When I was about two years old I broke my arch in my left foot it happen when I jumped off the back of a pickup truck. It took about three days after I stopped walking on it and they had to put it in a cast. At 5 or 6 years of age I developed severe ear aches, our Doctor give me a series of penicillin shots before they went away.
I went to school at St. Joe for my first three years and after six weeks into the fourth grade when I told Mom the Sister at school said I was too dumb to learn, the next day Mom enrolled me into the third grade at the Dade City Grammar school.
In the fourth or fifth grade I went to the county fair and was the winner of the sack race, but not without protest from the other schools. You see I took the largest sack I could find and put my feet into the corners and ran. The other schools said I didn't hop (they were just upset because they didn't think of it) so I was awarded first place.
I also started a business of selling candy and gum on the school bus, it was going very good. The day I placed a new order to the distributor for $15.00 is when the principal called me into the office and told me that I could not sell candy and gum on the bus or at school. So I went out of business and that was a real bummer.
I joined the grammar school band first as a trombonist but after a week I gave it up for a drum. I went on two or three camping trips as a tenderfoot in the Boy Scouts in the year or so that I was a member. I also played as the catcher with a Little League team in San Antonio for two years.
My brother Jim and I would go hunting for rabbits two or three times a week. We had a dog that would chase a rabbit until it hid in a hole of a tree, then we would take a stick with a fork at the end and by twisting it in the fur of the rabbit we could pull it from it's hiding place. We had rabbit for supper many a night. We would sell cured rabbits and raccoons pelts to a fur company for our spending money.
Then in the seventh grade I tried out for the basketball team. There were eleven boys trying out for ten places, you guessed it, I didn't make the team, so much for a basketball career. Still in Jr. High I was asked to play drums with the high school marching band. In high school I went to summer school each year and by doing so I could graduate in three years not four. While in the marching band we played very many concerts, football games, band contests, parades, but the highlight was the Mardi Gras parades. The Pasco High school’s senior class went to Washington DC and New York City for our senior trip, I think that was the last year the seniors were able to make the trip that far (could it be that we raised too much hell,,,,"NOOOOO").
Then it was time for me to go in the service or college, well I had enough school for the time being, so I enlisted in the Navy. Jacksonville is where I went for my physical and swearing in. I went to Great Lakes, Naval Training Center for bootcamp.
After bootcamp and being on leave at home I reported to NAS Pensacola, Fla. Upon checking in I was assigned to the Security Department where I was a gate guard for three months. Note: this was at the time of the Cuban crisis (Oct 1962). In late November I was transferred to the Directory Service (Navy Post Office) for the holiday rush.
On the 2nd of January I was to transfer to the Barracks Division or go Mess Cooking. I reported to the MAA Office for my new assignment when the phone rang, being second in line the MAA ask the two of us "Would you go to Yuma, Arizona to be mess cooks for the Blue Angels, well he did not have to ask twice. We were transferred to the Blue Angels that day.
We left for Arizona within a day or two, not to Yuma but Litchfield Park (eighteen miles west of Phoenix). Once at Litchfield Park the requirement for a barracks cleaner instead of for a mess cook sent the other person to the barracks because he was a black shoe and I was an Airdale. I went to work on the flight line helping out the plane captains with the jets, mostly cleaning and servicing them.
Once they (The Blue Angels) learned that I would be going to “A” School in March they had the two of us swap work duty. For the next three weeks or so I cleaned the barracks, then the Maintenance Officer told me that the Admiral from the 11th district would be on station to inspect the barracks, so I worked for three days, 12 hrs a day to shine everything that would shine. After the inspection the Admiral told the Skipper that the barracks was the best he had ever seen. So the Skipper had the Maintenance Officer come and talk with me about returning to the Blue Angels after completing “A” School. He told me how to write a letter to Bupers(Bureau of Personnel) with an endorsement from the Blue Angels, this would have my next assignment orders to return with the Blue Angels.
Well sometime in March I returned to Pensacola to get ready to transfer to NAS Memphis to attend “A” School. I think it was the first or second week of April when I arrived in Memphis it was still cold with a touch of snow on the ground. I attended three courses in about three months. I think I was promoted to Airman on May 16th. As an Airman I did not have to stand any fire watches, but did have to be the duty driver. Some places I went on liberty was Hattiesburg, Clarksdale Miss, and Memphis. (NAS Memphis is in Millington, about twenty miles from Memphis).
About a month before completing the last course I went to the Personal Office to have a letter written. They sent the letter so I would return to the Blue Angels. Note: the first set of orders I received was to VT-1 at Saufley Field, but the day I left Memphis my orders were changed to the Blues.
