Monday, November 12, 2007

Pensacola

Making it into Pensacola we found Larry and Polly Don at Drifters RV Park. (Also friends from Big Bend)
For those of you who do not know it, Pensacola is the home of the Blue Angels. And as luck would have it, Friday would start their Home Coming Air Show.
Wanting to see the show, Larry and Polly took us into the Naval Air Station, on Thursday, to an RV park where their friends, Dave and Sybil were staying. Larry and Polly secured us a pass to get into the park and permission from Dave and Sybil to park at their RV lot. (The RV Park is across the street from where the Air Show takes place)
Friday morning we were off, not too early, making it through security and to Dave and Sybil’s. Actually we were surprised to find the main gate wide open, with no one on duty ?? The only security was two cleaning women on golf carts with mops blocking the entrance to the RV Park. (must be some kind of undercover operation) Once they saw our pass on the dash they let us right in the park. I don’t think I’ll ever understand that one.
Anyway we got parked and took our chairs to a shade tree and staked out our turf for watching the show. Then we walked across the street and into the show to see the static displays and what else might be going on. There was a lot of the usual, big transports, helicopters, food vendors, and souvenirs. Things were getting started in the air with biplanes flying in formation doing different stunts. We watched skydivers coming down trailing smoke. Then the announcer said, “Next up is the Black Water Sky Diving Team”. Now I’m thinking it can’t be the same Black Water that’s shooting things up in Iraq. I mean that group is civilian, x-military and x-cops. But low and behold when the chutes opened there it was, the Black Water Bear Claw emblem on the chutes. Guess they need all the P.R. they can get. Actually they were quite good.
Not paying attention to everything the announcer was saying we missed something. But through the crowd I could see and hear something shooting fire on the runway.
It was Shock Wave. You ask, what’s that? It’s a Peterbuilt truck with not one, but THREE jet engines on the back. This thing is fast. Setting a speed record for a truck of 376 MPH. In order to keep the centrifugal force from tearing the tires apart they have to remove most of the tread, getting rid of a lot of tire weight. OK, being a truck driver I had to get a better look so we went over to where it was parked and talked to the crew. Seems that it was scheduled to run again at 1:10, cool, I could be on the fence and get a close look. There was one snag, they needed more fuel, 200 gallons and security wouldn’t let the fuel truck in for Shock Wave. (Hmm, the front gate is wide open with no one on duty, they must be trying to sneak it through the RV gate and those women with the golf carts and mops stopped them. I knew there was something special about them!) Anyway it looked like they were going to get the needed fuel at some point so we (I) decided to stay and see it. (Larry and Polly have been to this air show a number of times and like watching it from the lawn chairs and I don’t blame them. But I’m like a kid with a new toy and want to be right up front.) Polly and June walked back to the park a little while later, Larry, hearing the sound of a cold beer, walked back too. NOT me, I had to be right up front for the grand finally, The Blue Angels. I paid $5 for a bleacher seat and sat in the front row, yep along the fence. What a show!
Now that the show was over I had to find my way back to the RV Park and there they were, Larry, Polly, and June sitting in the lawn chairs, just making sure that I could find my way back.
We all packed up our chairs and moved in to the RV Park’s gazebo, joining Dave, Sybil, and the rest of their friends. Food had been put out and a couple of the parks residents were setting up to sing for us.

Lets review:
Air show, Free
Parking, Free
Dinner, Free
Entertainment, Free

Being retired is GREAT !

A BIG thank you to Larry and Polly!

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