Friday Follies for May 8, 2015

Jackson County MO Sheriff Mike Sharp

Here is some local Missouri news. Jackson County MO Sheriff Mike Sharp, in the face of a 21,000 CCW application/renewal backlog and growing pressure from state and local parties, finally acts. He has hired two temporary, part-time employees to address the issue.

You can find the story here, on the WMSA website.


Today is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. Today’s FOX Newsletter noted the anniversary with this short piece.

Today we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. Fortunately for posterity, the late Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Relman Morin, then an AP war correspondent, was present to paint a gripping picture of the surrender by German commanders to allied officers: “There was a moment of silence, and in that moment, the scene seemed to freeze. It had the character of a picture, somehow, a queer unreality. Here was the end of nearly five years of war, of blood and death, of high excitement and fear and great discomfort, of explosions and bullets whining and the wailing of air raid sirens. Here, brought into this room, was the end of all that. Your mind refused to take it in. Hence, this was a dream, this room with the Nile green walls and the charts, the black table, and the uniformed men seated around it. The words, ‘There are four copies to be signed,’ meant nothing unless you forced the meaning to come, ramming it into your brain with a hard, conscious effort.”

“All the greatest things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope.” – Winston Churchill in a May 17, 1947 speech at Royal Albert Hall. On Thursday, members of the high command of the British military presented a bust of Churchill  to their counterparts at the Pentagon.

I wonder if Obama will force the Pentagon to send the bust back like he sent back the bust of Churchill that used to reside in the White House?


On Drudge’s front page is an announcement. The US unemployment rate exceeds 93 million. The AP states the unemployment percentage is only 5.4%.

The AP lies. Simple math will tell you that if 93 million are unemployed out of a population of 325 million, the rate is 28%, not 5.4%.

But…but…but…you can’t include children and school kids! True, that would reduce the 93 million to a lower number AND INCREASE THE PERCENTAGE OF UNEMPLOYED!

Math works. You can fudge the figures and lie, but math will tell you the truth.


Speaking of Drudge, The Hill has just announced that Matt Drudge is the 2nd most influential man in America. The liberal digital magazine is no fan of Matt Drudge. But they did admit…

Is Drudge the second most influential man in America, behind the president? It is a debatable proposition that might well be true. More than any single person in American politics besides the president, he determines the content of debate in our national discourse on an hourly basis.

In many ways, I deplore the influence of Matt Drudge, but in the meantime, would someone send this piece to Drudge and maybe he will post it (wink, wink)? — The Hill.

The Hill would love to had as many hits on their website as does Drudge in just one hour.


In case you weren’t looking, conservatism, well, the British variety, returned to the UK. Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party takes the majority of seats in Parliament in their general election yesterday. The Scottish National Party (SNP) took 56 out of 59 regional seats making them a political power that must be accommodated. Many of the opposition party leaders resigned their party positions. Some lost their seats as MPs as well.

Cameron won on a platform of more power to the Scottish regional parliament and a vote on the UK’s continuing membership in the EU. If the UK leaves, the EU could, in light of its growing financial instability, fragment, shedding some of its more financially irresponsible members…like Greece.


Seventy years

It’s been seventy years since D-Day, June 6th, 1944. Neither I nor my wife were yet born. My father was too young for WW1 and too old for WW2. He also worked in an exempt industry, coal mining.

U.S. troops disembark from a landing vehicle on Utah Beach on the coast of Normandy, France in June of 1944. Carcasses of destroyed vehicles litter the beach. (Regional Council of Basse-Normandie/U.S. National Archives)

My wife’s father, on the other hand, was in the Army and fought in WW2. He went ashore in France at one of the D-Day landing sites. I don’t know which one. He wasn’t in the first way, but went ashore in one of the following waves. He was captured later and escaped when the train taking allied prisoners back to Germany was strafed by allied planes. I don’t know more of his history. He never talked to me much about them. It’s also possible my memory of his comments has been corrupted over time.

Most families today had a least one family member who was in WW2. In 1945, the United States military contained 16.1 million soldiers, sailors, and marines out of a population of 139 million. That was nearly 12% of the total population in uniform.

When I was in my teens, in school and later college, nearly all the adult men, and a significant number of the adult women, were veterans. That fact was supported by one reason, the draft that continued from before WW2. The draft, while widely disliked, did have a positive result, a significant percentage of the US population were continued to be veterans.

