Blink Colonel! Gawd-dammit, Blink!

In the mid-70s, Col. Tom M. was the Commander of the 71st Flying Training Wing at Vance AFB, OK.  I was the Chief of Safety at the time.

Once a week Col. M. held a staff meeting.  Lt. Col Clyde Williams, who was the Chief of Functional Check Flight (FCF) and I would often walk over to Wing Headquarters together.  One day Clyde just happened to ask, “Have you ever noticed how ‘Larry, Curly and Moe,’ our ‘pet’ names for the three squadron commanders, all rock their heads in unison when Col. M. speaks?”  I hadn’t, but sure enough, they did!

When Col. M. would “get going” on an issue of some kind, all 3 squadron commander’s heads would either rock or shake in unison – in agreement with Col. M.  It was hilarious!  They looked like 3 cute, little Kewpie dolls…

Not to be outdone, on the way back that day, I asked Clyde if he ever noticed that, when Col. M. would get “charged up” about something or another, he never blinked!  I was in his office one day and he was “spinning up.”  For some reason or another, I just happened to notice his eyes.  They were bulging – and he wasn’t blinking!  He must have gone on for 4 or 5 minutes or so, and didn’t blink once.  And my eyes began watering!  To this day, I have no idea what he was ‘railing about’ that day; all I could think about was, “Blink Colonel!  Gawd-dammit, Blink!”  It was tough sitting there… it was killing me!

A couple-3 days later, Clyde stormed into my office and said, “Damn it Holliker, you are right – Col. M. doesn’t blink!”  He went on to tell me how hard it was to sit there, while he was having his ass chewed, and not laugh!  And all Clyde could think of was, “Blink Colonel, Gawd-dammit, blink!”

Before Clyde left that day he asked me not to share any more observations about Col. M….


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