Where We May Have Already Met

Where we may have already met:

Schools Attended:

48-53 Sequoyah Elementary School, Tulsa, OK. Good Jungle Jim. Its still there!

53-56 Cherokee Elementary and Junior High School, Turley, OK. Tops, marbles, and ping pong champion. Played 2nd Chair Viola in orchestra.

56-59 Tulsa Central High School , Tulsa, OK. Played 3rd Chair Viola in orchestra for fun; it was a stress reducer. Advanced Physical Science was too advanced. There were 998 Seniors in my graduating class of 1959.

60-62 Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College (NEO) , Miami, OK. Good social life. Played Drums, Bell Iris, and oboe in band. Marched in Band and drilled in Air Force ROTC. Played in "All Our Sons" play. There was a large group of close friends that did things together.

Parker Hall

63-65 Oklahoma State University (OSU) , Stillwater, OK. Worked on OSU College Newspaper and on Dorm B Newsletter called the "Bee Line". We refused to let the Bee Line be censored and approved before publication. We renamed Dorm B "Quanah Parker Hall" over objections of Board of Regents. They were waiting for one of them to die so they could name it after a member of the Board of Regents. A lot of people in this school.

Work Experience:

58-58 Warehouse Market, Turley, OK. Sacker, $0.50/Hour.

59-61 Humpty Dumpty Super Markets, Tulsa, OK. Checker/Stocker, $1.10/Hour. First fulltime paycheck, first car (1950 Studebaker), and first dating girlfriend (Carolyn). It takes the first two to get the third.

61-62 Nabisco Cookie Company , Tulsa, OK. Summer Vacation Relief Route Salesman for two summers. Ordered Nabisco Cookies for every grocery store in Tulsa, Bartlesville, Broken Arrow, Sand Springs, and Jenks, OK over a 3 month period.

65-69 United States Air Force (USAF), As Assistant Administrative Officer, supervised Nellis Air Force Base Post Office, Publications and Reproduction, and Administrative Services. Served as Top Secret Control Officer for Nellis AFB. As Administrative Officer for a F-105 Training Squadron controlled factors winning Outstanding Squadron 3 quarters in a row. Served 6 months TDY with the US Disarmament Agency on Project Cloud Gap. Then served as Commander, Headquarters Squadron until I went to Vietnam. In Vietnam served 10 months in Saigon as Administrative Officer and Finance Officer. I was in Saigon during the 1968 Tet Offensive. Spent last 2 months in Danang with Intelligence Officers questioning North Vietnamese Prisoners.

1970 - Present. Civil Service with the US Army, Supply Systems Analyst. Supply Management Intern at Red River Army Depot, Texarkana, TX. Worked in Plans & Policy Branch at MACOM, St. Louis, MO and at the US Army catalog Data Activity (CDA) at New Cumberland, PA. Also did a tour in Germany. Now working for the US. Army at Reynolds Army Community Hospital (RACH) at Fort Sill, OK as a Supply Systems Analyst.

Cities Lived In:

41-42 Born in Mangum, OK. My Dad returned to Mangum when he retired.

42-52 Tulsa, OK. Went to Sequoya Elementary School. Attended Christian Church. Memorable Persons: Charles Howard, Myrna Howard, next door neighbors.

52-60 Turley, OK. Attended Turley Church of Christ. The Church at Turley has been closed due to declining membership. My dad put a lot of money into that church over the years. Its assets were sold and the proceeds were divided between the Churches of Christ congregations at Sperry, OK, and Collensville, OK. Many former members of the Turley Church of Christ are now members of those congregations.

I was in the Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts while living in Turley. Mom was a Den Mother. I was a member of the Beaver Patrol and the Fox Patrol, Troop 70, Turley, OK, Boy Scouts of America. Highest rank achieved was Scout 1st Class. I guess I am not a Congressman or Astronaut because I didn't make the rank of Eagle Scout. Glen Robinson was the Fox Patrol Leader and I was the Asst Patrol Leader. We met at my house in the old chicken coop. It was a nice little club house. I won the Troop fire making contest at one Troop meeting that included the Girl Scouts as guests. I remember that Pricilla was there, and so was Phillis Shook, I think.

