Rivet Ball plaque & cartoon


It all started at thirty-minutes past midnight on January 13, 1969 ― the saga of the Bouncing Ball. You can find details about Ball as well as Rivet Amber on King Hawes site: http://www.rc135.com ― an exhaustive and excellent web page. My narrative is also on my web site (www.johnachor.com) via the Bouncing Ball link at the bottom of the home page. For a direct link, use: http://johnachor.com/a-ball.htmlBallPlaque2

I recently posted a couple of items on Facebook (FB) and this will explain more about them than I thought I could jam onto my FB page. The FB images are of the Ball plaque and the cartoon ― both of which are also included here.

Enough background, this is about the plaques I created for the eighteen aboard the Ball on 13 January 1969. A day or two after the accident, a couple of NCOs from our maintenance staff came to me with a pair of Cadillac steering wheel emblems. The emblems are about 3 1/2” in diameter (top circle on plaque) and I have no idea what year Cadillac they came from. We all referred to Rivet Ball (RC-135S ) as the Cadillac of the fleet, so somewhere along the way, the maintenance crew located these emblems and attached them to both pilot’s control wheels. These NCOs told me they thought since I was the last crew commander to fly her; I deserved to have the Cadillac symbols.

I accepted the hubs because even that early, I had an idea of how to use them. I asked these gents if they could get me a small piece of the aircraft skin. I pictured maybe a 12” x 12” chunk of aluminum from the airplane. To gauge the size I received, many of you remember the old A-3 bag ― soft but tough fabric that measured about two-feet by two-feet by three-feet when stuffed full of flight gear. I needed to lay the piece of aluminum skin into my A-3 bag on a diagonal with flight suits, etc. stuffed on top and beneath the chunk. It had to be around a two-foot square. I turned that piece of the airplane skin into the 2 1/2” by 3 1/2” plates screwed to the plaques.

For the plaques, I purchased walnut boards 3/4” by 6” and cut them to size and beveled the top edges. To gauge the effort, realize I did all my work in the basement of on-base housing at Eielson AFB, AK using a footlocker for a workbench. My well-equipped “workshop” consisted of a hand-held saber saw with a metal cutting blade and a vibrating power sander. The vertical and horizontal lines that show on the piece of aircraft skin (middle piece on the plaque) were from the sole plate of the saber saw ― not for effect, just happened.

Two of the plaques are 6” by 10” as shown above ― with the Cadillac hub, aircraft skin and a personalized name plate. The one in this image here reads: J N Achor / 13 January 1969. I created another sixteen plaques measuring about 6” by 7” on which I mounted a piece of the skin and a name plate. I kept one of the “Cadillac” plaques, and I gave the second to my copilot, Usto (Sam) Schulz. Sam, I apologize because I think I misspelled your name the other day on FB. But, I still remember what F.E. stands for.

An aside: the tail number of Rivet Ball was 59-1491. It was not until after the accident that someone pointed out I shared the tail number with my Air Force serial number. In those days my number was: FR 3048491 ― same last three as the bird. Make of it what you will …



Here’s the other item I referred to. It’s a cartoon for Rivet Ball devotees – the caption reads “Whoa!!! You sonofabitch! Whoa!” ― I received it while I was at Shemya (as I recall) after the accident. It is drawn on a scrap of white paper in pencil — I’ve lost the name of the artist, and I hope the person is still with us and will send me his name. I’ve enjoyed it for nearly 50 years and hope everyone enjoys the right-on sentiment of the caption. Yee-haw!






web: johnachor.comfacebook.com/jachor1LinkedIn.com― Twitter: @CaseyFremont





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New news about Casey …

The third in my series of mystery novels hit the scene in January, 2017. I know I’m slow about the announcement, but you need to slog a mile in my shoes. The title is “Five, Six – Deadly Mix,” and the cover art can be seen on the right along with the other two covers.

In this book, my thirty-something lady, Casey Fremont, is again forced into the role as an amateur sleuth. She is recruited by the local police & FBI to uncover the fraud and theft culprits at a local hospital. With her helpful roommates, she dodges death once more.

Love life is a mess — as usual. A new character pops up to lend a hand catching the bad guys, and provides a segue twist for my next novel – a thriller.

