Welcome back. Over the years I’ve brought you readers many stories I hope you’ve found interesting from Whitey Bulger’s trial in Boston, the American Sniper trial in Stephenville, Texas and even the heartbreaking trial in Aurora, Colorado where a deranged kid killed dozens of people in a movie theater. I’ve also brought you inspiring stories about camping out in places like the Grand Canyon, visits to great museums that I’ve been lucky enough to explore across the country and this week it’s a story about the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) who held their big championship a few months ago at the BOK Center in Tulsa.
Now the PBR has come to Corpus Christi, Texas with a show like none other so here’s the scoop. The event last week wasn’t held in a big arena but on the top deck of the retired aircraft carrier the USS Lexington which was decommissioned in 1991 and now is docked permanently in a harbor in Corpus Christi. At the time it was retired the Lexington was the oldest working carrier in the U.S. Navy. Also known as the “Blue Ghost” the ship was originally named the USS Cabot but during WWII the first USS Lexington was sunk during the battle of the Coral Sea. After that the Cabot changed its name to Lexington and joined the fifth fleet at Pearl Harbor. Throughout the war the carrier was involved in every military action in the pacific, destroying 372 enemy aircraft in air battles and another 475 planes on land. The carrier was also responsible for sinking 300,000 tons of ships all while traveling over 209,000 miles roughly equivalent to eight trips around the world.
In preparation for the PBR event the Lexington was closed to the public this past weekend and over 300,000 tons of dirt and steel were brought in to build a bucking bull arena on the top deck of this massive ship. Only people holding PBR tickets along with the media, livestock contractors and the cowboys themselves were allowed on board. The event was televised last Sunday right after the NFL football game on CBS and you might still be able to replay it. I also need to mention that the competition was sponsored by the Airforce Reserves and all the proceeds were donated to charities supporting military service people and their families.
When it is not hosting a special event, the Lexington offers a wide variety of exhibits and attractions to the general public including a self-guided tour of the flight deck that features 20 aircraft on loan from the National Museum of Naval Aviation, anti-aircraft guns, and landing gear. On the main Hangar Deck, you can participate in the Virtual Battle Stations which will give you the experiences of a crew in combat, bringing to life real battles aboard different classes of ships and planes. There is also a flight simulator that puts you in the cockpit of an F-18 fighter jet as well as an extensive exhibit on the history of Pearl Harbor and much more. I have toured the Lexington myself and believe me you don’t want to miss it if you are in Corpus Christi, it’s truly an amazing piece of history that we should never forget.
Till next time I’ll see ya down the road…………….