Have you lived in or visited Delaware? Tell us about it!
Hockessin, Delaware, New Castle County, USA – March 2018 — The name of the city in which I currently live is called Hockessin. This particular city is located in the Northeast, United States in the small state of Delaware. The name of Hockessin is rather hard to pronounce and people from my city can almost immediately recognize someone who is not native to the area from their pronunciation of the name. The town is primarily populated with an upper class predominately white collar family. I would also say that the age bracket favors middle age because of the high cost of entry. Most homes are simply out of reach for a young family and even for a more established family. Because of these demographics, the town that I live in is not very diverse and brings with it all of the problems and benefits that come from that simple fact. Hockessin has no “chain” restaurants and eschews businesses that are not “mom and pop” style. The suburban town tries to keep its old town roots even as it has recently allowed a Wawa convenience store to be built in the middle of the town. Most of the people are white collar business folks with both parents working and a family. The town has six or seven places of worship, a fire hall, several shops and a bank at the center of the town. Developments of houses are scattered all around the town. I love that Hockessin is near to the beach, to the airport, to Washington D.C., which makes it an ideal place to live and to travel easily to mountains, beach or any city.
Delaware — March 2017 —I was stationed at Dover AFB in Dover, Delaware in the early 80’s. It was my first posting as a qualified aircrew member and I was excited to fly the C-5A Galaxy (I understand they are up to the “M” model now), the largest plane in the world at that time. We went to exotic places and delivered lots of cargo, over a hundred people sitting in the rear over the cargo area, and lots of big equipment around half the world. Our Wing was responsible for the area of the globe to the east of the Mississippi River. The other C-5 wing, stationed at Travis AFB in California, covered the globe west of the Mississippi. Dover AFB is also the home to the Port Mortuary. These special people receive and prepare the remains of military and civilian casualties from the eastern half of the sphere. Everyone from Jonestown, Guyana and is responsible for receiving the majority of the deceased from the Gulf War. Their mission requires a very special type of person to show the respect and honor every person deserves. My poor words can’t describe the job and I recommend the reader visit their webpage to read more at http://www.mortuary.af.mil/ or http://www.npr.org/2015/05/24/408531645/at-dover-air-force-base-bringing-home-the-fallen-with-grief-and-joy
As a new Navigator, I was privileged to learn my trade with some people who had been around a long time and had vast experience dating back to the Vietnam War era. These people taught me magical things that allowed me to track and plan our way across a really big world. My first trip was my “Dollar Ride”. I just had to observe and absorb the lingo, techniques and routines practiced in the plane and around the areas we typically flew. This was a trip to Rhein Mein AFB in Frankfurt, Germany. I’d never been anywhere outside the US (except one tourist trip to Bermuda).
This turned out to be the first of hundreds of places I would visit and work in during my Air Force career. I was so excited that I didn’t sleep for about 3 days. Everything was so strange and foreign to me. When we landed and went to the “Hotel” on base that served as Visiting Aircrew Quarters or “VOQ”. I was a smoker at the time, so I was given a single room. It was bigger than any Best Western I’d ever seen. Beautiful room and bath. I was thrilled to watch the local Armed Forces TV Services (AFRTS or affectionately known as “AFARTS”) and German TV programs. It was interesting to watch “Logan’s Run dubbed in German. It made the police sound a little more forceful in the cheesy epic. AFRTS, wherever I roamed around the world, would have a “Phrase of the day” segment. To this day I can still remember how to say “Where is the museum?” and “What are you doing after work?” (I’m not kidding. They actually had that phrase one day.)
We went on missions that were as long as 12 hours with 2 mid-air refueling, and as short as 45 minutes and a two day wait in a hotel while ground crews trained on and loaded the aircraft for the next leg of the journey. For a few years, I was directed to many places, some I can drive to and some I’m sure I’ll never see again. Some locations included: -Sondestrom, Norway, -Mildenhall Village, England, -Paris, France, -Frankfurt and Ramstein, Germany, -Venice, Italy, -Catania, Sicily, -Madrid and Rota, Spain, -Cairo, Egypt, -Dhahran and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, -Bahrain, -Berberra, Somalia, and Adana, Turkey. Some trips were promised but never materialized for one reason or another. Berlin and Athens slipped through my fingers. When it came to itineraries, I learned to “believe it when I’m on the runway”…and even then it might not happen. Skepticism was part of the job.
Most of these places have fond memories, lots of photos and mementos somewhere, and more than a few ethnic meals consumed. In the crew airplane, I had many conversations with the people I flew with regularly. I got to know their habits and the way they did business. To a man, they were the most professional and learned people I have ever encountered. Numerous were book smart, but many more learned from the College of Life and Hard Knocks. In my career, I added a few more places in the Caribbean and Central America. Those first years are the ones I remember as a wide-eyed kid from Connecticut who grew up to see the wide world.