July 4th in a RV-6A by Terry Cole - TColeE@aol.com
Home > Articles > July 4th in a RV-6A
JULY 4, 2001
The bed felt good at 3:30 am after operating a train most of the late
night and early morning of July 4th. 7232 foot long train, 6800 trailing
tons. 4 big jacks of 4000 Hp each working hard to get this train, destined
for California, up on the Cap Rock.. After crossing the Prairie Dog Town Fork
of the Red River at Esteline TX. As I started up the hill at Newlen TX.
(Where Edwin Harper once lived) My mind starts to wonder. With a full moon
lighting up the countryside. I recall a story that Edwin related to me about
shooting rattlesnakes in holes on the riverbank. And about how he once
watched a man on a horse jump off the bridge as water was running bank to
bank, lapping on at he bridge. And how he, as a child heard the steam
engines, of a bygone era pulling the hill late at night. There is not much at
Newlin now but at one time it was a stopping spot to take on water for the
pull up to Amarillo.
The night drug on as I hoped to get home early enough to get a little
sleep before going to the Colorado City flyin breakfast later in the morning.
All my plans do not come to fruition due to the nature of this job on call 24
hours a day 365 days a year, but I try. "Are you going to the flyin" Mickey
asked at 6:00 am as I tried to wake myself from a well-deserved sleep. "You
going with me?" I asked her. "I can't go: have to rehearse for the concert
on 4th on Broadway at 9:00 am and be there at 11:00 and 1:00 to sing." Mickey
had talked with Carrie Funk the evening before and told here that I would
probably not be home in time for the flyin. I fooled them. Somehow I knew
this would be another hectic day.
Mickey seat would be empty. Who could I call at the last minute to go
with me? While getting the first cup of coffee down I called Steve Davis. And
low and behold the seat was filled. " Meet you at the airport at about 7:30
or so" When I arrived at the airport Steve was there visiting with Rick
Liles. And I asked if we could go as a flight? Rick said "I will be meeting
Wess Hayes at Snyder for gas. Kevin Funk and Ralph Householder had
Steve and I loaded up for the 85 mile, 31 min flight to Colorado City.
While enroute we talked to Rick and Ralph and Steve Mophet. We could here
Mark Piercy making his approach to Colorado City. Anticipation was high as
we neared Colorado City with numbers planes approaching from all directions
and a helicopter coming in from the East. We negotiated for a position down
wind behind three other aircraft in the pattern. With Ralph in his pristine
C150 right behind us. Landed and parked. This is always a thrill at a busy
As Steve and I walked down the flight line with Ralph we met several of our
friends, Rick Liles and Judy Stocks. They asked if I was going with them to
the Black Hills of SD and on to Jackson Hole WY tomorrow morning along with
Wess Hayes from Winters in his RV6A, and Larry Pardue from NM in his RV6. "
Work sure gets in the way of fun stuff" was my reply. Visited with Mark and
Jonnette Piercy Carroll Bird was up from Buffalo Gap in his RV4 Don Haukins
from Lubbock. In his 6 place , Kevin and Carrie Funk in there traveling Cozy
Mark 4 . Joel Spray in his fast RV8 from Matador . Ray Lee and several
others from Plainview .Were just a few of the 300 plus people that attended.
What a small world this has become when you have a small plane. The
surrounding towns have become our neighborhoods.
Breakfast was sold out as we were just 4 people from getting our plate,
Late again. Hate it when that happens. We went visiting and listening to the
awards that were given out. Larry Pardue was given a plaque for the most
distance traveled. All the way from Carlsbad NM and Kevin was recognized for
having the most unusual aircraft. All in all, another great flyin.
Having the desire to be at 4th on Broadway by 11:00 to be in the
audience to hear Mickey sing their patriotic songs ,we were off. Just had to
do a low approach before turning northwest to Lubbock. Hope I received at
least one salute for the flag. The journey home., at 6500 it took about 30
min . We landed and Steve left to go to a cookout and I took off for the
celebration on Broadway. While in the stands met John Schmit and was excited
for Him in his recent passing of his exams for the ticket to be an advanced
ground instructor. Again Congratulations John.
After the 1:00 performance walked around awhile with friends until the
heat got to us. Rushed home to attend a cook out at Kevin's and visited and
talked aviation with Monty and Peggy Clark. Talked about getting out at dark
thirty to fly around the city and get a birds eye view of the fireworks.
Good eats good friends. Life is good.
Just before dark Mickey and I headed for the airport. This is one of the
promises that I had made to Mickey while sitting in the plane, in the shop
,under construction, making airplane noises. That one-night we would fly
around the countryside on the 4th of July and watch the fireworks from 5000
feet. As we taxied to the east end of the row of hangers - Lubbock Tower
contacted us and cleared us to taxi to runway 8, cleared for take off,
proceed on course. Now this seemed a little odd as I had not called ground
to request taxi instructions nor requested altitude or direction. Started
laughing so hard that was almost unable to repeat back. Business was slow .
We took off and headed for Slaton to overfly the town and return to Lubbock
over Buffalo Lake. What a show. The entire city was aglow in all the
colors of the rainbow, flashing here and there and everywhere. Being the only
plane in the sky for over an hour we were at liberty to circle the city's
big display. I tilted the right wing down and established about a 2 mile
circle around the event. Mickey had almost turned sideways in her seat,
with her nose pressed against the canopy. "Look at that , did you see that,
oowh look over there, awh woo that was pretty" The full moon was two thirds
up off the horizon in the southeast. The air was smooth, and with very
little radio traffic my thought drifted to the TV reports during the Gulf war
in which triple A's were being fired at our brave men in the air over
Baghdad . The 4th of July- a time to be celebrated! Terry E. Cole N468TC.