“Whereabouts do you live in Boone?” asks Fred.
“Over on West Seventeenth Street,” says Homer, as they head to the airfield. “You know where Jackson High is?”
“Sure,” says Fred.
“Well, it’s just a couple of blocks past it,” says Homer.
Fred and Homer arrive at the starboard hatch of the B-17. Fred tosses his luggage into the cabin, waking up a sleeping sergeant.
“Hi, Sarge,” says Fred, lifting Homer’s sea bag into the cabin.
“Hiya,” replies the sergeant.
“My name’s Fred Derry,” says Fred, sitting down across from the sergeant. Homer climbs aboard.
“Al Stephenson,” replies the sergeant.
“And this is Homer – – what is it, Homer?” asks Fred.
“Parrish,” says Homer, offering Al his hook hand. Al grabs Homer’s arm and shakes it.
“Glad to know ya,” says Al.
“Glad to know you, Sarge,” says Homer. “You from Boone, too?”
“Yeah,” smiles Al. “I sure am!”
“How long since you been home?” asks Fred.
“Oh, a couple of centuries…” says Al. The three men laugh.
“Come on, let’s sit up in the radio compartment until after the takeoff, and then we’ll get in the nose and get a nice view of the good ol’ USA,” says Fred.
“Okay,” says Al, getting up off his seat.
Soon, the B-17 takes off, and the men are in the bombardier’s nose of the aircraft. Homer sits forward, where the Norden bombsight used to be.
“Boy oh boy – look at that!” says Homer. “Look at those automobiles!”