Monday, December 31, 2007

“Air Transport Command” restaurant….August 15, 1990



This is a memory that is almost too poignant for me to share.

It was 1990 and my husband of 32 years and I were on our way home to North Carolina from New York State. We found ourselves in New Castle, Delaware and happened upon this amazing restaurant, situated right across from the County Airport.

Dick wasn’t feeling very well. His diabetes was playing havoc with his body and we realized that he was in need of food so we decided to give this strange looking place a try. The restaurant was huge and situated quite far off the highway. As we drove in we passed a few WW II jeeps, two ambulances and a tank.

Then it hit us as we drew closer. This was a replica of a building on a WW II US Air Force airfield somewhere overseas. There were gaping holes in the side of the restaurant that could have been caused by artillery fire or bombs...and the strains of a Glenn Miller tune from the 1940’s completed the scene.

We couldn’t wait to get inside and, sure enough, it was the “real McKoy” there too…or as close as we imagined those days to be. The flying heroes and heroines of World War II were commemorated with old uniforms, pictures and equipment. There was even an exhibit about the WASPS (Women’s Air Service Pilots).

Even though Dick and I were too young to have served in the 2nd World War we were of the generation that could remember it well. The “Air Transport Command” restaurant took us back to those days. We could both conjure up images from our childhood, of black-outs and simulated air raids and streets filled with young men and women in uniform.

We soaked up every bit of the 1940‘s atmosphere. We ordered Prime Ribs and Yorkshire Pudding and ate slower than usual to make the evening last. Big Band music played continuously and then, just before we finished our coffee, it switched to a very soft version of “White Cliffs of Dover”. The entire room seemed to stop talking and I almost lost it. It was a powerful moment.

And why, you might ask, is this memory almost more than I can bear to re-live? It was to be the last time that Dick and I shared an evening out. I did manage to get him home the next day and he then took a turn for the worse. He died just 6 weeks to the day that we shared this memorable evening. He was 59.

18 Comments:

Blogger seventh sister said...

Thank you for sharing this story. I know that it must be most sad and comforting for you. I think that resturant would give me the creeps, though. It sounds like a memorial to war.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure it was very difficult to share this memory.
But what a wonderful memory it is, Ginnie. It's still so vivid in your mind and you certainly described that restaurant beautifully for the rest of us. I could even hear The White Cliffs of Dover playing.
I wanted to wish you a very Happy New Year and all the best in 2008.
Terri
http://www.islandwriter.net

7:17 AM  
Blogger Redhead Gal said...

That was a beautiful memory to share. Thank you and happy new year.

7:19 AM  
Blogger Suzy said...

Wow. It sounds like you went through
"a wrinkle in time." A very sweet and poignant story, Ginnie.
Happy New Year!

8:40 AM  
Blogger Barbra said...

Thank you so much for sharing! You have some many nice meaningful experiences.
Happy New Year!

9:28 AM  
Blogger An Irish Friend of Bill said...

PUT THE SOUND ON AND ENJOY

Happy !! New Year!!

put this in your browser address bar..
http://www.icq.com/img/friendship/static/card_16961_rs.swf

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, Ginnie, the holiday season has a way of making us remember those things of the past and although they are beautiful memories, they can also be poignant almost to the point of being painful...
Thanks for sharing this

Wish you a happy 2008

Claude from Blogging in Paris

12:46 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Oh my, he was so young. I can understand why this was difficult to tell, but I'm glad you did.

1:06 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

Ginnie, I am glad you shared this one. He was too young to die, but aren't you glad you had that wonderful memory together.

Happy New Year!

1:25 PM  
Blogger Crayons said...

Yes, that is a poignant story. When I saw the photo, I assumed that it was in northern France. You two shared so many great moments. I feel like I've witnessed many of them. It must be difficult to re-live that last dinner. I'm glad you shared it.

3:21 PM  
Blogger KGMom said...

It is indeed a poignant story that you shared.
And it is a reminder to us all--always cherish the moment. Who knows when it will be the one we carry for the rest of our days.
Thanks for sharing.

4:31 PM  
Blogger ellen said...

I know I have said this before, but I will repeat myself and say, "Yes, yes and again yes." The comments left here are what I would like to say. As soon as I saw the photos I thought of the war, and darn it, I was singing in my head The White Cliffs of Dover.
I too, remember black outs in Hawaii. I listen to the same music..when I can. I bought some songs sung by Margaret Whiting the other day.
I am truly sorry for your loss. It was too soon. Loss is a strange thing after years..still so painful, but still filled with the memories of a special person.
Take care and thank you.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Melly` said...

Oh.

How beautiful and sad - but somehow happy too? I felt that .. well Dick had to be a nice bloke because.. well for so long he was with you?

Happy new Year Ginnie. If your travels ever bring you to Australia I have lots of lovely places to show you..

4:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely story Ginnie.

I'm glad that they didn't serve WWII food. Prime rib (or any meat) was a bit hard to find in my neck of the woods and Yorkshire pudding would have been made from dried egg powder, by courtesy of Uncle Sam.

John http://oldgit.wordpress.com/

8:46 AM  
Blogger Maya's Granny said...

Such a sad and lovely memory. Thank you for sharing it and have a very happy new year.

12:29 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

I am so glad that you have this beautiful memory to help balance the pain of your loss. Thank you for sharing and bless you.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Bud said...

Ginny, great entry,and what a wonderful memory. I would have loved that place. Sorry I'm late. Bud

12:50 PM  
Blogger Rhea said...

That's an intense story.

6:23 AM  

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