A week ago, we said goodbye to our military friends as we left our fourth CAFB reunion headed for our homes in Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas. We had decided that this year would be a great time to visit Columbus.
Spanning the years of 1964-1970 we were stationed at Columbus Air Force Base…some came early and others later. We were members of the ground support team. Our husbands were officers who had responsibilities in the finance office, security police, procurement office, and two were members of the JAG. We found a lasting and special friendship there at CAFB. We were all newlyweds longing for home and family. Not unlike any others who service in the military, these friends were the ones who became our family away from home.
What an absolute delight it was to be in Columbus again. The town has really grown and changed since we were stationed there. We delighted in seeing lots of new businesses and places to eat. We were fortunate to stay in one of the beautiful antebellum homes….what a treat. We felt so at home at Shadowlawn and most certainly felt as very welcome guests. We were privileged to have a most enlightening tour of the base.
The base has really changed since the time we were there. We were there during the SAC phase so things are very different. Our personal guide was Sonic Johnson, and we shared many “war stories” of our time there at CAFB.
The most wonderful serendipity was our pleasure while in Columbus. It was the time of the Tennessee Williams Tribute. None of us even knew that Tennessee Williams had been born in Columbus. It was such a treat to participate in a number of the events…The Case of the Crushed Petunias, Sweet Bird of Youth plays, and the screenplay production of The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, a visit to the boyhood home of Tennessee Williams, and the double-decker bus tour of the city. The lunches at the Franklin home (what a beautiful setting for a luncheon) and at Front Door/Back Door were thoroughly enjoyed by all that attended, especially our group. The townspeople, especially Brenda Caradine and George Courington made us feel so welcome. It felt as if the red carpet was rolled out for us.
What an added bonus to our visit to Columbus. We all left with a new appreciation for Tennessee Williams and a very warm feeling about the first place that we all called home.
San Antonio, Texas
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.