USAF Turns 71

United States Air Force Turned 71!

Frank had the honor of attending the 71st birthday celebration for the United States Air Force at NORAD and U.S. Northern Command on September 18th! He had the privilege to share the stage with his fellow Documented Tuskegee Airmen Col. James Randall. They both inspired the audience with their life reflections of service and overcoming hardships. Frank focused on his love of flight. Frank told how he jumped off the chicken house with his homemade wings, flew his first solo flight as a member of the Colorado Springs Civil Air Patrol, and trained at Tuskegee where he blew out his eardrums.  Frank also shared his struggle with dyslexia, and importance of determination. Frank urged all, “Never Give Up!”

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Frank's High School Yearbook

Franklin Macon Wanted to Be a Pilot

Frank grew up in a very different time. It was the 1920s and 1930s. Frank remembers he took his first airplane ride around the age of 4 or 5 years old. He flew with his babysitters’ boyfriends! They were pilots at Alexander Aircraft Company in Colorado Springs, Colorado. That would not happen today, just hop in a plane and take off! But, that is how it happened in the 1920s. The Warden girls were not only Frank’s babysitters, they lived next-door. The girls certainly couldn’t leave him on the ground when they visited their boyfriends at work, so up Frank went.

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Frank's Drawing of a Go-Cart

Why is Frank’s Story Important?

Everyone has a story. Some stories make you want to be a better person. Some stories make you sad. Some stories make you want to go back in time. Frank’s story, well…it makes you determined. Frank will take you back to a time when kids experimented, found mischief, and created the best reactions with carbide! Frank experimented all the time. He took an orange crate, added wheels and wings and tried to fly off the hill at Uintah Gardens. Frank and Bobby Saunders found the old water tank, tied it a chug (go cart), threw in some carbide, and lit a match. It was the best water tank rocket on Pine Street.

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Frank's House on Pine Street

Frank’s Life in Colorado Springs – The house on Pine Street

Frank was born in 1923. He was raised by his two Great Aunties. Frank called them Mama and Aunt LaLa. They were both widows, so they lived together. They took Frank in when he was two weeks old. Frank’s birth mother was only 14 years old, so she couldn’t raise him. Frank didn’t know who his father was until much later in life. Both his birth mother and father died young. The aunt Frank called Mama, married Frank Loper. Ol’ Man Loper was known all over town. This was the only father figure Frank had in his life. Ol’ Man Loper loved Frank as his own son.

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