Jumping back to my visit to the Pima air and space Museum I had a few more pictures I wanted to show and one more story to tell.
When I was a kid the Air Force was a lot more laid-back and not as security conscious as they are today. So sometimes If my dad had to work on a Saturday or Sunday he would take me to the base and I would go with him out to the flight line where the planes were and wander around the C 124 that my dad and the rest of the crew were getting ready to fly.
Now we only did this on the weekends when there were no honchos around because even though the Air Force was laid-back, having a 10-year-old boy running around an airplane would've been frowned on by the big shots. But for the pilot the copilot and the rest of the crew that flew that C 124 all over the world, I was perfectly acceptable. After all occasionally they had dinner at my house or we would all go on a picnic to Paris Mountain State Park which was near the town we lived in South Carolina.
But that all came to an end one day when I was wandering around in the belly of the plane and everyone else was either outside on the tarmac or up where the cargo would be. So while I was walking around looking at all the cool stuff down there I stepped on a closed Crew entry hatch, which was no big deal except it was closed and not latched. I don't remember anything except my dad picking me up off the ground and me wondering how much trouble I was in.
Now the fall was only about 5 1/2 feet which I could easily have jumped out of without giving it a second thought but because of the surprise of the floor falling out from under me I ended up with a sprained ankle and a busted lip.
All of this caused quite a kerfuffle but amazingly enough I didn't get in any trouble, after all I wasn't doing anything wrong, but they were pretty unhappy with the one who left the hatch unlatched.
The best part of all that is I got to miss several days of school, I had to eat through a straw for a while, and I got to tell all my friends that I was the only kid to ever fall out of a C 124 the biggest cargo plane in the Air Force
But for safety reasons I got banished from the flight line, and from then on I would be left at the barracks where I would play with the wallaby that was the squadron mascot, that's him in the insignia on the side of the plane.