I can’t believe how much we have done since I last wrote my blog update! This update covers just two weekends.
GOOD GUYS CAR SHOW
We are familiar with the Good Guys Hot Rod Car Show from our many stays at the Alameda County Fairgrounds (near our daughter’s place in Pleasanton) where car lovers gather in Northern California. We are sometimes parked in the Fair RV Park during the show and Luke just takes our dog Star for a walk in the early morning and stands by the entrance gate, watching (and listening) to the hundreds of cars streaming in for the weekend car show. Don’t you just love the muffler pipe sounds of classic cars?
When we saw there was a Good Guys show in Scottsdale, we headed out for a day of automotive memories. What was your first car? Did it have fender skirts or a Continental kit? Luke’s did. He also shared lots of stories of back road drag racing and fixing up old cars. The car he spent the most time with talking to the owner was a 1958 Chevy Impala. Luke’s was black, but had the same interior colors of this car. When he went into the Air Force he gave the Impala to his mother and never got it back.
(A side story: As we were returning home at the end of the day, we actually followed this same car for miles, almost to our motorhome. I expected Luke to have the guy pull over so he could ask to drive it. I think I saw a little drooling and envy in his eyes!)
My dream car was a 1966 Chevy Super Sport, canary yellow with black interior. Instead, my first car was a 1963 gray Volkswagen Bug…
There was even something for classic RVers
LUKE AFB OPEN HOUSE
It is so nice that the Air Force named an entire Air Force base after Luke. ;-0 And to think he was only in the AF for four years. Oh, he did spend another 30+ years working for the Dept. of Defense at McClellan AFB near Sacramento.
Another busy weekend with temps in the mid 80s had us in the Arizona sun wandering the tarmac looking at military air and ground equipment. We were at the Luke AFB Lightning in the Desert! The Open House and Air Show.
We avoided the long lines to climb into the various aircraft on display, but did get to see everything from transports to the latest F-35As.
NEW HOME OF THE F-35A
The F-35s have just been assigned to Luke AFB and they fly day and night along with the F-15 and F-16 fighters stationed at Luke AFB. Guess who is staying the month of March parked directly below their flight path.
There was plenty of creative action in the air, too.
P-51 Red Tail Tuskegee demonstrations and other WWII P-51 Mustangs also roared along the flight line,
HELICOPTER OR PLANE?
The V-22s are unique in how they can tilt their engine wings upward and become almost helicopters. The pilots had fun “dancing” them along the runway. Forwards, backwards, up and down.
They also did a Heritage Flight featuring the planes from WWII to the new F-35s flying side-by-side. (Sorry, my picture was out of focus.) Click here to learn more about the story of the Heritage Flight Foundation.
An air show is not complete without acrobatic pilots putting their aircraft through twists, turns, and even stalling while upside down in a free fall.
The famed Thunderbirds were also on the program but we actually left the airfield before they flew to avoid the traffic.
GETTING THERE WAS NOT PART OF THE FUN
Getting to the actual open house was a real challenge. An expected 200,000 people attended and parking was on agricultural lands about 3 miles from the base. A fleet of 30 school busses were used to move attendees from parking to the base. The bad (good?) news was all the bag checking and “wand” security inspections by the Air Force were done at the parking lot and it took over an hour just to board the bus. Everyone, young and old, were checked. In the meantime the line up of busses just waited for passengers.
SOUNDS OF FREEDOM
While we may whine about long lines for security checks or the noise of training flights, we DO appreciate and honor our military. As our RV friend and author Nick Russell likes to say, “These are the sounds of freedom.” Apparently others think the same.
BREAST CANCER AWARENESS
Breast Cancer Awareness is NOT limited to the month of October. As a mater of fact, just this morning we joined others in our RV park for a fund-raising breakfast for Breast Cancer Awareness efforts. Well, we were pleased to see these vehicles on display during the Luke AFB Open House.
Also on display were vehicles from the Pink Heals Tour. If you click on the image to enlarge it, you will see that people have been “signing” these fire trucks. Click the link above to learn more about the tour.
NEXT: BASEBALL AND THE BOYS