Honor and Respect

Andersen Air Force Base sits on the top of a cliff, above the ocean, on the north end of Guam. The runway does not end right at the cliff’s edge, but, it is fairly close. When pilots come in to land or take off, they negotiate that end of the cliff, and supposedly, during low tide, you can see parts of planes down in the water of the ones who did not make it. I do not know if that particular story is true or not, but, it was highly entertaining when the two pilots I was flying with into Guam, in the middle of a pounding rain storm, told it to me. It was more entertaining for them because I was “white knuckling” it, while they navigated the Lockheed C-141B Starlifter cargo jet over the edge

Good Morning Sunshine

Maine, is without a doubt, one of my favorite states in the US. Gorgeous woods, fantastic coastline and a wonderful place to get lost in. For a few years, while I was living in Maryland, I’d have to head up to Boston about once a month for work. If I was able to get finished early enough, I would let the company know that I was GONE for a few days. I would jump into the rental and take off north. No plans, no itinerary, just north. I would drive all over the place, mostly along the coast, and frequently into the deeper woods, especially in the fall. The foliage there, truly, is amazing. You can find these fire roads way up north that run right into the woods. A few times, I would drive back

Superman Prefers a Crescent Wrench

Not long ago I watched a video story about three guys, in a small motor boat, traveling around their home looking for neighbors or animals after devastating storms had flooded the area. It was Louisiana I think, anyway, these fellas were good ole' country boys and they had found a small horse who had been stranded by the deluge. The horse, even though he was tiny, could not fit in their boat with them so they tied pool noodles around his midsection in case he fell overboard and put him in his own John boat which they towed alongside. One of the men moved to that boat and had a bucket of oats with him. The horse was chomping happily away as if he always took his meals floating through a flood

Heading to the Ice

November, 1994, I flew with the US Air Force down to McMurdo Base in Antarctica. My purpose for going there was to gather ideas for a painting I was to create for the National Archives. It was, to say the least, an amazing trip! I met with the crew I would be flying with at the Naval Air Station at Point Mugu and took off for a night in Hawaii, then a gas stop in Pango Pango and then on to our base near Christchurch, New Zealand. There were two other civilians on the trip with me. One was a graduate student from Berkeley who was headed down there to winter over (yikes!!) doing reasearch for his doctorate in Astronomy. We were carrying a enormous part of a telescope he was going to be using.

A Shaking Memory

On January 17th, 1994, at 4:31 AM, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake hit the Northridge area in the northern part of the San Fernando Valley. At the time, I was living in a house in Valley Village, at the southernmost end of the valley. The Hollywood Hills were behind my house, about 10 streets away, and, on the other side of those hills was the big Hollywood sign. Why do these things always happen in the middle of the night? My dogs, who were usually heavier sleepers than me, started howling and barking and jumping on the bed. I woke, confused, in the dark, trying to understand what had them so upset. I remember so clearly the incredible, loud noise that surrounded us. I was terrified that a plane

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The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged by the way it's animals are treated - Mahatma Ghandi

©  Briar Lee Mitchell, 2014