Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pima Air Museum

The Pima Air Museum is located in Tucson near Davis Monthan Air Force Base. The museum is non-govt. supported and charges a fee for entry. They have over 300 historical aircraft from WWII to the present with several rare one of a kind aircraft. We took a narrated walking tour of four of the huge hangars and then a narrated tram tour of the 300 acres of outdoor display.

This is a WWII era Martin PBM flying boat and it is HUGE!

This is a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird Reconnaissance plane which still holds many speed records for manned aircraft.

This is a Consolidated B-24 heavy bomber, WWII era.

Waist and ball-turret guns on the B-24. Hard to believe there was a gunner inside that tiny ball turret.

This is a B-25 Mitchell light bomber of the type that Jimmy Dolittle flew off a carrier to bomb Tokyo early in WWII

A beautiful restoration of a P-51 Mustang.

Many people believe this Lockheed Constellation was the most beautiful airliner ever built.

This modified Boeing 707 is also know as the "Vomit Comet" used to demonstrate weightlessness while flying the profile painted on the nose section.

This is one of only four remaining B-36 heavy bombers. The six pusher prop engines weren't enough to take off so the 2 jet engines per wing were added.

This is a restored B-17 part of the 390th bomber group memorial. This is a museum within the main museum.

Looking forward in the B-17 showing the waist guns and the top of the ball-turret.

Looking aft in the B-17 towards the tail gunner position.

Head on view of the B-17 showing the 4 .50 caliber machine guns facing forward. All together, there are 12 of these on the B-17.

Another view of the Constellation.

We spent over 3 hours at the museum and we had lunch in their new flight cafeteria. There is also a gift shop. On week-days, they run tours of the "Bone Yard" at Davis Monthan AFB where thousands of decommissioned aircraft are stored in the dry desert for possible sale and used for spare parts.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Historic Homes Tour at Ft. Huachuca

We had a wonderful outing yesterday as we visited a number of the original buildings at Ft. Huachuca, all constructed in the mid 1880's. They were constructed of brick and adobe with walls over 20 inches thick. Some of these were the Hospital and others were Officer's quarters. Today, they have been renovated with modern kitchens and utilities and are senior officer's quarters. The folks in costume are hosts and are from the Tombstone Vigilantes organization. The men in vintage uniforms are from "B" Troop, a ceremonial organization of mostly ex-servicemen. Both these organizations are involved with charitable work and this Tour of Homes benefits several local charities and also scholarships.

I only took one interior picture as I was informed there was to be no photography inside the homes. Too bad as some of them were spectacular.

Most of the homes have these small staff quarters behind them. This one housed two teen aged sons of the house resident. How cool!

The Pershing house is the largest house in the group and has historically been the residence of the base commanding general.

A ballroom was added to this house in the early 1900's.

Our intrepid group of tourists. Our friends and next door neighbors, Stephen and Barbara Vanderleest along with Kathy. Did I mention it was COLD yesterday and a little snow was falling when we arrived.

5000 feet, no wonder it's cold.

Check out the mountains in the distance. Probably an Indian behind every rock back in the day.

This is one of the original barraks across the parade ground from the Officer's quarters.

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Winter is on it's way

Yesterday, the high was in the 50's and we had about 1/2 '' of rain spread out most of the afternoon. Looks like more of the same with low temps in the mid to high 20's for the next two days. At least we have had a little sunshine each day and our winds have only been in the 20's to 30's. Winds over 100 are to the west in California and to the north in Utah. Yuck!! Today is our last work day 'till next Tuesday so we'll just tuck ourselves in and snuggle. Monday, Kathy has an ultrasound and a meeting with a surgeon to determine when that pesky gall bladder will come out. Apparently it's an outpatient procedure using laproscopic techniques. We'll keep our readers and listeners posted.
We finally sold enough CD's of our shows to pay for a new headset for Kathy to use in our broadcasts. That way, she won't have to look over or around a large microphone to read copy. I'll be ordering it tomorrow.
This Sunday is the open house of some of the historic homes at Ft. Huachuca. These are some of the first permanent buildings on the post built in the 1880's. They are now senior officer's quarters and the residents decorate them and open them up for a few hours on the first Sunday of December each year. I hope to take lots of pictures and post them here for you.

Friday, November 25, 2011


This has been quite a week. Sunday night, Kathy woke me up at 1:30 AM with severe stomache pains. We got up and after a few minutes, it was obvious it wasn't going to go away. The Benson Hospital is only a block away and we went to the ER there. After a number of tests, they determined she had pancreatitis. Later tests confirmed this and gall stones as well, so that gall bladder will have to come out soon. She spent two nights in the hospital on IV to settle down her pancreas. Hopefully, this surgery will be as simple as we have been told as there is no infection. So, it's a lo to no fat diet two days before thanksgiving, oh boy!! We had a wonderful meal in our banquet hall with the park providing 6 turkeys and 3 hams and most everyone else pot-lucking everything else. We reassembled at 6 PM for desert. What fun. Here are a few pictures of the event.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gammons Gulch Movie Set and Museum

We took a trip to Gammons Gulch Movie Set and Museum today with our next door neighbors, Steve and Barbara. It's about 13 miles from Benson out along what used to be a stagecoach route. Our host was Jay Gammons, owner, curator, construction foreman and tour guide. He and his wife have been building this place for years and collecting items for much longer.

Here we are in front of the first building. Jat is the fellow with the hat. Inside is this gorgeous bar imported from England in the 18 somethings.

Below is a fully operational blacksmith shop used occasionally on weekends.

Below is the jail built on site several years ago.

A couple of jail birds.

This saloon is the newest building in the town completed a year ago. We spent several hours in there drinking sarsaparilla and listening to jay tell about his history in movies as an extra including some John Wayne movies when he was an 11 year old.

The saloon is a homey place and Jay is quite the musician as well.

This is the general store filled with turn of the century things.

"Come on, you have to see this""

Apparently, the undertaker also was the furniture maker.

People are just dying to come here.

This Church has seen several weddings and doubles as a school house by removing the cross.

Here is our happy group in front of the saloon getting ready to depart. This was quite a fun day trip. It is open 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Wed. thru Sun. Call ahead to guarantee they will be open at 520-212-2831. Donations accepted.Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Train is coming!!

Today was an interesting day in Benson, AZ. The Union Pacific Railroad has spent a great deal of money and several years restoring a vintage steam locomotive. This was not some little switch engine, but rather a main line engine with 8 drive wheels. Apparently this is part of the upcoming centennial celebrations of Arizona and New Mexico. The train arrived about 10 minutes late and stayed at the Amtrack stop for about 30 minutes. This was a well publicized event and there were easily 3 to 4 thousand people there to see it. Some schools even excused 5th thru 7th grades and kids were all over the place.

There were lots of Union Pacific personnel and police on hand.

Part of a crowd of several thousand.

Here it comes! This thing is BIG and it is LOUD!!

There's the proud engineer.

Everyone was allowed to get really close to see this rare sight.
There was some vintage rolling stock including a dome observation car.