Ken Coolidge
Ken Coolidge with my brother Guy, looking at the design on his cap, while they discussed aviation technologies and the military.
I first met Coolidge at the Albuquerque Police Academy when I took a refresher course in the use of the baton while he was attending the Reserve Officer training.
When it came time to practice swinging the baton, we paired up. We used rolled up newspapers so we would not injury each other, but it still stung quit a bit.
When Coolidge graduated, he had to work eight hours a month riding on patrol.
He asked if he could ride with me and I said yes.
Unlike a lot of officers, I would let reserve officers drive and he started coming out every Friday to work a swing shift with me.
Coolidge was an Air Force Lt. Col. assigned to the Air Force's Office of Security Police at Kirtland AFB, N.M.
He specialized in writing policy for security police Air Force wide.
He managed to skirt the federal posse comitatus law which prohibits military personnel from serving in civil positions.
Coolidge graduated with an ROTC commission from the University of New Hampshire and became an Electronic Warfare Officer, flying in the B-66.
He flew the rear seat of RF-4C Phantom II jets over Southeast Asia with more than 100 combat missions North of the Red River, North Vietnam.
His life was about flying, while he was on the ground he had his share of difficulty finding his way around the unfamiliar streets while we were on patrol, but get him 2,000 feet off the ground and his world came alive.
Coolidge's navigational skills shone brightly and there was never a time, in the hundreds of hours we flew together, that he did not know exactly where we were.
Getting out of the parking lot, after flying sometimes, was another matter.
He owns a Cessna 172, N2334U and flew as often as he could.
Coolidge was working towards being a flight instructor in airplanes while I was a balloon instructor.
He needed a guine-pig student to teach and I was it.
When he was certified, we started logging hours and I was his first student, when I added private privileges of single engine land to my commercial pilot balloon ticket.
In a deal for his teaching me, I taught his wife, Marriette to fly balloons.
Coolidge retired from the Air Force in 1982.
At Coolidge's retirement party, he reminisces with Ray Rittenhouse, his pilot in the RF-4C Phantom II and Tom Mueller.
Coolidge and Rittenhouse are attired in their "party flight suits" they had worn to informal events while stationed in Thailand.
Mueller is an Albuquerque plumbing contractor and weekend flying buddy.
Coolidge took a management job with California Plant Protections, a security company and later moved to the Los Angeles area.
He provided security guards for the Games of the XXIII Olympiad, held in 1984 in Los Angeles, California.
CPP bought Pinkerton and he retired a second time in 1993 as a Regional Vice President.
Coolidge started his own security company working government contracts at U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world.
Coolidge is an avid photographer, but we seldom photographed together, though we talk about technologies and techniques a lot.
He is a flight instructor, now specializing in instructing instrument rating students in Camarillo, California.

Ken and his wife, Marriette celebrated a "practice 50th wedding anniversary" by taking their family and friends on a 2004 Mexican cruise.

The "practice anniversary" took place a couple of years early because the grandchildren are beginning to attend college and it was considered to be one of the last times that the clan could all be brought together.