I took a week or two of leave before reporting back to Pensacola, I think it was in August. Upon reporting back to duty I had to get a new ID card, and the person that processed the request at the Pass Office was a pretty young Wave by the name Miss Sperry. Then within a month or two she was accompanying her Security Chief on a visit to the Blue Angels hanger and that is when I seen her for the second time. I thought of seeing if she would go to the movies with me. Well I did not follow through until after, " THE PARTY".
I was assigned to the line division as a helper(we had to shine all the stainless steal, aluminum and polish the paint)for the rest of the show year(first part of Nov), then was given the assignment of "Portsider" for Blue Angels number three plane for the show year of 1964. The Plane Captain for #3 was Charles Jeffords, and that made me his assistant. There were two personnel for each aircraft, everyone else on the team were to work on the problems that were shops responsibility. I think there were some air shows I went to but don't remember where they were.
The Blue Angels have an end of the year party that was hosted by Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company, that all members and their guests were invited. I called Miss Sperry to go the party with a friend of mine Bob Hudson, she said “OK”, because I was going to consume too much booze. I also asked if she had a friend to go with another friend of mine, Bob Milano, she did and her name was Dorcas. Well at the party I spent most of the night with her before they carried me out because I could not navigate anymore. They dropped me down the barrack’s second story stairs that put a gash next to my left eye. Thanks to someone for putting a wash cloth on it to stop the bleeding.
Some trips I took (but don’t remember what year) were to Johnstown, Pa., Ontario Canada.
Aviation Structural Mechanic (H) Third Class on the sixteenth day of November 1963
After the Blue Angels Christmas Party I called Miss Sperry to see if she would go to a movie with me, well she did and we started to spend a lot of time together.
1964 When in Litchfield Park, AZ., where the Blue Angels held their winter training, that lasted about six weeks or so. The Pilot of the "Cougar" #7 was LT. Bob Cowles, he would give rides to the enlisted, so I got a ride up to the Grand Canyon. We were screaming along 350-400MPH at tree top level, trees were just a blur and you could sense the speed, then into the Canyon we dove, things seem to just stop, there were no reference of speed in the open spaces of the canyon, "What a Ride".
Note: I was the plane captain of F9F-8T(#7) for about three months, and flew to Patricks AFB for an airshow the day before the show planes arrived. There is a newspaper reporter who wrote an article about his flight and the pre-flight briefing given by me. (This could have been the first part of 1964) Then I took over as plane captain on one of the F11F-1F(Tigers) #3
By March I asked Miss Sperry (Barbara) if she would change her name and she said yes. We made plans and got married June 13th. The next six months I was home only 18 days. We moved into a garage apartment in the middle of a nursery, at 7 Odess Lane in Warrington Fla, so some days we would have a nice green front yard, then the next day they would sell the sod and it would be dirt again.
1964---El Toro, CA., Andrews AFB, Lansing Mich., (Stockton, Fresno, Ca) Altus, OK., South Weymouth,Mass., and West Palm Beach, Fl. In a 1964 team photo of the "maintenance crew" look on the bottom row, you can find me fifth from the left.
We went to Albany, NY. for Thanksgiving and to meet Barbara’s family, we were there about a week or so. When we left Albany the weather was turning bad, there was an ice storm just behind us, down through NY, New Jersey, Pennsylvania. On the way back we got lost in Columbus, GA. (Fort Benning). We had to make it back to Pensacola with less than a quarter of a tank of gas and we were out of money.
1965---Litchfield Park, El Paso, TX, Key West, FL. Nassau, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Orlando, FL, Saufley Field, FL
On the Orlando air show I went to Stuart Florida for an interview at Grumman Aerospace. I was told by (Art Melrose) when I get out of the Navy to come down and they would put me to work. I got out (discharged) of the Navy on June 8th 1965 the day the Blues left to go to Europe for a month and I didn't want to extend for six months to make the trip. Well it seem that everyone ended up staying in the service a lot longer than that, a thing called.............Vietnam.
Note: Checkout these Blue Angels "Video-1" and "Video-2" from early in 1966, the 14th show of their 20th season, most of the members was the same as when I was with them, less then a year after I left the team.
After being discharged on June 8th, 1965 we left Pensacola to go to Stuart Florida to work for Grumman. We (Barbara, our dog "Snook" and myself) rented a one bedroom apartment on Glass Lane in Rio, Florida, a small community between Stuart and Jensen Beach. I Did not hear from Grumman for a week or two so we went back to Saint Joe for a visit, that is when Mom said that I should contact Sam Croft who was the Forman at an Orange Grove (H. P. Hood & Sons) in Indian Town, Florida to see if he needed someone to help out for a while. I went to work (about five weeks) for him as a mechanic repairing all kinds of equipment, including hoe machines, mowers, tractors, road graders, water pump motors etc., until getting on with Grumman.
