The Adventures of Me & My Shadow # 94 in FL 1/16/2004

666 miles this trip. Odometer now 45,241. Miles this year 666.

From Key West, FL, Hi Everyone!!

Well, a New Year is upon us and I’m still alive and having fun. Just before Christmas I heard a very sad story that I will pass on to you. The story started to unfold on 12/23 when some friends on bicycles stopped by to chat. I asked the Gal if she was ready for Santa? and she replied. "He never came to my house when I was a little girl, why would he come now"? I said, "You couldn’t have been that ornery, why didn’t he come to your house"? She told me she was very good but her father was Indian and didn’t believe in Christmas. (I assume he came from India). She went on to tell how every Christmas she would have to listen to all her happy friends tell of the many gifts they had gotten from Santa, and she never recieved even one. Needless to say, to hear her tell it brought tears to my eyes. A short time later, I looked out the window and there next to a trailer parked next to me sat Santa with a little boy on his knee. As I watched more children came and there were a lot of pictures being taken. I decided to take a picture but by the time I got my camera out and got over there the little boy’s Mom & Dad were sitting on Santa’s knees. I got my picture and put it in the computer, printed it out and took a copy over to give to them and I asked the little boy’s grandfather if this visit from Santa was pre-arranged. He told me that it was not, he didn’t know who the guy was or where he came from.

The next day (Christmas-eve) I went to the restroom and on the way I saw Santa again. This time he still had the white beard but he had ordinary cloths on and was dumping his holding tank. (not too many sites have sewer hookups). I stopped and told him the sad story I had heard the day before. He asked me if I knew witch RV was hers, I pointed to it and he told me he would put his suit on and pay her a visit to apologize to her for not coming to her house when she was a little girl. He must have had second thoughts about it as her husband told me later that it never happened.

To me the story above spells out cruel and unusual punishment to a little girl who did no wrong and I believe some vigilante Justus is in order to prevent it from happening again. I say that no matter where they come from or what their religion is, if they are in the USA, and they have little children they have three choices: 1) Santa will come to their house on Christmas eve. 2) They will pack up and go back to where they came from or. 3) They will be hung from the nearest tree. The choice is theirs.

I had another adventure that I don’t care to repeat. My son Dave and granddaughter Erin drove all the way from Boise, ID to see me after Christmas (while Erin was out of school for the holidays). They had to drive through a snow storm most of the way across Utah so they were a little late getting here to Patrick AFB just a little south of Cape Canaveral. I had rented a two bedroom apartment for them on the Base and purchased some discounted tickets to tour the Kennedy Space Center just north of Cape Canaveral on the 30th of Dec. The tickets cost $30.00 each. The brochure said the place would be open from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM and tour buses would be running every 15 minutes to take us to all of the different points of interest. I thought it would be a very interesting and enjoyable day. A once in a lifetime adventure.

We got there a little after nine, the parking lot was rapidly filling, there were long lines at each of the 18 gates to get onto the place. By the time all the people got through the gates I would estimate that a little less than 1/4th of the worlds population was milling around in a small area in Florida. A thought went through my mind, the price of the tickets ranged from $25 to a little over $50 each with a small discount for children 3 to 11 years old, The income for this place each day would be enough to pay each employee $50 per hour and have plenty left over to give to George W. Bush to pour down that rat hole over in Iraq.

I believe I counted 48, eighty passenger buses and they could have been departing every 15 minutes. The problem was, we had to wait in line a half hour to an hour to get on one of them. The line to get on a bus was run through a maze that zigzagged back and forth. If it were strecthed out it would be at least a half mile long. There were shorter lines to get into every place we went, so most of the day was spent standing in slow moving lines. Dave asked one of the employees what the average attendance was, he was told that that information was not given out. She did tell him that because of the holidays the attendance was about three times what it normally would be. So, if you want to visit the Kennedy Space Center pick a time other than on a holiday period to do it. Bring plenty money, the price for every thing is inflated. A standard soft drink or a bottle of water was $2.65. You are not allowed to bring any food or drinks in with you.

I made some new friends here at Patrick AFB. Gale and Elaine are from Vermont, Gale was in the Navy for one hitch as a Medic and when they were going to send him over to the Marines he bailed out and went into the Air Force. He was just the man I was looking for to check on me every morning to see if I am alive. (One of these mornings I might not wake up) I told him about the 800 # in my wallet to call to have Science Care come and get my body before it starts to decay. When I get to Key West I’ll have to find someone else to take his place.

The day before I was to leave Patrick AFB 7 Jan 2004: I could not believe it! I looked out the window and right there on the same place that I saw Santa on 23 Dec 2003. Santa was there again with his own motorhome. I went out and took another picture of him, standing where he had been sitting before. The lighting this time was much better. I had a nice visit with him and found that we have a lot in common. We were both mechanics in our teenage years, we were both enlisted men in the South Pacific in WW2, he in the Army, me in the Navy. We were both licensed to, and did work on civilian aircraft as second jobs while in the service. He retired as the Maintenance Officer in a Helicopter Maintenance Squadron and I retired as Master Chief Petty Officer in charge of the A6A Aircraft Maintenance Trainer at NAS Oceana, VA.

I had told Jenny to forward my mail to my friends address in Sarasota and I called Sioux Falls, SD and asked Pam to send a new prescription for one of the pills I take to that address. I arrived there at noon and my mail arrived in the after noon so I was all set to head south after I had picked a big bag of oranges. I visited with them a couple days and headed to Fort Myers 74 miles further south to the Winter in the TROPICS motorhome rally. I watched the thermometer on the outside of the motorhome all the way. It showed 50 degrees when I started and it showed 51 degrees when I arrived in the TROPICS, The next morning the temp. was below 40 degrees, so much for the tropics. If this cold weather follows me down to Key West I may be shot on arrival.

The rally went well, except for the cold weather, but when I saw the temps. for the rest of the country on TV I was glad to be down here in the tropics. I met a lot of my old friends and had some nice visits with them. When I told them this would be my last rally they begged me to keep coming to them. I don’t feel comfortable driving to them in today’s traffic and because of my bad hearing I no longer enjoy them like I used to. It’s time to move on to something else.

The trip to Key West went well, the road was better than I was expecting and the traffic was not as bad as I expected it would be. The prices are higher than expected.

Till next time, Dallas, or Dad if it fits.

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