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Last Pre-Flight Check List

Frank Frisbie
Date: 9/21/2016 9:41:31 AM


The FAA fraternity is quite good in notifying us of the “last flight” of our recently fallen comrades. Unfortunately, those notices seem to come too often these days. Meanwhile I want to raise a different but related issue. Recently I tracked down one of my AF buddies – Bob Weins. I first met Bob when he was an ILS installation “man” in the old Eastern Region in the late 1950s. He went on to move to the Falls Church Area office and then to Headquarters where he was in R&D. Bob joined Joe DelBalzo, Joe Rubino and Dan Hamilton when the NY Mafia invaded NAFEC [ aka the William J Hughes Technical Center] from where he retired. We communicated at holidays, birthdays and anniversaries for years and then, after the death of his wife, we last touch…until I saw his picture on his Daughter-in-laws Face Book page a short while ago. Bob is in a facility for Alzheimer patients in Pennsylvania. My subsequent visit precipitated this article. Bob looks pretty good for a man in his 80s and is happy in his surroundings there but, he didn’t know who I was. So we talked pleasantly like strangers on a train. As we passed the time Bob played couple of tunes on the keyboard in his room – among them “Old Lang Syne”.

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne?

Back to my point - there are so many of my peer group [ your peer group] showing up with dementia in some form with the result that they are closeted away in facilities where, irrespective of the folks that love them and dutifully visit them, their minds have already taken their “last flight”. With this little piece I am encouraging you, as I have myself, to pray for those men and women – our friends and colleagues - suffering from this condition. Even more importantly, we need to embrace those still alive and alert while we can. I cried when I left Bob Weins, in part, because I was ashamed of myself for letting my friend slip away unnoticed. Don’t let that happen to you.

Frank “Fris” Frisbie

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