The draft changed during my senior year in college to a lottery. It was too late for me. I had to make a choice to be drafted in the the Army or the Marines (yes, they did draft into the Marines at that time) or take advantage of my Air Force ROTC and go into the Air Force. I followed the Air Force adage, “It’s better to fly over it than to walk through it.”

A few months later, the lottery took effect. I have no idea what my lottery number was. I still don’t. I went in and did my time. A few years later, the Selective Service was suspended and the military no longer conscripted recruits. The consequence was a drastic reduction of military servicemen and the resulting veterans. today, the percentage of all veterans compared to the total population is low, only 6.5%.

Out of a population of 313.3 million (2012), there are 21.2 million living veterans, 7.6 million of those are from the Vietnam war. I’m one of the 7.6 million.

I suppose it should not be unexpected that respect for veterans has decreased over the years. While the military is still viewed with respect for much of the country, the left has disparaged the military and veterans since the 1960s. I still remember warnings from my time in the Air Force to not wear my uniform off base unless I was in transit  to or from my duty post and home, or on official business. The left has learned since then to not be as vocal and public with their abuse, but the abuse is still there. You only have to look at the state of the Veteran’s Administration to see that the liberal abuse of the military and veterans has become institutionalized.

Robert A. Heinlein once wrote a novel called Starship Troopers. In it, veterans, abandoned by their governments, revolted. After the dust died down, society was divided. Citizenship, and the resulting political power, was limited to veterans. If you wanted the vote, you had to serve. In fact, if you wanted to join, you could not be turned down. Something would be found for you to do to earn citizenship, even if, “it was counting the fuzz on caterpillars with your fingers.

Is this a good idea? It has been discussed my many over the decades. The left hates it. The right, for the most part, embraces it. However the current crop of politicians would flee in panic from any discussion on this subject. But the idea that citizenship—and the benefits thereof, should be earned is a good one and it remains a valid argument.

When you see Obama pontificating in Europe about D-Day, also remember that he, like democrat Bill Clinton, never served.

War Warnings

The United States was involved in two major, world-spanning, wars in the 20th Century. We had warnings before the start of each war…and, for the most part, ignored them.

Newt Gingrich, in a CNN column, writes about the parallels between our current foreign situation and that prior to World War One. Gingrich, in addition to his political experience, is also a Historian. He is seeing the same parallels that I’ve written about in past posts.

The twin dangers of the Ukraine crisis

By Newt Gingrich, April 23, 2014 — Updated 2221 GMT (0621 HKT)

Ukrainian troops take position near burning tires at a pro-Russian checkpoint in Slaviansk following an attack by Ukrainian soldiers on Thursday, April 24. Ukraine has seen a sharp rise in tensions since a new pro-European government took charge of the country in February.


(CNN) — This year is the centennial of the First World War. One-hundred years ago this month, in April 1914, no one thought there would be a war. But war began, triggered by events in Eastern Europe, by the end of July. It came as an enormous shock, in retrospect almost like the Titanic hitting an iceberg.

In the end, it shattered Europe, cost tens of millions of lives, bankrupted countries and changed forever those who survived the horrors.

A century later, our focus is again on Eastern Europe, the site of a regional conflict that threatens to entangle the world’s leading powers.

The situation in Ukraine is a perilous one, much more so than our current debate acknowledges.

In Russia, we are dealing with the largest country in the world geographically, a country that possesses thousands of nuclear weapons, plenty of ballistic missiles and a ruthlessly determined leader motivated by nationalism and an imperial drive: a leader who also has an entrenched machine capable of keeping him in power for a long time.

In Ukraine, we are dealing with an ally that fought alongside us in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a nation now threatened with conquest by a much stronger neighbor against which it cannot defend itself.

In Europe, we are dealing with a continent that for more than half a century has relied on the United States to guarantee peace, security and freedom. We have kept that promise through NATO, the alliance that war in Eastern Europe threatens seriously to undermine.

And in the United States, we are dealing with a nation weary of war after more than a decade spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a public wary of more armed intervention abroad.

We need a national debate on what our policy is going to be. And then we need to engage our friends in Europe on what our policy is going to be.

As retired former NATO Commander Gen. Wesley Clark and his colleague Dr. Phillip Karber, a former Defense Department official, detail in their recent report from Ukraine, the Obama Pentagon has adopted a position of not helping that country with any offensive weapons. Offensive weapons including, for example, Kevlar vests, night vision equipment and aviation fuel.

