Tuesday, December 08, 2015

'nam chopper team reconnects

Maynard Keller’s Veterans’ Day photos on his Facebook page were copied and pasted on this blog a month ago. His post told of his service in Vietnam as a mechanic and door gunner. Turns out he also did some flying on the QT, more on that later. This is about a very small world.

Maynard attended the one-room Oak Grove Country School near Alexandria, where all six Rolfsrud children matriculated in the 50s. He was in Sosie’s grade. Ever clever, we nick-named him Mayonnaise. The November Facebook posting by Maynard brought us up to date on a name from our distant past.

Stan and Kathleen now live in a 55 and over townhouse community in Shakopee and share a common wall with Tom Story and his wife Sandy. Tom flew helicopters in Vietnam. When he read the blog post, he blinked. He thought he remembered Keller as the mechanic and door gunner he so often flew with during a four-month assignment at a repair unit where busted choppers were tuned-up overnight and made fly-able. It was the very same Maynard Keller, alright.

Tom test flew the repaired choppers and Maynard rode along in the co-pilot seat, clipboard in hand, taking notes on the fixes.

These night flights got boring and sometimes Tom would invite Maynard to take the stick. “He got to be a pretty good pilot,” his instructor recalled with a smile. Trouble was, all of Maynard’s training was at night, so during the day, well, Maynard got a bit disoriented.

During their four months working together, Tom gained a lot of respect for the Jefferson High grad’s mechanical skills and acumen as well.. . something our neighbor lays no claim to possess. Tom has since contacted Maynard and they have shared stories and memories.

Early education center for the Rolfsruds and Kellers.
It’s a small world and it was fun bringing two of the good guys back together for a bit.

Here’s a thank you for their service.

1 comment:

Steve Rolfsrud said...

Great "story." Glad you could connect the nine degrees of separation for them. Steve