Years ago, I wrote at some length about Baxter Haynes and his memorial service: “I admired the dashing figure in his convertible who seemed to me to define the well-turned-out ‘man about town.’” I only knew of his son, Baxter Morgan Haynes, Jr., who inherited Camp Ton-A-Wandah, which he managed from his office next door to his brother R. Anderson Haynes in the former Post Office building on Pacolet Street.
Morgan had long since moved to Carbondale, Colorado, where he died on December 28, 2021. I enjoyed two trips to Camp Ton-A-Wandah as a member of the senior class of Tryon High. Miss Elmina Wages was our faculty leader and saw to it that we all “had fun.”
I happily note that among Morgan’s many and varied interests, we shared a love of woodworking
There is a connection between CDR Haynes Sr and the late Capt. Austin Chapman. Baxter commented on his appointment of Austin to the Naval Academy at Annapolis that Austin was his only appointee whom he thought “might one day outrank me.”
Austin is the son of two of my late friends, Demus and Evelyn Chapman. Demus welcomed us to Tryon’s First Baptist Church when I retired in 1988, and Evelyn often escorted me to the refreshment table after I had given blood to the Red Cross.
Austin was a Naval Aviator, who won his wings of gold in February 1965, about the time we received our adopted daughter Sharon. I hold all Naval Aviators in highest esteem because I think they have a smidgen more of “the Right Stuff.” Austin flew many hours in the Vought A-7, a bird I helped design.
Fighter pilots seldom make Captain, which indicates Austin’s capabilities. We had a difference of opinion about fighters, though: Austin believed in the new doctrine that fighters do not need guns, relying instead on their air-to-air missiles to bring down the enemy aircraft not yet seen over the horizon.
My feeling, having helped design the Vought F8U Crusader (“the last of the gun fighters”), is that when you are closing at some 500 knots each, you are going to get together. Then a close-in dogfight becomes inevitable, and you will wish you had guns to bring down your adversary. .
Many of you may remember Klinger’s continuing efforts to be discharged from the Army in the TV series M*A*S*H years ago. Now that the vaccination mandate has come to be, the Armed Forces are beginning to lose troops. When I was in the Air Force, we got mandatory shots on entry, and held onto our shot records to avoid getting all of the shots again! Now, getting out is immediate and painless—just refuse to be vaccinated . . .
At least, when they get Covid, their brothers and sisters still in arms will be at the civilian hospitals to take care of them. The old order of things indeed changeth; I believe us old folks are not really prepared for it. At least, I am not.
Long term friend Father Walter Bryan shook me out of my pragmatic view of my life expectancy. He offers “what I say is ‘go for the gusto’ and expect. Life is built around expectations. Expectations keep the light burning at the end of the tunnel. If you fall short, the journey will have been a blessing.”
We have lost another great American, the Academy Award winning Sydney Poitier. He was more than a celebrated actor, he was also an important player in his real life. He quietly but forcefully advocated for “equal rights” for everyone.
Was happy to see my last column featured in the on-line version of the TDB. Thank you, Jeff Allison. And renewed thanks to TBD’s other Jeff: Byrd, who invited me to write columns for the TDB early in 1995. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but I am still trying.
I remind people who tell me that they try, that some people are more trying than others. Gets the laugh I always hope for. Leave ‘em smiling, if not laughing out loud.