I dropped out of the Boy Scouts when a new Troop leader refused to give me my perfect attendance pen because his records did not cover the complete year. The Troop also owed me donut money for selling donuts door to door on Saturdays.

Went to Cherokee Elementary School, Cherokee Junior High School, and Tulsa Central High School , Tulsa, OK. Memorable Persons: Douglas Finch, Dixie Finch, Margie Harvey, Raymond Brown, Mary Ethyl Campbell, Lloyd Melvin Hardesty, Patsy Hardesty (from the Collensville Church of Christ), Shirley Jones, Judy Stiles, Peggy Harper, Phyllis Shook, Susan Smith, Richard Barnett, Diana McDonald, Jackie Kellogg.

Jackie and I used to play marbles after school and Diana picked up the marbles for us after we shot them out of the circle. (Mr. Thorpe was one of my teachers at Cherokee. I remember him because he made me stand up in front of the class and explain where I got the penny packet of koolaid that He caught someone in class eating after I gave it to him. He didn't catch me eating it in class, but I was the one on trial. The threat was the proverbial swat on the palm with his wooden paddle. This was a month or so after he made me change chairs because he caught me talking to Judy Stiles during class.)

60-62 Miami, OK. Attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College (NEO) Went to the Miami Church of Christ. Memorable Persons: Veda Grigsby, Margie Fields, Kathy Farney, Gwen, Mary, Sharon Hoover, Ruth Ann Shaffer, Larry Brown, Evelyn Campbell, and Mr. Swanson - NEO Band Director.

62-65 Stillwater, OK. Attended Oklahoma State University (OSU) Went to the Stillwater Church of Christ. Memorable Persons: Phil Givens, Madeline Heimer, and Bonnie from Willow, OK. Willow is just north of Mangum.

65-67 Las Vegas, Nevada. Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant on graduation. Left US Air Force as Captain. Last assignment was in Viet Nam. When in Vegas I would sleep from 5-10 and go out on the town till 2. Memorable persons: 1LT Donna Laird, daughter of Charles Laird, Tampa, Florida.

66-66 Bueno Vista, Arizona. Six months TDY with Project Cloud Gap under the US Army and the US Disarmament Agency. Conducted exercises to determine the best way to detect clandisine underground nuclear tests under a nuclear arms test ban treaty. Flew around in helocopters from site to site during the day. One helocopter crashed killing one member of the other team, and injuring others. I took his place on the team and we soon had the same pilot in the driver's seat. High elevation, early frost.

66-66 Mercury Test Site, Nevada. This was part of the 6 months TDY with Project Cloud Gap. There is a big dry hole in the ground there from the first surface nuclear bomb test. I stood on the edge and looked down. Its pretty deep. Supposed to be safe now, HA, HA!

Fallout from all Nuclear Tests.
(Click image to enlarge)

67-68 Saigon and Danang, Republic of South Vietnam. There were lots of big holes in the ground in Vietnam from B-52 bombs. There were also a few big holes around our office at Tan Son Nhat Air Base from Viet Cong Rockets.

I was assigned to an intelligence unit and wore civilian clothes during this tour. I carried a concealed weapon (Smith & Wesson .38 Special) for a year in Vietnam, except during the Tet Offensive in 1968 when I carried a fully automatic M-16 in the open for about 4 weeks.

I carried the M-16 back and forth to work and took it home at night and to the office during the day. The whole city was on alert. We watched the defense of Saigon from the roof of our apartment building at night. The C-47 Dragon Ships would put out a solid stream of fire from their gatling guns. I saw my first Apache helicoper gun ship from my apartment in Saigon.