I started working at Grumman in Stuart Florida around the first of August 1965. Then on Sunday the 22nd of August Barbara got up about 5AM and said it was time to go to the hospital, she was having labor pains. Well we had to go to Patrick’s Air Force Base about 70 miles to the north. I packed the car and headed out. Of all the times we went there I never hit all the red-lights on green except for that one time. I did not have to stop once; even through the towns of Ft. Pierce Vero Beach, or Melbourne, so you see God was on our side that morning. Laurie was born at about 10:10AM. They stayed in the hospital for three days before coming home. We paid $3.27 for the stay ($1.09 per day” Barbara’s meals".)
Once at Grumman, I started working on the OV-1 "Mohawk". We built the shells and shipped them to Bethpage, NY where they built (final assembly) it up (wiring, hydraulics, a/c, engines, landing gear, etc). After a month or so they transferred me to the E2/C2 outer panel (wings) section. There we laid the front beam, aft beam, added the ribs, and attached the top & bottom skins. I Stayed in that section for a year or so, then went to outer panels(wings) final assembly section, that is were we installed the de-icing boots, lines, hydraulics fitting, valves & lines, etc. in the wings. The wings were then shipped to NY to be put on the Aircraft.
1966---We moved into our first house, it was a two/three bedroom in Stuart, at River Point. It was a new house built by George Apostolopolus, he owned the bowling alley where I worked at night. After some time (maybe a year) I was transferred to the Mohawk Mod line. This is where we took the older aircraft apart, added some new systems, changed or repaired what was worn out. Then Stuart got the contract for the final assembly of the Mohawk aircraft. Working in the Hydraulics department for both lines (mod and new) aircraft, I was made leadsman, then was acting foreman.
Barbara was very busy with Laurie, then twenty-two months Danny came along. We were blessed with two healthy children. We did not go hardly anywhere. Once and awhile we did go play cards or worked on puzzles with friends. Laurie was a flower girl for Deb and Gordon Sigafoose’s wedding.
We lived in the new house about two and a half years, when we sold it and moved to the country. The new house was about seven miles west on hwy 76 on the way to Indian Town. It was a very nice house on a large lot, about an acre of land. We paid about eighteen thousand for it. Then we sold it for twenty-two, five when we moved to St Joe.
In 1971 Grumman was having a cut back in their work force, not being on the list to be "RIF";, I took a voluntary "RIF" so I went back to my home town of Dade City, Florida where I took over the family dairy farm. We bought a mobile home and moved it over on the ninety acres (family land), just north of Margie and Jimmy’s house. Barbara got involved in the church (choir & teaching CCD) and Joan (Jim's Wife) became close friends and did a lot of things together.
When we got back to the dairy there were a lot of things that needed to be improved. Dad was very tired and did not want to milk cows any more. I could not blame him as dairy farming is for a young person. The herd was made up of Jersey and Guernsey cows, low production but high in butter fat. Record keeping for the production levels and breeding status needed to be improved and took time to set up a procedure to implement this record keeping system. First every cow’s milk was weighed and recorded once every two weeks. Each cow was given dairy feed according to her production level. I had Dr. Smalley come out and did a pregnancy check on all the cows. This gave a base line on which cows needed to be culled and which ones were on track.
After going to other dairy farms to see how they operated, it was observed that most dairies were milking a lot of black and whites (Holsteins) a high production but low butter fat cows. When one did the research on the cost of feed to lbs of milk, the Holsteins come out on top. Note that the premium paid for the higher butter fat did not off set the lower production of the Jersey and Guernsey cows. Our herd had the highest butter fat in the state of Florida, but lacked the competitiveness with other dairies in Florida. With the help from the county extension office and the University of Florida Agriculture department I needed to make some hard decisions on changing the makeup of the herd by adding some Holstein cows that would give lots of milk.
Over all even with the hard work it was very rewarding to be able to bring a failing dairy into a business that could have a future with a modern milking barn/parlor/dairy go round. To get the business to where the cost of producing milk and having a profit, we would have to have about one hundred and twenty-five cows to milk. Well, it must not have been meant to be, I was unable to get funding for the improvements plus buy the cows, I would need about $250,000 and I had nothing to put up for collateral.
I sold the cows and equipment, that was in July or August of 1973.
1973---I Then went back to Grumman in Stuart for about six months. I worked on the quick look program on the OV-1C aircraft. We lived south of the airport in Hobe Sound in a three bedroom triplex. I had to take twenty-five dollars out of savings each month to pay the bills. So I needed to find some other way to make some extra money. I started selling Amway, and it was going very well, door to door. I did this for a couple of months.
