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Day 4 – Wednesday May 2: Old Friends

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<– Day 3 – Tuesday May 1: Weathering OZ | Day 5 – Thursday May 3: Rainy Day Quilts –>

Day 4: Today we didn’t drive far. We left Kansas and the tornados behind, arriving in Missouri to learn that more tornados were expected.


We had a very nice stay in Topeka at the Best Western Inn & Suites on Tuesday night, even taking the opportunity to sleep late, so late we missed the free breakfast. It appeared a family owned the motel and they were very nice.

For example, at one point in the morning, I stepped out to get some ice from the ice machine. Next to the ice, the soda machine was being refilled. The woman in charge pulled out a Mr. Pibb and offered it to me for free, telling me that if I didn’t like it, I could have something else. I don’t drink it, but I figured Ann would. I’d definitely stay there again.

Our goal for the day was to drive to Whiteman Air Force Base, where Ann is officially still based, and obtain a new military ID for her, then meet up with some of her old friends. Dale, a co-worked and close friend of Ann’s, still worked at the base and was excited to meet us at the main gate.


Old work buddies Dale & Ann

That turned out to be a good thing, because when we arrived at the entrance, we discovered that my dependent-ID had expired, so if it hadn’t been for Dale, we couldn’t have gotten on to base to get her ID updated. To be fair, I hadn’t used the ID to access a base in 4 years, so I hadn’t paid too close attention to the date. Anyway, thanks to Dale, we accessed the base and found the place we needed to get Ann’s new ID and mine updated.

After that, Dale invited us back to his place to see Edith, his wife, who just had surgery. Ann had a great time getting reacquainted with them, while giving me a chance to finish up work by a reasonable hour. Now, if only those pesky Tornado warning sirens would stop going off we could go to sleep!

For Thursday,  we *think* we are heading through the Ozark Lakes, then on to Paducah to visit the National Quilt Museum. The weather may play a role in dictating our path.

<– Day 3 – Tuesday May 1: Weathering OZ | Day 5 – Thursday May 3: Rainy Day Quilts –>


5 Comments on “Day 4 – Wednesday May 2: Old Friends

  1. Lt. Vincent Russo

    Following your travels on, interesting, but tell us a little more about Ann’s Service. Veterans, like me, would like to know what branch she served and any other history that she may want to share, would be very interesting reading

  2. Desert Jim

    Dave and Ann,
    I hope the tornado’s leave you alone. On 44 in Rolla I experienced tornadoes in 1990 and 2011. Safe travels. Hopefully the bad weather and irritating vehicle problems are behind you… 🙂

  3. David Eilers Post author

    I’ve talked about Ann’s service, but it’s been a while ago.

    Here are highlights I can share … she served as a weapons specialist in the Air Force. She then became involved in the B2 program while it was still black and helped introduce it. Later became a spokesman for it. At one event, Strom Thurmond tried to goose her. She told him, respectfully, but forcefully, if he ever did it again, he would lose his hand. She can be feisty!

    Her service career pretty came to a dramatic halt during the Khobar Tower bombing in 1996, the largest non-nuclear explosion ever (she tells me). Her injuries to brain, jaw, shoulders, leg and knees eventually forced her (sort of) out of the Air Force. She’s suffered from pain pretty much every day since then, some days better, and some days worse. Because of what she did, she remains in a quasi-active state (not in the Air Force and not out), though she is considered disabled for VA purposes. And don’t get me started with her VA experience, a fight that continues through today. She’s a tough cookie.

  4. Michael Cranston

    There is a fellow in Knob Noster MO that owns and drives an awesome aqua colored Willys wagon…maybe he will be driving around with it. He is a super cool guy too.

  5. David Eilers Post author

    Michael … we missed that! Hopefully, Dale will keep a watch out for it.

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