You Sure Know How to Party!

Not the Party in the Story but Same Location – Squadron Party, Laredo Air Force Base, 1983. A former Oklahoma cowboy enthralls his listeners with his tales.

It was 1953 in the base photo lab at Laredo Air Force Base in Texas. I came around the corner from the lab into the washer/dryer room and found a Second Lieutenant looking at the photo prints circulating in the washer. He gave me a long hard look and then said “You guys sure know how to party!”

The party pictures he was looking at were from a pseudo-homosexual swim party of young men in compromising positions on the beach of one of the local lakes.

Trying to keep a straight face at his remark, I escorted the officer back to the front office and asked if I could help him, being careful to get his contact information.
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Airmen Entrepreneurs

T-33 jet trainer, Lockheed’s Shooting Star, Laredo AFB, 1953 – Photograph by Jerrold Foutz

The time was 1953 and the place was Laredo Air Force Base, Texas. I had just walked onto the flight line when the Air Police pulled up and asked me to place my photography case on the ground and step back.

The problem was that a Staff Sergeant and myself (an  A/3C) were making nearly as much or more money each month  than the Base Commander. To compound the problem, we were making all of it by selling pictures to the the cadets that the same Commander was responsible for training to be jet fighter pilots

One of the cadets complained that we were charging excessive prices for the photos and that started the investigation.
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Dealing Drugs

Amphetamine Capsules

Amphetamine Capsules

The time was 1958 and my UCLA room-mate, the last of three interesting room-mates, was the local drug dealer for amphetamines. His stash was of the highest quality, a bottle of thousands of pills as sold in bulk to pharmacy chains. He had bought the bottle in Tijuana and brought it across over the border.

The huge gallon-size bottle set dead center on top of the chest-of-drawers in the tiny room we shared. The room was the cheapest off-campus housing approved by UCLA. We each paid a dollar a day to share the room. Furnishings consisted of two cot beds, two small desks, and the chest-of-drawers acting as a pedestal for the huge bottle of drugs on display for all to see who entered the room.
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Philanthropy With Other’s Money


Controllers of Your Tax Dollars

I like giving away money to worthy causes. I have probably given away a million dollars for research and development in the field of power electronics.

None of it mine, much of it yours.

I may have been doing it earlier without realizing that you can be be a philanthropist with no money, but the idea crystallized in the 1970’s in San Diego, California, when I was a member-at-large of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) San Diego Section Executive Committee.
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The Bucking Toilet

Bucking Toilet

Danger! Is this a bucking toilet?

I used to have a checklist of three rules before using a public toilet.

Rule #1: Is the floor dry so my pants don’t act as a mop?
Rule #2: Is there sufficient toilet paper?
Rule #3: Does the toilet flush properly?

You probably have your own set of rules.

I now have four rules. The fourth rule is to make sure the the toilet doesn’t buck like the artificial bull in a western bar.

The rule was learned a hard and painful way and you might consider adding it to your own set of rules.
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