This print was made by my friend Dan Teker, a few years ago. Dan creates these beautiful and personalized squadron prints and they are some of the best out there. Detailed, accurate and as I mentioned, personalized, he created this print for me of our squadron CAG jet, Camelot 100 (Camelot being our tactical call sign) with the history of our squadron, Fighter Squadron 14, at the bottom. The write up on the Tophatters is necessarily lengthy because our squadron is the Navy’s oldest continuous naval aviation unit, with an unbroken service history dating back to its founding in 1919.
1919, you may say…and this year is 2019…why that means…yes! A big 100th birthday soiree is planned for late summer in Pensacola. Your humble scribe and blogger will certainly be there.
Your typical F-14 squadron had about 14 or so jets assigned to it, and most of the jets were painted in the standard grey low-visibility (low-viz) paint scheme that was preferable in the combat arena to limit or at least reduce the bad guy’s ability to see you easily. Your top 2 jets, however, usually numbered 100 and 101 (in our case) you could have what was called the Show Bird paint job with bright colors and designs. During the Persian Gulf hostilities back in the early 90s when VF-14 spent time in the Red Sea and over Saudi Arabia and Iraq, this bright Show Bird paint scheme was changed to the low-viz grey deal. A smart move, given the whole idea is to not be seen – or reduce the possibility of that happening as long as you possibly can.
Beautiful job, Dan! Thanks again.
I’ve been in the new house, Casa de Pinch 2.0, for 4 nights now. This morning it’s slightly overcast but no rain. Quiet as can be with the exception of the usual bird songs and a woodpecker pecking the bejezzus out of a tree out back. In Woodbridge, even on a Saturday morning, there would be traffic, trucks, sirens, the sounds of dumpsters being emptied, all sorts of things. I think I’ll like this place.
There’s a reason why they are called the Smokey Mountains. This shot is from the front deck of the home of my parents for the past 25 years, near Cullowhee, North Carolina. One wakes up to this on many a morn here in the mountains. S’truth…a fine place to hang my hat after 20 years in what I call the “Belly of the Beast” – Washington DC.
Back in 2013 I made a trip up to Nova Scotia for my college Homecoming, it being 30 years since I graduated from Acadia University. I flew from DC up to Boston, rented a car and drove the rest of the way to Wolfville. It was a wonderful adventure, traveling those roads I had traveled so often on trips to and from that wonderful place. This photo I took on the way home. Its the Trans Canada highway in New Brunswick between Saint John, NB and Truro, NS. I lived the curves, the lines, the symmetry of the view. The road – any road – leads to adventure and something new. I’m looking forward to more of these kinds of trips in the future.
I have a sort-of ongoing theme that I call “Why We Fly.” We fly not always because we have to, but often because we love to. I’ll try to post some more of these photos in the days ahead.
In this shot, taken in the fall of 2015, our wingman Roman 86, adroitly piloted by Bill “Pirate” Mills with Gary Velasco in the back seat, flies lead on Vandy 1 in the skies east of Naval Air Station Oceana as we perform some Air Combat Maneuver warm-up prior to the airshow that year. These jets, Czech-built L-39 Albatross trainers, are really sporty little beauties that can lay on the speed-smack when needed and pull 6 gs. I’ve mentioned before that pulling 6 gs when you are in your 20s or 30s is a piece of cake. Doing that when you are in your late 50s – you’d better have your chiropractor on speed dial.
The view off Mama’s deck this morning. Hoping it’s a good sign the the house closing that I’m looking to have happen this week is the right thing to do. The butterflies are startin’ to flap around in the old gut.
This view (hopefully) will change in the next few days. Hoping/planning on closing on the new house, Casa de Pinch V. 2.0, next Wednesday.
I say hopefully in that I’m looking forward to having my own digs again, even though staying here with Mom in her place is great – and you can’t beat the view, but yeah…getting my own crib again after 4+ months…priceless 🙂 I’m only 10 minutes from Mama’s place though, so that’s good.
Day-early wishes for a super 2019!
My first resolution will be to be more active on this blog!
Hold me to it. That is all.
The one-time conservative magazine Weekly Standard just went belly up. When a conservative mag like this goes full anti-Trump, ye reap what you sow.