Thursday, July 27, 2017

Friday, February 19

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February 19, Friday - Slow business, but Ruby, Ethel, Eva and I had a ball. At lunch & on our breaks we laughed till we cried. Went to the program with Bud. Good! Marv still doesn't feel well.

February 20, Saturday - Dr. Gripkey. Marv wants to go to California on vacation. Weight 167 - I've lost 35 pounds. Sure get around better. Bud asked Pat to go bowling Monday. His social life will bankrupt us. 70ยบ today - 20° by morning. I hope I get to go to church.

February 21, Sunday - Slept till 9:00. Bud and I went to church. Ate lunch and started out to new airport. Too much traffic, so we came back to Municipal.

Mom always had great friends in the stores. While I don't know these people by name, I know they kept mom happy in her work.

I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what this school program was, but I can't put a finger on it. It almost had to be a band event, but I'm not sure.

Dad's health is a constant concern. While he was a large man, and strong as an ox, his heart disease weighed so heavily on his mind that he was often convinced of his own frailty and impending death. He had worked hard all his life, and until his heart attacks, was a two-pack-a-day Pall Mall smoker. After his heart betrayed him, we became a salt-free, caffeine-free household. Dad's worry was contagious. Sometimes he would nap on the couch, and I would stop as I walked by to watch his chest rise and fall and make sure he was still breathing.

I'm pretty sure Dr. Gripkey was mom's weight-loss advisor. She's down to 167 from just over 200. My mom is 5'-2". Dad wants to go to California to see his son Bill and daughter Sonnie. I have it on good authority that the trip won't happen.

Apparently, I asked Patty Saunders to go bowling. You would certainly think I would remember that, but I honestly don't. Honestly. It seems I am a high maintenance 14 year old.

Mom and I went to church - Bales Baptist, with its thundering pipe organ and horseshoe-shaped sanctuary. The pastor was probably still Reverend Moad, the minister that baptized me a couple of years before.

Airports were, and remain to this day, an important source of entertainment for me. All during the late '50s, my dad and I would trek down to Kansas City Municipal Airport, (MKC) and head up to the open-air observation deck at the south terminal. There, we watched Vickers Viscounts, Convairs, Douglas DC3s, and Martin 404s take off and land. As the planes taxied to the gate, they feathered their propellers and shut down all but one engine, but there was still enough prop wash to knock your hat off. The real star of the show was always the Lockheed Super G Constellation, still, to my way of thinking, one of the most beautiful airplanes ever manufactured. It looked like a swan with a triple tail and radial engines.

Lockheed Super G Constellation in TWA livery
It was later in the fifties when the first jets appeared at Municipal, and if you were fortunate enough to be on the Intercity Viaduct when a Boeing 707 took off to the south on runway 19, you received an eardrum-busting treat as the plane flew over you at an altitude of a couple hundred feet. More than one driver, hypnotized by the big jets, skidded into the guard rails as the 707s flew over.

Municipal was built in the crook of the Missouri River, and had no room for expansion. Jets required more runway than Municipal's 6,500 foot north/south could provide. To help drag Kansas City, kicking and screaming into the future, they built Kansas City International Airport, (MCI). It had three circular terminals, each of which provided for short sixty-foot walks to the gates from the drop-off area. It was a pretty big deal in Kansas City, and mom and I set out on the 25-mile trek to see it. At that same moment, it seems 75,000 other Kansas Citians thought the same thing, and headed north to see the new miracle airport. We got snarled in Interstate 29 traffic and gave up. Back to Municipal where we belong. I still hate traffic.

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