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Meanwhile I had suggested to the park officials that we get 643 off the ground and into the air. The skids had sunk about 4 inches into the red clay, and we had already had to repair a 6 inch diameter hole in the right rear skid.

I wanted it mounted on one steel pole about 15 feet in the air.

The Mount Construction
They said they couldn't afford that (though I still think it would have cost less than what they finally did), but I felt that I had emerged victorious when they agreed to build the mount shown in the adjoining photo. It would be several feet off the ground with the forward and slightly to the right tilt as I had also suggested.

While this was going on, I made the auto body shop circuit in our large city of 12,000 souls, in search of a patriotic professional to volunteer the painting. I scored on the second shop with Mr. Ben Watson of CORDELE BODY WORKS. Ben agreed to paint the Huey if I would furnish the paint and other materials. I was beginning to get the "Big Head" now!

While I never heard him say he would wrap it,

Wraped for painting
as it turned out he did that also. As you can see from the photo, he definitely knew what he was doing. I had previously conjured up visions of myself attempting this and looking like a Barney Fife with tape and paper entangling my entire body to the point of wrapping myself up like a mummy!

The park had requisitioned 40 gallons of surplus O.D. paint for the job. I took two 5 gallon cans of it to Sherwin Williams paint store to have them put it in their large shaker. It almost tore their machine up. The paint was no good. Apparently it had been subjected to freezing temperatures in some warehouse and it was set up in the bottom portion of the can. Oh well, it was the wrong shade of green anyway!

Nose Wrapped for Painting

I had Sherwin Williams mix me up the correct color and paid for it myself. I bought 4 gallons and was assured that if it wasn't enough, they could mix more on a moments notice. I also bought thinner, several cans of various colored paint for touch up, brushes and masking tape.

The painters and I arrived at the park around 8:00 the following morning ready to go. We soon determined that the air compressor the park had furnished did not have the power needed to do the job. Being aware that "Murphy" was always lurking, I had brought a back up compressor. Murphy was a step ahead of me though as we soon determined that this one wasn't strong enough either.

One of the park rangers jumped in his truck heading for town to rent a larger air compressor. At last things, though running behind schedule, were coming together. About that time, an elderly black gentleman in the parks employ, came wheeling inside the fenced in compound in a red golf cart with a high steel frame built around it.

Damaged Elevator
He made a wide circle as if to turn around and neatly clipped the end of the left sync elevator off the Huey.

This was the third time a park employee had done this same maneuver, though the other two times had been done with lawn mowers. I retreated to my truck, turned the air condition on high, put on some "tear jerking George Jones" music, and sulked for about a half hour trying to repress homicidal thoughts and regain control of myself.

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