Thanks for checking in!

I started this blog to keep in touch with my family and friends during my time attending Commissioned Officer Training (COT) and the Judge Advocate Staff Officer Course (JASOC) at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. Now I'm done with training and back in the "real" world, but I'll keep updating this blog with any interesting developments from my JAG career.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Tuskegee Airmen and (gasp!) Toomer's Corner

The weekend after our Florida trip, I decided to head up to the Tuskegee Airmen memorial at Moton Field, a short 20-minute drive from Montgomery.  Moton Field is where the Tusekgee Airmen, the first African-American fighter pilots in U.S. history, trained before deploying to Europe, where they became famous for their success escorting Allied bombers. 

View of Moton Field from the sign in the picture above.

This is the real flight simulator they used back in WWII.  Compare this to the $7M AC-130 simulator that we all flew At Hurlburt Field!

This is the training plane that the Tuskegee Airmen flew.

This is a model of the P-51 Mustang with a red paint scheme on the tail -- known as a "Red Tail" -- that the Tuskegee Airmen flew in their missions over Europe.

I thought this old Gulf Oil sign was cool.

The Tuskegee Airmen were led by Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., who I had learned about during COT.  General Davis was only a Captain when he was put in command of the Tuskegee Airmen.  He had graduated from West Point (there was no Air Force Academy back then), where he was given the silent treatment by his classmates the entire four years.  He never had a roommate, and nobody dared to be perceived as his friend.  At the time he graduated and was given his commission as a second lieutenant, he was one of only two black line officers in the Army; the other was his father, Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.  There was so much incredible history at Moton Field.  I couldn't help but feel moved.

From Moton Field we went up the 85 about thirty minutes to Auburn.  I'm no Auburn fan (my uncle, Tom, is a big Alabama fan so he'd kill me if ever I decided to root for the Tigers), but Auburn is the closest big university to Montgomery, and we wanted to see the campus.  I also wanted to see the famous trees at Toomer's Corner, which Auburn fans traditionally cover in toilet paper after a win.  Some crazy Alabama fan poisoned the trees earlier this year, and I'd heard about that on ESPN.  I had to take this opportunity to see the famous trees for myself.

View of the famous trees from Toomer's Drugstore, across the intersection.

Yup, that tree is dying. 
I have to admit that I did have some of the famous lemonade at Toomer's Drugstore, and it was pretty much the best lemonade I've had in my life.  I also may have bought a Toomer's Drgustore t-shirt, but I made sure to stay away from everything directly associated with Auburn University, lest my uncle Tom disown me.

On our way out of town, I noticed this graffiti.  For those who don't know, "War Eagle" is Auburn University's catch phrase.  And Cam Newton is the Heisman-winning quarterback who led them to the national championship last year.  It struck me as odd that someone would graffiti the word "Cam" over the phrase "War Eagle."  That's like defacing the Staples Center by spray-painting "Kobe" on the wall.  But it also strikes me as odd that someone would risk jail time to poison some trees.  There's no explaining the depths of football mania in the SEC, I guess.

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