Saturday, 15 July 2017

My Cursed Barracks

During my Air Force years.....I stayed in six barracks or dorms (counting basic and tech school).  Five had nothing much to say negative.  The sixth....from the Barksdale period....would best be described as a marginal living situation.

It'd been built in the early 1960s with all the positives of the period.  It had a sink in each room....a central toilet/shower, and AC.  Oddly enough, it had a twelve-foot ceiling.  By the time I got there in 1981, it had reached an end-point.  The carpet had some moldy smell (still from the original 1960 construction).  Cockroaches were hour-by-hour thing.  The AC could no longer function.  The heat could handle temperatures only down to 20-degrees (beyond that....it was marginal).

In twenty years, there had been two single upgrades or renovations.  They put some shading film on the windows in the lat 1970s, and the month that I got there....they'd added cable TV connections.

Renovation?  About 18 months into my 'visit'...they announced that they were tearing the place down in a year....it was not capable of handling renovation.  I ended my period on base as the month came when they were shutting down the building.

The three peaks of miserability?

The last summer there....the AC simply died and they refused to fix it (cost-wise, it made sense).  So you sat in 95-degree heat with two fans whirling hot around the room.  Your only relief was a refrigerator that you kept beer and ice in abundance.

Then winter came....with a shocker period of two weeks in December where the temperature dropped to minus-temperatures on three or four nights, and room temperature for seven days in a row could only be kept at 40 degrees.  The system was at maximum capacity and was never made to handle minus-0 temperatures.

Then came the explosion.  Some natural gas leak occurred at one side of the building and they evacuated the whole building for 72 hours while they repaired the gas leak and cleared the threat.    It wasn't a big explosion....just enough to burn half the hair off some kid who who'd showered and lighting up a smoke while he was going blow-dry his hair.

In some ways, it was a cursed building.

Probably everything that came in 1984 has already met their end, and been replaced as well.

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