July 7, 2010

Today we went to the David Grant Medical Center at Travis AFB to see the new additions. Fantastic!

We met some old friends and some new ones. They have great doctors there. We gave out personalized photos signed by General Yeager which pleased the recipients no end.

Had lunch at the great new dining facility. A sandwich was $1.25! So I bought lunch for all of us. Big spender.  :-)

We stopped at a friend’s on the way home – J & K. On the way up to the door I saw their exotic chickens roaming the yard.

I did my chicken imitations – reminded of that old joke – Walk walk walk! But I said: Brock, brock, brock. The chickens stopped eating, stood stark still on alert, some looked at me. I tried it again. Wonder they were thinking. Either I was a funny looking chicken or a human with a funny sound.

Our friends regaled us with some stories, gave us some of their own-grown fresh squash, fresh eggs, and fresh blackberry popovers (blackberries from their garden) and sent us on our way.

We stopped for gas in Auburn. I went in, paid in cash, Gen Yeager pumped the gas. As I was waiting, I read The Union, our local paper. On the front page was our friend Patty Wagstaff. I did a mental double take. It seemed to say that this world class aerobatic pilot was the spotter pilot for the California Department of Fire out of Nevada County Airport. OUR airport. OUR long time friend.

As we headed home, I tried to call the airport. I got a hold of a friend who confirmed Patty was now working out of there and who gave me the airport number. The airport manager gave me the number of the man on whose property Patty was living in a motorhome. That man gave me Patty’s cel phone. I left a message.

General Yeager, who grew up before telephones were in every house, said, Let’s just go to the airport and see if she’s there.

So we did. We drove inside the airport and to where the CDF planes were. We had to drive on the dirt to get around them. Two guys – good security – came out from the headquarter shack there.

Gen Yeager: Hello, I’m General Chuck Yeager. I’m here to see Patty Wagstaff.

They opened the barrier and pointed to a place to park.

We walked back and Patty came out thrilled to see us. I razzed her about not calling us.

She thought we lived farther west, near Mendecino.

Big hugs.

She looks great! Beautiful, great shape, and loving her new job.

Steady, calm, relaxed. She drove out in her motorhome with her two dogs and bird and had someone fly her famous Extra out.

She introduced us to her colleagues and her boss.

Today was a slow day – no flying. No fires. Good day.

We chatted for a couple hours. Then did some photos in front of the plane.


Patty has only been her 4 weeks and already graciously done a couple of talks in addition to her job. She’ll take a little time off to do a couple of air shows this summer but not the usual constant schedule.

We teased them all – when Gen Yeager said his name, the security looked blank. But when we mentioned Patty’s name, the waters parted and they let us pass.

She walked us out to our car. We gave her the fresh eggs and squash and fresh basil. She was THRILLED. She used to have chickens so it was a nice gift which had even more meaning and good memories than merely a gift of fresh eggs.

Patty has Sundays off – so we’ll have to find something fun to do.

She was still on duty when we left so we didn’t take her to dinner.

We were too hungry to make it home for dinner by then so we stopped at a Thai restaurant – our first time there. Great catfish. Great fried rice. General Yeager didn’t want dessert. Why bother when he can eat mine :-)

I ordered sticky rice and mango. I never seemed to find it in Bangkok, Thailand when I was there but heard from others that they had esp on the street. I didn’t generally go for street food in a 3rd world country.

Lucky for me, General Yeager tried my dessert actually let me have a few bites. :-)  It WAS good. It was fun to see him enjoying it so much.

Home in time to catch 20 minutes of daylight on our back porch in our swing. Cows mooing. Doves cooing. Saw the deer – and the baby deer till they moved behind the tree. Saw the cows – where were the calves…there they came into sight running and playing.

Our barn cat joined us purring away. Used to be feral but rather likes us.

So peaceful. 


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