VansAirForceForums  
Home > VansAirForceForums

-POSTING RULES
-Advertise in here!
- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

  #81  
Old 08-30-2019, 08:23 AM
DanH's Avatar
DanH DanH is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: 08A
Posts: 10,353
Default

Scott, be careful about Southern English.

One of Jeff Foxworthy's skits goes like this:

"They always make fun of the way I talk. I keep telling them "You're gonna be real surprised when you get to Heaven and St. Peter says "Ya'll get in the truck, and we'll go on up to the big house."
__________________
Dan Horton
RV-8 SS
Barrett IO-390
Reply With Quote
  #82  
Old 09-01-2019, 06:41 AM
Scott Chastain's Avatar
Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KMCE
Posts: 341
Default 14. The Rock







__________________
Scott Chastain
RV-8 N898W Descending Dove
Reply With Quote
  #83  
Old 09-01-2019, 06:43 AM
Scott Chastain's Avatar
Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KMCE
Posts: 341
Default 14. The Rock

It was 7:00 AM when he got up the next morning and pulled the plug on the air mattress. He opened the door and walked out into the lobby. Outside the son could see the glory of a new day streaming through the fissures of fog that covered the flightline and the Tennessee countryside.



Matt and his brother showed up in a white Chevy pickup and tried to drive onto the flightline but could not. The gate would not open. Matt got out and came through the back door of the FBO. His curly hair bounced up and down as he marched into the lobby. He saw the son.

"Hey, you know the gate code to get in?" he said. The son told Matt he did not. The only code he knew was the one to get into the FBO. Matt shook his head and took out his phone. "I guess I'll call Tommy, then," he said as he turned and walked back out.

The son decided to drive into McKenzie for coffee. He walked out to the van and started it up. As he was leaving the airport, he saw Tommy coming in the opposite direction. They both slowed to a stop and rolled down their windows.

"A little bit foggy this mornin'," said Tommy with a grin.

"Yes, sir!" said the son. "I'm heading into town for some coffee. I'll be right back."

"This stuff usually burns off by tayun, eleven at the latest."

The son told Tommy about Matt wanting to get onto the flight line to get the Ag Cat prepped. Tommy nodded and rolled away. The son drove into McKenzie and filled up his thermos with coffee at a gas station. On his way back to the airport, he noticed an open plot of land gleaming in the ethereal sunlight of the new day. The son pulled off the main highway, got out of the van, and meandered through the grounds. He felt himself being caught up in a spirit of rebirth and resurrection as a brilliant light of promise tore the churning gray veil of fog overhead.





After returning to the airport and dropping the keys to the van on the office counter, the son could see a rapid dissipation of the fog outside. Outside, Tommy finished helping Matt with a few logistical items on the ramp and told the son that he was opening up the hangar so the son could pull out the Dove and get her pre-flighted. After that, said Tommy, he had to go and inspect every single fire extinguisher on the airport. He wished the son a safe trip.

The son went back inside to pack up his gear and check weather. A few minutes later, he looked out from the lobby and saw the Ag Cat prop spinning lazily as Matt got the oil warmed up and Mack prepared to fill the hopper with chemical. There was a sudden pull on the son's heart, and a voice told him unquestionably that it was time to go. So the son packed up, finished a pre-flight inspection, cranked over, and taxied out. The Ag Cat was just getting ready to leave the ramp as the son blasted out.



There was a distinct and unmistakable draw to the west-southwest as the son climbed out to 10,500 and set up for cruise. He had no idea why the draw was so strong, but as he approached his destination for the day, there built within him both an excitement of the unknown and a deep-seated spirit of reconciliation which he felt the father placing there. The flight itself lasted just over an hour, but the son could feel eternal repercussions pulsing through his body as he began descending over Little Rock, Arkansas.



Clearing the Little Rock Class Charlie, the son made an aggressive spiraling descent to the west and crossed over midfield for right traffic, Runway 02, at the Saline County Regional Airport (SUZ). A few minutes later, he was parked over a yellow tie-down cross near the FBO building.



The son took his flight bag and walked over. He found a welcome sign painted on the tarmac on his way in.



