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The Girl who said Yes!

What Made it ALL Happen! It wasn't Chance! It was a Girl that wouldn't Quit or Give Up, even when Everyone Around Her Already Did!

In 1946, two amazing people were brought into this world. August 6th, Marsha Elaine Terrell was born and on October 13th, Richard Raymond Broome was born. They came into this world just 60 miles away from each other and just a couple months apart. Neither Time nor Distance would keep them from becoming two of the most important and committed people that have ever been known...

The two grew up near each other, but it wasn't until High School that they really caught each others eyes! See, Marsha "Billie" was an extremely popular, beautiful young lady. She worked in a PhotoLab owned by Broome Bros. in Pueblo. The owners son, Rick, would often be there to see his Dad. He definitely noticed her, but wasn't sure if she noticed him! So, to cover his bases and protect his ego, Rick decided to ask Billie out on a date. However, he used the guise of the April 1, Holiday, "April Fools Day" to make sure if she said NO that he could say "April Fool's!" So, Rick wrote a note that said "Will you go out on a Date with me? He included two boxes marked YES-NO."

He passed the note to her and she read it. She took out a pen, made a mark, and folded it and handed it back. Rick eagerly scurried off to read the note in anticipation. He opened it up and ready her answer. She had marked the box for YES! Rick was stunned and filled with excitement, but soon came back to earth as he thought to himself; "What if she's playing an April fools Joke on me?" No, she wouldn't. To confirm, he then approached her and got the courage to speak and said, "would you like to go to a movie tonight? I can pick you up at about 7pm." She said she'd love to and gave her address to him.

After that, the two moved quickly, becoming a great couple and in 1965, they were married on December 20th. They were both just 19 years of age.

As young kids with very different upbringings, the two found themselves moving to Sunny California where Rick would attend Northrop to get his degree in Aircraft Maintenance & Engineering. He was also a budding young aviator and was accepted as a flight Officer Candidate with United Air Lines. He was scheduled to start Flight training in the 727 in 1970. However, his class was furloughed. With Billie at home now with their young daughter, Lisa Kay Broome, born July 11, 1968. It became increasingly more difficult to make ends meet. Rick had to choose to finish school, and hope for his Pilots Slot to open back up, or Return to CO where they knew they could get the support they needed from both sides of the family. As fate would have it, the choice was an easy one with the 6.6 magnitude Earthquake on Feb 9, 1971 that shook Los Angelas and where they lived in Englewood! So, they packed up, and moved home...

They were welcomed home with their new daughter, just about 4 years old and in about a years time, would be welcoming in their second addition, James Jeffrey Broome, Born October 5, 1972. James was born a fighter as he went much longer than normal and was brought into the world via emergency cesarean with the chord wrapped around his neck 7-9 times. He was way underweight as he struggled to live. While he got stronger, the nursing staff named him Gramps because of how loose and wrinkly his skin was. That didn't matter to Billie! She had a son now who spent most of his toddler years on her hip! They were a family now, and they were just about to make their mark...

Rick was not only an accomplished aviator, he was a talented Artist. He didn't paint just anything though, he painted what he loved, the ethereal openness and wonder of Aviation and Flight! Capturing the beauty of flying and the machines that made it possible! While he was waiting for his flight recall, Rick started painting more and his clientele came from a very interesting place. Painting doesn't pay the bills. The term Starving Artist was coined for a reason! Most young artists don't even sell their works. They give them away to get recognized. That wasn't entirely how it went for Rick. 

Rick had to get a job, so after getting back to Colorado, he decided to go work for family friends who owned a car dealership in Colorado Springs. The Dealership, Daniels Chevrolet. Rick's area of expertise, Selling Corvettes to Air Force Academy Cadets. Why was he tasked with this? Because he was an Aviation guy as well. And guess what? He did DAMN GOOD! Setting records for Corvette Sales and Deliveries each month! He was a Natural, but not at selling cars. He was gifted at talking to young airmen about aviation and the Corvette purchase was really more of an afterthought! He really was forging new relationships with the Cadets and after getting a brand new 1973-74 Vette, they would come over to his home and see his studio where they all were in awe and wonder of his ability to capture the beauty and awe of Flight. He even had a whole group of Cadets down to help him install a Cockpit of a DC-6B into his studio. An obsession that would go much further 40 years later...

The stage was set though and the more Cadets he met, the more intrigued they became. They started commissioning him to paint them a painting. Rick was overjoyed and excited about painting for these great young airmen. He always wanted to go to the Academy but his family and other issues kept him from going. However, that didn't stop him from thinking about how else he might be a part of the greatest institution on earth. The US Air Force Academy was where they made Aviators! So, Rick started to think what he could do and it didn't take long. So, he invited one of the Cadets he had met to a home cooked meal with Miss Billie and they all sat and talked about airplanes. Then, Rick let it fly. He pitched to the cadet his idea to do an Annual Painting fore each graduating Class that 

would capture the spirit and legacy of each class as well as the Spirit and Tradition of the Academy. The Class would then Donate that painting BACK to the Academy as Their gift back to them. Then, this would be done Every Single Year, each one different, but the same in that it is a Living Breathing, Historical Vision on Canvas that tells the stories of the Cadets of each class and showcases the advancement of military aviation...The Cadet thought about it for no more than a minute. He simply replied, Absolutely BRILIANT!

Where do we sign up!!! And that, was the beginning of the Greatest Tradition that has ever bestowed an institution with the prestige of

the  Air Force Academy!

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1 Comment

I certainly enjoy how this history has lead to my USAFA class having the best class paining in any military academy history; 2002 - No Limits!

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