wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

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You can't go home again

One of the things I want to get done for the benefit of my kids, my nieces and various friends is a small online museum showing what Bolling AFB looked like from 1969-1976, because it's changed a lot since then and is almost unrecognizable to me now. Sure, most of the major landmarks like the old hangars and the 1100th Air Base Wing building by the main entrance are still there, but what I remember (among other things) are the vast expanses of land where the runways used to be and the tracts of WW2-era "temporary" buildings were the DIA building is now. It gave the base a more open feel, a sense of wide open spaces in the middle of the city.

I also remember a lot of other buildings that aren't there any more, some of which were torn down (or dug up) even before I left the area in 1979. The ammo bunkers by the Navy gate, the old commissary/PX building, the old NCO club and its pool, the tiny library over by the AP station...and all the temporary buildings wedged in here and there around the base. Looking at the map these days is almost like looking at some foreign land; many of the landmarks I used to know are gone, and some of the streets have been renamed. Well, as Dad said once when I was complaining that my godfather had rebuilt my godmother's house on Laurel Avenue to his own satisfaction, you can't expect people to live in a museum. True enough. But there ought to be some record of the way it was, somewhere; and if Jim Lileks can manage to record terabytes of information about the way Minneapolis used to be, surely I can spend some time doing the same for Bolling. I never was an actual resident of the place, in the sense that my Dad never had quarters there, but I could make a good argument that I lived there more than anywhere else for a good part of my childhood.
Tags: back in the day
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