Friday, January 23, 2009

Leif's 12th Birthday - Fort Sheridan, Illinois - January 28, 1987 - Age 12

Late in the summer of 1986 we moved from Hawaii to Fort Sheridan, Illinois, a small base sandwiched in between the ritzy suburbs on the north side of Chicago. We lived on base in a townhouse because we wanted the boys in the Highland Park school system. Leif went to Northwood Junior High School.

Moving to the "frozen North" was a big shock after three years in Hawaii. No more balmy beaches . . . except that Peter W. discovered that we could fly "Space A" on Air National Guard military refueling tankers out of the military side of O'Hare airport on training flights to Hawaii. I think we did that nine times in four years. We would all have liked to stay in Hawaii. If they had let Peter W. stay one more year, he probably would have retired there, but no such luck. It was off to Chicagoland. The city had much to offer, and the Highland Park school system was great, but we would have much more happily stayed in Hawaii. Of course, Peter A. only lived at Fort Sheridan for one year before he was off to the Air Force Academy, but Leif spent four years there.

Leif had one two good friends that lived on our street, Nicholson Road, at Fort Sheridan, Robert and Chris. A lot of the younger neighborhood kids kind of "worshipped" tall Leif, who at that time was going by the nickname "Alex." Sometimes a delegation of them would show up at the door and ask if "Big Al" could come out and play.

One time we managed to lock ourselves out of the house. Leif managed to wiggle in through the kitchen window over the sink and let us in. It wasn't easy. The window was quite high up and we had no ladder out there. I was just waiting for someone to call the MPs and say there was a guy breaking into our house.

It looks like this cake has the benefit of a few of those premade sugar frosting letters you can buy in the grocery store. Looks a lot neater and more civilized than our earlier cakes, but not as imaginative, either.

I managed to catch Leif at the height of the blowing out the candles whoosh. I hope he got his wish!

Happy birthday, Leif!

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