Monday, May 21, 2012

So what are two Watervliet boys doing in the Denver city Jail?

After the Pearl Harbor attack on December 6, 1941 several Watervliet boys signed up with the armed forces. Among these was Lewis F. "Louie" Long, a graduate of WHS with me in 1940. Louie had always dreamed of flying, and had nicknamed himself "Wings" and decorated his high school notebooks with flying symbols. Thus he naturally applied for flight training in the then Army Air Corps (now US Air Force). The Army sent him to Lowry Field east of Denver for some sort of pre-flight training. 

At the time I was a Sophomore at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden up in the mountains from Denver. One day Louie got a pass from Lowry and he and I got together in Denver for some good ol' Watervliet-type hoot-and-hollering. 

Among other indiscretions, he and I made dates with two bar maids in a disreputable drinking joint in downtown Denver. The only problem was they didn't get out of work until 1 a.m., while Private Long's Army curfew was midnight. I had the brilliant idea for Louie to take off his Army cap and put on  my civilian overcoat to hide his uniform. So we are waiting in front of the bar for the girls to come out when a Denver police car slowly passes, the cops eyeballing us. I said to Louie "Let's get out of here!" so we cut through the alley and guess who's waiting for us at the other end? The cops, of course. 

Well they put us in their car and haul us to the City Jail, Louie and I protesting innocence all the while. At the jail they discover Louie's camouflage and turn him over to the Military Police. Me, I'm protesting that they should do to me whatever they were going to do to my buddy. Not smart. A kind police sergeant (larger than me) takes me aside and suggests that I go the hell back to Golden. Humbly taking his advice I go to the Interurban Station and lay down on a hard bench until the first streetcar to Golden leaves in the morning.

So what happened to poor Louie? The MPs deliver him to his Company Commander back at Lowry, who had just got a promotion and was feeling so good that he just let Louie off with a lecture. Louie went on to become an expert Army pilot and after the war had a career in the Air Force. I don't know the details about what he did but I know he flew transport planes in the Berlin Air Lift and flew 100 missions during the Korean War.   

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