I talk a lot about friends and family here and how important they are to Cindy and I, one person I have not mentioned before is a young man we met several years back, this young man has become like a son to us over the years and there have been a lot of pranks, laughs, and tears between us in this time.
The first time we saw Casey he was standing across the street from our house fighting with a weed eater trying his best to get it started, it seems that he was dating the young girl living in the house and was trying to impress her by doing her lawn, only problem here was he couldn’t get this weed eater going to save his life, Cindy yelled to him and asked if he needed some help, he thanked her and said that he was having problems with the weed eater, like that was news to us, Cindy said that she would send her son over to help him out and called for Tim, now Tim was only about thirteen at this time and within five minutes here was little Tim explaining the proper way to start a weed eater to a young man who was serving our country in the Air Force, next thing we know the familiar sound of a weed eater rang out and it wasn’t long that Casey was sitting on the porch with us almost every night.
Pranks came in all forms, water fights were a big thing around our house, it was not unusual for a five gallon bucket of water to be dumped on your head from atop the house and the water hose fights always included the neighbors and their hoses too, one night Casey and Cindy were giving each other a hard time and next thing I know Cindy and a girl from the neighborhood had Casey lying face first in the grass, I am not really sure how it happened and I am not asking too many questions for fear it will happen to me but Casey was left to lay in the middle of the yard with his foot bent up behind his back and his underwear hooked over the toe of his shoe, he was flopping around like a fish and I was laughing too hard to help him. Then there was the time that after a few drinks he agreed for Cindy and his girlfriend to hot wax his eyebrows, I knew this was not a good idea and after the first slow yank when he yelled “Holy Mother Of God” I knew he would forever regret this decision, he had such a strange look on his face for a long time as his eyebrows went in entirely two different directions, and to top it off they had waxed the word HI onto his leg hair forcing him to wear sweats for PT until his hair grew back in rather than explain.
Our Neighborhood parties were always a blast with him around and a couple Fourth of July parties will always be in our memories as a very good time because of his strict attention to safety and detail that prevented any harm and added pranks being diverted to other Airmen rather than himself, Stinky is the name we will always remember one young man as because he was too eager to jump into a trash can and stomp down the fireworks we had been soaking in water after shooting them off, not that we actually needed him to do it but after making the joke that we could fit more in the can if they were stomped down and Casey out ranking him merely suggested it and the name Stinky was formed.
We all about died when Casey got orders to be shipped to another base, we had a going away party for him that brought on a lot of tears and after several years of corresponding with him via phone and email both at his home base and overseas we have stayed as close as you can be in this situation, when we went back to New Mexico it was a blessing that he was actually in town so we had about a week of sitting on the porch with him once again, it was really nice to catch back up with this young man who is like a son to us.