Over the years my charitable work has provided me the opportunity to attend a lot of festive events labeled as “A Ball”. My reservations for the Air Force Ball were made about a month ago and I was truly excited for October 29 to arrive and for Sue, my wife, and I to dawn the appropriate dress and head out the door to the Clarion Convention center.
When arriving we were greeted by my once Adopted Airmen, SrA Caleb Kimmel. He was certainly quick to thank us for coming and piqued our interest with a “You are not going to believe how special it looks inside” statement. He was certainly correct.
We turned the final corner to enter the room and were truly stunned by decorations. There were high expectations for the evening, anyway, but they were clearly exceeded.
I maybe should have done a short explanation in the beginning of my article to give you a heads up that Sue and I have not had much exposure to events like the Air Force Ball. We are both North Dakota born and raised, and although we have made Minot our home for over 44 years, our time on base, albeit I do spend a fair amount of time in my reporting role, has certainly been limited.
Those sharing our table were from all over the U.S. closest to us was a TSgt from Atlanta, Georgia. She is just 15 short months away from her retirement, spending almost 20 years in the US Air Force. At this point, I now relinquish that I am an older citizen of Minot as the young TSgt was the age of one of my three, now grown and departed, sons. Feeling a bit old? Yeah, but we had such a great conversation with her, and the evening just kind of sped by.
By chance, our table was located adjacent to the MIA ceremony table, and later we had front row seats to the ceremonial cutting of the 75th Anniversary cake. I can totally understand the symbolic cutting of the cake with a sword by Airmen Eduardo Solana Trejo and Major Holly Black, with leadership alongside, but later a small knife seemed to do be a better option for cutting and sharing pieces of the cake with those in attendance.
I now have to reveal that Sue and I did not stay and dance the night away, as it appeared many of the younger Airmen were prepared to do. We made our rounds, greeting those we knew who were in attendance, and then headed home.
On the way out we greeted one of the visitors from Canada in their bright red attire and shook hands as a sign of the friendship between our countries, our city, and our armed forces.
We wished we could have stayed and thanked every one of our military personnel, and their spouses, in attendance. But instead, I will take the final few lines of my article to say “Thanks, from Rod & Sue Wilson”. The evening was special and one that we will never forget.
Best Kept Secret
Going to give you all a heads up that the CP Rail Holiday Train will stop in Downtown Minot on Saturday, December 17. Arrival in Downtown is at 6:30 PM, show starts at 6:45 PM, and the train heads out at 7:15 PM. The train has not run for three years, and you can find more information on the CP Rail website cpr.ca.
You can fool all of the people some of the time. Mainly during elections.