I also went to school and took a private pilot ground course to prepare be taking the FAA pilot written test. I was thinking of taking some glider flights. Just before Christmas I went to the FAA office in Vero Beach to take the Private pilot written test. My instructor said if you thought you did very well on the test to go ahead and take the commercial written test, so I called and made an appointment to take the commercial test the next week. Just after the first of the year I received the results from the commercial test first, I got a 85% passing grade. Then the private test results came the next day with a 95% passing grade.
Then I was offered a job in China Lake, Ca. Max McDonald was working out there and Grumman was needing to send some personnel out to support the Condor Missile Program.
1974--In Late Jan or early Feb I went to NY for some airframe training on the A6 Aircraft. Grumman wanted us to leave Florida for California as soon as I returned to Stuart. The movers were scheduled to pack us up and we were on our way in less then a week. We left Stuart sometime early March. We (Barbara, Laurie, Danny and Pokey our dog) it was very crowded in the car a (1970-Dodge Challenger). The first day we traveled to Wildwood Fl, then on to Lake Charles La, but after dinner when we got back to the motel Barbara said the place gave her the willies so we drove on to Orange Texas for the second night. The third day (Saturday) we drove on to San Antonio, stop at the Alamo for an hour or so. Then we went on to Ft. Stockton for the night. The fourth day(Sunday), we went to Mass in Ft. Stockton, toured the Bisby Douglas & Tombstone areas, then on to Tucson for the night, about a half of days drive. The fifth day (Monday), we toured the Old Tucson area for a half of day then drove on to Flagstaff Arizona. The sixth day (Tuesday), we went to the Grand Canyon then to Las Vegas, Nevada and stayed the night. There was a power shortage so Las Vegas didn’t have the full lights on at that time. The seventh day (Wednesday), we stopped at Calico Ghost Town in the morning and then on to Ridgecrest by early afternoon.
May 9th, Barbara got a call before I got home, from Father Paul in Saint Joe to tell us Jim had been killed earlier that day in an airplane crash. I called my boss Art Duval to let him know we wanted to go back to Florida for the funeral. He called the travel agent in Ridgecrest to get us tickets. We were able to catch a flight out of LAX late that night. That was a very hard flight. We stay in Florida For about ten days to two weeks before returning to China Lake.
1977-78??? Ron O'Brien worked with a chief at VX-5 who knew of fifteen (three five acres parcels) for sale, but the owner would only sell all three pieces at once. So Ron, the chief and me went in to buy the three pieces for one thousand per acre. The reason we were interested is that the chief knew that some time in the near future water would be available. Major Corley at VX-5 was one of the persons involved in having the water line run up the west side of the three five acres parcels.
1980---This is the year that we started building a house on five acres south of town. Grumman's A6 Maintance contract with the Navy was not renewed at the end of Oct. Went into "Field Operation" department to surport the USMC reserver EA-6A squaron to be stoud-up at NAS Whidbey Island. Then took vacation in Nov and Dec to work on our house.
1981/1983---Started the year working on the house then travel to USMC station at El Toro for three weeks, then to New York, A6 system training for six weeks, down to NAS Norfork to two weeks before returing to Ridgecrest. Went in to the office to work over the next weeks and month or so. To help out "Field OP" I travel to NAS Alameda for two months working with the EA-6B program upgrade. After returning to Ridgecrest the USMC reserver EA-6A squaron was canceled so I was to work on the E2-C program with Japan sales. Within a week or so there as some work at the airfield with the A6 program Office A6-Lab. I worked there helping buildup the sim-lab. By the begaining of Oct there was a opening with the A6 flight test supporting the instrumation system.
1983/1988--- an A6 Project Flight Test Coordinator
Oct 25, 1996 was a Friday and the last day of my employment with Northrop-Grumman. I was laid off after 27 years with Grumman and two years with Northrop-Grumman for a total of 29 years. The next day I received a call from NorthropGrumman in Lake Charles Louisiana seeking information about employment there. A Mr. John Philman offered me a position working with the test engineering group, commonly know as "Dit-Mco". The position would be as a job-shopper employee and requested what it would take for me to move and fill that task. I said I would have to get back to him, at that time I did not know how to calculate what I would need without being giving the benefits I enjoyed with Grumman / Northrop-Grumman. After talking to several individuals I was able to have a number to give him.
He accepted the number and wanted me to start right away. I said that it would be the second of December before I could get there. I was going to spend Thanksgiving at home. That way it would give me three weeks on the job before Christmas and if it was not working out then I would not return after the holidays. I flew into Houston and drove a rental car to Lake Charles for those three weeks and I stay at the "Motel 6" in Lake Charles. Well over the next twenty months I was working on the "Automated Test" project.
