Do you remember the TV show Airwolf? It was one of our family favorites with fairly clean language, adventure, clothing, and the star was a flying machine. A parents dream program…something for every age group. With the characters played by the easy-on-the-eyes Jan Michael Vincent and the lovable Ernest Borgnine, it was a pleasing program.
The sound of that state-of-the-art helicopter was absolutely unforgettable…we all loved it. Not so much, however, in real life…
We lived in a huge old farm-house at the time that show was on TV. We had a double bed, four kids (the three boys in one bedroom with bunk beds, and our daughter in her own room) and a large German Sheppard. Every night we would all go to bed at about the same time and even though I would tuck them all in, we would do a round of “good-nights” very much like the Walton family from TV’s “The Waltons.” The Walton’s “goodnight” was different at the end of each episode, and so was ours every night.
Somehow most mornings we would wake up with four kids and a German Shepard in bed with us. As often as not, I would be more off the bed than on, but the oldest child and the German Shepard laying across my legs held me firmly in place so my head didn’t hit the floor. I was thankful for that, I think.
One night, I heard the Airwolf scream. It woke me out of a dead sleep. My eyes were wide, every nerve in my body stretched taut…staring into the darkness trying to figure out what on earth was going on! I strained to see into the black, to hear into the silence. Silence, wait, my hubby snores, Oh My Gosh!!! Why was it silent??? I held my breath as I felt across the bed to where he was lying on his back, I whispered, “Did you hear that?” He whispered back, “You mean…Airwolf?”
I responded, “Yes, I wasn’t dreaming?” At about that time Airwolf screamed again into the night and bright lights filled our second-story bedroom window as the kids came running into the door from two directions screaming, “Mom, Dad, do you HEAR that?” as they jumped into the bed on top of us and each other the lights came closer filling the room with brighter and brighter light blinding us as it lifted up over the roof top and flew away.
It flew to the southwest before we heard it turn North by northeast. We had no idea what we had just experienced! Airwolf wasn’t real! It was a TV show! What had just happened?!?!?! It took awhile to settle the kids and the dog down again and get everyone ready to do a second round of “goodnight’s” but this time the voices didn’t ring throughout the house, they were softer and quieter, subdued in the inky darkness because they were in the bed with us for the rest of the night, they weren’t going “out there” all alone.
Several days later we learned that neighbors down the road had come home to find their son (late teen or early 20’s) had attempted suicide and the grizzly scene that met them will probably haunt them forever. I won’t go into detail, it is far too gruesome and sad, but suffice it to say that we learned that Airwolf did exist, and it wasn’t just used in war, it was used to save lives, or at least to give the desperately injured the only chance they were going to get.
And what better day than this inauguration day to tell this tale?