My place of work is near the airport. More specifically, it’s across the street from Berry Field, where my dad was based for over 20 years. Although it’s not technically an active military base anymore, it continues to evoke a sense of pride and nostalgia every time I pass by.
Every year the base would host their annual Christmas party. Masses of people in uniform and their families gathered in the hangar to eat, play carnival games, and wait for Santa Claus to come down the runway. Oh yes, Santa would always come to town in a cargo plane, walk down the line of us, handing out candy canes.
My mom tells a story of one year I got lost. Of course, being a small child, I couldn’t distinguish any one person from the uniformed group. According to her, I ran around asking anyone in uniform, “Are you my daddy?” I completely believe this story.
So seeing the plane of Air Force One on the base filled me with an emotion I can’t decide on how to describe. It’s still pride, I think.
What I did learn that day is no matter how much I hate the politics, the policies, or the person, seeing that plane is still cool. Yeah, it’s pride.
Apart from the federal funds Trump has promised to Middle Tennessee, the only thing I cared about was if Melania accompanied him. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about the silently suffering type that draws me in. Here’s a woman who’s a successful fashion model, wealthy on her own, married a billionaire, and is now the First Lady of the free world, and yet I want her to have a better quality of life. She’s something of a spectacle, no lie. I was slightly disappointed she didn’t make the trip.
Watching the news coverage, I was totally let down by the fact he didn’t say, “Make Cookeville great again” at any point in his speech. I had $5 riding on that, dammit.
Good for Putnam County, though. They’re hardcore fuck-all Trump supporters over there, so I’m sure it meant a lot to them. Especially as Putnam has suffered the most loss from this happening. It’s a cute place to live, and they’re already beginning to rebuild the town, but thank the gods I got out of there before the Trump train pulled into station.
It’s interesting how we define totally natural phenomena as “disasters” when we are involved. Let me be clear, 24 people have been confirmed dead and this is absolutely a tragedy for those families. It’s just interesting to me how we use language to define situations depending on our individual perspectives. This is a tangent, I’m sorry. #PrayforCookeville #PrayforNashville