the airlines like
to stick it to you in emergency situations. On a whim, called my
carrier, United Airlines. To my surprise, I was eligible for the next
flight on a standby basis. Woke up my son and caught the next flight to
Charleston. at 11:30 am. I guess I was supposed to go.
expressed my gratitude quietly to myself, "God is good. Thank you."
early Thursday evening and checked into at the Riverview Comfort Inn,
Charleston, about 15 miles from Charleston AFB.
EVERYONE and THE CHS CLUB RECEPTION
goodness for Bob Mergle. I do not drive any more. He picked me up the
next morning and drove me to CHS. Bob lives and works for the SBA in
Columbia SC about 100 miles from Charleston. He was the key person for
making this whole event successful. We stopped at the base ITT office
to confirm the location for the cookout. After, he checked into the
Louis ((EDAVIS) and Peggy Davis from near Huntsville Alabama. Louis
shared about meeting Werner Von Braun during an incident when he was
directing traffic when a hot power line had fallen across the road.
Werner just drove right over the line as if it were nothing. Mentioned
to him that I had worked at Cape Canaveral in the late 50s and had met
Werner several times during the Redstone and Jupiter C launches.
interesting talks with Bob Mergle. We discussed the SBA and his many
years of service. Related to him how in my younger days I written
several documents for the SBA relating to technology transfer.
time later, Dirk, and Kathy Pepperd arrived with their two beautiful
children. They were unable to find quarters at the Charleston Inn.
Fortunately for them, Louis Davis had booked a room at the local Super
8 as backup. He graciously gave the reservation to them. I often wonder
about such situations. We think we are doing A, when in fact it's for
Dining room was excellent. Its menu was better than most 4 star
restaurants. The prices were very, very reasonable. At the CHS Dining
Hall, we met Bob and Barbara Flynn. They were unable to get lodgings at
the Charleston Inn, and had brought a tent and decided to camp out on
the base recreational area.. We met Tomi~D at the dining hall and he
had quarters at the Charleston Inn.
ALL RANKS CLUB RECEPTION
dinner, we went to the All Ranks Club. Joining us there were Nancy and
Al Zimmerman, Ann and Rick Miller, friends of Bob Mergle and Bonnie and
Lewis Wirfs. The conversations were very informative. Bob Flynn is a
Physics professor at South Florida University. He and his wife are
frequent Space A Travelers. On one occasion they had to RON in Goose
Bay Labrador because of engine trouble. They recounted how this turned
out to be one of their best Space A experiences.
recounted how on one occasion, when they were scheduled to go to
Ramstein, they had to land at Westover AFB because of aircraft trouble.
While waiting for their plane to be fixed, they called home and learned
that his mother had passed away less than 100 miles from Westover. This
incident caused him to renew his spiritual values.
Wirfs who is 79 and his lovely wife, Bonnie recounted that he was in
the Navy, stateside when Pearl Harbor occurred. The bartender shut him
off and informed him that he had to report back to his base. His only
comment was "Where in the hell is Pearl Harbor."
Pepperd is a US Army recruiting supervisor stationed in North Carolina,
and will be retiring in about two years. He and his gorgeous wife,
Kathy, described how they metwhen they were located Scott AFB,
Al Zimmerman's home is located near Willow Grove PA. and both are
retirees. Nancy is a very vivaricous person and entertained us with
some excellent stories.
and Dirk asked me what I thought about all the perks that the military
offered especially to the families. I expressed my feeling on the
matter, stating that in my opinion, military families can not be
compensated enough for the sacrifices and inconvienences they endure
while serving and protecting our country. I also said that our society
greatly undervalues the contributions of the military by preserving our
way of life.
picked me up in Charleston around 9:30 and we went to the base
commissary to pick up odds and ends for the cookout. The Dining Hall
supervisor had kindly permitted us to do our food preparation in their
kitchen. They even
cooked the macaroni salad for us. Tomi~D had the flight line kitchen
fried chicken for him. Bob, and Dirk prepared the food for the cookout
while I watched. Bob transported it over to the recreation area around
12:30. Bob grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and a superb special Kielbasa
that he got from his former home in Buffalo NY.
drove 10 hours from Dayton Ohio to CHS. What a delightful man. He
provided the fried chicken, and a case of "original" Guinesses Stout
(from Ireland) to the cookout. He honored us with many stories about
his military life in Vietnam, Thailand, and Greece. He shared with us
many of his Space A adventures and wonderful traveling tips.
Bonnie Wirfs are from Gainsville Georgia. They provided enough soft
drinks for 100 people. Lewis was the featured Cookout speaker. He
provided us with valuable lessons on how to book reservations on
military installations when traveling Space A.
the PAX rep and his lovely wife arirved during the proceedings. We
discussed the Philippines where he was stationed at Clark AFB. He met
and married his wife there. I asked him if they were still selling
Bloots in Angeles while he was there. I recalled my experience in
Angeles being woken up in the middle of the night by the Bloot vendor.
Kevin arranged a tour of the C-17 Aircraft for seven members of our
group prior to departing to go on a fishing trip. It turned out to be
more of an adventure than anticipated as the security forces were not
fully alerted about the tour.
Zimmermen and I had several discussions about our military and civilian
experiences. He recalled being stationed in Billings Montana near the
Canadian border on a BMEWS site. Mentioned that I had written several
technical manuals on the system. He also talked about his military
reserve experience and how he met his wife, Nancy.
Miller, John and I discussed various military aircraft. I recounted my
C-119 experiences and Rick discussed his military intelligence
Ransom left his portable chair at the cookout. I am sure he and Bob
have resolved that problem
group had a discussion about where to hold the next outing, and the
general consensus favored holding it next year in Florida. One
suggestion was that we rent a Condo from the Armed Forces Vacation Club
in Florida, and invite everyone down. A great time was had by all. See
you all next year.