Although the fully automatic M-16 would meet the Clinton-Reno Administration definition of an assault rifle, it was not an assault rifle, since I only carried it for self defense. No one shot at me so I never had to shoot back.

I had more freedom and liberty in Vietnam than I do in the United States. At least there I was allowed to arm myself for my self defense from criminals, the Viet Cong (South Vietnamese civilian "freedom fighters" who fought on the side of the North), and the North Vietnamese soldiers.

One soldier told me to remove the clip from my government M-16 once at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, so I took it out to humor him until he was out of sight. I could have shown him my military ID and pulled rank on him, but that would have compromised our role of pretending to be civilian contractors. He did not have a need to know.

I have been requested to put a link to the Republic of Vietnam here by Nhan Vo who lives in Lawton, OK. There is no longer a North and South Vietnam. It is now just the Republic of Vietnam, unified under the North Vietnamese. Nhan Vo explains that the meaning of Tan Son Nhat is: Tan means new; Son means mountain; and Nhat means first or one.

68-70 Tulsa, OK. Cleanest city in the USA. Raced my car every weekend in Rallys and such with the Tulsa Sportscar Club. Stayed at my Dad's house. He was alone at this time. My brother Richard was still in town but lived in Sand Springs. Memorable Persons: Marvin Woody, Kay Woody, Kendra Woody, neighbors (Found my website in 2004 and sent me email updating me on the last 34 years. Thanks for writing and sharing.)

70-71 New Boston, Texas. The whole police department was fired for beating teenagers with rubber hoses just before I got there. Memorable Persons: Helen Wheeler (Hell on Wheels), Ray Knuth, Jim Livinggood, Larry Brown.

71-72 Saint Louis, MO. Met my wife, Judy Woerther, there. Memorable Persons: Sherry McNeal, Laura Carlson, Barbara (Babs).

72-74 New Cumberland, PA. Lost everything in the 1972 Hurricane Agnes flood. The government had my property in temporary storage in a riverfront warehouse and never thought to check on it or to notify me when the river began to rise. One winter we had 3 feet of snow one night, and 2 feet the next night.

74-77 Zweibruken, Germany. Will never go back. One english channel on TV. My oldest boy, Willie, was born there.

77-78 New Cumberland, PA. Returned to PA after Germany. There is good deer and pheasant hunting in Pensyvannia. Hunted pheasant with Tom Brown near Chambersburg, PA. on weekends.

78-Present Lawton, OK. Lawton is OK, but Tulsa is better. Everyone I graduated high school with that went to college had to leave Tulsa to get a job, including me. Did a lot of TDY during this period and most of my memorable friends are from traveling together on TDY trips. Surviving hard times together creates strong bonds. Memorable Persons: Joe Carr, Bob Anderson, Jimmy Ross, Rose Flood, Charlotte Francis Greene, Chris (Christine) Kilgore.

Cars Owned:

1950 Studebaker Champion.

First car owned. Purchased after high school so I could work for a year before I went to college. Drove through college graduation. Suspension was worn out, so I sold it to a man to use to drive his sawmill.

1957 Oldsmobile.

Purchased when I graduated from college and joined the Air Force. Ended up giving this to a friend of my brother, Donnie. Transmission was out.

1969 Blue Fiat 850 Spyder.

Purchased brand new when I got out of the Air Force. Traded this in to the dealer on the new dark brown 1972 Plymouth Satellite Sebring Plus.

1967 Ford Mustang

Judy's car when I married her. I think we let my brother, Richard, drive this after we moved to Lawton, OK. Don't know what happened to it.

1957 Piper Tripacer

Judy's airplane when I married her. This is the way it looked most of the time, tied down at the airport. This cost about $2,000 a year to keep for tie-down or T-hanger space and the required yearly inspection and maintenance costs. It would cost less to rent a newer airplace, for the limited time that Judy flew it. We had this flown from St. Louis, MO, to Harrisburg, PA, when we moved to Pennsylvanna. Judy didn't have the experience to fly it over the Appalacia Mountains. We sold this after about 2 years in PA and took a Pickup truck in trade.