So while the United States has sent thousands of meals ready to eat (Army rations) to a country that is an agricultural exporter, the administration has refused to send even nonlethal equipment that would help Ukraine defend itself and possibly avert war.

Instead of sending military supplies to Ukraine, we hear talk of more sanctions. And yet, as I discuss in my podcast this week, I suspect it will be apparent very quickly that sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin are going to be irrelevant. He is a very tough man. He heads a very big country with immense natural resources. He can cause pain fully as much as his neighbors can cause him pain. He can block American shipments to Afghanistan from coming through Russia by the northern route. He can cut off natural gas flow to Western Europe. He has a veto at the U.N. Security Council, and can obstruct further sanctions against Iran.

This is a very difficult situation, and we are now in two enormous dangers. First, of the Obama administration doing too little, in which case the world will become less safe as we show weakness to our allies and the Russians seek to reconstitute the Soviet empire. And second, of doing things too clumsily, in which case, as one-hundred years ago, a bad combination of miscalculations, delusions, laws and alliances could land us in a war no one intends.

If you read popular history, you would believe that the US entered World War One because of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania. What you may not remember is that the Lusitania was sunk on May 7, 1915. The US did not enter the war until April 6, 1917—nearly two years later.

The reasons for the delay were many—mostly due to the incompetence of Woodrow Wilson and his alliance with various ‘Peace’ groups. Wilson was finally convinced to sign the declaration of war after a number of events, such as the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare, the Zimmerman letters that indicated the Axis powers were attempting an alliance with Mexico (an aftermath of Pershing’s pursuit of Pancho Villa) and other indications that the Axis powers would soon ignore the neutrality of the US and attack US assets and installations at home and abroad.

American Entry into World War I, 1917

On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson went before a joint session of Congress to request a declaration of war against Germany. Wilson cited Germany’s violation of its pledge to suspend unrestricted submarine warfare in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and its attempts to entice Mexico into an alliance against the United States, as his reasons for declaring war. On April 4, 1917, the U.S. Senate voted in support of the measure to declare war on Germany. The House concurred two days later. The United States later declared war on Austria-Hungary on December 7, 1917. — Office of the Historian, US State Department.

The paragraph above is the official summary of our entry into WW1. There is a more extensive, and controversial, discussion on Wiki (accused of anti-German bias.)

What Gingrich’s article does is to compare parallels then and today. Is the Russian invasion of the Crimea similar to that of Austia-Hungary’s invasion of Serbia? Is the overthrow of Ukrainian President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, the parallel of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand?

Obama, in response to Putin’s actions in the Ukraine, is sending a few troops to Poland, a US and NATO ally. True, it’s only 600 Paratroops to participate in a joint exercise. Other Army companies will head to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Obama and others in the White House and in the Administration think these pittance of troops will block further aggression by Putin. Unfortunately, like those events leading to World War 1, those few troops could be a tripwire leading us into another war. And, like we were prior to those two world wars in the last century, we are, again, ill prepared to respond.

The chickeeeens have come hoooome…

Those of us who are conservative in our politics and outlook in life knew this was coming. Obama and the democrat leadership in Washington is, and has always been, a joke. We knew the world thought so. Now, Putin has rubbed our faces in the mess of that lack of leadership in Washington. Others around the world are taking advantage of that joke.

We are seeing the consequences of the democrat and liberal rape of our nation. We are astonishingly in debt. We have massive unemployment. Our borders are open to our enemies and criminals and our military has been eviscerated and is worn out. The military is being lead by political generals, useless and unable to lead and they are creating more dissension in the ranks. Just ten years ago we were the most powerful and recognized leader in the world. All that is gone. We’re now the mockery of the world and Putin has proved it.

Mockery greets Obama’s new sanctions against Russian officials after Crimea action

Monday’s Moments

Mrs. Crucis and I attended final services for a WW II veteran on Saturday. He was 93 and passed on his birthday. He flew B-29s in WW II, flying 35 missions over Japan.

We didn’t know him all that well. In fact, we had only met him once at another funeral. But at that funeral, we had a long conversation. We talked about flying, airplanes, travel and many other topics. Last year, he and his daughter went back to Saipan and Tinian, airbases he flew from during WW II. They met another old veteran and were interviewed by the local Okinawan and Tinian newspapers.

