Monday, September 17, 2007


Some visitors to Keesler AFB were sometimes amazed how I knew to throw up my white-gloved hand and stop them as they approached the gate. It is quite simple really, authorized vehicles had little vinyl decals on the drivers side bumper that were color coded from Airman (red), NCOs (yellow), Officers (blue), and Civilian employees (green). There is nothing particularly hard about that but unauthorized personnel do not realize this and think the Air Policeman at the gate is either psychic or just stops everyone coming through!

“How did you know to stop me? I saw you waving all those other cars ahead of me through,” the pretty brunette asked.

“Oh, just intuitive I suppose Miss,” I said as I stepped down to the street level, bent forward and looked into the car. “Where you ladies headin’?”

“Airmen’s Club, of course.”

“Driver’s license please Miss, uh…”

“Smith...and this is Debbie Bates,” she said pointing to her blond passenger.

“What on earth for?” I said as I waved an Airman and two NCOs on around through the passing lane.

“Why didn’t they have to stop?” pointing through the windshield at the other cars.

“Oh, I know them, but I don’t know you. Now, Miss, uh?”

“Betsy,” she said rather shyly taking back her license.

“See, I’m gettin’ to know you already….Betsy. Now, Betsy, why are you going to the Airman’s Club?” I said waving an officer on through.

“To dance of course! Don’t you dance?”

“Well, I have been known to do the Freddie from time-to-time, but not on the gate…at least not anymore,” I said with a big “inside joke” kind of smile on my face.

“So, what time do you get off….uh Officer?” the blond asked.

“Oh, thank you mam, but I’m just a lowly Skycop, and I get off about midnight.”

“Think you could dance then?”

“Deb!” Betsy said embarrassed at her friend’s boldness.

“Well?” Debbie shot back.

“Well, if two lonely Airmen were standing right over here at midnight, do you suppose a couple pretty girls would stop and take them on a ride along the beach?”

“Yeah…” Debbie started before Betsy interrupted.

“What she means is…” she looked up at me, and I removed my sunglasses and looked back into her dark eyes, “…is probably.”

‘You DO have a friend…don’t you, ah, Mr. Sky Cop?” the blond asked.

“That’s Mushy (not his real name), and yes I have a friend that I know would be thrilled to meet you.”

I stepped back up to the gate shack level, grabbed a Visitor’s Pass, and handed it to Betsy. “You ladies be real careful down at the Airmen’s Club, ya hear, and I hope to see you both later.”

I guess the point here is that there were advantages of working the boring “gate duty,” especially “Main Gate” duty. This did not happen often, but often enough to break the repetitiveness of always going out with the guys or just Boyce. The guys were okay, but occasionally, well, you know.

I immediately rang up the Desk Sergeant and asked him to have Patrolman Spainhour drop by Gate 1.

Wayne had come to Keesler to learn to be a Skycop through OJT. He was there straight out of Lackland, but he and I had quickly bonded early on over drinks and from sharing adjacent “walking patrols.” We talked for hours, ran to punch our clocks, and then rushed to our next rendezvous to take up where we left off. Wayne was a Southern Gentleman, and that, plus his boyish good looks, made him a favorite of the local gals.

Wayne did not believe me until a few minutes after midnight when the girls rolled up and he got a good look at the Debbie! “Damn!” is all he could utter.

Wayne settled in the back seat with Deb and I took the “shotgun” position and gave Betsy the once over while we were still beneath the Main Gate’s lights.

The black dress she wore puffed up under the stirring wheel, several layers of petticoat marked where the dress stopped, and the long darkly tanned legs began. The dress lay flat across her belly and her long tan arms held the wheel firmly at 10 and 2.

It seemed as though she was afraid to look in my direction. She checked her outside mirror and pulled forward, up and over the tracks, and on to the beach where she turned right toward Gulfport.

At some point, she made a right and headed back deep into the coastal area forest. The road turned to dirt and the full light of the moon was nearly blocked by the huge Willow Oaks strung with long strands of Spanish moss. The moss hung very still in the night air, but it was still a pleasant night for driving.

“What’s this?” I asked.

“It’s Charlie’s Place…never been here?”


“Then you are in for a treat!”

She was right. There was a huge buffet of “soul food” steaming on a long line of trays, and the place was nearly packed. In the beginning, you had to shout to be heard over the crowd.

There was chicken, chicken livers, black eyed peas, grits, hog jowl, pinto beans, slaw, macaroni and cheese, and other wonderful things I cannot remember. In addition, of course, there was beer…all kinds of beer of the day, Schlitz, Falstaff, Budweiser, Country Club, and Colt 45!

