Our Rocky

During the Korean War, my cousin Ensign Charles Maynard Wyatt flew off the same carrier featured in “The Bridges of Toko ri”. The jets featured in the movie were from my cousin’s wing. He flew many of the ‘dog fights’ as William Holden. His close friend, Earl “Rocky” Rockwood, flew in another wing, off the same carrier. Rocky’s planes were never featured, however he was heavily involved in the production as a consultant. My cousin had been flying from his high school days in Sweetwater, Texas. Rocky’s father was the first United Airlines pilot to fly out of Love Field in Dallas. My Aunt Honey (Charlie’s mother) had a very difficult life. Charlie’s father, George Dempsey Wyatt, was killed in an auto accident soon after Charlie was born. Honey married Ross Cramer and for a period of time, they owned a Chrysler Auto Agency in Sweetwater. Financial failure so deeply disturbed Ross, that he asphyxiated himself.  She later married a wealthy oilman from West Texas, but that didn’t last and finally found the man of her life in master sergeant( RET). William Coffman. We lost Bill to lung cancer in the seventies and my cousin was totally out of touch in witness protection for turning state’s evidence against a large drug cartel in Florida. He disappeared from his home in Austin in 1990 and was never heard from again. Twelve years later, while jet-skiing in Lake Buchanan, a lady discovered a large metal barrel with what was obviously a human wrist bone sticking out. My cousin, Charles Maynard Wyatt had lived in the dark and fast lane of life outside the law. The autopsy revealed his death due to a severe blow to the back of his head. Even though we do not know the entire story, we do know that Charlie’s white Ford Bronco was found at Austin International, wiped totally clean of prints. My Aunt Honey was fortunate to have Rocky Rockwood to step in and be her surrogate son. He built a home for her near his residence in Arkansas where she lived a full and active life of 99-years. Rocky secured my cousin’s remains and had both my aunt and Charlie cremated. He then went a step further and took both to the Masonic Cemetery in Mount Pleasant, Texas, where he placed their ashes beside George Dempsey Wyatt. May they rest in Peace.  Now you know why my family claims Earl “Rocky” Rockwood, Jr to be blood-kin I spoke to him for a time this week. He and I are just a few months apart in age. He walks every morning and I have just begun a regimen that will save my life. Pray for me for this one. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.    AMEN

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