He had a full military funeral. Two Army troops came down from Fr. Leavenworth to present the flag to his daughter. The American Legion provided a firing party for the last salute and some local pilots flew over in formation. In all, it was a very moving experience.

Fare thee well, Lee Florence.


I was going to say, “Interesting,” but it isn’t. I’m not surprised by this paragraph from Rasmussen at all.

Belief that the Republican Party has a plan for the future has tumbled 20 points since last year, but nearly half of voters still believe neither major political party represents the American people. — Rasmussen Reports.

Last Friday and over the weekend, Boehner, Cantor and other GOP so-called leaders, went to Obama, cap in hand, with a plan to fund the government, fund Obamacare, raise the debt limit and dissolve the Sequester spending limits. It was a near-complete surrender.

Obama turned them down.

Why? Obama demanded the debt limit be raised for a full year, not just two months. Boehner and his quislings caved, giving Obama all that he demanded and Obama refused, demanding more, and more, and more.

It’s evident the shutdown was carefully planned by Reid and Obama and they are not giving in until they’ve destroyed the GOP power in Congress. And, he is near success.

The only leadership being shown in the House, is coming from the Senate—Harry Reid for the dems and Ted Cruz with Mike Lee for the ‘Pubs. It is a sad state of affairs with House ‘Pubs have to look to conservative Senators for leadership because they are receiving none from Boehner, Cantor, Ryan and the other establishment clones.


An opinion-piece appeared over the weekend in the Washington Times. It echoes the opinions of many, including me, that the GOP is disintegrating. There is a ground-swell building across the country to remove, not only the GOP establishment, but every elected Representative and Senator possible in the next election.

What does it mean? A repeat of the 2008 election most likely, but it will also mean the death-knell of the Republican party—just like the end of the Whigs in 1860.

PHILLIPS: The last days of the Republican Party

Saturday, October 12, 2013 – Judson Phillips: Cold, Hard Truth by Judson Phillips

WASHINGTON, October 12, 2013 — The Republican Party was born in the darkest days of the American Republic.

In the next few days it will die.

The Republican Party saved the Union and abolished slavery. The Republican Party stood against Franklin Roosevelt’s internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and against Jim Crow laws in the 50’s.

On a hot summer day, the most famous Republican of the Twentieth Century stood before one of the great icons of tyranny, and over the objection of his cowardly, country club Republican advisors, Ronald Reagan demanded, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

In 1975, Reagan told conservatives to raise a banner of bold colors, not pale pastels.  Today’s Republican banner is the colorless banner of John Boehner’s freshly laundered white flag of surrender.

The Republican Party will die of suicide by cowardice.

It would be unfair to say that the leaders of today’s Republican Party lack the courage of their convictions; they have no convictions from which to draw courage.

For the leadership of the Republican Party — the Establishment, as conservatives like to call it — the signs should be obvious.  The GOP has lost the popular vote in five of the last six elections.  The base complained loudly about most of the nominees, yet the Establishment insisted that President Dole, President McCain and President Romney would be loved by the people.

They weren’t.

The Establishment has been openly disdainful of the base that puts Republicans in power.  Some of that base, such as Tea Party members, aren’t even members of a country club. Many of them are blue-collar workers, they have convictions, and they want to see the party act on them. Perhaps most shocking of all, many of them are outspoken Christians!

This must be horrifying to Northeastern, liberal, Establishment Republicans. How can they possibly face their Democrat friends, knowing that most of their base believes in Jesus Christ as something more than a swear word.

The Republican leadership in Washington was pushed into this fight. They did not like it.  House Speaker John Boehner and Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor had already worked out a plan to surrender with style. The conservatives could even have another meaningless vote against Obamacare they could take back to the home folks.

When Boehner, Cantor, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were forced to fight, they screwed it up. McConnell punted and put the onus of the fight on the House Republicans.  Neither Boehner nor Cantor had the stomach for a fight.

The issue was Obamacare. It was a train wreck. It is a train wreck. The base wanted Obamacare delayed for a year and the base did not want the debt ceiling increased. 

Delaying Obamacare should have been the mother of all no brainers, especially after its roll out on October 1. The government spent $643 million for a website that does not work. This alone should have been enough for the GOP to get a message to the American people and rally support.

Boehner and Cantor stumbled around like newly castrated cattle, trying to figure out what they were missing and why.

They never did.

They could never get on message and the Democrats destroyed them.

