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Great American Hot Air Balloon Race

This page is linked from the Fun Pages

This is a POW/MIA Hot Air Balloon that Dave/Paul Bunyan flew in from our VWF Yahoo Group, click Freedom Flight

Freedom Flight

A Message From Our Dear Departed Angle Kat

Lady Jo
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 VWF Balloon Race Story Begins
It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for…our VWF family celebration! . We will see many of our friends and hope to meet others from our group. We will gather together, share our stories as we‘ve done each year. A Planned picnic and, afterwards a balloon race will follow. …although I’m scratching my head on the latter. Personally, I’m a ground lover but will try to keep my wits about me. This will certainly be a new adventure one that will be prove to be uplifting!!

As Bob and I reach our group’s meeting place, in Maine at our friend Paul Bunyans neck of the woods, We are met by Ms. Patti. She tells us Paul is making ready our balloons and is anxious to get started. How amazing to see so many colorful balloons ! Paul and Ms. Patti have done an outstanding job. Veterans, Pow/MIA and Agent Orange banners lined the tables where most of our group have gathered while some of the men are eagerly helping with the final touches with sand bags and other necessary stuff that will get us up up and away….and hopefully back!.

--
Jo

Ms Marti packed and ready for her trip
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Ms Marti writes:

Don and Steve are over checking out the balloons while Aletta and I check out the goodies that Pam and Bev have brought along for the picnic. Suddenly Aletta shouts for us all too look upward........a beautiful double rainbow has appeared, surely sent by Angel Kat. The ladies decide it is time for a tall glass of sweet tea while Steve sneaks behind a balloon for a nip of shine. Paul Bunyan warns Steve to be careful around the flame from the balloon burner, that shine is mighty flammable............too late!!!!!!

With a giant SWOOOSH the flame flares brightly, ripping the balloon from its tether. We all turn at the sound of Steve's cussing...his leg is wrapped in the tether line and he is dangling just a few feet off the ground, desperately clutching his jug of shine. Aletta has picked up a live lobster from the ice chest and marches over to where Steve is dangling. The lobster is snapping its claws at Steve while Don hollers at Steve to hang tight!

Don our weather man
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I Will be right there screams Don as he runs to try to get hold of Steve before he and the shine float away. Doesn’t quite get there before Steve is almost up and away but just manages to grab him by the wrist, however the balloon and the hot air wont be stopped, not gaining any altitude but now Don and Steve are being drug across the field trying to dig in his heels, NOT have much success by the way. They hit a tree stump and Don loses his grip and Steve REALLY begins to float away, we all are standing there looking at Don cause even though Steve is floating away Don stands or rather is sitting in the middle of the field with STEVES jug un his hand.
He looks at the Jug and Looks at Steve STILL floating away and sees a look of abject terror on Steve's face, realizing for the first time in a long time that Steve is without shine, Don immediately then pulls out his trusty ol side arm and puts 3 rounds in the middle of the balloon and it begins to sink to the ground. Don Says “SEE RUBBER BULLETS”. As it settles down Don calmly walks over helps Steve up and gets him untangled from the rope and says “HERE me think this belongs to you” as he hands the jug of shine back to Steve, however Steve still has the look of Terror on his face and all he can do is look behind DON, as all turn to look what he sees, they also get looks of terror on their faces as they all see the approaching........

Astonishing Aletta
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Aletta's Part
they also get looks of terror on their faces as they all see the approaching....Bear (the same one that Pam tried to makes steaks out of in a previous bday story) The bear picks Steve and neatly smacked him out of his smoking boots and dumping him on Don. Danny and WHF(What's His Face) Dave had joined them for a sip of Steve's jug. The guys looked at the jug and then at each other. Where they seeing things? Here came the girl people dressed in such odd clothing. Pam hands the guys some clothing and ordered them to put them on as it is cold up there and layers are the name of the game. So off went the guys to signing 'Hi-Ho-Hi-Ho, off to change we go'. Pam shakes her head and yells, "Wrong story line guys, we already did the Disney Adventure". She looks at us girl people and we all agreed that they needed to get their stories straight. They didn't know the Cinderella from Alice in Wonderland story.

