Friends with a bond

Trip Start Nov 02, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Elk City State Park

Flag of United States  , Kansas
Monday, November 7, 2011

   Sunday morning we drove to Moran, KS which was less than an hour from where we stayed in Richmond. We had made plans to meet Randy & Audrey McCall at their church, worship there and then attend a Thanksgiving Dinner with them following the service.
   I think we were excited and a bit nervous as we had not seen Randy & Audrey for 40 years. They were our neighbors at Moffet Field in California when Wayne & Randy were in the Navy. We've exchanged Christmas letters and pictures faithfully every year so had kept tabs on each other during the long span of not seeing each other. We parked the camper about a block away near the local elevator as there wasn't room in the church parking lot and the streets were really narrow. As we walked up to the church a man was just getting out of a pickup and sure enough, it was Randy! It was an immediate bond with this fellow Navy veteran. Audrey drove separately because she was getting food ready for the dinner but arrived soon after. Any nervousness there had been soon disappeared as we began to share information about our life histories.
   We all grew up on farms. Randy & Wayne both went to 2 years of college before enlisting in the Navy to avoid the draft into the Army during the Vietnam War. They ended up in the same squadron at Moffet Field and both did tours of duty in Okinawa during that time but not together. Their oldest son is about a year younger than Missy but they played together when we lived in the same neighborhood at Moffet Field. Randy & Wayne are the same age, Audrey and I are the same age. Randy was discharged from the Navy just a couple months before Wayne was and went back to his hometown to farm with his dad. Wayne would have done the same but his dad had sold the farm while he was in the Navy so he looked for other work and ended up at Basin Electric.
   Randy still farms but has some limitations as he was in a very serious car accident in 2004. Audrey still works as a nurse full time at a clinic in a nearby town. We went for a drive in the afternoon to see their farmland and the surrounding area. We also sat in the camper for awhile and looked at the few pictures we had taken when we were at Moffet Field in April 2011. The hangar where they worked looks the same and still had the sign of their squadron on it even though the base is now a NASA Facility rather than a Navy base.
   We said goodbye late in the afternoon with hopes of getting together for a vacation some time. In the mean time we'll continue to exchange our Christmas letters and remember with fondness the bond we have from those Navy days.
   We drove about an hour to a Kansas State Park and registered for 2 nights. I was thrilled to get out the hiking boots this morning with plans to spend the morning on the trail. We knew there was rain in the forecast but we checked the radar and it looked like it was to the south of us and was going to miss us. Besides it wasn't a very long hike (5.5 miles up and back) so thought we would be back before it started. Silly us...we didn't take our rain gear because we didn't think we needed to carry a backpack for such a short hike! I did learn my lesson and will be taking it any time there's a remote chance of a sprinkle in the future.
   We were in about a mile when the light rain started, but we were in the trees so it wasn't really getting us wet. We kept going and by the time we got to mile 2 we were getting wet. We hiked to the top of the next hill and that wasn't the end so decided to turn around and head back. It started to rain harder and by the time we got back we were soaking wet. There was even some thunder and lightning which I don't like at all. Shortly after we got inside the camper, it down poured! There was a break this afternoon during which time I went to the laundry room to do a couple loads of clothes but the rest of the day it has rained and rained and rained!
   This area was included in the drought that Texas and Oklahoma experienced this year so this must be very welcome. I just hope it's not too much for Randy's winter wheat that he had planted recently.

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