New Haven, Connecticut
|"C'mon, back that car |
down the driveway already!
I've had two cups of coffee
and I can't hold it forever!"
The process I’d begun as the first leaves were falling was finally about to begin.
I stood before my dresser mirror for the last time as a child. My anxiety grew as I realized there was no coming back from the journey I was about to commence. Luckily, it was offset by the pride I felt that I was doing the right thing for myself and my country.
And the knowledge that I only had five dollars left in my savings account.
Needless to say, it was a fun summer.
I bent down to retrieve the small bag I’d packed for the trip. A shadow spilled into the room. I looked at my sister standing in the doorway.
“So, this is it,” she said.
“All right, then,” she answered as she pulled a measuring tape from her back pocket.
To my dumbfounded look, “Well, I gotta measure the windows before I buy new curtains.”
I shook my head as I pushed past her.
As we backed down the driveway, I closed my eyes and slunk deeply in the backseat. Hoping to calm the butterflies I was starting to feel, I closed my eyes for the twenty minute trip to New Haven. It would probably be a wasted effort, I knew. I was fairly certain I would be a bundle of nerves the entire way.
“Kenny, look at that,” my mother said from the front seat.
|Much cooler than Mom's Canary Yellow |
Ford LTD Country Squire Station Wagon
with faux Wood Side Paneling.
Yeah. I’m gonna miss you, too.
But, my mother finally told me to suck it up, grab my stuff, and head on out. She had places to go and things to do. Besides, breakfast at Mister Donut was on my stepfather.
Minutes after Mom squealed out of the
parking lot, I sat across a desk
from my transfer coordinator. The
slight petty officer, dressed in an immaculate white shirt and black trousers
called “Salt and Peppers,” flipped through paperwork which would follow me to
Illinois. He ran his pencil over
each entry, nodding his head as he went along. Suddenly, he stopped.
|"Salt and Pepper" uniform.|
Picture obviously staged.
Because everybody's smiling.
“Looks like we have a small problem.”
Ooh, didn’t like where this was heading.
“Well, you see here,” he gestured at Guaranteed Training, “after Recruit Training, you’re due to report to AX ‘A’ School.”
“No. But, there is AV ‘A’ School. They teach Aviation Electronics for several jobs similar to yours.”
“And AXs go there?”
“So, it’s the same thing?”
“Well, uh, okay. I guess.”
|What they made me.|
Hang tight, I'll explain later.
|What I became ten years later.|
Just hold on to your britches, we'll get there.
Well, I figured, if I'm good to go...
Next: West Bound and down...to Hell...