Tuesday, August 22, 2006

David Reineke - Air Force Buddy
This picture is of old Air Force buddy Dave Reineke taken last September (2005) in a restaurant in his home town of Shawano Wisconsin. We hadn't seen each other since 1966.Dave and I lived off base in an apartment in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan which was 20 minutes from Kincheloe AFB (see the next picture) with another friend, Ken Van Alstyne or "Van".

Ours was only a two bedroom apartment but we had it worked out that when Dave worked nights on the B-52's Van was home and vice versa. Once in a while the wires got crossed and one of them slept on the couch. Since I was home every night (I worked a day job in squadron administration with the commander) I had my own bedroom. There were a lot of parties. Lots. When I wasn't a party, Van was having a party. When Van wasn't home, Dave was home having a party. Lots of friends from the air base who lived in the barracks would always be at our place. They would bring women with them. Not that we needed women because there were always lots of females around our house. And when we got tired of being in the house, all of us would pile in a car and drive down to the North View Lounge. It overlooked the Soo Locks and was really a nice place. The North View had live music 4 nights a week. You could usually find 2 or 3 of us with our other friends on any of those nights until 2 in the morning rocking out. All three of us really had a heck of a lot of fun.

Our apartment: Ours were the first four windows on the top floor. My bedroom was the first window on the left, Dave and Van's the window on the right. The living room window is to the right of the telephone pole, and the bathroom, which we shared with another friend (Mike Celecio from San Diego who owned a 1963 Corvette - that's a whole other story) who lived in the second upstairs apartment.

Dave was sent to England on temporary duty in the spring of 1965. It had something to do with Viet Nam as lots of guys from our squadron were always going places overseas that was related to the war. So, while Dave was gone, Van and I had more parties. Well, while Dave was gone all of us were evicted by the owner of the apartment for . . . HELLO?! too many parties! The problem came up with what to do with Dave's stuff. So being the geniuses we thought that we were at the time, Van and I took all of Dave's clothes and "stuff" and piled it into his 1957 Chevy that was parked outside the apartment.

Van moved back to the barracks and I found another place to live by myself.

Later in the month poor Dave came home from England late one night expecting to get a warm bed, a cool beer from the refrigerator and something to eat from the cupboard. Instead all Dave got was a car filled with all of his worldly possessions.This irritated Dave to no end. And to add salt to the wound, Dave wanted money back for the food that was in the apartment. Well, Van and I had already spent the money for food which I guess was split between us and eaten long before Dave got home. We were broke and had no money to give Dave. So poor Dave, who also had no money, had to eek out the rest of the month by eating where someone on base would give him a meal or borrowing money for food until he was paid.

To this day, Dave has not forgotten coming home to a carload of his belongings, that he had no where to stay and that he came home from England with no money to eat with. I think Dave blames Van for his plight at that time more than he blames me. Most likely, I was as guilty as Van. That said, Candace and I bought Dave, his wife and his daughter dinner on a night when they expected to "treat" the Watsons. After all of these years, I think Dave Reineke and I are finally square. And you're not going to believe this: After dinner that night with our wives and his daughter, Dave wanted just the two of us to stay out all night drinking and shooting pool. I declined Dave's invitation. Been there, done that and don't want to do that again!

I think next time Candace and I visit Wisconsin that I'll look in on old Dave again. Maybe I can persuade him to drive to Milwaukee with me to visit Van. Now wouldn't that be something? I wonder who would buy dinner? :)

Dave also vividly remembers something else . . . that I could do something with flatulence and a lighter. I won't go into details . . . LOL. Suffice to say that with all of the wild times during this period of my life, I am truly lucky to be here.

Oh yes, Dave became a school psychologist and recently retired after a career of 30 some years in the public school system in Wisconsin. I thought that it was strange, knowing Dave so well back then, that he would ever aspire to be something like a school psychologist. But then, Dave probably also thought that it was weird, knowing me as he did back then, that the last thing that I would ever become was a school district superintendent. I guess this is what makes the world go 'round. Posted by Picasa


Max said...

That's an interesting story, and one heck of an ugly apartment building!

Bob said...

You can't judge a party house by its cover, Max. It was one hell of a fun house to live in.

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States