1997---After the Holidays I returned to Lake Charles to continue working with the test engineering group in designing and programming "Dit-Mco" for the "JSTARS" aircraft (a rebuilt Boeing 707 for the Air Force and Army). While working there I was able to go fishing but did not catch any bass. Fishing from the bank of the river limited where I was able to go. There were a lot of things to do and places to go. Every week I tried to take in some kind of activity like going to a play, take a trip to Galveston, New Orleans or go to the movies, crawfish boil, or St Patrick's day, Contraband Days, Mardi Gras parades and festivals. Being in Cajun Country, the fine restaurants have an endless amount of tasty foods. There were outdoor concerts in the summer months. Along the southern part of Louisiana is where they grow a lot of rice. I was able to go home, February 22-23, Easter, A business trip to Kansas City May 10-18, for "Dit-Mco School" Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas & New years Holidays. I drove my truck to Houston to catch the flight home because the weather canceled the flight out of Lake Charles. When I got to Ontario, CA, I rented a car then went to San Diego for my biannual Physical at Scripp’s Institute on the 24th of Dec. Then I went on to Ridgecrest for Christmas. During my stay in Louisiana I was able to put in my paperwork for retirement from Northrop-Grumman and was retroactive from my original layoff time since I was no longer an actual employee of Grumman. I was classified a job-shopper which is like a contractor with no benefits.
1998---I returned to Lake Charles to work at Northrop-Grumman. The work lasted until July 27th. The Barthle family reunion was held at Monica and Herman’s place on the lake. The weather was great and everyone had a good time. To get all my stuff back to Ridgecrest a trailer was needed. I was able to get a little one and built a box on it to hold almost everything I had. From Lake Charles I headed east to Pensacola Florida to look for some land to buy. I found a 19 acre piece put did not have any information on. The real estate salesman (Ray Perkson - Frank's brother) would get more information about it. Then on to Meridian Mississippi to visit with Yoda (Jeff Thomson) an A6 pilot I worked with in China Lake. Then on to Atlanta to see Cinda, stayed there for three days and left early the morning of Aug the second so I would be able to get to Brian and Vicki’s. Spent the night and left early to head on to OK City to spend a couple of days with Sara and Ken. Had a good time there, went to see the Cowboy hall of Fame in OK City.
Back on the road early the next morning to Denver, Co., where I wanted to stop to see Kevin Arnol, after finding his home I found out his wife Trish just had a baby at 3pm today so I will head on down the road before stopping to sleep. Well I made it to Grand Juntion, CO., where I found a motel for the night. The next morning when I came out of the motel room I seen an A-6 aircraft on a stick across the road, it was one from VX-5 in China Lake, CA. then looking to the right there was a F-11(Blue Angels # 1), what a surprise. Westward I went to Las Vegas where I stop at the GoldCoast and plays some slots for a hour or so. Now on to California and Ridgecrest before 9PM.
My "1998 Trip"
Note: When I was in Lake Charles I remember seeing a motor home that was covered with moss, I called to see if it was for sale, it was so when I went to the Blue Angels reunion in Nov I stop to check on it. I told him that I would make a offer after returning to California. He accepted my offer in late Dec.
1999---I left to go to Lake Charles in Jan, to check out the motor home. Checking the engine, I found it to be OK, so I decided to buy it. Had to put new tires on and replaced the radiator and the dryer for the A/C. When they replaced the radiator I had all the belts replaced too. When they were working on that I went to Florida for about a week.
My "1999 Trip"
2000---I was not feeling very well on New Year’s eve, had a cold and headacke. The motor home was parked at Danny's house at 805 Alene Ave in Ridgecrest, Ca. On Monday, Jan 24, we, Evan and myself moved the motor home to Sun City. Then I took Evan home that evening. Nick was sick on Tuesday and again half a day on Wednesday.
My "2000 Trip"
2001---To New York, Florida & back to California by the way of Palm Spring, Sun City, Oakzarita Springs, Sun City, Ridgecrest, CA., Flagstaff, AZ., Tijeras, NM., Oklahoma City, OK., Villa Ridge, MO., Effingham, OH., Ashtabula, OH., Port Jervis, NY., Hershey, PA., Lynchburg, VA., Fair Play, SC., Atlanta, GA., Orlando, Dade City, FL., Gautier, MS., Lake Charles, LA., Conroe, Whitney, Lake Tawakoni, Cedar Mills, Bridgeport, TX.
