Art without engineering is dreaming;
Engineering without art is calculating.

Steven K. Roberts, N4RVE

Movie – 1971 home visit before Air Force

In 1971, I made a strange decision… after about a year of being on my own, working as a deckhand on barges and central-office phone system installer on Army bases, I thought I’d join the Air Force as a way to get a degree (since I had cut the cord by dropping out of college halfway through Freshman year). There is more about this strange epoch in my Prehistory of a Technomad story so I won’t repeat it here… but this is a little treasure from a long-buried reel of 8mm movie film. I had been working at Fort Benning in Georgia, and drove home to Kentucky to drop off all my worldly goods before getting transported to Lackland AFB for Basic Training. Surreal memories…

Anyway, my father picked up the camera and got about 30 seconds of his lanky 18-year-old son… complete with the VW bug pulling a U-Haul, the Kawasaki Bushwhacker 175 dirt bike, and my cherished long hair that was about to be shorn to a buzz cut (that was hugely symbolic back then). The background is the old family home in Jeffersontown, complete with my mother’s 1963 Mercury Comet.

The date of this post (May 13, 1971) is the day my brief Air Force career began. The video below was taken a few days earlier, and the sad photo above was taken just after Basic Training, on July 4, 1971. I didn’t know it yet, but I was suffering from mononucleosis and would spend my first three weeks at Keesler, for tech school, resting in the hospital. Crazy time.