Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lowry Air Force Base

 Yesterday we set out to Aurora to see if Keith's computer was repaired yet. It wasn't, so to make the trip fruitful we decided just to drive around in Denver and see what we could see, not expecting the treat we found. Nestled right in the big city is the old Lowry Air Force Base, closed since 1994. Most of the buildings have been converted into housing, colleges, schools, and some into stores and restaurants. Two huge hangars are still there, one housing the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum. This big airplane is part of the museum exhibit. We didn't go inside, just admired the immensity of the whole complex. (Click on my title at the top to read the Wikipedia account of the Base.)

 Here is the Eisenhower Memorial Chapel, still cared for in the town center. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The headquarters buildings covered a lot of ground. These enormous barracks along with the headquarters in the center are now converted into apartments. Very ritzy-ditzy!

 Looking down the main street towards the former headquarters buildings we saw many unique little stores, businesses and eating places.

And, the best gift of all — we decided to eat here at the Pei Wei (Pee Wee?) Asian Diner. It was packed with the lunch crowd. We got into a brief conversation with a uniformed Air Force officer while we were reading the menu board. He went ahead of us, in our indecision about what to have, and as we ordered and then headed towards the doors thinking we would sit at the outside tables, we started to walk past the officer's table. To our surprise, he invited us to sit with him! We did, and had a fascinating and stimulating talk with him as we ate our Pad Thai and egg rolls. He was a reserve officer doing some duty with the last vestiges of the Lowry base, and told us he was a lawyer in Washington, D.C. the rest of the year. It was such an unexpected treat to be invited to eat with a perfect stranger in a crowded diner, and find the talk so engaging. We returned home feeling our trip to downtown was most rewarding!


Char said...

Forrest has a knack for doing that -- he has the most interesting conversations with what were perfect strangers. I guess I'm too bashful to do it, but once he invites someone to chat, I've been known to chime in.

Roadrunner Chronicles said...

I was stationed at Lowry AFB back in the mid 1970's. It was a great place to live. Great pictures of your time there!

Dirk said...

I just ran across your blog and this post while doing a search for Lowry. My father was stationed at Lowry from 1950-56, and was the pitcher for the base baseball team. Great pictures, didn't know any of it was still there. I hope I can visit some day. Thanks for sharing!