Mrs. Yuhnke, “Ms. Y,” was my secretary when I was the Chief of Safety for the 71st FTW, Vance AFB, OK, 1977 – 1978.  In retrospect, I think Ms. Y was the Chief of Safety, and I was just allowed to wear the costume and play the part.

At the time, Ms. Y was around 56 or so, and had worked at Vance ever since we took the property from the Indians – or so it seemed.  And, she was a “lady,” above everything else.

One afternoon my wife Susan stopped by.  We all chatted a bit, then I had to fly.  As I was grabbing my gear, I overheard Ms. Y ask Susan, “Mrs. Holliker, will you tell Capt. Holliker to take his uniform home?”  I kept a “blues” uniform in an old steel locker in a back room in case I was called to Headquarters for a formal ass-chewing.  (Routine ass-chewings could be received in flight suits.)  I to this day, have no idea why that uniform bothered her, but it did…

About this time the ‘Carol Burnett Show’ was popular.  In frequent skits you could hear ‘Eunice’ tell ‘Mama;’ “Oh nag, nag, nag, you old woman…”  And to this day, I don’t know why that came to mind as I walked out the door?  And so, Captain Holliker is heard to say as he heads for the door, “Oh nag, nag, nag, you old woman!”

Ms. Y didn’t hesitate a bit.  The next thing I heard her say was, “Mrs. Holliker, if he was my husband, I’d tell him to take that broom over there, shove it up his ass, and sweep the floor on his way out!”  I lost it!  That just cracked me up!  I had never heard a single ‘curse word’ from Ms. Y until that day…

Ms. Y and I remained dear friends until she passed a few years ago.  On occasion either she or I would call; and talk, and laugh and a couple times I think I may have cried.  She was a sweetheart, and I will always love her.  And today, when I walk by a broom, I keep my mouth shut; and subconsciously, squeeze my cheeks together – just a little bit…

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