Now Boehner, Cantor and McConnell are surrendering. Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid know the Republicans will never fight again and they can have anything they want.

Actually, that is not true. The Republicans are willing to fight again.

This fight is against their base.

Establishment Republicans, former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu and former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour have declared war on the Tea Party. Establishment Republicans are now vowing to primary Tea Party Congressmen. Michigan Congressman Justin Amash already has an opponent and Establishment Republicans are looking for a “pro-business” candidate to primary Iowa Congressman Steve King.

In 1858, Republican Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” That is what is happening today in the Republican Party.

Conservatives are expected to line up and support moderates when they win the nomination, as conservatives did in 2008 with John McCain and 2012 with Mitt Romney. But when a conservative wins, support is optional for the moderates of the party. This is happening today in Virginia, where conservative Ken Cuccinelli won the nomination that was supposed to go to moderate Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling. Bolling has pointedly refused to endorse Cucinelli, and according to some reports is preparing to endorse his opponent, Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

After the elections of 2006 and 2008, the Republican Party was on the political endangered species list. The same Establishment geniuses who thought Mitt Romney and John McCain would be good nominees destroyed the Republican brand and lost control of the White House and the House and Senate to the Democrats.

Along came the Tea Party and saved the GOP.

How did the GOP show its gratitude?

The establishment told the Tea Party to go away and let the professionals handle government. These were the same professionals who screwed things up to begin with.

If the Establishment wants a war with the Tea Party, the Tea Party should welcome that war.

All the Tea Party has to do is leave the GOP and the GOP will quickly be relegated to the status of the “Rent is too damn high” Party.

That last paragraph is telling. Too many ‘Pubs think the Tea Party is dead because the big rallies of 2008 through 2010 are gone. The truth is that the Tea Party has been organizing. Just look at the political clout of Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation and the Tea Party Express.

Those are the a few of the biggest Tea Party organizations, but most of the Tea Party is independent local groups. Many limit themselves, concentrating on local and state issues. Cass County has not had a group until a month ago. That group is now organizing, gathering members and strength.

The ground work exists for a third party. All that is needed is some trigger—a trigger that will force those conservatives to leave the GOP for a NEW party. No, not the Libertarians or Constitutionalists. They have no organization and all too many of their members have alienated themselves from the Tea Party conservatives by supporting abortions and legalizing drugs.

Many conservative politicos, like Cruz and Lee, along with their supporters in office, will come over, too. Why should they stay when Boehner and McConnell act like two dictators suppressing any contrary opinions?

The creation will be messy. It’s unlikely the new party will win many elections the first time around. The original Republicans didn’t do well against the Whigs in 1856, either. But the second election, after a few years of organization and consolidating power, the Republicans won. And the new Tea Party, or whatever it is named, will, too.


Hollywood lost two veteran actors over the Christmas weekend—Jack Klugman

Jack Klugman

Jack Klugman

and Charles Durning. Klugman is best known for his characters as Oscar in the Odd Couple and for the TV Show Quincy, ME. Charles Durning was a veteran character actor with a long resume on the screen and TV.

Both Klugman and Durning served in the Army during WW II. Durning, however was a combat veteran and landed in Normandy in a glider.

Charles Durning

Charles Durning

Durning served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Drafted at age 21, he was first assigned as a rifleman with the 398th Infantry Regiment, and later served overseas with the 3rd Army Support troops and the 386th Anti-aircraft Artillery (AAA) Battalion. For his valor and the wounds he received during the war, Durning was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Heart medals.[9] Additional awards include the World War II Victory Medal.[10]

Durning participated in the Normandy Invasion of France on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and was among the first troops to land at Omaha Beach. In Episode S03E09 of the program Dinner for Five, which also included Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise and Charles Nelson Reilly, Reynolds spoke about Durning’s service career for him, as Durning did not like to talk about it much. Reynolds revealed that Durning was in a group of gliders who overshot their landing zone and that he had to fight alone all the way back to the beach. Reynolds also stated that his own father was there fighting about 15 yards away and that Durning was probably the most decorated veteran (then) still alive from World War II.[11] Some sources state that he was with the 1st Infantry Division at the time,[12] but it is unclear if he served as a rifleman or as a member of one of the division’s artillery battalions.

