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It was 4 November, with two days left before the Veterans Day ceremony and dedication of Red Knight 643. The park officials had promised me they would have the Huey on the mount by Labor Day, and it was still sinking into the ground where it had been for the past 6 years. I had been unable to paint the skids because of this.

The Mounting

I really hadn't focused on this part of the project much up until this point, since I was sure the park would at least have it on the mount by the ceremony. I had asked them several times and now with only a few days to go, they were telling me that they had to wait until someone had "time" to mount it. The "someone" was still anonymous.

The Mounting

5 Days earlier I had called my State Representative and ask if he could help. He said he would try to get the State Highway Department to do it, and would let me know by 5 November. I called him at 10:00 on that date and he told me the state did not have the right equipment in the area to do it. He said he'd take a look at the site and see if he could get one of his pulpwood loading machines in place to do it. As it turned out, the pulpwood machine wouldn't be able to get close enough due to the fence on one side and the B-29 on the other.

The Mounting

That day (the 5th) at 10:30 A.M., as I was racking my brain trying to come up with someone "I" could get to do the job on such short notice. I decided on what I thought was a long shot. A long shot because I was sure the park officials would have called these people first (if they ever called anybody at all.) With one free day to go before the ceremony, I called the Crisp County Power Commission, our local electric power company.

It was so simple it was outrageous. I explained my problem to Jerry Youngblood who was in charge of such work. He ask me how much it weighed, I told him, and he ask if 1:00 P.M. that very afternoon would be satisfactory. I was ecstatic!!!

Fully Mounted

They were on site at the Huey at 12:45 P.M. and immediately began work. Within thirty minutes they were hooked to the Huey and were lowering it onto the mount. The park officials were there ready to bolt it down as soon as it hit the mount, and I was already painting the skids before they installed the first of 4 bolts.

I felt that God was indeed my co-pilot on that day as well as throughout the entire project. He had MADE things happen when they had to happen. No sooner, no later. We had made it!

Tom Nesbitt At The Stick



 

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