The Adventures of Me & My Shadow #69 in AL & FL
1784 miles this trip, odometer now 15655 total, miles this year 1784
>From Pensacola NAS, Hi Everyone!

I had a pleasant surprise on the weekend before Christmas. Charles and Mary Lea showed up on Saturday afternoon for a short visit and invited me to have breakfast with them at the American Legion Hall on Sunday morning. They are GMCers who live just across the State line in AL. They had received my Adventure Story telling them I had arrived so they decided to look me up. It was raining on Sunday morning but the food was good and I enjoyed another nice visit with them.

On Christmas Eve I went to the Laundromat and did my laundry. I even got the pant legs shortened on a pair of coveralls one of the other volunteers gave me when I said I was going to buy a pair. They were a size to large and made me look like one of the younger generations that have their pant legs dragging on the ground. The price was right and they look pretty good now. The weather forecast for Christmas day said there might be some snow flurries and I have to thank Jenny for that. She is always ordering snow and for some reason it gets delivered to me.

Just in case you are wondering why it should take so long to put a Demon aircraft together I'll attempt to fill you in. As you know an aircraft is built to go from point "a" to point "b" through the air and unless it collides with another aircraft or structure it arrives in good shape. If an aircraft is disassembled and transported by truck from point "A" to point "B" it very likely will arrive at point "B" with some damage. In fact it can be damaged by just taking it apart, more so if it is 50 years old and badly corroded. As near as I can tell, this is the third time that this aircraft has been disassembled and reassembled. The last time was when it was put on display at Cecil Field at that time it was something to see as you drove by it. This time It will be put in the Museum and you will see it up close. This means some of the repairs made the last time will have to be redone.

I made a high speed run over the New Year holiday week end to Niceville. I had Jenny send my mail to my sister Marilyn and Bill's place. And from there I went to Sarasota to visit my Iron Angel friends Dick and Janet and loaded up with Oranges from their tree. The Orange crop this year was a disaster, Dick thought it was from lack of rain but he was going to take some oranges and leaves from the tree to be tested just in case it is something else. I also got a bag of grapefruit from a neighbors tree to drop off at Marilyn and Bills place on the way back to Pensacola. I can't say much for 2002 the temp is way below normal and there is snow just a few miles north of Pensacola.

I made another high speed run on the following weekend to Alabaster, AL to visit my niece Susan and her children Lisa and Marshall. Jenny had forwarded mail to her address so I picked that up also. I used Lisa's 16 year old eyes to read the instructions for the Cell phone I just purchased. Her 16 year old mind and fingers worked better than mine to enter names in the phone's phone book. I figured that if Cell phones are the wave of the future I just as well join it. All of you probably already have your Cell phones but in case you don't I'll pass on what I learned about Cell phones. There are lots of deals out there where they will give you a free phone. These free phones probably only receive digital signals. They may work well in a city but I noticed on mine when traveling the Interstate system my phone was receiving Analog signals much of the time. I don't believe the cheap phones would work well out away from the cities. Another advantage of the Motorola Star TAC phone is being able to use it as a modem by purchasing a cable and software. This also allows me to enter names and numbers into the phone book with the computer keyboard. The weather up around Birmingham turned nasty Sat. night and the forecast for Sun. night sounded a little snowy. I was about 240 miles too far north and I saw traces of snow as I came north. So I headed south Sun. morning, about 2 hours south I found the dry payment I was looking for. Before heading south I did fill up with gas for $0.979 per gal. the price here on the Base went up to $1.049 on Friday, it had been $1.019.

I don't like the weather forecast for heading west so I have extended my stay for another month. The work on the Demon is progressing and you should be able to see it in the next picture.

I have met a lot more volunteers in the past week now that the Snow Birds are arriving. I have heard that Snow Birds come to Florida from as far away as Washington State. I met one volunteer that comes a lot further than that. I was in the lounge during a break when this friendly good looking gal comes in and sits down beside me. I learned that she comes all the way from Switzerland to work as a volunteer. She told me that she isn't a Snow Bird as she comes in both Summer and Winter. She is doing some sewing for the museum her name is Isabelle. Isabelle must have a very good job in Switzerland to get time off to come here and be able to afford to do it.

This old Retired Demon Doctor is also getting some benefit from Doctoring the Demon. Fixing this old Demon is also doctoring me. I am no longer short of breath and I feel better than I have in a long time. I checked my blood pressure and I see the rhythm is once again consistently perfect. The pressure is running around 95 over 45 with the pulse at 60. I had to go all the way back to early 1996 to find consistent perfect rhythm during the tests. I checked the rhythm for the past two years and it had
been skipping from six to twelve beats during each test. It's like fixing the old Demon is backing the clock up and making me younger. I think I'll extend my stay another month to see if I can continue to get perfect rhythm every time I take my blood pressure. I am having fun every day fixing the old Demon. My partner George is also having fun but he is a paid employee so he calls it work. He thinks that because it's work he has to take a break every morning and afternoon. If it wasn't for these damn breaks I could be getting younger faster. It will be interesting to see what my defibrillator will tell the Doc when I get it checked in about a month. It's for sure my defibrillator has nothing to do these days so the battery should last a long time.

I was going to wait till next weekend to send this letter but I see a month has passed since the last one so will send it out today. The changes in the Demon would not show up in a picture of it today and it looks like the wireless modem in the Cell Phone is slower than molasses in Jan so no picture this time. Next month should see some major changes in the Demon. Only one tire is holding air so we will be taking the wheels off to have the tires filled with foam rubber so they will always look like they are full of air. We are about finished with the outer wing panels. The fuselage still needs a little work and I believe the plan is to put the primer paint on before installing the wing panels.

Till next time, Dallas or Dad if it fits.

Me & My Shadow & Gus on the road