They said -the old guard, that is- said, “Where. Where! Off. Gone! It is gone, just like that. Missing. Hah. Hah! Yes, like a gremlin!
“Flew off! Bastard. The air strip. What, are you mad? You can’t be. No! You cannot.
“That gremlin? He gone. He’s left. Do inventory after flight ops. You’ll never see him again. Wait.
“Gremlins don’t fly. Never. Gremlins keep things grounded. Of course I’m right. They only fly if you are midrunway and they’re taking apart your bird!”
The laughs became a guffaw. Pilot and tech plus crew, not desegregated, but coming to terms with the gravity of this.
“Well, I’ll be. He got always scot-free, clean like a greenbean fly!”
I noted this twice. Misheard or no, this was the USS ESSEX: Paul T. Black take notice. He’d ask to verify, I’d be unable.
“He got it, that gremlin! Wait, do we owe on that bird?”
The Army Air Force did not, and there is laughter outdoors and events by private invitation only.
“Warbly Parker glasses and all! Fellas, shake your damn fists. We forgot.”
“Jesus Christ, sir,” the Milky Way, Air Force, “full report.”