There was a 24-hour access code keypad installed on the entrance door, and inside, the son found a spacious pilots lounge, replete with restroom, a shower, snooze room, and kitchenette.



The lobby area was also accessible to pilots. There, transients could purchase snacks, make Keurig-style coffee, plan flights, or just relax. A second set of restrooms for passengers and visitors was set apart there. Nobody else was in the building. Even the airport manager's office was empty.



Back in the lounge, the son looked at the snooze room where two recliners had been placed. Pushing them back a few inches, the son found there was plenty of room on the floor to place the inflatable mattress. The door had a privacy lock installed from the inside.

__________________
Scott Chastain
RV-8 N898W Descending Dove

Last edited by Scott Chastain : 10-11-2020 at 12:22 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #84  
Old 09-01-2019, 06:45 AM
Scott Chastain's Avatar
Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KMCE
Posts: 341
Default 14. The Rock

The son relaxed in the pilots lounge for about an hour with nobody else coming into the building. He called two car rental companies located in nearby Bryant, but both were completely booked for the day. Then he found a phone number on a business card near the AWOS monitor. It was for Dane, the airport manager. The son called the number. There was an immediate answer.

The son told Dane about having been in the pilots lounge for over an hour and how he needed to find some transportation.

"Is that your RV out there?" said Dane. The son told him that it was. "Did you build it?" The son told him the he did, with his father's help. "Hold on, I'm pulling up to the office right now," said Dane. The son stepped outside where a large silver pickup truck swerved up to the FBO building.

A younger man in his mid-forties climbed out. He had a closely clipped beard that was more like forgetting to shave than having a beard. He had a thick head of slightly graying brown hair combed to the side, a slight frame, and he spoke with a very heavy southern accent. The son introduced himself and shook Dane's hand. The son explained that he had been trying to find a car into town for over an hour and wanted to know his options. Dane led him quickly inside and in an apologetic manner, trotted to the front counter and grabbed a key fob that was attached permanently to a foot-long piece of wood. He handed it to the son.

"I'm giving you this key," said Dane, "but you have to promise me something."

"What's that?"

"You have to promise me that you'll leave your RV-8 parked here." The son laughed. Dane said that he wanted to go back out and take some pictures of the nose art.

"Knock yourself out," said the son. "And thanks a lot!?" He held up the piece of wood.

"Anytime," said Dane. He pointed through the glass. "It's the maroon Nissan parked right there. Let me know if there's anything else you need." Then he turned back out, climbed into his truck and drove off.

The son spent some time wiping down the Dove. He covered the canopy, then went back into the pilots lounge to get his bags. There were plenty of other aircraft on the flightline and the day was beginning to heat up.



The son drove out through the gate and followed signs into Little Rock. The traffic was heavy, fast, and very rushed, but he was thankful there were not any stop-and-go delays. In short order, there came into the sons view a freeway exit sign that pointed him to his first order of business. The unexpected call to go there throbbed powerfully within his body as he passed through the entrance.



He parked the Altima under the shade of a large oak and got out. He stood for a few minutes to take in the sights. With a wide, sweeping glance, the son could see the white bone-colored markers of identical size and shape, arranged and sequenced in perfectly spaced formations---an orchard of memorialized remains that awaited harvest in the coming glory of resurrection, foreseen in the beauty of the day through the mesmerizing focus of sun and shade on glades of green.







One marker, lying flat and apparently forgotten near the trunk of an enormous tree, caught the son's attention. There, the promise of resurrection to new life, of being known and loved and adored, came from the shores of Caesarea and the Sea of Galilee, from the battlefields of Megiddo to the heights of Carmel, to the base of Golgotha and beyond to Bethlehem. The promise was signed in watered-down Israeli dust, and the son watched the fallen soldier's marker receive its seal.



Adjacent to the National Cemetery there lay a civilian population of people awaiting the fulfillment of the same promise. That promise was written in rock.





A lone sarcophagus, holding the remains of a woman 103 years gone, drew an attention-grabbing spotlight over the engraved marker and the shell of a cicada clinging to its face.



But as the father pressed the son to his knees, closer examination revealed yet another foreshadowing of what was to come---the joy of new life that must necessarily spring forth on the heels of death.

