We took a magically memory trip yesterday up to Beeville, Texas where we lived during flight training. The trip up from Aransas Pass was flat and fast — 70 mph four-lane with direct access and suddenly-appearing stop signs. We saw fields of elegant windmills slowly turning in the stiff Texas wind.
We spent about nine months in Beeville while I took advanced naval flight training in the F9F Cougar and then a short finish course in the then-hot F-11 Tiger. We carrier-qualified in the F9 and had a blast dog-fighting in the afterburner-equipped Tiger. The goal of this visit was to see if we could find our old residence, the hospital where our daughter Jennifer was born, and the air station. One out of three accomplished!
Beeville is a city of about 15,000 just north of Corpus Christi. We used our GPS mapping on the iPhone to find Rosewood Avenue where we rented during our stay there. We found the street, which seems a little seeder four decades later and took this photo of the house we think we lived in – we weren’t sure of the address.
The hospital was tougher. It was a little adobe-faced country hospital when Jennifer was born. I decided to ask at the big local hospital about it and after a few questions, I found a person in the gift shop who had had a child there a year or two after we left. She told me that it was demolished a while back and that a vacant lot now marked the spot. We talked about how progressive the hospital had been — Dr. Miller let me observe the delivery of our baby — and she then led me down the hall to a photo gallery where a picture of that wonderful doctor hung. I took a picture as a memory and it tugged at Mary’s heart when she saw it.
Mary & I found the spot, took a picture of the lot, and then asked at a gas station about directions to the air station. “Oh, that’s a prison system now,” the clerk said. “The Navy pulled out about ten years ago.” Oh well, I was wondering why I hadn’t seen any Navy jets around.
It was a nice trip — and we weren’t really surprised to see all the changes. We saw a bunch of Crested Cara Caras on the way home and made plans to visit Corpus Christi in the days ahead. It’s pretty cold for this area and good weather to sightsee.