December 28, 2009
When I got married in 1960 in Montreal and was pregnant, you drove all the way up from Maine (where you were stationed) because you “had to be at a meeting at St. Hubert anyway”, I saw through that right away. You didn’t make the wedding but you did make the reception in our room at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel and put up with some rather drunken folks for quite a while. I was in agony for a number of reasons – I was 6 months pregnant, I was out of work as was my husband, my friends were drinking hard, and I had no idea you were coming. I was just floored!
When Krista and I went to visit you in North Bay – it would have been 1963 or so, I think – you took me into The Hole, the cavern in the mountain there which held all the radar equipment and was part of NORAD. It was amazing! There were two complete sets of computers and they were the size of half a city block on those huge springs. And the blast doors – they were something else. I remember being rather smart-mouthed about them, saying “Are they to keep you in or the Russians out?” You were not amused. When I went to see you in Colorado Springs in 1968, I sure didn’t get to go inside Cheyenne Mountain. By then, I was part of the peace movement in Halifax and you didn’t like that. Remember the discussion/argument? You said, “So you’re saying ‘Better Red than Dead’?” And I said, “I guess so, Dad.” You walked away and I think you were very disappointed.
There is an odd dichotomy in my attitude about war and all that. I am always kind of thrilled to see any kind of plane. For the longest time, my favourites were the Sabres. I had never really seen a Spitfire, except in pictures. But Sabres were being flown when we were in Europe and they were the fighters of the Korean War in the 50s. But they were war machines, so I was torn.