THE LEGEND OF CHIPPIE

It was a dark and stormy night. A group of drunken crew chiefs decided it would great fun to pinch a four foot fiberglass chipmunk off of the mini golf course at Incirlik AB, Turkey. Safely hidden in a wicker basket, Chippie was awaiting his place on a cargo pallet. It was then that the First Sergeant (an evil man, who did not belong to our squadron) found Chippie and returned him to the rightful owners.

A year later, we returned to Incirlik. By then, Chippie had become a squadron legend. An Airman, on his first TDY (forever known as my Assistant Crew Chief) saw Chippie on the mini golf course and said to the groundskeeper, “Is that Chippie?”. The groundskeeper asked, “Are you from Hahn?” In one of his smartest moments, Mike replied, “I’m from Spangdahlem.”

Thus alerted, the groundskeeper took Chippie from the course each night and locked him in the shed with the lawn mowers. The “Chippie Team” appeared to be thwarted.

My small contribution was to mention that a combination lock, identical to the one used on the shed could be purchased at the local base exchange. Team Chippie swung into action. They diked the old lock from the shed and nicked Chippie. As they left, they replaced the lock.

Chippie remained secure in the TAB-V’s for the balance of the TDY.  During which time, he was trained in various aspects of F-16 maintenance.

Doing forms.

Refueling.

 

LOX servicing.
Chippie was safely palletized and was awaiting loading into the C-130. It was then that the groundskeeper busted the caper. With squadron morale and esteem on the line, the pilots chipped in and bought Chippie.

This fact was kept secret for years.

Chippie came home triumphant. Riding in the suicide seat of the bus we had to use. He was ensconced on a shelf up high in the AMU admin shelter. During exercises, he worn an eye patch and was draped with a pirate flag.

THE AFTERMATH
When Hahn was closed, Chippie was kidnapped. He was repainted Gold, then Blue. In the last sighting he was painted gold, blue and orange. Where is he now? No one knows.
He has passed into legend.

 

READ CHIPPIE’S LIST

My Aunt Gertrude

 

“Oma”

My grandmother “Oma” died in 1971.  Then I started having dreams.  The dreams came daily, then weekly then every month or so.  I kept having them for years but it was every so often. My parents sent me to therapy.  The therapist said I was young (13).  That it was the first family death I had experienced and that I loved my Oma very much.

 

THE DREAM

I’m sitting on the left side of a sofa. My Mom is sitting in front of me in a chair.  Then there’s a lamp on an end table and my Dad sitting in an identical chair to my right.  We’re talking and there is someone on the couch with me but I can’t see them.  A knock come at the door.  Mom says, “Answer that”.  I get up and go to the door.  There’s a window to the left and a curtain that just covers the window.  I open the door.

My dead Grandmother is standing there.

I Scream and back away from the door.  As I do this, she peeks into the room through the gap at the right side of the window.

SKIP TO 1982

We were stationed at Laughlin AFB, Texas and expecting our second child.  We invited my parents to Texas to share in the blessed event.  But Timmy was late and the two week visit turn into a two month marathon.  My Mom had their mail forwarded to Texas.

Aunt Gertrude and Uncle Hans 1942

 

A letter arrived for Mom.  It was from her older sister Gertrude.  This was a big surprise because Gertrude was listed as dead in Germany after World War Two.  Gertrude wrote:

Dear Helene,

I’ve managed to get to Texas and am visiting my step-daughter in San Antonio.  I have no money.  Can you send me some so I can visit you in California?

Your Loving Sister,

Gertrude.

San Antonio was right up the road from Laughlin and Mom us packed to go in minutes.  San Antonio is a big city so the plan was to check into a motel and have Gertrude come to us and lead us to her step-daughter’s house.  Did i mention my Mom was german?  To impress her sister, she got a suite that we’d use for about an hour.  Max.

THEN

We were sitting around waiting.

My Aunt Gertrude. 1982.

I’m sitting on the left side of a sofa. My Mom is sitting in front of me in a chair.  Then there’s a lamp on an end table and my Dad sitting in an identical chair to my right.  My eight month pregger wife is sitting on the right side of the sofa with our three year old son in her lap.  A knock come at the door.  Mom says, “Answer that”.  I get up and go to the door.  There’s a window to the left and a curtain that just covers the window.  I open the door.

My dead Grandmother is standing there.

I Scream and back away from the door.  As I do this, she peeks into the room through the gap at the right side of the window.

My and Dad wanted to know what’s going on.  My wife knows, she’d seen me have this nightmare for years. Mom says, “Open the damn door.”

I do.  My aunt Gertrude is standing there with a very confused look on her face.