It is 1980. The world was really shitty. A bunch of “students” had taken Americans hostage in Iran.
The day after we heard that the embassy in Iran had been stormed, again, my friend Steve was nowhere to be found. He was a Tomcat driver. All the Tomcats that use to fly over our house were missing from the sky.
Weeks later Steve reappears. “Where were you?” “I can’t say.”
Steve was very very bitter. What happened is they launched refueling aircraft and headed them out over the Atlantic. They launched the Tomcats from the base. They refueled once they were at altitude and headed east. They refueled again somewhere over the Atlantic. I know that those Tomcats were on station within 24 hours. Steve never said as much, but from things I learned later that’s what likely happened.
Their ship arrived later after crossing the Atlantic.
Jimmy Carter, may his name be dust on our peoples lips, had just fumbled a rescue mission. The papers were reporting that the White House had gotten a call, in the clear, from the Israeli’s saying “Get some f’ing radio discipline, everybody knows you have launched a rescue mission, here’s where your team is.”
Seems, following standard Democrat military policy, Jimmy, was yapping with the mission commanders the entire time.
Gas prices looked as bad then as today. I watched gas double, then triple in price. There were lines for gas everywhere.
And the news counted the days of our embarrassment.
And then this guy, I knew him for his song The Devil Went Down To Georgia, was going to be performing on live TV. I remember it as the CMA awards but I can’t find a reference to the performance.
And Charlie stood up and sang this song. And my heart soared. This was my America. This was what I felt about America. This was a man talking to me and mine.
May your heart take flight again.