1972 Plymouth Satellite Sebring Plus.

This was dark brown. Purchased it brand new to drive to PA when I was transferred there. Traded Blue Fiat 850 Spyder in on it. Sold this to brother, Donnie, when we went to Germany. He traded it in on another car.

1981 Red Fiat X/1-9.

Purchased used in PA. Sold this to step-sister, Choppie, when we went to Germany. She sold it back to me when we returned to the States. Let brother, Richard, drive this. Richard abandoned this on the road twice. Second time I let the towing company keep it.

1970 3/4 Ton Chevrolet C-20 Pickup Truck

Accepted as trade in when we sold Judy's airplane. Sold this to brother, Richard.

1960 Dodge Dart

Inherited from Judy's Aunt. It was always kept in a garage and had very low milage. Drove this for a long time. Don't remember what happened to it.

1970 Audi S Coupe.

Purchased used in Germany when we got there. Sold this when we moved back to the States.

1970 Fiat 124.

Purchased used in Germany for Judy. Sold this when we moved back to the States.

1969 Dodge Coronet Superbee.

I custom ordered this car new for my Mom in 1969. I planned to buy it from her one day. Bought it from her when she bought another car. Sold this when it was worn out.

1975 Chevy Van.

This was a converted van. Bought it in PA to go camping. Sold this to my brother Donnie. Donnie traded it in on a 4 wheel drive pickup.

1980 International Scout.

Bought used in Lawton, OK because it had a new paint job and looked really good. Always wanted a 4 wheel drive to go hunting in. Mine looked just like this except it was midnight blue. Sold mine to the guy who answered our ad to buy our pop-up camper.

1977 Chrysler Cordoba.Bought used from my mom when she bought a new car. Mom bought this new. Still driving this in 2004. It has 1,000,000 miles on it with second transmission and original engine. The factory transmission went out at 180,000 miles. The rebuilt transmission is still working with over 800,000 miles on it. Gave this to a friend in 2005 to get it out of the street. He gave it to his ex. It was still drivable with over 1,000,000 miles on it.

1986 Pontiac Berlinetta Firebird S/E Special Edition. There was a limited run of only 2,259 Special Editions that were built in 1986. It was the last year for a Special Edition model. I bought this used from my mom when she bought a new car. Mom bought this new at my recomendation. I planned to buy it from her when she got a new car. They told her it was a Special Edition and that it had a 350 cubic inch engine in it. (Spec sheets on the WEB just show a 305 engine for 1986 though.) It had the big firebird decal on the hood, the overhead console with the built in flashlight, a Special Edition steering wheel, the 1984 Trans Am Spoiler, and the 1986 Trans Am alloy wheels. Sold this to my son, Will, in 2001. He is still driving it in 2005.

It looked very much like this 1984 Firebird Trans Am. It has the same spoiler, the same firebird decals on the side, and the exact same wheels. It was stolen and stripped while Mom owned it. They took the complete interior including the seats, floor carpet, overhead liner, the steering wheel, the spoiler, and the wheels. In other words, they took everything that makes it look like a Special Edition, probably to put on another car. They dropped it on the ground after they took the wheels, so the body was damaged. Insurance fixed it, but they could not replace the Special Edition steering wheel. We left the firebird decal off the hood, when the paint shop repaired the body damage and repainted it. That was to keep it from being so conspicuous a target for thieves.

My sister rear ended a car with it, so the front end and front fenders were replaced and repainted. The radiator and engine were not damaged. Then my brother rear ended a car with it. This time it was a lighter tap and only the front bumber cowling had to be replaced and repainted. Maybe this car needs better brakes.

