LTC Ramsey

Colonel Everett H. Ramsey


Our First Meeting

Story By Paul Tate, LWMA Faculty, 1965 - 1983


Let there be no doubt that Colonel Ramsey was a very kind, considerate, warm-hearted and well-meaning school teacher and administrator. Anything that could, should, and would be said about him by me and others is not meant to disparage him in the least. He served the Academy faithfully during his tenure there, and was generally well-liked and respected by all who knew him.

BUT, there are at least 100 stories that could be told about Colonel Ramsey, and, frankly, John Strunk, Wayne Betts, Bill Lish, and I could supply the first 75!!! The cadets who also knew Colonel Ramsey could perhaps tell that many more

Story Number One

wind sock

Here's #1.

The time was late May of 1965. I was a graduating senior at Troy State University where Dr. Ralph Adams, a SII graduate and LWMA board member, was president. I knew Dr. Adams well. He called me one day to say that LWMA, which I had never heard of, needed a male English teacher. At the time, I had already accepted an apprenticeship at the University of Iowa for graduate work in journalism, and I had no intentions of becoming a teacher. But, as a favor to Dr. Adams, I agreed to drive out to the small landing strip that Troy used as an airport to meet the LWMA president and the dean of instruction who were flying in to give me a tarmac interview.

I had not waited long before the small, light, two-seater, cub of an aircraft landed, with Colonel Smith in the pilot's seat and Colonel Ramsey in the co-pilot's seat. I walked around to the side of the plane with the one door to greet them: Colonel Ramsey who, of course, came out first; then Colonel Smith. No time had passed at all before I learned that the plane belonged to the school, that Colonel Smith was the pilot, and that Colonel Ramsey was not only deathly afraid of flying but also that he seriously doubted Colonel Smith's ability to fly it. Since there was no terminal building, nor a conference room, nor chairs, the interview was conducted standing next to the plane and in the shadow of the one closed hangar. Actually, what was intended as an interview soon developed into a teacher recruitment sales pitch, led by Colonel Smith, on why I should want to come to LWMA to teach. He did a good selling job.

Colonel Ramsey was extremely restless, spending most of the time in the shade of the hangar and smoking cigarettes. When the "interview" was over, and Colonel Smith said it was time for the two of them to fly back to Camp Hill, Colonel Ramsey bolted into the plane first and plopped down in the pilot's seat. With a look of amazement, Colonel Smith jokingly said to Colonel Ramsey, "Now, Colonel Ramsey! I know you don't know how to fly a plane."

Without ever recognizing the substance of the remark or appreciating its humor, Colonel Ramsey replies, "No, Wesley. I want to ride back to Camp Hill on this side of the plane this time, so that I can get a different view."

Also see story # 118 Thoughts of Colonel Everett H. Ramsey by Paul Tate.

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