Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Charlie "The Mad Malta Man" Brinkat

Where is the Mad Man from Malta? Liden, Swindon? Otherwise known as "Good-Time" Charlie.

Charlie taught us a great lesson in life. Charlie said, "You don't ask, you don't get." If you ask someone for something, they will generally help get it for you (within reason). Charlie could get almost anything.

On my last visit to Swindon in 2004, I tried to look up a lot of folks to no avail.

One of the many funny stories that come to mind when working with Charlie is the time we called Charlie's worksite forman on his cell (mobile) claiming to be a curry delivery from the Highworth Blip Blob (Indian food restaurant). The charges amounting to 85 pounds sterling ($1.00 = .50 sterling) or $170.00 dollars. The Forman went balistic about the huge curry order and argued on the phone for 15 minutes with the jester. Everyone in the office was in the know except the forman. The forman's face went red with anger and he finally out right refused to pay. When the forman hung up the phone the office went up in laughter. The forman finally found it funny after he calmed down a while.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Wilf "Chilly Willy" Robins

Chilly Willy's mother Dorothy lived to 104 years of age. I spoke with her on many occassions. Dorothy would speak of times before roads, Cars, planes, and World Wars. Dorothy talked about walking 5 miles for half a bannana ration for Wilf. She was in London when German Zepplin's bomb the streets, living with the masses in what is today's underground (subway). Her claim to longevity? Cooking in full lard! They were a hardy lot.

Unfortunately, Chilly is now deceased. I am working on retrieving the detailed information.

Chilly worked in Bldg 56 as a Ministry of Defense (MOD) Surface Freight Specialist at RAF Fairford from 1987 to 1999. He and his Mother lived locally in surrounding villages of Fairford.

My most memorable moment about working with Chilly is the time he was loading a seavan container with a forklift. As Chilly was exiting the seavan, one of the wheels dropped off of the ramp. Chilly reacted within seconds, jumping free of the forklift as it was going off the dock. 9 out of 10 forklift drivers rolling a forklift get killed. Please don't test this theory yourself! The recommended method for surviving a forklift incident is to remain in the vehicle with a seatbelt. Thanks to Chilly Willy's military background and parachuting experience, he leaped to safety.

Wilf loved birds, cats, and all wildlife. Wilf took time to appreciate nature. He was a master woodworker. One of the many classics include; Wilf making a coffin for the base Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) prevention team. The Strategic Air Command (SAC) base commander Colonel "Sun-down" Lundt had a policy that a funeral would be performed for each incident. The commander of the culprite, his First Sergeant, his Flight Chiefs and others in the squadron would meet at the main gate. A funeral march would commence with the charged DWI receiver marching out front of the coffin. The walk was between 1 and 3 miles depending on the location of the commanders office. The coffin was then displayed in the commanders office until the next DWI. In today's military, they would dish out a "Time-Out." We received "Wall-to-Wall" counseling in my day. Sun-Down got his nickname from getting people off base. If you screwed up you were out proceesed by sun down!

"Eyes Left"

“Eyes Left” is a personal example of disagreeing and committing. It occured while serving in the United States Air Force. I was stationed at RAF Fairford in the United Kingdom from 1985 to 1994. Early 1985, we were being instructed in aircraft load planning and participating in a simulated training for loading a C-5 aircraft for deployment. During this instruction we were being directed to load a C-5 aircraft. This aircraft was invisible much like Wonder Woman’s plane. We began the staging of air ground equipment weighing thousands of pounds (not invisible) and we prepared the cargo for loading.

The team began to push heavy equipment to the rear of the simulated plane, when we were interrupted by our leader. To protect the leader we will call him “Nap.” His direction on this memorable day was inconceivable. Unfortunately, we were being directed to load a C-5 aircraft through the side of the airplane, in case you are unfamiliar with a C-5, it can only be loaded through the tail or nose opening. As an Airmen, one of my nicknames was “little General,” as I would openly and vocally disagree. So I stopped the simulation and questioned my superior as to the simulated process, pointing out the chalked plane has no cargo openings on the sides and that we should proceed to load from the rear. I was immediately told in a loud voice to “Just Do it.” So as a subordinate, I proceeded to thrust heavy air ground equipment through the air frame of the C-5. Humorously wondering to myself the whole time on how the simulated plane would ever be able to get off the ground on take off with no metal siding.

After the training, I was openly chewed up and spit out. In addition, as a price for my questioning and assumed insubordination, I spent hours marching up and down the beautiful green airfield. However, in my opinion it was all worth it. Challenging the status quo is the only way to go. I had voiced my disagreement and then committed to the task (directed, or not) by loading a C-5 through the aircraft’s air frame.
In recognition of this event, I documented a humorous corporate narrative called “Eye’s Left.” Military formations use “Eye’s Right” to align the troops. I used “Eye’s Left” to call out the humor in the simulated training, the lack of openness to ideas, and challenge of the status quo. Everyone I worked with on this simulation still remembers the day we called “Eyes Left.”

Hind sight is 20/20 and it teaches us good lessons. Be open to appropriate use of disagreement, be open to change, be able to commit to the task even if you are not listened too. As I worked my way through the ranks my nickname went from Little General to General Nuisance.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Fairford on the Farm

Fairford on the Farm February 1985 to 1994

This Blog is dedicated to finding RAF Fairford, Englands finest. Personally, I spent nine years at RAF Fairford in the 7020th Transportation Squadron. I am interested in finding and communicating with the men and women, Americans and English (Welsh too, for Mr. Bill King).

Here is what I know, it may even be a lie.

Mr. Wilf "Chilly Willy" Robins is Deceased.

Where is "Big Mo?"

Where is "Lenny?

Terry "12 brew per teabag" Keene?

Mrs. Rosemary Day, Traffic Management Office still today

Mrs. Helen Haworth, Traffic Management Office, Married and living up north.

Mr. Bill King (probably running the M.O.D. by now)

Elaine "White Glove" Van Pelt is last known working with the DOT.

Rodney Rutz is coming to Albuquerque on February 18, 2006 to share a beer, a laugh and many memories with his good friend (me). Some friends are like that...

Anyone seen Charlie Brinkat (The Mad Malta Man)? Famous for the quote, "If you don't ask, you don't get."

Jason "WANG" Hemann and new wife Stephanie are driving through Albuquerque New Mexico at the end of February. If they don't stop in to say hello, you will hear about it. Wang is moving to Arizona.

Anna Rutz is in California

Jay Tuttle is missing in action but I am sure he will be back.

Steve Smith is in Indiana.

Brian Mudd Colleway is in Phoenix AZ working on Automobiles, "Automobile owners and Drivers Beware." Many stories to tell on Mudd.

Richard Patton and Brian Miller are supposedly in Colorado (Peterson AFB)?

Tim Thompson loves Arkansas.

Johnny "Ugmo" Buckingham is believed to be a Sheriff in Mississippi (Maggie and Zowie too)

Cornell "Country" Singleton is in Louisiana (England AFB?) I still remember the hammer incident.

Where is Garland "HIT MAN" Davis?

Where is Ed. "Moldy Sandwich" Vega

Where is Bigelow? Delaware...

Where is Larry "Scary T" Mitchell?

Where is Mitch Fry?

Where is Trent Carter?