Monday, November 24, 2014

Military Monday: Jim Bayes, "Best Damn Roommate"

James Franklin "Jim" "Morris" Bayes from Swamp Branch, Johnson County, Kentucky, was Dad's roommate during navigator training at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston, Texas, August 12, 1951 to April 11, 1952.  Dad first met Jim at pre-flight training at Randolph Air Force Base, and they were also at flight school at Columbus Air Force Base.

Jim was one of the shortest guys in their navigator class, and Dad was one of the tallest, so they acquired the nicknames Morris and Balsam.  These were from an eight-minute 1950 Disney animated short film called "Morris the Midget Moose."  Morris was a midget moose with huge antlers, while Balsam was a huge moose with midget antlers.  The two work together to defeat the dominant moose, Thunderclap.

Dad says Jim was quite the orator. He gave a speech in "Tight" Sweeney's officer class called "The Masturbation Habits of the Codling Moth."  The speech was actually about specialization, and concluded with a line about "we're knowing more and more about less and less, so someday we'll know everything about nothing."

There were a surprising number of men named James and Jim Bayes from Kentucky in and, but I think this James Franklin Bayes was born April 11, 1928, in Johnson County, Kentucky, one of nine children of coal miner James Peter "Pete" Bayes (1895-1991) and Lula May (1911-2001).  First in his family to go to college, he graduated from Berea College in Kentucky in 1948. and was a member of the Ag Union there.   He enlisted in the Air Force on March 1, 1951, and was released November 30, 1956.  He married Jacqueline Gail Henson in Kanawha County, West Virginia, in 1960, and worked in the securities, commodity brokerage, and investments industry. He died April 4, 1995, in Portsmouth, Ohio.

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

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