Living in Hampton, Virginia, next door to Langley Air Force Base means making friends among those stationed at the base. They move on, but send back some neat stuff to me, an avid aviation nut.
I’d heard of the airplane storage facility, but had no idea of its magnitude until the photos arrived. Located in the desert at Davis Monthan Air Force Base outside Tucson, Arizona. It’s the storage facility for aircraft removed from flight status by the U. S. Air Force.
The official name is the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), but is more commonly known as the Boneyard. That name is a misnomer. Except for those craft officially marked for scraping, the planes can be restored to flying condition if the need arises. The sheer magnitude of the facility defies comprehension. The number of aircraft at the facility makes it the third largest air force in the world.
The picture below shows the aircraft parts storage area (rows of containers on right), which covers a significant portion of the facility. These parts support more than the aircraft stored in The Bone Yard.
The city of Hampton, with assistance from personnel stationed at Langley Air Force Base, maintains a small collection of military aircraft, which are displayed outside in one of the city’s parks. In recent years, when vandals broke the canopy of an F-86 Sabre Jet, a replacement for the Korean War era fighter jet was located within the acres of parts at the Arizona facility.
Weekly tours of The Boneyard are given through the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson. The museum, with over 270 aircraft on display, and the Boneyard tour have become very popular attractions in Arizona.
WELCOME TO THE VIRTUAL HOME OF BRONSON L. PARKER. A native of Tennessee, "Bo" is a former journalist and writer of historical non-fiction. His creative writing career began after retirement from his day job as an appointed public servant in his adopted town of Hampton, VA. "It isn't a gipe site," he says. "If I enjoy something I read, or learn something about the writing game that I think is worthwhile, I'll have a few comments to make. His goal is to make it a fun site, both to write and, hopfully, to read.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Sarah’s Irish Pub, in the Phoebus section of Hampton, across Mill Creek from historic Old Point Comfort, offers patrons an experience that is faithful to all the qualities that make an Irish pub a unique part of our society.
Located in a modest building that has stood on the corner of Mellen and Hope Streets for over 100 years, the sign on the front of the establishment, with its offering of “Good Food and Fun,” gives fair warning to the sourpusses of the world that Sarah’s values an essential ingredient for a successful pub.
This is the warm and friendly atmosphere where everyone is made to feel welcome when they arrive, and feel like part of the family when they leave. Such has been the heart of what has made pubs unique since their beginning.
The birth of pubs is buried far enough back in time that things get murky and the experts state their respective theories as fact. But even these experts don’t quibble about the primary purpose of pubs.
It is known that after the fall of the Roman Empire and emergence of the Feudal system, pubs, short for public houses, humble in both appearance and décor, became the gathering spot for those who could not attain membership in the private watering holes of Kings, Lords, Barons, and others of nobility.
In Ireland, pubs became the unofficial town hall for villagers who gathered to share the news of the day while eating good food and downing a pint or two. And it could be said they became incubators for freedom and democracy.
During the 1800s, when the ruling British declared pubs illegal, their numbers grew, reflecting the stubborn spirit of the Irish. History tells us that many a plot for freedom from the England was hatched in pubs. It has been suggested the design of high-backed booths sprang up during this period; a design that stopped drafts of cold air, but also gave a wee bit of privacy to those Irishmen whose conversations were best kept a secret.
The story of how Sarah’s Irish Pub came to be is as fascinating as the pub itself. In the 1960s, Sarah Taylor, working as a waitress and a single mom raising seven children, had the dream of owning the restaurant where she worked. In 1978, that dream became a reality. When mother Sarah retired, her daughter Trish took over, kept her mother’s name on the business, and fulfilled her dream of being the owner of an Irish Pub.
In addition to honoring the traditions of fun and friendliness, Sarah’s also honors the tradition of Irish fare with its menu. In addition to a la carte items, patrons are also greeted with a list of daily specials posted on a large caulk board. The full service bar offers, in addition to a selection of domestic brews, both Harp and Guinness on tap.
Through the efforts of Trish and her husband Frank, Sarah’s offers the most authentic atmosphere on the Peninsula for those wanting to have the pleasure of visiting an Irish pub on American soil. It is a great experience to have filed away in the memory bank, one that will make you want to go back.