There was also music of the day playing loudly on a jukebox that bubbled and flashed bright colors, and reflected the happy faces of its listeners! It was such a wonderful place, and it appeared, it was a place frequented by mostly locals.

Soon it was just the four of us, and one or two other couples, content to sit and talk, listen, or dance to the juke, and have another round. The family staff busied themselves with putting things back in order, ignoring us except for an occasional “Need anotha round, hun?”

Betsy and I, Deb and Wayne, swayed to the soft music that was now the choice of most quarters that were dropped.

She was such a beautiful Southern beauty and already I was addicted to holding her and to smelling the hair on the right side of her head. I could feel the heat of her body through the dress and I wanted more than I could ever have. I whispered my wishes and she pulled me tighter.

Later we all four lay on the beach and listened to the waves lapping the shore. We kissed and we talked until daylight. We probably kissed more than we talked, but the things we said were phrased as if there would be a tomorrow. However, there was no tomorrow for us.

That was the last time Wayne and I ever say those same girls again. Time after time, we played that scene repeatedly but with different girls. Oh, we might be blue a day or two, but we soon forgot about it and got on with the game.

Girls visited the base looking for a lot of things, but it seemed the ones that were the easiest to pick up had a long-term plan. A Sky Cop just did not hold the best meal ticket for those plans, but we were good enough for a one-night-stand and hell, that did not bother us in the least!

As Bob Seger put it so eloquently, “we were gettin’ our share…workin’ on our night moves.”


~Fathairybastard~ said...

Bubba, you write that shit better than anyone else I've ever read! I wish I had one tenth of your smoothness. I just don't think I have it in me. Love it though. Damn! Huge smile, all over my face. Really lovin' these posts. Your life is just getting more and more interesting. I hope you keep comin' up with old memories so I can continue to enjoy them, and maybe learn a few things.

Mushy said...

A big thanks to my biggest fan!

Buck Pennington said...

...there was beer…all kinds of beer of the day, Schlitz, Falstaff, Budweiser, Country Club, and Colt 45!

What? No Jax, Dixie, or Pearl? ;-)

BTW, didja know USAF is doing away with vehicle stickers? Since 100% ID checks are the rule these days, USAF decided they could save a few bucks and do away with the stickers. The "no sticker" policy is being implemented ona base-by-base basis; Cannon has already made the change...which is all right with me.

Problem is the other services are still issuing stickers, and that leaves Air Force folks in an awkward position when trying to drive on to USA/USN bases. I hear USAF is "working on it" with the Army and Navy.

Well told, Mushy!

pat houseworth said...

Only time I worked Law Enforcement....was at Nha Trang AB, RVN...and we didn't get to wear no white piss pots/M-16s/ and .38 sidearms were our uniform of the day.

The rest was security....almost got to work LE at Griffis, NY...but they took one look at my attitude(not to mention the long hair)...and shipped my butt off to the B-52 ramps.....


Suldog said...

There's just something about a uniform, even a lowly one. I was hit on, as a security guard, more than at any other job I ever held.

(Well, OK, maybe a bit more when I was playing in bands, but I mean real jobs...)

Sarge Charlie said...

The Army used the same color system for bumper stickers, as an enlisted man we would salute the blue sticker as they passed.

~Fathairybastard~ said...

My dad had a great old time in the service. Said the pilots wings he and his buddies wore on their chest in WW2 were referred to as "leg spreaders".

David Sullivan said...

Night moves in Biloxi....Nice!!!

BRUNO said...

I read this'n all the way through---honest! And just about four paragraphs from the end, I caught myself saying, "Geez, I hope that blonde he's hittin' on doesn't turn out to be a HE, with a "conversion-kit"!

Now THAT would make ANYONE "sing the blues"!

Guess I'm still "skiddish" from your April Fools Day entry!(We elephants don't forget nuthin'!) You DO remember THAT one, now, don't you?

Kinda like ZZ TOP, and "Sharp-Dressed Man", huh?

DirtCrashr said...

Horn dog! Aaar-rooooo!

Les Becker said...

Mushy! You were a "playa"! How cool, you smooth dawg!

Kevin said...

Great story, Mushy... you were quite a "jack-the-lad", eh?

Grundir the Implacable said...

This Bob Seger sounds like a talented minstrel. I will see about making this 'night moves' song the Nazgul theme song.

Mushy said...

Welcome, oh great Grundir the Implacable!

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