Thursday, December 2, 2021


 About 43 years ago, I was heading into the final stretch of my high school years. Since age 12, I had dreamed of attending the US Military Academy at West Point. Now as I approached college age, I knew that there was very little chance of getting the necessary congressional appointment letter.

But I learned that there was another way to get into one of the most prestigious college in the country. Every year a small number of US Army Soldiers are allowed to enter the US Military Academy Preparatory School. Which is how I found myself in the Army and stationed at Barbers Point Naval Air Station in Hawaii.

The old headquarters building at Barbers Point

I had trained as a helicopter repairman and had moved my way up to flight engineer. One day, a young, attractive sergeant came out to fix one of the rotor blades on my aircraft. I asked her to lunch, and one thing led to another, now 38 years later, we are still together.

We left Hawaii in the early 1980’s and never looked back. I had been there for four years and didn’t have any desire to return (I know, most people think that’s crazy).

When covid hit, we had several trips lined up. We were headed to Vancouver for our anniversary, then going on a Panama Canal cruise, and finally traveling to London and Paris late the year.

So I moved the Europe trip, and decided that maybe it was time to go back to Hawaii. After a couple of months, I cancelled the reservations and rescheduled for later in the year. As the date got closer, it became obvious that Hawaii would still not be open without the two-week quarantine.

I figured that they couldn’t prevent us from driving, so we took a road trip to Zion National Park.

We enjoyed the trip, even though there was a lot of smoke from fires in California. We did some hiking, ate at some really good restaurants and even did a day trip to the North rim of the Grand Canyon.

View from the Upper Emerald Pools in Zion

But I Really wanted to take a trip to someplace we couldn’t drive. I made new reservations for Hawaii. After talking it over with the kids, we decided to take our granddaughter along.

We would spend the first part of the trip in Waikiki, then head up to the North Shore for the remainder of the trip.

Now all we had to do was wait.

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