PRIMARY TO BASIC...or...Clem and Jay Do Texas

Clem Clement...61D

When we transferred from Bainbridge, Georgia to Laredo, Texas, some went direct and some went circuitous routes. Dick Bronson, I and Jon Winter, I believe, went via Los Angles. Hellofatrip and another subject.

When I finally arrived in Laredo, Jay Colpitts showed up all fizzled. Seems he was running a big block Healy or an MG, forget which- except it was "red and dead". He blew a clutch in EastbyGod Texas over 100 miles away. He had thumbed his way to get there on time. I think a classmate rescued him from along the dusty highway somewhere.

Maybe he will read this and fix the story less truthful than I narrate it. Anyway I decided that I would go fetch the "red dead thing" with him. The flight planning session for this combat sortie started in the bar that first Friday night at Laredo. We hadda lot of help with the plan. After several hundret chillies and the boot of my '54 Merc roach filled with more fuel, we launched eastward for the rescue.

We got there around 3 AM and the felorn thing was still sitting in a open yard. We loaded some chillies into the car and I worked the thing over. The clutch bar was sheared so all we could do was to push start the car in high gear and he was off. No stopping.

I don't remember why it would at least syncro shift thru the gears, but no. So with a fresh brew I pushed and the dust flew and the Healy caught and flew outa the lot and was gone. Swell deal. We had studied the route and knew there were 2 traffic lites and a right turn and a blinker between Eastbygodtexas and the base gate.

Our thoroughly thought out plan was for me to stop traffic at each light so Jay could go thru safely. Good plan except I'm thinking about 50 mph and he is thinking about 80 mph. So I'm flying thru the desert at max power to catch him and get far enough ahead. Then I block the intersection and he comes thru. First couple on had no cars so piece of cake. The next one had 3 cars and a right turn. Lemetellu Texans don't like to be blocked at a light at 4 in the morning for no good reason. Particularly by a smart ass aviator with Jersey plates. They were getting out of the car to do me in when Jay comes thru the intersection in a full turning slide and sprays dirt and dust on all of them. They are now really hot and I'm both feet into the Merc's carb.

The others were easy and now it is a long straight shot to the back side of Laredo. I get to the gate and stop and try to convince the gate guard that all is well. The sun is just coming up and I smell of road dirt and beer and my peeing on his guard shack probably doesn't help my story. I tell him I'm going to vouch for the next car coming along. The poor airman and calls his boss. The Sarge says are they aviators? he say yes, and the Sage says feerget it, just get out of the way. 'bout this time Jay comes thru on the motor and nearly blows the guard shack over. I figure we are done for, but the kindly guard says move on, shaking his head. Another pair of careers saved by our beloved enlisted folks. A couple of weeks in the hobby shop and the car is running fine again.

Clem Jay