Pam was dressed as the Mad Hatter with a nice large purple top hat and orange earmuffs, a purple and turquoise striped suit that is lined in fuzzy pink material and her feet are in purple socks and green tennis shoe. Bev was the Queen of Hearts wearing a beautiful satin red dress with layers and layers of fuzzy warm petticoats…On her beautiful combed hair was a crown gleaming with precious gems. Jo had a Cheshire cat suit that she made herself that was tiger striped costume and insulated it with warm fuzzy blankets, Marti is dressed as a mouse, who dries everyone tears when they are sad. Darelynn looked so cute as a Duchess with her pretty pink dress and like the Queen also has layers of petticoats. Aletta had a pink bunny suit that has a thermal heater in it to keep warm. Paul and Ms Patti had on their fireman's uniform and was busy putting out the fire caused by you know who.

Then all turned as Danny,WHF Dave, Don and NSB (Not So Bad) Steve came out from behind the trees still mumbling about Steve hanging by his leg. Don was dressed as a fussy neon green caterpillar. WHF Dave and Danny was dressed as TweedleDee and TweedleDum. Then every head turned to looked at NSB Steve, he was really dressed warm. He had on a blue dress with a white apron and long warm leggins' and navy blue wool lined slippers.

Steve was screaming "Pam, what the heck did you give me to wear".

Jo, aka Cheshire cat, said.."Calm down Alice, I mean Steve" trying to hold in her laughter.

"ALICE". Steve screamed.. "Alice who? Alice in wonderland??? PAM, you just wait till it is my turn". Pam only snickered as she knew she would get the last laugh. The girl people said in unison "It is Not So Bad Steve" laughing so hard they were rolling on the floor.

Bev with her scepter points to everyone and then the balloons and says "I am QUEEN! Everyone get in the balloons and lets get this race up and away." We split into three groups, instead of four, since one balloon was lost by you know who. One group climbed in the Teapot balloon and the other into the Teacup balloon. The third group (the boy people) climb into the third balloon…which looks like an Italian Gondola the men are pushing each other with the little oars. The bear cut the rope with the lobster claws. Then we slowly floated up in the wild blue sky. Paul and Ms. Patti plan to be in the chase cars trying to keep with us as we travel down the coastline. DC asks, "Did anyone get directions from Paul on how to steer this thing?" The girl people looked at each other...Too late now, Here we go.. Up, up, and away.......

Princess Pam
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Pam’s Part

Off we go into the bright blue sky. Maine beaches and forests are beautiful from above. Marti, Darelynn and Jo are looking out towards sea…”Hey! Look at that! Way way over there!” says Darelynn…”Is that a whale?” Marti gets out her spyglass and swings it around to take a closer look…”Yes, I think you are right. In fact, it looks like a pod of whales.” Isn’t this exciting? Asks Jo. All of a sudden we hear the commotion in the gondola balloon….all eyes turn to see what is going on. Seems the boat is taking on clouds (what did you expect water?)

As we watch the last part of the gondola slip into the white fluffy cloud. Bev..er The Queen, quietly says, I wonder what they are doing over there? A disembodied voice, sounding much like NSBSteve shouts, “I can hearrrrr you!” Pam and Aletta giggle and start to pull out some headphones, wires, boxes and batteries. Marti smiles and comments, “ I wonder if the guys know about the communications systems these balloons have?” Jo looks at her and laughs, “No, they have their shine and possibly haven’t figured out what all the boxes are in that gondola.” Pam contacts Patti on the ground and finds out they are heading straight toward the beach they are to have the picnic at but are drifting a bit too high. Jo, Marti and Bev let off on the flame that makes the balloon rise, thus bringing the balloon into a dainty drift downwards, and correcting the possible “icing” of the balloon. Just about then we hear the Caterpillar Don shout, “HELP! We are taking on some water! Come on men er..Alice! What are you doing climbing up that rope ladder? I can see your petticoats! All the boy peoples are laughing and sound like they are liking their shine. The girls just look at the white fluffy cloud the men are in and wonder what NSB Steve is up to.