My "2001 Trip"
2002---To Florida and back by way of Sun Lakes and Oro Valley, AZ., Lake Charles LA., Pensacola, Orlando, Dade City, Fl. (Flew TPA to ATL, ATL to ONT, ONT to ATL, ATL to TPA) and TPA to NY, NY to TPA) Orlando, Pensacola, Fl., Indian Point MS., Lake Charles, LA., FT Hood, TX., Ridgecrest, CA.
My "2002 Trip"
2003---In California stay TTN-Soledad Canyon, TTN-Rancho Oso,
Pismo State Beach, Morro Bay State Beach, TTN-Santa Benito, TTN-Morgan Hill, TTN-Windsor, TTN-Russian River, RPI-Redwood Trails. Then on into Oregon stay at TTN-South Jetty, TTN-Whalers Rest, TTN-Pacific City. Then on into Washington where I stay at TTN-Long Beach, TTN-Oceana, TTN-Cascade, flew from Seattle to LaGuardia and back, TTN-Mount Vernon, TTN-Birch Bay, TTN-La Conner, TTN-Crescent Bar. Then back into Oregon stay at TTN-Bend Sunriver. On into California TTN-Lake Minden. Took the truck to Ridgecrest, took Ron's plane and flew to Oshkosh, NY and back again to Ridgecrest. Back to TTN-Lake Minden, TTN-Lake of the Spring, TTN-Snowflower, TTN-Yosemite Lakes. Yosemite National Park; “Porcupine Flat”, “May Lake”, “Yosemite Valley”, “Tuolumne Grove”, “Crane Flat”. Inyo National Forest; “Glass Creek”, “Obsidian Dome”, “Lookout Mountain”, “Inyo Craters”, "Mammoth Lakes", “Shady Rest”.
Bishop, CA.; "Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest".
BLM; "Goodale Creek", "Tuttle Creek". Back to Ridgecrest
My "2003 Trip"
2004---From Ridgecrest to TTN-Palm Springs, east on I-10, AZ, NM, TX, Lake Charles, LA., MS, AL then down I-75, Fl-44, US-27 to TTN-Orlando, Dade City. Flew from TPA to LAX, to Ridgecrest. Then with Evan we flew from LAX to Hawaii for two days. Flew from Hawaii to Kwajalein and stayed for 10 days. Flew from Kwajalein to Hawaii stayed there two days before flying to LAX and drove back to Ridgecrest. Then flew from LAX to TPA. Dade City, TTN-Orlando, Pensacola for the BAAA reunion before heading west on I-10 to TTN-Palm Springs. I-10, I-15, US-395 to Ridgecrest again.
My "2004 Trip"
2005---Left Ridgecrest to the north on US-395, CA/Nev, to US 50, US-95, I-80/Alt US-95, US-95, Nev/OR, OR/ID, to I-84, ID/OR, I-82/US-395, OR/WA, US-395 to I-90 east bound. Spokane north on US-95, US-2 to TTN-Little Diamon. Mike and Betty, WA/ID, Briana, Sand Point, ID., ID/MT, Big Horn Battlefield, MT/WY, WY/SD, Wall Drug, Aunt Hilda's, Deletta and Don, Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, TTN-Kenisee Lake, Washingtonville, NY., Shanandoak Vally, Dulles airport, Manassas, TTN-Carolina Landing, Cinda and Ben, Ralph and Paula, TTN-Orlando, US-27, I-75 to the FL/GA, Cinda and Ben, GA-138 to I-75 to 285 to I-20, GA/AL, US-78, AL/MS, MS/TN, US-87 to I-240 to I-55, TN/AR. I-40, AR/OK, OK/TX, TX/NM, NM/AZ, AZ/CA, I-40 until reaching I-15 then to CA-58, US-395, Ridgecrest, CA.
My "2005 Trip"
2006---We left Ridgecrest for I-10, Beaudry RV, Tucson AZ, Van Horn KOA, San Antonyo river walk,
TTN-Colorodo River, Yogi Bear's Resorts, Lake Charles, Doug's at Pensacola, River's Edge, TTN Orlando,
Saint Joe, TTN-Orlando, TTN-Peace River-Wanchula, Fort Myers Beach RV, Saint Joe, got Nick and Evan, Beachcomber RV Resort,
FL/GA, GA/SC, SC/NC,KOA, NC/VA, TTN-Chesapeake Bay, Nick to Uncle Larry's and Evan to Washington DC, picked Nick up, VA/MA,
MA/DE, DE/NJ, TTN-Chestnut Lake, Atlantic City, boardwalk. RV in srorage, Drove the boys to Laurie, Nick home and Evan to the airport,
Marv & Mary at the cabin, breakfast with Ron, Danbury for lunch with Ron and his sister, TTN-Chestnut Lake, NJ/DE, DE/PA
Spring Gulch Resort, TTN-Hershey, Marv & Mary, PA/WV, Cabela, WV/OH, TTN-Wilmington, OH/IN, TTN-Indian Likes, IN/KY,
Cave Country RV, KY/TN, TTN-Natchez Trace, TTN-Cherokee Landing, TN/MS, MS/AL, Allegro Campground at Red Bay, AL/GA,
Public Market parking lot at Cinda, GA/FL, Lee's campground, Saint Joe, TTN-Orlando, ROD-Song of the South, FL/AL, AL/MS, MS/LA,
ROD-Abita Springs RV, Yogi Bear's Resorts, LA/TX, TTN Colorado River, Van Horn KOA, TX/NM, NM/AZ, ROD-Valley Vista, AZ/CA,
TTN-Palm Spring, Ridgecrest.
