I went to Walmart this morning and bought a few things I was almost out of. While I was there I filled up my truck with diesel and put 10 gallons in my extra tank that's in the bed of the truck. As usual Walmart's gas station was about eight cents cheaper than the rest of the town.
There's a museum in town that I've been trying to see for the last week but every time I go there it's closed. According to their website they're supposed to be open I'm beginning to think they're closed for the season.
It's just a little museum about the Cuban missile crisis back in the early 60s. There's an Air Force Base just outside of Del Rio called Laughlin Air Force Base. And during the 1960s this base was the home to America's premier spy plane called the U2. This plane was super secret and most people had never even heard of it until the Russians shot one down over The Soviet Union. in Theory the U2 was supposed to fly so high that the Russians couldn't shoot it down. And even if they did manage to shoot it down it was designed to self-destruct, and the pilot had a poison pill to kill himself with.
But something went badly wrong and the U2 came down in great shape with the pilot very much alive in it. This became a huge benefit to the Russians, back during the Cold War, and a monumental embarrassment to President Eisenhower and the United States.
Now the reason that this museum is interesting to me, besides the fact that I remember all of that happening while I was a teenager, is because at the time I was an Air Force Brat living in base housing on Homestead Air Force Base, just outside of Miami Florida where my dad was stationed. And it was a U2 spy plane stationed at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio Texas that first spotted Russian missiles being stockpiled and assembled in Cuba.
For those of you too young to remember the "Cuban missile crisis" I can assure you it was a very scary time, with America and Russia toe to toe, and eyeball to eyeball, threatening each other with nuclear war over whether or not those missiles would stay in Cuba.
The Russians knew that Homestead Air Force Base was a bomber base and those bombers were so close to Cuba they could reach the island in a matter of minutes. So everyone on the base new that if the Russians launched a missile strike Homestead Air Force Base would be the first one hit. And there was absolutely nothing that could be done to stop it, or prepare for it.
This post is getting pretty long so I think I will stop here and finish the story tomorrow so I can leave you in suspense about whether or not I survived.