Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kingsley Field Oregon

  I was stationed at Kingsley Field Oregon from October 1968 until April 1970. It was a fighter-interceptor base attached to the Air Defense Command. Our mission was to intercept suspicious aircraft over the Pacific Northwest. For most of the time I was there we had F-101 Voodoo's but we changed over to F-106's just before I left Kingsley. When Debbie and I got married she was seventeen and I was eighteen. I had maybe 200.00 dollars to my name but I wanted her to go Oregon with me so I did something stupid and sold my car in order to get the money to take her with me. We packed everything we owned into several suitcases and rode a Greyhound bus the whole way to Klamath Falls Oregon. We were on that bus for three solid days minus the layovers in what seemed like every major city between Nashville and Oregon. Debbie was several months pregnant with our son Robbie.
  Our first six months or so was some of the roughest of our lives. At first we lived in a motel until we found a cheap apartment in Shasta View Apartments. The Projects in Nashville were in better shape than this place. Between us we made 200.00 dollars a month and barely scraped by. In the few days before each paycheck all we had was spaghetti and water or peanut butter. At first we walked everywhere we went until I found a 1955 Pontiac that was broken down as much as it ran. Over time we met several couples that helped us keep our sanity and lift our morale. Tom and Janet Blevins from Kingsport Tennessee. Ceronie and Paulette Robinson from Atlanta Georgia, and Bill and Karen Wilson from Everts Kentucky.

  I found day work at a place that I had to work all day in a freezer loading boxes of frozen foods or working for a moving company. I even worked on a potato farm. As a Security Policeman I worked nine day cycles starting with three swing shifts, three midnight shifts, and finishing with three day shifts followed by a 72 hour break. Eventually we were able to move to a better apartment and buy a better car. On April 19, 1969 Robbie was born at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital. We were so poor we had to arrange to pay the 25.00 hospital bill in 5.00 monthly payments. We had a small black and white television and there was only one station that went off the air about 11:00 PM. Cable was available for five dollars a month but we couldn't afford it. We met Tom and Colleen Quirk because Colleen had a baby girl the day before Robbie was born and we have kept in touch with each other ever since. This experience helped keep us together all of these years. We had nobody to lean on but each other and when things get tough I know that we have had it tougher.

1 comment:

  1. I came across this blog while searching for Kingsley Field. I spent the last 7 months of my USAF enlistment, from mid 1969 to early 1970, at Kingsley Field. I found your story of struggle compelling. It reminded me of our difficulties starting out in life. We're in a better place now, I hope you are too.