Greenville, South Carolina
In 1956, my father returned from a one-year tour of duty in Turkey. Our family moved to Greenville, South Carolina. The United States Air Force stationed dad at Donaldson Air Force Base, a C-124 airfield that emphasized air transport and called itself the “Airlift Capital of the World”.
My first memories are from living at 201 Maco Terrace in Greenville from 1956 – 1958. That was also the first house my parents owned.
Faster than a speeding bullet!
My favorite TV show during those days was Superman. Superman always began, “Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Look, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superman! … He fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way!”
In 1956 and 1957 I would run around the house with a towel for a cape and wearing only a t-shirt and my tighty whities pretending I was Superman. I would have my arms stretched out in front of me, my head down as I was flying around the living room and kitchen.
I would try to fly.
One evening I decided I would try to fly. I got on the couch, then used the arm of the sofa as a step before I was standing on the top back of the sofa. Suddenly, with arms outstretched I jumped toward the television.
Instead of flying, I feel like a rock. My forehead found the corner of the coffee table. I didn’t fly but instead received a big cut.
The emergency room
We had to get in the car and drive to the emergency room at Donaldson Air Force Base. The wound was so severe that even with my mother holding a washcloth and applying pressure on it, blood was flowing from my forehead into my eyes where I couldn’t see.
I asked my mother if they would get me a seeing-eye dog if I went blind. Suddenly, the laughter filled the car. My parents were laughing at me.
The doctor also chuckled as I received the fifteen stitches to stop the bleeding as mother retold the story. I have heard the seeing-eye dog story for over fifty years. I last heard my mother tell the story on my sixty-first birthday. She was in the hospital and shared the remembrance with the nurses. Sadly she passed three weeks later.
The happy ending was I got stitches, didn’t go blind, learned I couldn’t fly, and learned my mother had a great memory.
Growing up a military brat was a never-ending adventure.