May 18, 1998

Well, that “Seinfeld” finale really sucked. I think that highlight show before the actual finale was better than the finale itself. I read, I believe it was, a Dallas Morning News paper column critiqueing the finale that ended quoting George Costanza saying, “I am very disappointed,” about the NBC private jet. The column’s last line said, “So were we, George. So were we.” My sentiments exactly.
Well, I skipped school on Thursday, opting instead to go with my grandfather from Alabama to visit family in Dallas. I can’t think of a better person to spend the day of Sinatra’s death with than my grandfather. We watched all the Sinatra tributes on TV, especially the VH1 tribute. On Saturday, my grandfather, my uncle, and I made the six hour drive to Amarillo in my uncle’s new BMW 328i. Here’s why we made the trip:
My grandfather’s first assignment out of Air Force basic training a long time ago was Amarillo Air Force Base, which has since closed. The story goes, he was from big city Lowell, Massachussetts, and loved the freedom and wide open spaces of the Amarillo plains. One day, while hitchhiking with a friend around Amarillo, which they did quite often back then. My grandfather has many stories about hitchhiking every weekend from Tyndall AFB in Panama City, Florida to Birmingham, Alabama or Jacksonville, Florida, but they don’t have any bearing on this story. They also wore their uniforms almost all the time. It was respectable to be in the military back then, as it should be now. Anyway, they were hitchhiking around town, when a couple picked them up and gave them a ride back to the base. On the way, they asked my grandfather and his friend, Parker, whether or not they had been to the fair that was in town. My grandfather replied, “No, it’s too far from the last paycheck and too close to the next.” So, they took them to the base and dropped them off at the gate. As my grandfather and his friend were walking toward their barracks, the couple drove off. Down the road, the couple stopped, turned around and went back to the base. They caught up with Parker and my grandfather and told them that they were going to take them to the fair, on them. This one act of kindness sparked a friendship that has lasted over thirty years. We went to Amarillo to visit the lady-half, her husband had pasted away many years ago, of that couple that picked up my grandfather that day and then let him spend countless hours with them during holidays and such. My grandfather spent three months at the Amarillo Air Force Base, but gained a friendship to last a lifetime.
So, we spent some time with his friend in Amarillo and then started the six hour journey back to Dallas. My uncle got pulled over doing 89 MPH in a 70 MPH zone. Lucky we didn’t get pulled over while going 140 MPH (no kidding). Had to break-in his new BMW.

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