Saturday, July 4, 2009

Philip P. Combies USAF by the "Little Red One"

Phil Combies is my Dad... I use the present tense, although he is deceased, because he is with me all the time; and it would seem that he's getting around lately... in my blog title I put "by the little red one." It was kind of a private joke, and I just saw a pic of one of my Dad's planes that he named the "Big Red One" after an ancestor. When I was born, I'm told that he ran through the neighborhood shouting "it's a girl, and she's redhead!" and throwing cigars. He also called me Maggie McCarty, and he called all three of us girls "Suzy Q."

My undeniable urge to "seek" was no accident. I found the most interesting, informational site. If your interested, search "kunsan ab the way it was." When I happened upon this site I was actually searching Ubon AB. I came to this site and got lost for hours. As if I were there, reading more than I'd ever learned about my father and the missions he flew in Vietnam. I cried... he was a young man. I think it was three nights, I read and re-read, copied a few pics.

On the third night, I was so tired, I wanted to make copies of the text but had to give it up. The next morning, I got up and first thing went to the computer to make copies. When I got to the site, everything on Ubon was gone. I was devastated at first, then accepted that it wasn't meant to be, but I was grateful to have found it when I did and it confirmed to me that my father was leading me to seek. That very day, a Sunday in early June, my son called me to come see "the Colonel" on the History Channel, featured with Gen. Robin Olds in "Dog Fights - Operation Bolo." Operation Bolo was named and put into effect on my fifth birthday, December 22, 1966.

Robin Olds and my father remained very close friends. I remember being at Robin and Ella's (Robin's first wife) home in Colorado Springs. Ella had 2 yorkies (I've always loved animals and especially have a heart for dogs) which she let me brush and coddle throughout the visit. I didn't know until grown that Ella had been a movie star. I wasn't surprised as she had an essence about her of beauty and elegance. Robin was the nicest man, quiet at times. He reminded me of my father. I read that he picked my Dad for Operation Bolo without any formalities... it was a given. It was said "Phil was a fighter pilots "pilot."

Then, last night, I got a call from my Aunt Betty, in Norwich Connecticut, whom I haven't talked to in about 2 years. I was so happy to hear from her and she began telling me things about my father and how her sons had been on the internet searching, exploring, "seeking." My sister has been too. What's up????? Again, I'm not surprised as he's always with me, but usually its on a totally personal level. Between he and I, and his guidance in my life. He came to me when my sister was ill. He told me she needed me.

I found some great pics on the other site shown with my blog. I'm new at how this "blogging" works. But I felt led to put something out there. I'm finding some wonderful things about my father and the men and women of our military.

We had so many pictures and memorabelia, from magazines to his helmet. Everything is in the hands of one family member who deemed himself the sole, if you will "deservant" (is that a word?) when my father died in 1991. That's not the only thing being coveted; some things were very specific in my father's wishes which are not being upheld. Karma's a bitch.

I have an older sister in Albuquerque, N.M.; and our oldest sister, Judy, whom we lost to cancer in 1998. My sister and I would love to hear any stories or see any pictures you might have to share. The internet is the greatest thing. I've inadvertently gotten pictures from my brother! LOL You have to laugh... life is too short. Greed, anger, jealousy... they all breed contempt and cause you to miss the beauty in life. Love your neighbor, do unto others, that's the long and short of it. Let "Being Kind" be your religion... my brother always told me "Cathy, you're too nice." In some ways I see what he means as I get hurt by those who practice receiving, but not giving. But I don't believe one can be "too nice." I would love to experience a world where that were true of everyone...

I'm sure I'll be adding more and changing this blog. I shared alot of fun times with my Dad. We shared the same love for life and people. I had the gift of sharing in his fun, hanging with his "fighter pilot" buddies... they're a tight group and more fun than I could handle today! lol

Oh, one more note. I've been taking lots of pics of the sky lately. Another thing I've been drawn to. You can check them out on Flikr... Cat's Pics. They're really interesting. The world is constantly changing. I watch the planets too. I've always been drawn to the moon and the constellations. A particular memory I'd like to share is of my father looking at the stars with me. I was in the 5th grade, in Austin, when he approached as I was looking at the night sky. He asked if I'd like to see the big dipper. Then he explained that we'd have to get up at 5 a.m. to see it the best and he could show me how to find the "little dipper" then too. I said sure, so at 5 a.m. we got up and did just that. It has been intriguing me of late as the constellations and the stars are so close. Seeing the big dipper above my house, bigger than Dallas, every night brings that memory to the forefront. I also just learned on the web how you can tell time by the "big dipper." that's on my list of To Do Things.


Keep your eyes on the skyes...