CHUCK YEAGER ROAD – Photos added

December 1st, 2010

It was a long time coming but Monday, the road from Beale to Route 20 had been repaved. Since World War II, all they had ever done was patchwork – it was one big pothole. Took us 45 minutes to drive it.

To get it done, took 8 years from the time the money was raised and allocated by Yuba County and the Feds. No less than 4, and maybe twice as many, government agencies had to sign off on it. A curve in it had to be straightened – one airman a year was killed on that curve. Yes, probably driving too fast.

John Nicoletti emailed us to see if Gen Yeager would turn up at a meeting re the road about 10 months ago. We happened to be home so we went. General Yeager had been saying for years they should close the base if Yuba County wouldn’t repave that road. The Air Force when it assigned missions was very interested in egress systems, roads, access.

We attended one or two more meetings.

And Monday, they had a naming ceremony. General McGillicuddy (love that name – trips off the tongue. But must have been hard with all the forms one has to fill out in life) – spoke first.

John Nicoletti, Yuba County Supervisor, Chuck Yeager Road naming ceremony

General McGillicuddy knew about Chuck Yeager since he was 10 years old! Gen Yeager spoke a little – telling about doing boot camp at Beale. It was an army base –Camp Beale during World War II. Gen Yeager still doesn’t understand why a fighter pilot needed to practice crawling under barbed wire while they shot over you. (And he sure didn’t need to do that in France, after he was shot down and worked with the Maquis before escaping into Spain).

Gen McGillicuddy & Chuck Yeager review the sign spelled correctly!

General Chuck Yeager said he was honoured but mostly he is pleased that the airmen, who have to use the road, now have a safe road.

County Supervisor John Nicoletti gave Gen Yeager a piece of artwork – a bomb stuck in a piece of a road – suggesting that they may be why the road had so many potholes – bombing practice.

John Nicoletti shows Chuck Yeager the reason the road was a mess

Then he said, Many of you don’t know this, but General Yeager used to bring tomatoes he grew in his garden as gifts to the people on base. By the time he got to base on this road, it was salsa. Now the tomatoes will make it intact.

It was not open to the public. We weren’t sure we could make it – but we did and so did some friends of ours.

It was a nice ceremony. Short.  Tee hee. To the point and just wonderful.

An Honor for an American Hero.

Chuck Yeager Road. What an honor!

Thank you to all those who worked so hard to get it done!

The next day we drove on Chuck Yeager Road again. Took us 10 minutes instead of the 45 before the re-do. What a pleasure.

And just plain cool to see the sign as we drove by an intersection: CHUCK YEAGER ROAD.

Woo hoo!

c. GCYI

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