My "2006 Trip"
2007---We left Ridgecrest heading south to Southern California before heading to centrol California where we got a new RV and
put the old one in stroage. Then headed north into Orgeon and Wishington to visit with Braina and frinds. leaving there to South Dakota
to visit with a frind of Barbara. Leaving there and going to visit with Evan over the 4th of July. Aunt Hilda was also on our way east
and we had lunch with her. We had to be in Walkarusa IN. to have some work done before continuing on to NY. In NY we put the coach in
to storage and stay with Laurie, then took the coach and Nick north up to Schroon River for two weeks, Laurie, JR and the girls came up
for the weekend. Leaving Schroon River, Laurie's and New York we headed to Hershey PA., then on south, VA, NC, SC,
went to see Cinda and Ben, GA, went to Savannah, St. Simons Island and took a tour of the Okefenokkee Swamp, and then on into florida.
My "2007 Trip"
2008---Our Trip started in centrol Florida by May, had the coach serviced at Monaco in Wildwood, Lunch with Diann in Pensacola, lunch in
Lake Conroe with Jack Ryder. Visited with Evan for the weekend in Castle Rock. Went over Loveland Pass instead of going through the Eisenhower
Memonal Tunnel. Went to Zion National Park. When in Ridgecrest we painted the inside of the house, a new cooler, put paver in the front and got
it rended again. Headed to the centrol California then to the Redwood coast. In the Oregon coast we visited with Patty and Mike. We spent the
one day riding the ferry in the San Juan Islands(Fridy Harbor). Another day Ron gave us a tour around Fidalgo Island("Padilla Bay", "Skagit Bay",
"Deception Pass") on his cabin cruser. Had the thermastate changed on the Cummins in Renton. Visted with Braina and Hali, Betty and Mike spent
the weekend with us in Newport. Spent another weekend with Evan and family. Meet up with Juli in Denton TX for dinner. Went to Branson, MO for
four day and three nights. Took a driving tour at the Vichsburg National Military Park. Visited with Cinda and Ben.
My "2008 Trip"
2009---Before leaving Florida in July, in March we went down to the Venice area for a visit with our friend Ron O'Brian and his sister Carolin.
Then heading north to Fair Play, South Carolina where we stop to go visit with Cinda and Ben. Leaving there we headed to North Carloine,
then on to Hershey, PA. and New York Catskill area where we could spent time with Laurie and family. Headed to Niagara Falls for some sigh seeing
before heading south back to Hershey, Pa. While there we went to Gettyburg National Military Park for a day. On into Front Royal Va., where we
took a day trip into DC to visit the Pentagon 911 Memoral. On south though North Carloine, South Carloine and into Columbus Ga., Fort Benning to
attend Nick's graduation from Army basic training. After leaving Georga we stop to see our friends Mary and Marv Hill in Silver Springs.
My "2009 Trip"
2010---We left Florida in the second week of April, Going to Ft. Gorden to visit with Nick, Cinda and to attend a TEA party at the State Captiol on April 15th. Then we headed west, down to I-10, stopping at TTN-Palm Springs to visit with our friends Joe and Joan Beilins. Then to Ridgecrest to check on the house. We went north to visit with our granddaughter Briana in Sand Point, Idaho. We also visited with our friends Mike & Betty Kennedy. Then we headed east and then south where we visited with Evan and family. After our visit we headed North and then East to visit with Aunt Hilda, Deletta and Don in Yankton SD. Leaving and heading east on to Hershey PA. While in Hershey we drove to near the Poconos to pick up Rhapsody and Samanth then dropping the girls off on the way up to Catskill Adventure Resort. Heading south to DC for Glenn Beck's "8-28". Going on south to visit with Cinda and Ben. Then back in florida.