Marti whispers, I think I see a blinking light! Jo and Aletta get out some ropes making large loops and knots in them. Bev whispers, “What are you two up to?” Jo giggles her most evil giggle and says….”low orbiting space junk! We found out that there are several old satellites that cruise along this particular section of sky…in the general direction of our planned landing spot. We want to win…soooooooo…we are lassoing that satellite!” “ JO!” Bev laughs almost evilly ,” you and the Pink Bunny are so clever! Make it so Number One!” says Da Queen.

Through the soft fluff of the cloud we hear the Caterpillar saying, “ you guys get ready for the ride of your life! We are going to catch that meteorite and get this balloon up to some REAL speed”! The men all shout, “FASTER!!!” and grunt like most men do when they are doing something that will do them bodily harm.

Pam looks at the others in both Teapot and teacup balloon and they all sigh a gentle…Oh, Oh! Just then we hear Don the caterpillar shout “NO! NOT. THAT. ONE. ALICE!”…Then we hear a loud WHOOSH and see the gondola scream across the white dotted blue sky……..headed straight for a star! The Queen of Hearts says,…..

Queen Bev, founder of the group
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Pam looks at the others in both Teapot and teacup balloon and they all sigh a gentle…Oh, Oh! Just then we hear Don the caterpillar shout “NO! NOT. THAT. ONE. ALICE!”…Then we hear a loud WHOOSH and see the gondola scream across the white dotted blue sky……..headed straight for a star! The Queen of Hearts says,…..

BEV: 
Caterpillar, with his deep baritone voice, yells at Alice saying, what cha go do that for? We want to go down not up you fool! You got us into this mess so how ya gonna get us out of it huh? Caterpillar no sooner gets the last word out when something goes WHOOSH, like a speeding bullet, above our heads. Alletta yells, did you see that?...it was the Space Station and we need to hitch a ride next time it comes around. Danny says sarcastically, yea right, how we gonna let them know we need to hitch ride? Pam, speaks up and screams, why don't you wave your pretty white APRON Alice, I mean Steve, and maybe they will see us then? Pam and Patti giggle quietly because they know they hold the secret to the communications system and have already informed the Space Station that we needed a lift. Back at the ranch, I mean balloon, the QUEEN tells the girls shhhhh...be quiet...we don't want the guys to know we have things under control...it will be great fun to watch them make fools of themselves trying to get us out of this predicament. Aletta snickers, and says, maybe we need to teach these boys a lesson.................

Astonishing Aletta
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Aletta snickers, and says, maybe we need to teach these boys a lesson.................
Aletta's Part
"LOOK" squeals Don. Don had been surveying the sky for UFOs. "Duck" yells several of the boys people as something flies by them so fast it blows Alice's dress up over his head. Marti laughs and said "That ain't no Duck, that there is an bald eagle and it is the most beautiful and the BIGGEST bald eagle I ever seen." Everyone was hypnotized by the beautiful creature. The Queen feared the eagle had seen Caterpillar Don was after a meal. She ordered the girls to lasso the Gondola balloon and their Teapot and Teacup balloons together.
"What are we going to do' Marti asks in a fearful voice as the eagle circles around. We all watch as the Eagle clutches the ropes with it massive claws dragging us through the air. Then the boys tried to lasso the space station for an anchor . They had too much shine and the aim was way off. Steve had lasso himself around his waist. Don fussy neon suit was shaking from fear that we might be going to lunch in a big nest of baby eagles and he was the entree. Danny was laughing and singing '99 bottles of beer on the wall".. Steve's shine has that effect of not a care in the world.
Cheshire Jo quickly grabs the mic of the commutation center and calls Paul for help. Everyone was relieved to hear that he could navigate our balloons while following us below in his car. Then all of a sudden a streak like lightening flew pass the balloons, the balloons begin to stop and the massive Eagle let go. Don fell in a heap of neon green on the floor with relief that he would not be the meal for the baby eagles. Jo calls Paul to thank him for his help.. Paul says "I didn't do anything yet..It was that UFO that flew by that scared the eagle off". Just then Don screams "Here it comes again' but what is it" in a high pitched tone.. Pam says.. "It is someone wearing a jet pack. But who?" as it streaked by again. As the jet pack zipped by like lightening we could hear a female voice screaming "I'm here, To save the day! did you think you could go with out me".. Jo thinks to herself that voice is familiar.. but who is it..Then the voice yelled "I took care of that momma eagle by feeding her babies some of Pam's baked goods'. Then everyone sees who it is.. The boy people said 'we're in trouble now' while the girl people start dancing with excitement. The lady flying around with the jet pack landed in the Teapot balloon and the girl people went to give hugs to.......

