Flyboy


Volume 10


Natural Born Leader


by Gordon Buttars

         Volume 10 – Natural Born Leader takes place between July 25, 1953 and June 30, 1964. With the Korean War over, Sheffield looks forward to permanently retiring from the Navy with anticipation, only to be offered a promotion and a position too good to turn down. After much fasting and prayer, he declines the offer and formally retires and returns to coaching and teaching his government classes. His decision opened possibilities he could not have imagined.
         National and world events provide him with real world lessons to present in his government classes with the admission of Alaska and Hawaii to the union, the emotionally charged social implications of integration of public schools, the election of John F. Kennedy, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the threat of nuclear war, and the tragic assassination of President Kennedy. Sheffield is particularly intrigued by the dawn of the space age and manned space travel and follows closely the six Mercury astronauts and their ventures into the new frontier.
         They have the opportunity to host a Japanese exchange student, a war orphan with a tragic story, who they welcome into their home and hearts. What was supposed to only be for the school year turns out to be a lifelong relationship. As the kids grow up and leave home, they only have an empty nest for a little while as the kids and their families come and go for various reasons. Even his mother comes to live with them for a time. There are weddings to attend as Norma and Janet get married and Sheffield and Ramona are blessed with more grandchildren, along with tragedy and heartache with the loss of loved ones, not to mention Janet's brush with death and a worldwide influenza pandemic.
         Ramona takes a position as an adjunct professor teaching health two days a week at the all girls' Hollins College and continues to profit from her investments. As the Roanoke Valley continues to grow, Ramona buys a piece of property adjacent to the Two Star Ranch as a buffer from the encroaching development.
         Their travels take them on adventures out west and back to the Islands. The Staggerwing makes several cross-country flights to Idaho to take Janet and her friends back and forth to Ricks College. There are visits with old friends and ship's reunions. On one adventure, Ramona solves the nearly fifty-year-old mystery of the murder of her father when she was a child. Sheffield's greatest adventure is soaring with the Blue Angels.
         Sheffield answers calls to serve in the church, first as a counselor in the branch presidency, then as branch president, and finally as a counselor in the Central Atlantic States Mission presidency and serves faithfully. As his sixty-fifth birthday approaches, they look forward to retiring permanently and made plans for what they want to do, including a thirty-day vacation in Hawaii, only to put their plans on hold to answer yet another call.

Chapter I Unexpected Choice July 25, 1953 – August 9, 1953 Page 1
Chapter II Transition August 10, 1953 – September 8, 1953 Page 15
Chapter III Back to School September 9, 1953 – November 21, 1953 Page 29
Chapter IV The Diamond Tree November 22, 1953 – February 27, 1954 Page 41
Chapter V Guardian Angel February 27, 1954 – March 26, 1954 Page 49
Chapter VI Full House to Empty Nest March 20, 1954 – August 18, 1954 Page 63
Chapter VII Double Wedding August 18, 1954 – December 31, 1954 Page 75
Chapter VIII Twins From Different Mothers January 1, 1955 – July 9, 1955 Page 89
Chapter IX A Very Good Year July 9, 1955 – July 8, 1956 Page 103
Chapter X Natural Born Leader July 8, 1956 – December 25, 1956 Page 117
Chapter XI Hawaiian Wedding December 26, 1956 – June 22, 1957 Page 131
Chapter XII Among Angels June 22, 1957 – October 16, 1957 Page 147
Chapter XIII Almost a Bride October 21, 1957 – June 14, 1958 Page 161
Chapter XIV Finally a Bride June 15, 1958 – January 2, 1959 Page 173
Chapter XV Summer Road Trip January 5, 1959 – May 30, 1960 Page 185
Chapter XVI Anthony June 3, 1960 – August 25, 1960 Page 197
Chapter XVII Integration August 25, 1960 – April 8, 1961 Page 209
Chapter XVIII Leave it to Younger Men April 8, 1961 – December 31, 1961 Page 223
Chapter XIX How Time Flies January 1, 1962 – December 31, 1963 Page 235
Chapter XX Answering Another Call January 1, 1964 – May 19, 1964 Page 247
Chapter XXI Saying Goodbye May 19, 1964 – June 30, 1964 Page 259

Return to main page