Durning was wounded by a German “S” Mine on June 15, 1944 at Les Mare des Mares, France. He was transported to the 24th Evacuation Hospital. By June 17 he was back in England at the 217th General Hospital. Although severely wounded by shrapnel in the left and right thighs, the right hand, the frontal region of the head, and the anterior left chest wall, Durning recovered quickly and was determined to be fit for duty on December 6, 1944. He arrived back at the front in time to take part in the Battle of the Bulge, the German counter-offensive through the Ardennes Forest of Belgium and Luxembourg in December 1944.[13][14]

After being wounded again, this time in the chest, Durning was returned to the United States. He remained in Army hospitals to receive treatment for wounds until being discharged with the rank of Private First Class on January 30, 1946. — Wiki

Although Klugman was in the Army as well, there is no mention of combat experience in the short time I researched his history. Durning earned our respect not only for his experiences in WW II but also for his acting career.

For me, his most memorable performance was his portrayal of a Marine Medal of Honor recipient on the NCIS TV show. Durning arrives at NCIS to confess the murder of a fellow Marine during the Battle of Iwo Jima.

He was nominated for an Emmy Award for his portrayal of a Marine veteran in “Call of Silence,” an episode of the television series NCIS, first broadcast November 23, 2004. Drawing on his first-hand knowledge of the lingering effects of battle-induced stress, Durning’s character turns himself in to authorities, insisting that he must be prosecuted for having murdered his buddy during ferocious combat on Iwo Jima six decades earlier.[15] The real truth of the incident only becomes known for certain when the guilt-stricken veteran goes through a cathartic reliving of the battlefield events. — Wiki

We’re now into the second decade of the Twenty-first Century. We’re losing more of our WW II, Korea and Vietnam veterans every day. Let’s honor them while they are still with us.


The liberals like to call those of us living in middle America as NASCAR loving rednecks.  KC has a NASCAR track on the western outskirts of Kansas City, KS and there is a number of races scheduled around the year.
But we here in middle America don’t limit our racing to just NASCAR. The truth is that we like just about any kind of racing.  Old NFO has a post about a transient aircraft at a small local airport and the effect it had on those present.  It reminded me of a race that I attended. A race I remember to this day. 
Hawker Sea Fury
Hawker Typhoon
F8F Bearcat
F2G Super Corsair
P-51D Miss America
It was a different kind of race.  Air racing. Reno-style. With WW2/Korea era piston-engined fighters like the P-51D, the F8F Bearcat, the F4U/F2G Corsair, the Hawker Typhoon and Sea Fury.

There were two races in the afternoon with a mini-air show in between.  There were a number of old fighter aircraft on display including a P-38, F-80, F-87 and a Mig-15.  The P-38 and F-80 each did a solo aerobatic demonstration.  There was supposed to be a mock dogfight between the F-87 and the Mig-15 but there was some maintenance issue in one of them and they didn’t perform.

My role, as one of the pylon judges, was to observe how close each aircraft came to the pylons.  There were strict rules governing how the pylon could be approached, at what altitude, the minimum distance allowable to the pylon and some other rules I’ve now forgotten.  Mostly we just laid on the ground and watched the aircraft as they made the turn.  My job was to check the approach direction.  There were specific rules on the approach vector to insure that if any accident occurred it wouldn’t endanger any of the nearby residences or other structures.

One older local pilot told me to bring some earplugs. I was glad I did. My ears still rang for a day even with the protection of the ear plugs.  There’s nothing like the sound of a Merlin or 4-bank radial engine at full power.  If you look at the race results below, you see the average speeds were in the neighborhood of 400mph. Many flew well above that.

It was an afternoon to remember.
1993 – Oct 22-24, Kansas City Air Races, Olathe KC

   Championship = 1. Bill Destefani, P-51D Strega (v: 408.91). 2. Dennis Sanders, Sea Fury Dreadnought (v: 402.37). 3. Bill Rheinschild, P-51D Risky Business (v: 379.64). 4. Kevin Eldridge, F2G Super Corsair (v: 375.84). 5. Del Williams, P-51D Pegasus (v: 360.26).  

   Reserve Race = 1. Alan Preston, P-51D Miss America (v: 347.72). 2. Lloyd Hamilton, Sea Fury Baby Gorilla (v: 340.09). 3. Robert Converse, P-51D Huntress III (v: 322.36). 4. Howard Pardue, F8F-1 Bearcat (v: 320.90). 5. Art Vance, P-51D Million Dollar Baby (v: 257.80).