__________________
Scott Chastain
RV-8 N898W Descending Dove

Last edited by Scott Chastain : 10-11-2020 at 12:26 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #85  
Old 09-01-2019, 06:47 AM
Scott Chastain's Avatar
Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KMCE
Posts: 341
Default 14. The Rock

The son got back into the courtesy car and departed. He drove toward the center of Little Rock until he reached the perimeter of the Arkansas Governor's Mansion. There, he parked near a large church where he got out and walked through the surrounding side streets. The old mansions in that part of town glowed brightly in the afternoon sun.

















As the son drove toward the downtown area, he pulled off the road and parked in the shade where he could refill his water bottle and be refreshed for the walking that still lay ahead. It was a very small plot of ground at the approach of the Arkansas River, but within its borders rested a rich memorialization of history.



__________________
Scott Chastain
RV-8 N898W Descending Dove

Last edited by Scott Chastain : 10-11-2020 at 12:28 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #86  
Old 09-01-2019, 06:50 AM
Scott Chastain's Avatar
Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KMCE
Posts: 341
Default 14. The Rock

He got back into the car and drove downtown. He could not find any place to park without having to activate a parking meter. Then he reached a large Cathedral. There was a free one-hour parking zone in front of the church, so he backed in and shut off the engine. He noted the time. Then the son got out and started walking again.

















The son walked into a place called Brewskie's Pub & Grub. He was served by a young 21-year-old girl named Rylee who wanted to become an actress in California. He ordered a Brewskie Burger with French Fries and relaxed over a large glass of ice water while he waited.



__________________
Scott Chastain
RV-8 N898W Descending Dove

Last edited by Scott Chastain : 10-11-2020 at 12:29 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #87  
Old 09-01-2019, 06:52 AM
Scott Chastain's Avatar
Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KMCE
Posts: 341
Default 14. The Rock

After dinner, the son walked at a double-quickstep back to the courtesy car. The food at Brewskie's was a little slow in coming, and the son's time limit had run out in the parking zone. Not finding any ticket for a parking violation, the son hopped in and drove toward the capitol building. There, he witnessed an astonishing array of vision as he walked through a series of war memorials erected in the shadows of a wilting day.



First came the Confederate Soldiers Memorial and the Wives of the Confederacy Memorial. In the gloom and despair of defeat, in the shameful throes of a deeply wounded nation that struggled for many decades to overcome the heartfelt wounds of the American Civil War, there shone from above a brilliant light of eternal promise that soon came the Day when such pain would be felt no longer, when the very thought of conflict, of war, of bloodshed, would be wiped away in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye.







The Arkansas Vietnam War Memorial stood at the opposite corner of the capitol building. A bronze sculpture of an American warrior walked lifelike and poised in deference to the Arkansas friends and families he served, fighting an agonizing struggle overseas in defense of their God-given freedom.





In the lengthening shadows of the capitol building, the son came across a marker that immediately piqued his interest. The father quietly sent him to another part of town. The son got back into the courtesy car and drove for a number of miles until he reached the Arkansas Korean War Veterans Memorial and the old armory building that stood nearby. It was the birthplace and early childhood home of General Douglas MacArthur, Commander of the Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific during World War II.







__________________
Scott Chastain
RV-8 N898W Descending Dove

Last edited by Scott Chastain : 10-11-2020 at 12:30 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #88  
Old 09-01-2019, 06:55 AM
Scott Chastain's Avatar
Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KMCE
Posts: 341
Default 14. The Rock

At the Korean War Memorial, the son met a woman who told him that the armory building where MacArthur had been born was still open. She had just come from there. So the son walked over and went inside. He was met at the front counter by Shane, the clerk on duty. Shane told the son that he was free to walk through the museum free of charge for the thirty or so minutes remaining before closing. He said there was a reception going on upstairs on the second floor.

"That's where he was born," said Shane. "Right up there." He pointed to the staircase.



The son walked past a Jeep, then moved up the stairs past the shrapnel-scarred American Flag to the war museum where MacArthur's relics were kept.