My "2010 Trip"
2011---We left Florida the end of July, headed north to Georgia meeting up with Cinda, Ben and Bret Denney, Jennifer, Matt, Nat, John, Leo and Henry Petters. Then on to attend Evan's Basic Training Graduation at Fort Gordon, Laurie, the girls, Danny, Amy, Wayne and Joshua all flew in, Cinda drove over. Then heading north NY to visit Laurie and family. Leaving NY to Texas and a visit with Nick at Fort Hood, Then back to Florida for Doctor Appointments. Our tenant moved out so we headed to California. We get the house ready to and rented it again. Then another speed run back to Florida before flying for Christmas with Laurie in NY.
My "2011 Trip"
2012---We were in Florida until after all the doctor visits and that was in early May. We headed north and then on to West Florida on I-10. Our first stop was at Martin Lake Resort in Mississippi. While there we made a trip to New Orleans for a riverboat cruse and lunch.
From there we stop near Lake Charles's and the Isla of Capri Casino for just one night. Heading west on to spend some time with Nick at Fort Hood, Killeen TX.
Then it was again time to move on, this time heading north into OK, called Sara to see if she would meet us for lunch, she could and we had a great visit her.
Went on north into Nebraska where we was able to go visit Aunt Hilda for lunch.
After leaving there it was on to be with Evan at his High School graduation and visit with Amy and the rest of the family in Colorado.
Leaving there we had to get on to check on the house in California. While on the way we had gotten into some hi winds north of Las Vegas and the windshield have to be replaced. While it was waiting for the new part we took the car and went to Ridgecrest to check on the house.
Once the RV was fixed we headed eastbound, stopping for a short visit again with Evan, Amy, Wayne and Joshua.
Traveling east we again stop to see Aunt Hilda. Leaving there we were to be in New York for Sam birthday so we arrived there by the 16th just in time.
When it was late August we again on the road heading south, while on the way to Gulf Port, Mississippi to see Evan at the "CB" School we heard from our tenant in California that he was moving out. We did get to spend a little time with Evan.
Then on the road heading west to Killeen with a short visit with Nick.
Then is was a speed run to Ridgecrest to get the house ready to rent again. We made some upgrades to the house that took about a month. By that time it was getting late in the year and the weather could be turning cold so it was a speed run to Florida.
We did have time to have dinner with Nick. Only there over night before moving on to be in Florida in two days later.
Was in Florida for the rest of the year except for Christmas week when I flew to Laurie’s.
My "2012 Trip"
2013---Early January we (the Valentines, Latsons and us)took a four day cruise to Cozumel.
Then in middle February Danny flew in to Atlanta for some classes so we drove up in the car and stayed at Cinda and Ben, Nick flew in from Fort Hood but Evan and Laurie could not make it. Then we went back to Florida.
When all the annual dentist and doctor appointment were done we headed north with stops in South Carolina and Pennsylvania before getting to Laurie just in time for Sam BirthDay.
In September we headed south with stops at Hershey, PA where we were able to catch up with Susie for lunch.
Then on South to South Carolina where we parked the RV and drove over to Dillard, GA to meet up with the Valentines and the Latsons for three days of site seeing and of course eating. Then returning to South Carloina to get the RV and heading south.
Stayed there until Christmas when we flew to Laurie's.
My "2013 Trip"
We stayed close to Florida this year but drove the RV so we could visited with Evan on family weekend at Fort Benning, GA. While there we made a side trip to Smyrna, GA to visit and quilt with Cinda and Ben. Then we drove back to Fort Benning then on to Florida.
We attended the Pasco H.S. reunion with the “Cruise Bunch” Ron,Pat, Billy and Wanda and really enjoyed the Bellamy Brother’s concert.
Barbara had carpal tunnel in both of my hands that was getting worse every day so she had them fix, they are fine.
We drove the car to spend Thanksgiving with Cinda and Ben.
Flew to NY so we could spend Christmas with Laure and family. Danny flew to NY from Kwajalein and a friend Erika from Ridgecrest. We had a special surprise for Danny, we had Evan fly up from North Carolina to be with us.
My "2014 Trip"
After getting back from Laurie’s for the holidays it was another year when we stayed close to Florida most of the year, Barbara had some heal problems early in the year. Then she went to get new glasses the examination found she had a macular hole in the right eye so she had surgery to correct that. We did get out of Florida in July to visit with Evan at Fort Bragg in North Carolina just before he was getting out of the Army. All changed in early November when we headed to Pensacola for the Blue Angels homecoming weekend. We headed to California after the air show. Danny flew state side for some classes and we were meeting up with him in Ridgecrest before he heads back to Kwajalein. Barbara flew to NY for Christmas. I stayed in California with the RV.
My "2015 Trip"