Ms PJ aka Pretty Jane
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PJ's Part our Mystery writer

....none other than the long-time AWOL PJ!!!!! "Shoulda let Mama Eagle snack on all of you for forgetting about me, but I was afraid you'd make the baby eagles sick~!" To herself, she was thinking that Don was to blame for all of this..wearing that loud neon green zoot suit! Prob'ly caught Mama Eagle's eye from 3000 feet away, and although she knew that nothing in Nature would ever be that color, except maybe a poison mushroom, pickins' had been slim lately and her kids needed to be fed.
But that was behind us, and no longer a problem......now we had to find a way to herd all these wayward balloons and get them out of the sky and back on terra firma again.
PJ yells at Bev to quit "queening" ...Pam to quit giggling...Aletta to quit leaning over the railing of the balloon basket...Marti to stop panicking...and Jo to quit grinning..."because it's time we did something positive to gain control again or we're gonna end up in Cuba!!!" Since I have about 30 minutes of fuel in my jet pack, we'd better be quick like bunnies!! I'll take your tether rope, zip over to the teapot and grab its rope, then I guess I'll have to also grab the gondola too, (although maybe they'd like the trip to Cuba!! None of them can see what's going on anyway..they're too swacked from drinkin' the shine!!)
But, PJ's better nature takes over and she zips over to grab the gondola's rope and carry it back to Command Control, and as she's whizzing back to the girl peoples, she hears them screaming "OH NO!!!" Peeje looks around and sees that although she grabbed the rope from the gondola, it wasn't connected to anything!!!!!! WHF had unhooked the rope in his shine induced stupor, thinking it was an extra and he could take it back to use on his horses!! The gondola is rapidly floating on toward Florida, Cuba and all points south, and not one of the guys is aware of that! "Danny!! Will you knock off singing that stupid song!!!!???? 75 bottles of beer is more than enough to hear about, for Pete's sake!!!!!!!!"
With her jetpack rapidly sucking up the last of the fuel, she zips back to the goofy guy gondola, grabs the only other rope hanging down, and turns to go back to the gaggle of horrified girl people, when..............

Steve aka Snakecharmer
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Steve's Part
All of a sudden the gondola's balloon starts to fold in on its self causing the gondola to lose altitude. All of the silly women are hollowing and squawking like a bunch of lil bitties.
PJ sees there is nothing she can do except follow it down to the water and hope all those boy people will be ok when they hit the water. Well in the shape they are in from dranking all that stump juice, they could care less..WHF is standing on the rail hollering gettie up and go..Danny is egging him on saying ride 'em cowboy yippee.
The gondola hit the water with a large smack and sent of a large wave in all directions..one of the waves almost hit PJ as she was flying a little to low, but she managed to get up up and away from it.
PJ fly's over to see that all the drunken sailors, the boy people, are all ok.
Steve is telling all in his slurred speech that 'hey we can sail around now and don't have to fly...come on guys lets make a sail outta the remains of the balloon..Don says, 'hey I can do that cause I was a sail maker back in the day.
So all us boy people are scuring around and bumping into each other trying to get the sail ready...them girl people are making so much fuss about how the boy people are not gonna make it to land for our picnic but after awhile Don gets the sail made and the gondola takes off going with the wind..
Danny says hey we ain't got no rudder so hows we gonna drive this boat...Don says we can bust up the wooden cases that the shine is in and make one...so now everybody is trying to piece together a rudder...
Steve on the other hand is making sure that none of the jugs get busted. Now that the rudder is made we head off to meet up will all that are on shore preparing our picnic
WHF is looking around the gondola and he says hey look what I found..he pulls out a big box of all our clothes that we had when we started this adventure...so everyone now is changing back into our regular clothes and heading toward shore.
The squalls from the girl people are so loud they have run all the seagulls away.
Paul B, Ms Patti are waiting in the car and look who they brought along..why it is Ms Eri and Karlene. Them two gals have a look of..I could care less about this..why they just sitting there painting their finger nails like nothing ever happened...
Well all the boy people made it to shore but most where sorta on wobblie legs and can't stand to good.
Princess Pam said to Queen Bev...why just look at that over there.......

