December 24th 2014
Receiving lines were always fun because I got to make introductions to General Robinson. I would mention everyone’s name while they shook hands, and I had to get it right. Of course the general always said he knew the person as he flashed his two star smile. That’s him standing on my left. His wife, Edith, is the next woman and then Peggy. She’s the one who spiffed up the receiving line.
General Robinson’s job was to oversee all of the combat crew training in the Air Force, and that included nine bases, several hundred thousand civilian and military personnel, and hundreds of airplanes. One of my jobs, as the general’s confidential assistant, was to fly about twelve different fighters and bombers, and be able to answer questions. We were always off to Europe or South America doing something. It was the only dress up job I ever had and I loved it, despite the coat and tie.
December 22nd 2014
I always liked birds, but I haven’t owned many. They’re messy. Peggy doesn’t mind having birds around, but the feathers bothered her.
This is Lunch Time, and he’s native to South America. He got his name because every time I walked out on the upper deck of our gallery and called his name, he’d fly over and land on my arm. I could throw a chicken leg up and he’d snatch it in midair.
I didn’t wear a glove until one day he clamped down on my arm with all eight talons. I didn’t know what to do as blood spirted all over my clean shirt. Finally I put him on the floor and started to put my foot on his neck. That’s when he turned loose. That didn’t happen to me but once because I’m a fast learner. After several years I released Lunch Time in the mountains east of Santa Fe. I think he’s feeding on turkeys now.
Someone gave Sinbad to me. His talons were docile, but once I offered him a drink of Coke and he broke the bottle with his beak. He had the run of our gallery and liked to hang out on an old buckboard we had in a back room. An elderly lady was looking at some things we had in the wagon and didn’t see the macaw walking toward her. He bit her on the thumb and it was terrible. Fortunately she blamed herself for not seeing Sinbad approach. Whew! I don’t remember what happened to Sinbad, but I’m glad it did. If you want to give me bubble gum I’ll accept it, but please don’t give me any more scarlet macaws.