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June 2012
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Portrait of Bill Baxter

Early in life I learned ... things don't always turn out quite the way you expected them to.

Most people would never guess ... that this "by the book" 30-year Air Force retiree has become a truly "bleeding-heart liberal."

One important memory I treasure is ... how my father always treated everyone with the utmost courtesy, respect and dignity.

When facing a fork in life's road, I ... most generally take the "road less traveled" which usually led to often-times surprising opportunities.

The best book I have read is ... "The Earth is Enough â “ Growing up in a World of Fly-fishing, Trout, & Old Men" by Harry Middleton. Best movie - "Four Weddings & a Funeral", Hugh Grant, Andi McDowell.

The best job I ever had was ... as Commander of the Security Forces unit at Eglin AFB, FL, 1988-1992.

My favorite pet has been ... all of the dogs we've ever had and loved, but "Mr. Baxter" ranks right up there at the top of the list.

I chose to live in Paducah because ... we had always enjoyed our holiday visits with my in-laws in Reidland and knew Paducah would be a great retirement location.

When I have 10 minutes to myself ... I like to organize and straighten-up my surroundings â ¦ I tend to be a neat freak.

Near the top of my "bucket list" would be ... to take the "Rocky Mountain Express" train tour from Vancouver, B.C., to Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

I've always wanted to meet ... Wow, that's a good question because I was so fortunate in my military career to meet two Vice Presidents; serve as security advisor to two Chiefs of Staff of the Air Force; advise Secretary of Defense William Cohen on nuclear weapon security measures; travel with the Under Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Policy; brief the U.S. Ambassadors to Turkey, Greece, and Germany, dine at the "Queen Mum's" residence, Clarendon House, in the UK, and celebrate Queen Beatrix's 50th birthday in the Netherlands.

The best place I've ever been is ... Ute Trail River Ranch in the Rocky Mountains, northwest of Colorado Springs, CO, because of the tranquility and spectacular beauty.

A funny thing happened to me when ... just as I thought I had things figured out as a bachelor, along comes my wife of 32 years, Tricia, and changed my perspective on life, very much for the better.

One of my scariest moments was ... in 1974 when the left jet engine blew up at 30,000 feet altitude as I was piloting a USAF B-57 to Winnipeg, Canada. I had a great 'backseater' that day and we managed to get the plane and ourselves safely back to Mother Earth following several 'white-knuckle' moments.

I always wanted to be ... someone who could make a difference.

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