A small theater was running a presentation on MacArthur's lifetime of achievements. When the son walked in, there played the famous closing remarks from the resignation speech before Congress on April 19, 1951:

"I am closing my 52 years of military service. When I joined the Army, even before the turn of the century, it was the fulfillment of all of my boyish hopes and dreams. The world has turned over many times since I took the oath at West Point, and the hopes and dreams have all since vanished, but I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barracks ballads of that day which proclaimed most proudly that old soldiers never die; they just fade away. And like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. Good Bye."



As the son left the MacArthur War Museum, he looked across the street at the St. Edward's Cathedral.



He felt compelled to sit down and meditate for a few minutes on the enormity of his experiences that day. He crossed the street and went inside the 118-year-old building. There were people near the altar preparing for Mass.







The son remained there for a brief period of time before it became clear that Spanish Mass was about to begin. Respectfully, he left the building and crossed the street again to where the courtesy car was waiting.

Back at the airport, the son walked out to the Dove and gathered his belongings to spend the night in the FBO. The sun began to set as a couple of planes practiced touch-and-go landings.



There was still nobody in the building when the son entered. He took a long soothing shower and felt the salt and the grit of a long day swirling away from his body. He dried off and prepared the snooze room with his air mattress and sleeping bag. And after the darkness of evening blanketed the flightline, the son went back outside and realized that, once again, he alone was the only living soul on the airport with a beating heart. When he lay down in the total darkness of the crypt-like snooze room, with the door locked tight against the possibility of intrusion, he could hear it. He could hear his life beating on toward the morrow. When his eyes again would open. When his body again would rise. When the door again would be flung open to the light of a new day.
__________________
Scott Chastain
RV-8 N898W Descending Dove

Last edited by Scott Chastain : 10-11-2020 at 12:33 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #89  
Old 09-02-2019, 12:30 PM
Scott Chastain's Avatar
Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KMCE
Posts: 341
Default 15. Sanctuary







__________________
Scott Chastain
RV-8 N898W Descending Dove
Reply With Quote
  #90  
Old 09-02-2019, 12:32 PM
Scott Chastain's Avatar
Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KMCE
Posts: 341
Default 15. Sanctuary

Just after 7:00 AM the next morning, the door to the snooze room was flung open and the son emerged into the pilots lounge. He cleaned up and dressed, made some coffee, and watched as the light of a brand new day poured into the lobby. Nobody else was around.



The son felt no pressure to hurry, so he enjoyed his coffee in the pilots lounge and took his time checking weather across the region. He decided early to make the most of flying that day and planned on remaining airborne for three or four hours depending in how favorable the skies were. From what he could see that morning, covering a lot of country appeared very doable.

After cranking over, the son taxied over to the pumps and topped off, climbed back in, and taxied out to the runup area for a northbound departure. Closing his checklist, the son crossed the threshold of Runway 02 and applied the throttle. There was a pushing back into the seat and a satisfying dig of the propeller into cool air as the Dove lifted off and climbed out. At 4,500, the son cranked to the starboard and flew directly over the Little Rock airspace, setting up for cruise at 11,500 on a course due east.

After only an hour of flight, the son could see large, towering cumulus ahead of him. ADS-B returns in Foreflight confirmed that thunderstorm activity over Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia had erupted in earnest. Soon enough, he was staircasing and weaving around storm cells to the southeast. Some of the worst cells were towering over the base of the Great Smoky Mountains near Blairsville, Georgia.







The son began a descent after 3.5 hours of flying and landed 624 miles east of Little Rock at a little airport planted out in the middle of the countryside. He made left traffic for Runway 23, touched down, and taxied over to the pumps where he got out and topped off. He found a tie-down cross near the FBO building and parked the Dove there. He was at Darlington County Airport, South Carolina (UDG).



He saw an access code keypad by the front door and thought it a good sign. Inside, there were several couches in the pilots lounge, a restroom and shower, and a separate conference room which included another couch that appeared to be readied for guests; there were a blanket and pillow on it. There was also an honor-system snack bar with sodas, candy and chips. It felt like a sanctuary from all the storms outside.





While exploring the FBO, a sudden downpour caught the son off guard. He ran out to the Dove and closed the open canopy. After the showers passed over, he took out a few belongings and covered her up.

__________________
Scott Chastain
RV-8 N898W Descending Dove

Last edited by Scott Chastain : 10-11-2020 at 12:36 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:15 AM.


The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.