There were a host of characters at Keesler AFB, but here are a few that I remember most, besides Frank Boyce and Frank Gordon. Each are in my memory for unique reasons only their personalities could create. All of us were from different lifestyles and parts of the country, and all volunteers randomly placed in some specific circumstance for their country. Pure fate put us in the same place at the same time.
This first photo of Boyce and I was taken sometime in the spring of 1965, I know that from the 1505 short-sleeved uniform. By this time, we were comfortable with our lives in the Air Force. Our job was like any other civilian job. We had to be at work at a particular time and we got off 8 hours later. What we did between shifts was up to us and we roamed the area of
Often we spent quiet evenings out at dinner clubs watching club performers and comedians like Brother Dave Gardner, doing shtick about RC Colas and Moon Pies! We would order Old Fashions before dinner and Tom Collins for dessert! It was a grand time and I loved the
On the other hand, there were other characters that I knew and watched who had less desirable characteristics.
One was “Funky McNasty”, whose real name it is best I do not remember. I think it was Boyce, who first coined this moniker, having been too close to him on occasion!
There was occasional reshuffling in the barracks and one time it meant that I was rooming with Funky McNasty – the horror! Poor ol’ Funky could not help that his body odor was offensive. We watched, just to make sure, and he took showers, and he used deodorant, but he still stunk! It was a sweet sickening kind of smell with touch of acridness to it! Just really unpleasant to be around.
In this second shot, I am considering knocking the hell out of “Funky” and throwing his stinking body out the window! Seriously, he had just taken a shower and put on fresh clothes as some guys dropped by to visit. He still smelled, albeit a little better at that particular moment.
He and I grew close enough; over the couple of months I could stand it, to discuss the subject. He knew his body had this unique smell and had tried for years to cover it up. Poor guy had never had a girlfriend or any real close friends. I confessed to him that I had only stayed in his room because I did not want to hurt his feelings. He completely understood, and that week, he became the only guy on the floor with a private room!
I have no picture of Airman Currier. Airman Currier was from
Currier was a plump, waddling, sort of guy, that always looked like he needed a shave after having shaved. His uniform was just a little less fresh, a little less pressed, and everything was slightly off kilter!
Currier wore glasses almost as thick as the bottoms of Coke bottles, and had a loud voice that grated on you. To Sgt. Webb, who prided himself in how his “Air Cops” looked, Currier was a total embarrassment and disappointment. Webb actually hated Currier – it was evident. “Airman Currier” (that’s the only way I ever remember him being addressed) would be assigned standing or walking post for months before ever being given a riding patrol, but he never complained. He did his job and took whatever came his way.
One evening the Desk Sergeant (a person who operates the AP HQ base radio and dispatched assignments and coordinated operations) asked Unit 8 (Currier), just before shift change, how much gas he had in his vehicle. Currier in his jovial, yet irritating way screeched out over the airways, like nails on a blackboard, “It’s either half full or half empty!” The Desk Sergeant, through gritted teeth, came back with a simple, “10-4.” Currier stood gate duty for months after that!
Finally, there was Airman Rick, a rather small black fellow from
I must say that his expertise was highly refined and in later years, I put a couple moves to the test. They worked great, I was told, so to me this gives even more credence to him being heterosexual.
However, his tendency to sound effeminate left him venerable to practical jokes. One of the worst ever played on him was when Boyce sprayed lighter fluid under the width of his door, lit it, and yelled fire!
Now, if you have not been asleep, and have not been startled awake, you would immediately think that you are living in a concrete building with steel doors, and that a fire is most likely not really burning in the hallway, and that you are in no immediate danger.
On the other hand, if you just sprang up from a deep sleep, in a dark room, and you see fire under your door, you do what anyone would do in a burning building. You would open the nearest window, squeeze your way through it, and drop twelve feet to safety on the ground below!
At this point, you will be fully awake and realize you have been punked - not that the laughter from the window above would give anything away!
It is truly a miracle that Airman Rick did not break his leg or neck!
I would love to see them all today.