Breakfast with the Adairs

Our family spent the last four years of my military service in California.  We had always wanted to live there since we were stationed in Madera in 1964 and met the Adair’s, who had a walnut ranch and another family that had an almond ranch.  It looked like the good life to us.  When I was approaching the end of my military career I was Instructor Supervisor for the DSP program stationed at Lowry AFB in Denver.  The DSP program was a satellite surveillance system that fed info into the NORAD Headquarters better known as the ‘Mountain’ in Colorado Springs.  There was very little chance of my getting transferred to California as a Space and Missile Systems Operator/Technician so I cross-trained into recruiting.  I got California like I wanted out of Recruiting School and was assigned as the recruiter for Yolo County with an office in the Federal Building right across the park from the Capitol in Sacramento.  After a couple of years, I was tapped by Squadron HQ to move to Travis AFB as Operations Supervisor for Northern California and Western Nevada.  We moved from our home in Crawford’s Barn off Folsom Blvd. to base housing at Travis AFB.  

 After a couple more years as Operations Supervisor, I was getting tired of recruiting and the constant stress and pressure the job entailed and thinking about going back to Space and Missile Systems when I suddenly realized I could retire.  This was in 1979 and I was 38 years old.  I went ahead and put in my papers and then we had to think about what we were going to do after I got out.  We had bought a 20 acre vineyard on South Maple south of Fresno back in 1970 and our friend Fred Adair had been operating it for us for all that time.  We told Fred we were retiring and he told us about a neighbor with a 20 acre vineyard that was thinking about selling.   We visited the vineyard and met with the owner and bought another vineyard.  I wouldn’t be able to retire until August but we had the vineyard in January of 1979.

Patty and the kids moved down to Fowler to our new vineyard right away and I commuted from Travis AFB on weekends, about a 3 hour trip.   On the first weekend on the farm, Patty and I were extremely excited and could hardly sleep.   We were awake about 5:00 AM and pretty antsy.  We decided to get up and fix a big breakfast but that wasn’t enough, we wanted to share this momentous occasion- our first breakfast on the farm.  We decided we would go get the Adair’s and have them over for breakfast.  I went out and got the tractor and hooked up the vineyard wagon to it.  Patty and the kids got on the wagon and I went roaring between vineyards the half-mile to the Adair’s.  It was dark out and as we passed neighbor’s farmhouses we could see the lights come on.  As we pulled into the Adair’s walnut ranch we came up behind the house and my headlights raked Emmy and Fred’s bedroom window.  By the time we got to the front of the house, Fred was on the porch in his jockey shorts with his shotgun pointed at us.   He said, “Well, you damn fool!  I could have shot you!”  You haven’t lived until you’ve seen an irate Fred in jockey shorts pointing a shotgun at you.


 We finally got Fred calmed down and he and Emmy and Billy got on the wagon and we went back to our farm for breakfast.  I’m sure that they and the other neighbors were thinking “What in the world has happened to out neighborhood?”  We lived there for four years making raisins and  I attended Fresno State and got a degree in Viticulture/Enology. 

Explore posts in the same categories: Family, Friends

2 Comments on “Breakfast with the Adairs”

  1. […] Breakfast with the Adair’s  October 10, […]

  2. […] In 1979 I suddenly realized that I could retire! We wanted to live in Fowler where our friends Emmy and Fred lived but weren’t too eager to live in the farmhouse on Maple Street that we’d owned for about ten years. Fred had a pigeon-racing buddy that had a house on a twenty-acre vineyard about a half-mile down the street from him and he was planning to sell and retire. Patty and I went down to look at it and bought it on the spot. Patty took the kids and moved down and I stayed in the barracks at Travis for a few months and drove down on weekends. My Squadron re-assigned me to the AFEES in Fresno since I was the supervisor for the USAF contingent there anyway and I moved down for my final two months in the Air Force. I wrote about this in a previous post: […]

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