Princess Pam
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Steve wrote:

Well all the boy people made it to shore but most where sorta on wobblie legs and can't stand to good.

Princess Pam said to Queen Bev...why just look at that over there.......KACHUNK…PLOP!...

Our Story Begins…

It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for…our VWF family celebration! . We will see many of our friends and hope to meet others from our group. We will gather together, share our stories as we‘ve done each year. A Planned picnic and, afterwards a balloon race will follow. …although I’m scratching my head on the latter. Personally, I’m a ground lover but will try to keep my wits about me. This will certainly be a new adventure one that will be prove to be uplifting!!

As Bob and I reach our group’s meeting place, in Maine at our friend Paul Bunyans neck of the woods, We are met by Ms. Patti. She tells us Paul is making ready our balloons and is anxious to get started. How amazing to see so many colorful balloons ! Paul and Ms. Patti have done an outstanding job. Veterans, Pow/MIA and Agent Orange banners lined the tables where most of our group have gathered while some of the men are eagerly helping with the final touches with sand bags and other necessary stuff that will get us up up and away….and hopefully back!...

Pam writes:

KaChunk…plop….wass that?

....KaChunk…plop…Huh?...

Oh Yeah, now I remember!...

..KaChunk…PLOP!!! WAIT! KACHUNK…PLOP!!!...

I think I remember……well, the LAST thing I remember was…


I remember…Aletta passing out glass after glass of her Famous Sweet Tea. Everyone had one or two in their hands….I remember…Paul…yes, Paul telling stories and Ms. Patti sitting next to him…I remember..

KACHUNK!...PLOPPPP! …. What is that sound? Where is it coming from??? KACHUNK….PLOP!...seems to coming closer!...

I remember…Paul sitting…Paul….yes!...

Paul and Ms. Patti have a nice roaring fire in the fire pit, Pam’s ham and beans are hanging from a hook next to the fire keeping warm,

the smoky aroma drifting through my sluggish thoughts,

the picnic tables are filled to groaning with all the fixin’s for a wonderful picnic, one table filled with pies, anniversary cake and cobblers all warm from the ovens, and Alettas chattering about the NEW and IMPROVED Sweet Tea she’s made for everyone to drink. ….Paul sitting at the fire pit telling us some mighty tall stories. I remember feeling drowsy and a little disoriented.

Hmmmmmm…what IS that sound??! KACHUNK…PLOP!

OKAY! OKAY! My eyes are opened now! As I groggily look around I see Danny waking in his chair, in midsentence, “…and I told you before I just drink corn!” Steve is nestled in his soft comfy chair with a dopy look on his face and his arms wrapped around the empty bowl Aletta that had been filled to the brim with her Sweet Tea. Don is curled up in a lawn chair with both of his glasses of tea setting empty next to is seat. The girls are all slowing stretching and yawning…HEY! ALETTA, just what was in your famous SWEET TEA? Pam asks. Aletta turns around and smiles a sweet CHESHIRE CAT smile and says….My own homemade Moonshine!

With that, we hear Paul Bunyon’s laughter and he says, “it was all a dream, one WICKED dream! “ and we realize the only thing we’ve done all weekend was all drink Aletta’s Sweet Tea and have some wild nightmare dreams, enhanced by Paul Bunyon’s Tall Tales!

KACHUNK…PLOP…another chunk of wood for the fire….

As we Share a slice of Anniversary cake piled high with chocolate ice cream, sprinkles and whipped cream on the top! Then let’s all shout a hearty…

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY VWF!

AND MANY MANY MORE TO COME!

From me to you.
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The caretaker and peon of Veterans Wives and Families

A note from your groups story and editor:
I would like to thank all that wrote this year..this yahoo group has been around since the year 2000...and has helped many veterans and their families with the problems they have faced.
This group has seen many come and go either due to sickness or they just got tried of all the mail..well so be it..our main function is to help those in need of info, but we as a family do family things, and our yearly 'Story Time' is one of those.
Happy Birthday Veterans Wives and Families.