All of us left to go to the airport; we were going to eat at the restaurant tonight and wait for the plane to arrive from Texas. It was scheduled to land at 6 PM. The general had called shortly after Frank left to go back to Washington to say everything had gone smoothly and had been approved.
I had forgotten how busy the restaurant was on Friday nights. We had trouble finding a table for all of us. It seemed like all the county department heads and wives were there as well as law enforcement from several neighboring counties. They were always scheduling the meeting rooms for late afternoon meetings so they could add a business meal to their expense account.
I guess the restaurant being lower key than a lot of places on the narrows meant that it was come as you are. Everything from a farmer out of the field to someone in a suit and tie could be found there at any time.
We were in the middle table surrounded by groups of friends and business groups at the other tables. Conversation was plentiful and enjoyable. The back and forth banter was even better. We were finished and socializing when Lorries phone went off.
It was Adam Elliott, “We are 15 minutes out; you said you wanted to be called.”
“Thanks Adam, I’m going to try to film the landing,” Lorrie replied.
“Our new toy is landing in a few minutes; let’s go watch it and film it,” Lorrie said.
“Toy for you girls; that I don’t believe,” Duke said with the Sheriffs group and several others bantering with each other over toy; their minds were wandering into the gutter. “This I have got to see!” they all chimed in.
“Morton Tower this is JBG November Charlie five Mike inbound for landing heading 040 400 knots 30000 feet,” Adam radioed.
“Roger; JBG November Charlie five Mike change heading to 060 intercept waypoint ALPHA; descend to 10000 feet at APLHA change heading to 175 and descend to 2500 feet to intercept the ILS slope and begin landing sequence. Visibility is 20 miles; pressure is 29.96 at Morton field winds 0,” the tower replied.
NC5M repeated the instructions; we knew it would not be long.
Ching Lee took the commercial video camera from Lorrie and set the tripod up to be able start taking video as soon as it was in sight – which would be 5 miles out as clear as it was.
We watched as the speck grew and listened as the tower gave altitude and corrections to the flight path, until the auto landing system took over. It touched down right on the numbers, smoke rolling from the tires as they bit into the concrete.
“Toy – you call that big mother a toy – damn!” Duke said.
For some reason I had been expecting the olive green version of a C5 but this was silver, the same as our C130s. The American flag decal was still on the tail and the large JBG decals were on the side to replace the Air Force ones.
It went all the way to the end of the runway, made the turn onto the taxi way, slowly came back to the JBG tarmac by our hanger and then powered down.
It was a beauty; it was clean and shiny as we walked to it. I could not believe that in 90 days there was the possibility that it would be cut up in pieces. But that was government; damn I hated the stupidity of government sometimes.
By the time we made the walk to the plane, there was already a crowd around it. The night shift at the agency hanger had emptied out when all those tires chirped on the runway. The same was true with our second shift that made sure all the planes were fueled and ready to fly tomorrow.
The four mechanics and the pilot group exited the aircraft through the side entrance door.
John Bishop the senior C5 mechanic said, “We have got a lot to unload tomorrow. They sent a complete set of jacks and maintenance stands plus crates of spare parts. There are even a set of mounted tires. Someone was looking out for you.”
“Fly’s better than the day it was new. Whose arms and legs did you break to get an M model with all the up graded cockpit instruments? General Lacker said we could take it to Dover for the 120 day inspection when it was due,” Adam said.
I bit my tongue to keep from telling Adam that we only had it for 90 days and then it was the scrap yard for it.
One of the crew brought one of those rolling stairs and opened the rear side door so we could walk in and look at the inside of the plane and all the things they had brought with it. The plane was immense looking at it from the inside.
We girls talked with the pilots and crew while the crowd and bystanders walked around and gawked. By now a large crowd had gathered at the gate by the terminal. The landing sequence had carried it over two local towns at less than 5000 feet with flaps and gear down, left no doubt that it was landing.
I opened the gate so they could get a closer look, “Look and please do not touch,” I said.
When everybody finally left we went back to the terminal. On the way we decided on desert – hot apple pie a la mode.
I was just finishing up the last bite when my cell rang.
“I just received a picture from my guys in the hanger of something very big and shiny with your decals on it, sitting in front of your terminal. Tell me it is another one of your guy’s pranks,” Frank said.
“No, it’s no prank. Do you like?” I replied.
“I will be there in the morning to look at it. What time will you be there?”
We were going to be in the office early; another group was shipping out Monday and all things needed to be reviewed.
“Any time after 8 – call when you get in the area, we are working both places,” I told Frank; that would give us plenty of time for breakfast, even if we chose to cook or eat in the gym refreshment center.
We had just returned home when Alica and Allie knocked on the door and then came in.
“Miss BJ would it be OK if I stayed with Alica next weekend? Dad wants to take Miss Joni to a cabin in the mountains.”
“You’re not going with them?” I asked.
“Dad asked if I wanted to go but I said no. He and Miss Joni need some alone time. I think he is going to ask Miss Joni to marry him; he asked the other day if I thought she would be a good mommy for me,” Allie replied.
“Oh, what did you say about that?”
“I’m OK with it, Miss Joni treats me nice just like Mom did and we like to do a lot of the same things and like the same foods. She is so much fun to do girly things with. She loves to shop same as I do. Dad always seems so much happier when she is around,” Allie replied.
“Would you let Dad adopt Alicia so I would have a big sister?”
“That’s up to your Dad and Alica,” I said.
“You know that if they get married, you might get to be a big sister to a little brother or little sister” I replied as I winked at Alica.
“Sex; do you think they will have sex?” and then Allie covered her mouth.
“Most married people have sex. What do you know about sex?” I asked.
“We learned a little in school last year. I had questions and asked Dad but he got all nervous and could not answer them,” Allie said.
“If they get married, Joni can answer them for you. Sure, you can stay with Alica; if you want, the two of you can use one of the extra bedrooms upstairs. Just let me know,” I replied.
“OK great, I will tell dad I’m staying with Alica.”
It was another beautiful evening with babies, family and the hot tub.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.