if OIC Frank Cole at Mobile City Office remembers the rabbit
traps in Due West, S.C., and how whenever he found a rabbit
in a trap he would remove the rabbit, take it home for hasenpfeffer,
and place a quarter in the trap instead. Wonder what the trappers
thought when they found the two-bits instead of the rabbit.
why, in the old days, at the kite stations there never was any
fuss and carrying on about working a few hours overtime and
never getting anything back for it. We old-timers worked overtime
just for the love of our work. Many a date Mr. Cole has broken
for me with the following remark: “Come on, boys, break
away – let’s get after those kites.”
being prepared for launching with kite-reel house in the
background. Image obtained from an old glass lantern slide.
kite station personnel enjoyed those days and really had the
interest of the Bureau at heart. It was a treat to welcome
the Chief of the Aerological Division, Mr. Willis R. Gregg,
to that little country town and show him around. He enjoyed
it tremendously and talked about it years later.
what happened to all those kite station employees –
the ones who were at Due West, especially – Brooks,
Long, Smith, Andrus, Cole, Pruitt, Stevenson, Rampey, and
others. Perhaps we should organize a Kite Fliers Club.
Due West members of the club would remember Mr. Cole’s
singing in the ARP choir – he had a fine voice. He loved
English history and many’s the time we got out of cutting
hay on the kite field by starting an argument on England’s
past. He would then start in to tell us all about it. Result:
two to three hours in the shade of the reelhouse… And
Mr. Andrus – courting that lovely girl he married. Mr.
Andrus was always active in church work. His favorite topic
in those days was the free balloon flights in which he had
participated, both national and international. He talked more
about that than I do about dahlias – and that’s
going some… and Mr. Roy Smith with the old-time Ford
“strip-down” roadster, courting all the girls
in the community, but still bashful and shy. He was a quiet
worker all right.
there was Arthur Brooks with the lovely sisters – all
blondes. Many of Arthur’s boy friends came to see him
and then spent the evening with his sisters. As for me, I
was a quiet city boy, just out of the Navy. I was faithful
in my attendance at the Woman’s College (my personal
interest was piano), and carried frequent messages from the
Erskine boys to the Woman’s College girls.
looking back over those kite station days – we all had
a serene, but active life. Due West may have been a small
community, but it was a fine place to live in.
“The BREEZE”, Vol. 4, No. 10, November 10, 1947.