A Berlin Airlift Story
One of the nice things about a blog like mine is that I can revive or resurrect stories long ago published and forgotten. Here’s a story I did about a man who had a remarkable military service record. His name was Chuck Powell. He passed away recently, and I post his story here as a kind of tribute or memorial. I did the story around an anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, which he participated in as a pilot. He also flew in World War II and in the Korean War. He nearly flew in Vietnam. Powell was a great big old Texican who had a way with words. He was an example to me of never judging a book by its cover. By that I mean he appeared to be one thing from the outside looking in but he was that and so much more. For example, by the time I met him he was pushing 80 and a tenured academic at my alma mater, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, but none of that suggested the many adventures he had experienced far removed from academia, adventures in and out of wartime, that added up to a wild and woolly life.
The profile originally appeared in the New Horizons and I think, like me, you’ll find Powell’s story compelling if for no other reason than all the history his life intersected with.
©by Leo Adam Biga
Originally published in the New Horizons
Somehow it’s fitting one-time aviator turned political scientist, gerontology professor, history buff and pundit Chuck Powell holds court from a third-floor office perch on the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus. There, far removed from the din of the crowd, he analyzes trends affecting older Americans, which, at 78, he knows a thing or two about.
On any given week his office, tucked high away in a corner of an old brick mansion, is visited by elected officials from across the political spectrum seeking advice on public policy and legislative matters.
“Most of the so-called issues are perennial. They don’t change. Most of the time people are searching for some magic silver bullet, but there isn’t any. My advice is usually pretty simple, ” he says.
You might also like: