Blogs by Rep Bob Lynn

Blog site of Representative Bob Lynn, Alaska House of Representatives,District 31 Anchorage, Alaska. Blogs consist of public comments during legislative sessions, speeches, political commentary, as well as personal observations, and some journal type entries. Comments are invited.

Location: Anchorage, Alaska, United States

Member of the Alaska State House of Represeentatives since 2003. US Air Force, Retired; military bandsman; F94C interceptor pilot; Vietnam service as radar controller (Monkey Mountain), radar site commander(Pleiku); Government Contract Management; Public school Teacher, Retired. Married 55 years to Marlene Wagner Lynn, 6 children, 20 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild. Member St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church. Former Tucson Arizona policeman, Ambulance Driver and Mortician's Assistant, Realtor (currently on referral status).

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Reliving Yesteryear: August 7, 2004

Report on a great birthday present: Reliving Yesteryear
Fifty-three years ago in 1952 I met my wife, the former Marlene Wagner, of Dexter, in the “boot heel” of southeast Missouri. At the time, I was an Aviation Cadet seventeen miles away at Malden Air Base, Missouri in primary Air Force Flying School learning to fly the mighty T-6 Texan – a 600 horsepower tail dragger aircraft we used to call a an airplane with a built-in ground loop. In those days, cadets went directly into the T-6 without having flown a less challenging trainer. Looking back on it, that was incredible. I soloed the T-6 in 23 hours, and accumulated something like 60 flying hours in the bird.
My last Air Force in the T-6 was in December 1952.

In February 2005 Marlene gave me a wonderful birthday present – a flight in a T-6 (now called a “warbird”) at Merrill Field in Anchorage. A gentleman makes a business in his T-6 traveling around the country selling front-seat flights in the T-6, and you get to fly it. The flight was scheduled for the summer.

On August 7th, I arrived at Merrill Field and climbed aboard the T-6 (this one blue, rather than the bright yellow like the T-6s I had flown in Cadets). I was “driving” from the front seat, the instructor (the “GIB,” or “guy in back”) in the back. On the way out to the flight area, the instructor asked me when I had last flown the T-6. I told him 1952, and he informed me that 1952 was the year he was born! How about that for making a “hot rock” pilot feel old!

Well, I’ve got to tell you, and yes it is bragging, that flying the T-6 after all those years seemed almost as if it were yesterday. Everything came right back! Throttle on the left, stick in the right hand, as God intended airplanes to be (not a wimpy control wheel). The instructor demonstrated a couple rolls, and then I did the rolls – getting better with each one. Then he said, “Let me demonstrate a loop” – but then said, “No, I’m not going to demonstrate it. You know how to fly this airplane, just do it on your own.” And yes I did. No problem. No sweat. After about an hour flight, we returned (in one piece) and landed at Merrill Field. “Cheated death one more time”!!! (as we used to say).

I would like to own a T-6, but it’s so gas thirsty I’d have to refinance my home every time I wanted to fly it. I’d also like to own the T-28, T-33, and F94C I used to fly. To bad that won’t happen.

A video with sound was made of the flight. One camera was mounted in the front cockpit, one atop the vertical stabilizer, and one on the right wing tip. The instructor pressed a button to record the various maneuvers. So now I have a “Hey, look at me” video to show off to friends.

When I returned from the flight, I felt more relaxed than I had all year. The flight came toward the end of a tough primary election campaign, and it was exactly what I needed. What a great great birthday present. Thank you Marlene.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Part of a Legislative Day: August 2004

The following is an article I wrote for the Southside Commnity Pulse, Anchorage, AK

During the regular session, I leave about 7:15AM about from our temporary home in Juneau to go to work at the state capitol. All legislators from out-of-town live in temporary quarters during the January to May session. My wife Marlene and I stay at the Driftwood Lodge motel.

After conferring with my staff, I head for my first committee meeting of the day: 8-10AM. Like most majority party House Members, I serve on four different committees. Committees are where the testimony, pro and con, is heard on bills. Most amendments to bills are made in committee.

After the first committee, it’s to the House chambers for the legislative session, which usually lasts two to three hours. A copy of the Anchorage Daily News is on our desks, and we check out how the previous day’s news was reported (or misreported). Yes, we do look at Letters to the Editor and editorials, to see if the we’ve been portrayed as heroes or villains.

When the “Daily Calendar” begins, the House Member sponsoring a bill stands and tells us why we should vote “yes” (like if we don’t vote “yes,” the sky will fall). The more popular the bill, the more legislators orate – thereby “scoring points (it’s hoped) with the TV audience back home. Opponents to the bill will do the same. Some legislators seem to be “vaccinated with a phonograph needle” – meaning they’ve discovered the secret of everlasting speech.

Too often, some legislator will call for an “at ease” in the proceedings. The TV camera remains on, but audio is off. Legislators will huddle in groups of two or three, to hold mini-debates or strategy sessions – especially on unexpected amendments. I joke we might have to extend the session to allow more time for “at eases.”

Several wonderful young people work in the House chamber as pages. They keep our water glasses filled, distribute amendments, and carry notes back and forth between representatives. We used to get in trouble in school for passing notes but, in the legislature, it’s acceptable. Some notes are like “what’s your opinion of this?” Other notes can be sarcastic or funny about someone speaking (tempting, but I shan’t share those).

Finally, it’s decision time. To vote, push the green “yes,” or the red “no” button, and our vote appears on the electronic tally board. Some legislators vote quickly, so their vote won’t be the one that makes or breaks a bill. After the vote, the Speaker of the House will ask if anyone wants to change their vote. Some legislators are infamous for changing their vote, in an attempt to be on the winning side. It’s also easy to make an honest mistake and accidentally push the wrong button. So far, I’ve never changed a vote for any reason.

After the floor session, it’s another committee, or back to the office to catch up on paperwork, to meet industry representatives (euphemism for lobbyists), or constituents. More about “the rest of the day” in another article. . .

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