This mystery novel, “Five, Six – Deadly Mix.” is available in trade paperback and eBook formats at your favorite bookseller online. I hope the audio download version will make its debut soon (as did the first two novels). For direct links, more about me or Casey, or questions go my web site at: johnachor.com


web: johnachor.comfacebook.com/jachor1LinkedIn.com― Twitter: @CaseyFremont

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Casey as an audio book …

Tommy Hancock (Pro Se Productions) has expanded his business model to include genre fiction and audio books. Congratulations, Tommy and thanks for including me in the audio book department (audible.com).

Casey Fremont’s first mystery (One, Two – Kill a Few) is now available as an audio book. You can find it at this (bitly.com) Amazon link: http://amzn.to/1OY4Ryd

The story is narrated by Aisling Gray who does an outstanding job of portraying Casey.I’m enjoying listening to her read my words. Ahh! The lazy man’s way to read.

Free preview is available and Audible is making special purchase offers. Give them a try and let me know what you think of this new endeavor.


web: johnachor.comfacebook.com/jachor1LinkedIn.com― Twitter: @CaseyFremont

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Coincidence or …


As mystery writers, we are told not to rely on coincidences as clues or possible solutions.

I’m not sure what they are, but consider the following. My wife was born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont and I entered the world in Indianapolis, Indiana. How did we meet?

If it weren’t for WW II, the company her dad worked for and the Manhattan Project, we may have been two ships that passed in the night without meeting one another. I attended five different grade schools in three states. We attended the same grade school at one time but did not know one another. While in high school, I carried the afternoon newspaper and picked up my papers for delivery at a vacant lot across the street from her home. We didn’t know one another at the time.

These are some of the circumstances that affected our lives until we finally met at a workplace while I was in college. These are only a few of the ways our paths crossed, yet did not cross, but the full list is too long to go into here.

Circumstance, destiny, karma, aura or coincidence? Beats the heck out of me. Try it. Sit down and list all the “steps” you and your significant other passed through to end up where you are today.

Never slap a man who’s chewing tobacco. (Will Rogers)


web: johnachor.comfacebook.com/jachor1LinkedIn.com― Twitter: @CaseyFremont

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Name dropper

Over the years, I’ve had the good fortune to meet a ton of well known authors. I decided to “name drop” and put the list here. I met the vast majority of these authors at book signings at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore (an independent mystery book store) in Scottsdale, Arizona. Others were attending conferences or seminars.

After each name I added a bit of info about their writing, the name of a book current at the time or character names. Hang on, here we gooooo …

Lawrence Block (Matt Scudder, Bernie Rodenbarr, Vic Tanner); James Lee Burke (Dave Robicheaux); Laura Parker Castoro (“A New Lu”); Lee Child (“The Killing Floor”); Michael Connolly (Harry Bosch); Clive Cussler (“Raise the Titanic”); Jeanne Dams (American writing British cozies); Jeffery Deaver (“The Bone Collector”); Janet Evanovich (number series, “Seven Up”); Vince Flynn (“Memorial Day”); G. M. (Jerry) Ford (“Who the Hell is Wanda Fucha?” – Leo Watterman-4 homeless alcoholics); Sue Grafton (alphabet mystery series, Kinsey Milhone); L C Hayden (Aimee Brant and Harry Bronson mystery series); Dame PD James; Laurie R. King (“Beekeepers Apprentice,” Sherlock Holmes is the apprentice); Steve Hamilton (“Ice Season”); Charlaine Harris (several series and TV “True Blood”); Tony Hillerman (SW, Navaho lawmen, Joe Leaphorn & Jim Chee); Mary Lynn (mss prep and style, The Writer contributor); Dennis Lehane (“A Drink Before the War”); Gayle Lynds (“The Last Spymaster”); Val McDermid (“Mermaids Singing,” 2 other series); Michael McGarrity (SW series, “Tularosa”); David Morrell (Rambo, “First Blood”); Sylvia Nobel (Kendall O’Dell mystery series); Carol O’Connell (“Mallories Oracle”); Thomas Perry (Indian woman who helps people disappear, “Dance of the Dead”)

One of these days, I will become an overnight success like these folks.


web: johnachor.comfacebook.com/jachor1LinkedIn.com― Twitter: @CaseyFremont



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Subject of article

A young lady, Julie Bulissa Kohl, is writing an article on Arkansas authors and contacted me. She sent a dozen or so interview questions to which I responded. Julie said the article should appear around the end of July and she will send me a link. I’ll pass the link on to you so you can see her column with a bit about me.


web: johnachor.comfacebook.com/jachor1LinkedIn.com― Twitter: @CaseyFremont

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Casey Contest Winners

Casey Contest Winners Announced!

