LRAFB, AR – 314th Avionics Maintenance Squadron
It was the Spring of 1984 and I was going to my first competitive bicycle race with an awesome bike that I picked up in Germany while on TDY (Temporary Duty) to the UK the previous Fall. I actually picked up a frame and the components and built the bike from the ground up – including taking a pile of spokes, two hubs and two rims and making perfectly true wheels. Being stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, Arkansas I joined up with the cycling club sponsored by The Chainwheel in Little Rock.
The Life of a Young GI During The Cold War
President Ronald Reagan was my Commander-In-Chief and William Jefferson Clinton was the Governor of Arkansas. I worked the graveyard shift as an Aircraft Electrician (AFSC 42350) from midnight to 0700 hours and had the freedom to train in those AR hills out the back of the base during the day. My life at that time was very simple – fulfill my duties for Uncle Sam each day and ride for hours in-between shifts. Food, clothing (all in olive drab), and shelter were provided. I did not own a car and expenses were low. Life was simple and my level of responsibility was quite very low then. Oh, to be 19 again.
Destination Tahlequah, OK
I traveled one Friday with several guys from the racing club to somewhere in Oklahoma for a Saturday race. I do not recall much from that race besides learning that I was not in the level of fitness and competitive prowess that I expected and was left in the dust during the actual race. After driving three or four hours we made it to the little town of Tahlequah, OK and set out on the race course for a training ride to loosen up our legs. While riding those rural roads of eastern Oklahoma I recall going by a small country house with a fence around the yard. As we approached and went by a medium-sized dog came running up from the back yard and followed in our direction while making himself known with by barking. Close on the heals of the pooch came a mid-sized pig behaving the same as the dog minus the annoying bark – “Did you guys see that pig?”.
The Tahlequah Pig
This little guy/gal made a huge impression upon my life. I had never seen a pig outside the context of being raised for slaughter. He lived along the dog as a pet. I have never forgotten about that strange and funny incident. Here we are in 2018 – nearly 34 years hence and I am writing this to share the entire story – mostly with my wonderful daughter who has convinced me to become Vegan.
So Pigs Can Be Pets?
Yes. Somebody back then on that rural OK road had a huge heart and a great sense of humor and because of that I recently set a goal to:
Rescue a Cat, a Dog, and a Pig
Sometime in the very near future when I am in a place – as in a house where I can have pets – I would like to open that home to a feline, canine and a small or medium-sized pig. What is the equivalent name for pig (as in feline – cat; canine – dog)?
There are many reasons I became Vegan – environmental, health, ethics, etc., etc. – but The Tahlequah Pig comes to mind daily. I have repeatedly shared that I don’t miss anything I am not choosing to consume now that I am Vegan. #Idon’tmissit
I will start here is a simple text-only story adding photos/graphics later.