Do you remember a time when you were a kid and you thought your Dad was awesomely God-like?
My moment was in 1966, I was about eight. We were stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. On the weekends we’d go picnicking on Cheyenne Mountain. Dad was alway looking for arrow heads and miner stuff. Mom was taking pictures like mad. Oma (Grandma) was making sure I didn’t kill myself. I spent most of the time getting as dirty as possible.
We became friends with the local Park Ranger. He let us get into the sort of shall we say “not open to the public” places. Once we made an unannouced visit to his home. A ranch style log cabin affair. He wasn’t home but his dogs were and Mom made friends with them almost immeadiatly. When he did get home he was amazed to find us waiting in his living room. He was really amazed to find us still alive. His dogs were a pair of what he called “Lion Dogs”.
One weekend we were at one of those out of way places when Dad spotted an old mine sunk into the side of a hill. It looked like it had been there for a hundred years so visions of “miner stuff” danced in his head. Flashlights at the ready, Dad, Mom and I proceeded on a mine adventure.
The shaft had about a 20 or 30 degree incline, so going was slow. There was a remnant of the rail lines that the ore cars used. After about 50 feet or so, Mom slipped and fell. When she hit the ground she lost her flashlight. To an eight year old it looked to me like the darkness just sucked her out. She came to a stop with a resounding “THUD” and a not-so-cheerfull “SHIT”. Dad and I ran to her. We noted where the rail line ended abruptly and the floor dropped about six inches. For Mom, it was like stepping of a stair step she didn’t know was there.
When we got to her, Mom was on her ass, leaned up on a stainless steel door.
At this point I remember Dad saying, “Let’s get the fuck out of here.” I remember it well because he hardly ever used “fuck”, he was more of shit and god dammit man.
Mom had broken her foot in the fall By the time we got out of the mine shaft there were two jeeps and about a half dozen Army MP’s waiting for us. As a army brat, I knew my Dad out ranked these dudes so they obviously there to help us. Especially as they gave us ride back to our car and Oma. Somehow, my Dad used some superhuman way of contacting the M.P.’s to come help us.
Years later, Dad told me that we had stumbled upon an emergency escape hatch for NORAD’s Cheyenne Mountain Complex. Since he was an E-9 he did out rank the M.P.s. He had also attended a orientation tour of the Complex given to the Command Structure at Fort Carson. That combination was good enough to get us off the hook.