22) A Year-Long Party in Glenburn, North Dakota – 1972

In the last post you read about my enlistment in the US Air Force. In this post you will read about my job in the service and one or two of our off-duty shenanigans.

In 1972, while stationed at Minot Air Force Base in Minot, North Dakota, five of us decided to live off-base and rent a farm about 14 miles north of Minot, in a town known as Glenburn, population 308 (2010).

Minot AFB – North Dakota

“Minot Air Force Base MIB | KMIB | MIB is a U.S. Air Force installation in Ward … Minot AFB is the home of two major wings: the 5th Bomb …”

Source: http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minot Air Force Base

Desperate for a Date

The only thing you need to know about Glenburn, North Dakota is that the farmers didn’t appreciate five semi-virile and energetic U.S. Air Force guys cruising main street while their daughters were in full view behind the teller windows of First Western Bank and Trust. And cruise we did!

The town of Glenburn, North Dakota just wasn’t prepared for us and our motorcycles. Military guys weren’t particularly welcome in 1970. But the town folks truly thought we were alien zombies, out to date their daughters. And we certainly were.

Actually, since only one of us owned a car, our motorcycles were our sole means of transportation to Minot AFB for our day jobs. Jimmy owned the Ford van. I remember the  day in June of 1970 the other four of us went to the motorcycle dealer in the big city (Minot, North Dakota) to buy our new machines.

Before There Were Humvees

    Raz bought a 1970 Yamaha R5: We kidded Raz since this bike was relatively tame. Chuck and Paul bought identical 1970 Kawasaki 500 Mach III’s: It was quite a fast motorcycle and also noisy. I (Oliver M. Stanley) purchased a 1970 Triumph Bonneville 650: (video below) – Not  as fast as the MachIII’s but pretty fast and didn’t sound too bad cruising up and down Main street in Glenburn, N.D. The clip below shows off the bike nicely, but the rider should have worn a helmet and watched his son a little better. 

Staging Area for Our Invasion

The farm-house we lived in had no heat or water but was the venue for a few parties attended by some of Glenburn’s locals, who were quite curious about our life in The Strategic Air Command (SAC). We envied the freedom those civilians enjoyed, I suppose, and they liked our bikes, beer and music.

The five of us served our time at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota during 1970-1972 and even though we complained about sometimes petty Air Force regulations, we were fortunate not to have been sent to Viet Nam.

From Minot, I went to Washington D.C. to serve in the Air National Guard for the final year and one-half of my four-year Air Force commitment.

Did you serve in the military?

Next: The Year Rhino’s and Bears Ruled New Jersey

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