Excursion 49, Part Two (They Came from the Sky)

I saw a UFO once.  I mean that literally, as in an “unidentified flying object.”  It was back when I was a kid and my family was getting up very early in the morning to go on some long trip.  I went outside, to put something in the car or get something from my father’s truck, and somehow I noticed something extremely tiny and odd up in the sky—it is rather amazing I noticed it at all, so small and far away it was.  It looked like the tiniest of circles hovering in the stratosphere.  I went and got my dad, who came out and looked at it, and then went back inside and got his spotting scope—the closest thing we had to a telescope.   Even through the spotting scope, we could make out very little, just a few appurtenances or gewgaws coming out of the thing.  Eventually we decided that it had to be some sort of weather balloon, high up in the atmosphere.  Sorry if you were expecting tentacles.

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Excursion 8, Part 5 (Camp Perry)

In which our intrepid hero ventures onto a military base (more or less)…

I grew up in a military town (El Paso, with massive Fort Bliss, as well as the nearby White Sands Missile Range).  I went to college at another military town—San Antonio, Texas.  It wasn’t until I moved to Columbus, Ohio, with no military presence at all, that I realized how many differences there were.  I grew up with military jets and helicopters overhead so often that it was unremarkable.  Fort Bliss itself is so large that it materially affects the geography of the city, limiting its sprawl to certain directions.  Of course, soldiers were everywhere and, since El Paso is a major location for retired military personnel to settle, former soldiers were also everywhere.   But then Texas as a whole is much more of a military state than Ohio, which really only has one major military base in the whole state (Wright-Patterson Air Force Base).  Ohio’s “non-militariness” is actually exemplified in one of its “bases,” Camp Perry.

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