Cars, bikes and planes

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Four hundred plus old cars at the fairgrounds this past Sunday noon. Near heaven for this old guy. Strolled by looked with envy and visited with many of the proud owners. Some like the rat rods tickled me — such innovation like the chain welded together to make a steering wheel—many hot rodded “just a little cam” they told me. I enjoyed them all well except for the classic, now, models that I used to own like my 1957 Chevy red with white top convertible that I sold and have regretted ever since. Best thing that I ever did was find the perfect wife and have kept her for 59 years this coming Thursday.

Yesterday we just happened to drive west on highway 6 and met an almost constant string of bicycles. BRAN. Not my kind of fun but still admire the participants. Such training to get in shape for the ride such dedication to one’s sport especially on a windy Nebraska day but not too hot. Many the volunteers to set up rest stations along the way to give tired cyclists a chance to take a short break, drink some water and sometimes do a little mechanical repair. Lunch and an overnight and then onward to destination.

Plaudits to those volunteers that fed the car people and bicyclists’ too along the way. Good Nebraska people ever willing to step forward and give service to our fellow man — mostly strangers-still friend nevertheless. Good people. Great communities. Love living here.

She is a born and raised McCook girl, Asher’s sister Caroline. I happened to be at the airport as she and her husband prepared to fly their private airplane back home to the Seattle area.

Not the usual general aviation airplane four-passenger Cessna or Piper with a propeller that I normally fly. No, this couple owns a CJ Citation Jet and both are type rated to fly it. I taught Asher to fly right here at the McCook air patch and now we both bragged on him for flying, part-time, KC-135 jet tankers for the Nebraska Air Guard and also full time for Allegiant Air. Talk about accomplished daughter and grandson Dr. Don Brooks has a right to be mighty proud.

Grannie Annie and I were on a road trip to Goodland Kansas to check on the progress of an engine repair on my old Aeronca Champ. Almost done and ready to go but again confirms that airplanes make holes in the air that you pour money into.

On west of the marina settlement north of Swanson Lake, we spotted a huge beautiful American flag waving in the wind miles ahead. We had to turn off unto a gravel road to investigate. It is a farm family’s effort renewed each Memorial Day. We also stopped nearby to visit a bit with Jamie Forch, long time McCook High School teacher now retired. Jamie spoke of his son Commander Chris now serving as XO on a Guided Missile Destroyer, one of the most modern ships in the U.S. Navy. His USS Michael Murphy is currently mid-Pacific steaming for home after a tour of the Far East. Proud of that young man, a cousin actually, born, raised well, educated right here in Southwestern Nebraska and now patriotically serving our country. Good people!

I’d urge you also to take a drive through our part of Nebraska and northern Kansas as well. The pastures are green dotted with yucca proudly displaying their creamy white spikes of blossoms. Yes our soapweed is a pest but even a pest can be attractive at times. It looks just right to see cattle, momma cows with calves and a few horses grazing in lush belly deep grass or many in tight-knit herds contentedly lying on hillsides contentedly chewing their cuds in the bright sunshine. A reminder of how it used to be was the sight of a herd of bison 40 miles south on Highway 83.

The straight, long roads in Kansas through miles and miles of wheat rippling in the wind. It isn’t tall and lodging this year but rather short with nice long heads promising a large yield. Of course, we know that the harsh hot winds will blow from the south and hamper the yield. Hail too is sure to come raining down its anger in a sporadic pattern to ruin a farmer’s hopes but for now, it all looks beautifully healthy. It is good country.

Delightful road trip but all was not happiness and good feelings. We also listened to the radio; pundits expressing their observations on life. All too many living in this greatest country in the history of mankind are doing all they can to subvert the success of President Donald Trump—indite him, impeach him, insult his family. Comedians with potty mouth faking apologies. Surely their mommas taught them better. A war against our cops. Gun control. Murder in the streets of our larger cities. Even some of the music is simply gross noise not fit to listen to. Thankfully there was the choice of turning the radio OFF and just enjoying chatting with my traveling companion. Solitude and “thinking time” wasn’t a bad choice either.

That is how I saw it.

Dick Trail

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