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"Nobody is ever met at the airport when beginning a new adventure. It's just not done. " -- Elizabeth Warnock Fernea

Midway

174--California: Midway Magic--the Celebration
@ CherieSpotting     Jan 11 2004 - 12:23 PST
Cherie with the Midway Magic cake.  Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it, too.

Cherie with the Midway Magic cake. Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it, too.

cherie writes: The 600-guests of the final voyage included many of the Navy’s finest, political leaders, major donors to the USS Midway and a few representatives from the press.

It was a day of ceremony and fanfare. Midway was patriotically decorated with flags and banners. Passengers lined up on the flight deck as tugs wiggled themselves into place. The lines that secured Midway to her berth were thick as a child’s thigh. It took nine men to handle each line--four men on the dock, and five men on the ship. As I watched the final line shimmy through the water, a whistle blew. Our journey across San Diego Bay had begun.

“I feel like I am on a floating parking lot,” Jean said. I can’t even feel that we’re moving.”
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173--California: The Final Voyage of the USS Midway
@ CherieSpotting     Jan 10 2004 - 09:10 PST
Cherie's been crew on many ship's before, but never one 1001-feet long.  *Photo by Greg.

Cherie's been crew on many ship's before, but never one 1001-feet long. *Photo by Greg.

cherie writes: It’s always a vision first. Then it becomes a dream. When you throw determination into the mix, it becomes a mission. Alan Uke, a San Diego businessman, couldn’t bear to see such a magnificent ship salvaged for scrap metal.

In some way, the USS Midway owes its life to Alan.

Alan Uke wanted future generations to experience “Midway Magic.” Commissioned on September 10, 1945, the 1001-foot aircraft carrier Midway served her country for 47 years. It was the longest serving aircraft carrier in the Navy’s history.
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172--California: USS Midway in San Diego
@ CherieSpotting     Jan 09 2004 - 02:24 PST
Cherie on the USS Midway, a 1001-foot aircraft carrier being turned into a museum in San Diego. *Photo by Greg.

Cherie on the USS Midway, a 1001-foot aircraft carrier being turned into a museum in San Diego. *Photo by Greg.

cherie writes: The day before the USS Midway made her final voyage, I wanted to get a closer look at the 1001-foot conventionally powered aircraft carrier. Greg eagerly joined me to help with taking photos. If you want to get a guy to do something, just mention the horsepower. Midway’s got 212,000 horsepower. That’s a lot of ponies!

In “guy speak” Midway is a double whammy. It’s a ship, but it has planes on top. If it could just have a train that runs around flight-deck, it might be male-nirvana.

“Have you ever been on one before?” I asked Greg. This was my first time on an aircraft carrier.

“Yes, a few times.” Greg answered nonchalantly.

I’m not sure why it’s important to me, but its always kind of special when an event is someone’s first.

“Have you ever been on an aircraft carrier the day before its final voyage?” I asked hopefully.

“No. This is the first time I’ve been on one the day before its last passage.” Greg admitted.

“Good! Let’s go play!”
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