The automatic transmission went out at 180,000 miles. I had it rebuilt and it runs good now. The catalitic converter had to be replaced to get it running good after the transmission was rebuilt. Maybe the collasped catalitic converter is what caused the automatic transmission to go out. I had it tuned up at this time also. A few months later, the mufflers had to be replaced. I had Midas Muffler put on their Performance Mufflers. It already had dual mufflers, of course. It sounds much better now with the Midas Performance Mufflers. And it goes good too!

1987 Oldsmobile Ceria.Bought this used for my daughter, Jenny, to drive to work while she was going to college. Jenny took this to GA when she moved there to get a Federal Job. Jenny drove it for a while and then bought a new car; This car sat in the Georga Rain until it was full of mold and then Jenny had it towed away.

2000 Ford Taurus.Bought used in December 2000. Merry Christmas. It was a program car from Hertz Rental Agency. It was like new with only 22,000 miles on it. Still driving this in 2005.

1997 Ford Thunderbird.

Bought used in January 2001 with 50,000 miles on it. Looks like new. Sold this to son, John, in 2001 when he graduated from college and got his first job. John gave it back to me as a present in 2006 when he bought a new car.

1991 Chevy S10 Pickup.

Bought used in April 2002 with 125,000 miles on it. Looks like this except the colors are reversed. Mine is blue over white tutone. I need a truck for the ranch in Texas. I left this in Texas for Ed to drive on Mom's place (to get it out of the street).

Maintenance Record:

    lube, oil, and filters

Repairs Needed:

    Drivers door handle loose (broken inside); Drivers window lift broken (glass taped up); Drivers door alignment (must slam hard to close); 2nd Gear detent broken (must hold in 2nd gear) fuses out; right turn signal out; horn broken; no gas pedal (just the lever); parking brake doesn't work; broken spring in drivers seat (need pad); rear view mirror on seat; crack in windshield glass; need new carpet; need new floor mats; need wash, vacuum, and wax; bent wheel (need new set of wheels); need new tires; lost jack; broken spare tire holder; need shocks

1993 Chevrolet C1500 Pickup.

Bought from Tinker Air Force Base as Government Surplus in July 2003 with 79,000 miles on it. To tow trailers to the ranch. Still driving this in 2005.

1978 Winnebago Chieftian.

Bought from EBay in September 2005. Listed as "Runs good, only has small leak in power steering". When I picked it up in Oklahoma City, OK, it would squirt added power steering fluid directly out on the ground, so the power steering hose was obviously broken. It was also unsafe to drive over 20 mph because of 180 degree play in steering wheel, so I had to take it directly to a dealer for repair. It took over 3 hours to find someone in Oklahoma City that would work on a RV with a Dodge chassis. City Chevrolet on Reno Street agreed to work on it.

Repairs: (On 1 Ton 1978 Dodge Motorhome Chassis. Milo-Gordon Chrysler Parts people in Lawton, OK, say it has parts from a 1976-1993 1 ton full size Dodge Van Chassis; Eddie Cordes Dodge Service Manager in Lawton, OK, says it is on a 1 ton Dodge D-350 Truck Chassis. It has rear duals.)

New Power Steering Hose.
Steering coupler and steering gear box (Dealer couldn't find parts so I had to find this. I finally got parts from a 1990 Dodge Ram D-250 Pickup at D & R Salvage in Lawton, OK.)

Repairs Needed:

Too much play in steering wheel, power steering leak, missing one windshield wiper, horn doesn't work, two running lights out, leaking exhaust manifolds, needs shocks.

Check tires and all systems: make safe to drive, make street legal, check heater and defroster, check tires, check steering and suspension, check brakes, tune engine, check exhaust system, check roof air conditioner, check and service generator, check room heater, check refrigerator, check oven and stove, check bathroom, check water system, check roof for leaks, check for external power hookup.


Return, Top Page, Ron's Home
http://ballew.org/rbwemet.html Updated August 4, 2006 by Ron Ballew