Air Force veteran prefers life with Bessie

Published 12:23 am Monday, February 11, 2008

NATCHEZ — When Eddie Mosby was drafted into the Air Force in 1952 he thought he was going to be sent to Korea.

“I just figured it was my turn,” he said.

Mosby, who lives on Miami Court, where The Dart fell, said he never considered dodging the draft.

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“When they call you up, it’s time to go,” he said.

But Mosby never made it to Korea.

After being sent to various bases across the U.S. Mosby ended up spending one year in Saudi Arabia.

“That was a strange place then,” he said. “I just knew it was going to be real hot.”

Mosby was stationed in the Middle East from 1954 to 1955.

And in that time he learned the Saudi’s had some very odd forms of entertainment.

Mosby said on a somewhat regular basis there would be a public decapitation for the king’s enjoyment.

Mosby said he and some of his friends attempted to attend one such decapitation but got lost on the way.

“We turned down the wrong road,” he said. “We missed the whole thing.”

And according to Mosby the Saudis were quite liberal with the sword.

“If you stole you could get your hand or foot chopped off,” he said.

But while visiting the Middle East in the mid-1950s might sound like fun to some Mosby said he would have preferred to be stateside.

“I wasn’t thrilled about being there,” he said. “But that was my assignment at the time.”

However being stationed in Saudi Arabia was not without its perks.

“We went to Bahrain for R&R,” he said. “That was a good time,” he said, smiling.

Mosby said when the men got down time they had the option to catch a short flight to Bahrain for a quick vacation.

“They had drink and women over there,” he said. “So everybody liked it.”

But while Mosby was in Saudi Arabia he was in an accident that ultimately ended his military career.

One night during a shift change, Mosby was in an auto accident.

From the accident he received injuries to his head and eyes.

Close to 16 years later, problems from those injuries resulted in Mosby’s medical discharge from the Air Force.

But those injuries have not kept Mosby from living a full life and they certainly have not kept him from driving.

“I love this old car,” he said.

When he slammed the heavy door on his 1974 Ford LTD the sound could almost be felt.

“It’s a fine car,” he said. “It’s very dependable.”

Since 1974 Mosby has been driving the car he sometimes calls Bessie.

Mosby has gotten more use from the car that Uncle Sam got from him.

“We’re alike,” he said. “Sometimes in the morning I’m hard to get started, too.”