Saturday November 06TH 2010
Volume 3 / Number 9 / Edition 106
25 years ago this weekend I flew on an overnight flight from Northern Virginia to London England to arrive at my new home for the next two years – my first permanent duty assignment as a young 18-year-old USAF Airman. I took British Rail from London Heathrow Airport to Reading – and then from Reading to Swindon further west. From Swindon I hired a cab to take me to my new home and workplace at RAF Fairford. During that cab ride on that sunny and cold morning of Sunday November 10TH 1985 I heard the chilling song “Road To Nowhere” by The Talking Heads on the radio. How appropriate.
My first couple of months at RAF Fairford were mostly spent on base either working at the office (as an aircraft maintenance systems analyst / statistician), or living in the dormitory. I lived in the old-style dorm buildings on base – small ones strategically built in a series of rows shortly after World War II. There were no bathrooms in any of the dorm rooms. They were down the hallway – community-style. Our ‘Day Room’ was where we hung out after work to socialize and watch TV and play card games – mostly Uno. There were some fun all-night sessions in that room. Good times and good memories with good buddies at the time. I can still see us all sitting around that big round table in the corner laughing and carrying on at 3 AM in the dead of the British winter. It made it easier for me during that first Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s holiday season away from home in a foreign land.
Shortly after 1986 arrived I got to upgrade to my own 2ND floor room in ‘the new dorm’ – with shared bathrooms in-between each dorm room. I also made my way out of the dorm and began exploring the vast U.K. countryside and historic European continent.
But my U.K. experience all began during those first two memorable months of November and December of 1985. One of the top pop / rock hits on both sides of the Atlantic during those early days and weeks at my new home was this comeback smash from Starship. Here’s “We Built This City” – the # 1 smash on the Billboard Hot 100 exactly 25 years ago this month – and one of my favourite songs of all-time !