My intrepid band of judges (CCs OKC) have spoken: Nancy Gibson of Pearcy won First Place ($100); John Swinburn of Hot Springs Village won Second Place ($50) and Janis Rychlik of Hot Springs Village won Third Place ($25). I’ve contacted the HMs and offered the eBook version of either my first or second Casey Fremont mystery.

“One, Two – Kill a Few” is available now, and “Three, Four – Kill Some More” should be out within two weeks.


web: johnachor.comfacebook.com/jachor1LinkedIn.com― Twitter: @CaseyFremont3-4cover-2

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Casey Contest

Hi all,

For those of you who entered my contest (below), I appreciate your efforts and your fate is in the hands of the judges — a group of ladies who enjoy reading, chocolate and wine; not necessarily in that order 🙂

For those who did not enter, you missed a chance for FREE money. Tsk, tsk.

I will announce/contact the winners by the end of June, 2015.

The wisdom of Will Rogers: Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.


web: johnachor.comfacebook.com/jachor1LinkedIn.com― Twitter: @CaseyFremont

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I didn’t think selecting actors to fill the roles in a book being made into a movie would be such a daunting exercise. I was wrong … so I’ve made a couple of modifications to the rules (which are located in the previous post here on my blog site).

I included brief descriptions of the six characters and have extended the deadline. Contest closes on May 31, 2015 with winners announced by June 30th.

These descriptions may help you pick actors.

Acacia (Casey) Fremont is a thirty-something lady desperately working to regain her self-esteem after a disastrous eight-year marriage. Her husband left her for a teeny-bopper named Bambi. At 5′ 8″ she is an imposing figure and runs to stay fit.

Effie Tremayne is in her 20s and is from a small town in Arkansas. While she is intelligent, she is naive and not wise in the ways of the world.

Aaron Kincaid is a flight attendant; he is also black and gay. He is confident and secure in his own skin.

Falcon is dark and brooding and is appealing enough for Casey to ask him out to dinner. He carries a Sig Sauer and can handle physical attacks.

Rebecca (Becca) Rider is the receptionist at the temp agency Casey uses. Becca is a bit overweight and black. She helps Casey in solving the mysteries.

Dennis Epstein, a Detective Sergeant with the Little Rock police department. He is tall, dark and handsome and is Casey’s primary love interest.


web: johnachor.comfacebook.com/jachor1LinkedIn.com― Twitter: @CaseyFremont

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1) No entry fee; cash awards. No purchase necessary.

This contest is to celebrate the anticipated release of the second book in the Casey Fremont mystery series, “Three, Four – Kill Some More.” I’m rooting for May Day.

2) I do NOT have a movie option on my mystery novel, but we can certainly play “Let’s Pretend.” In this contest, you will be a Hollywood Casting Director. Based on my first book, “One, Two – Kill a Few,” you will be in charge of casting real-life actors/actresses for various roles in the movie.

3) You are eligible as long as you are not the author (well Duh), publisher or an employee/associate of the publisher. The contest will be judged by an anonymous group of book readers and movie buffs. That group will be blind judging the entries. I will assign a number to each entry and forward it to the judges. They will select three entries for the awards: First place – $100; Second place – $50 and Third place – $25. Cash prizes will be in the form of a pre-paid credit card. Ties will be broken by a random drawing.

4) Additionally, I will select ten (10) numbers at random and award each of them an eBook of my second mystery novel, “Three, Four – Kill Some More.”

5) Format of the Emails and the six Roles to cast:

Subject: Casey Contest

Entrant’s First Name, Last Name

Entrant’s address – Street address, City, State ZIP

Entrant’s Email address

Book Characters

  •             Acacia (Casey) Fremont                 [actor name]
  •             Effie Tremayne                                 [actor name]
  •             Aaron Dante Kincaid                       [actor name]
  •             Dennis Epstein                                  [actor name]
  •             Falcon                                                  [actor name]
  •             Rebecca (Becca) Rider                      [actor name]


6) Entries: By email ONLY, addressed to: john@johnachor.com with “Casey Contest” in the Subject line. The contest will open today, April 2, 2015 and continue through the close of business on May 31, 2015 April 30, 2015 Winners will be announced no later than June 30, 2015 May 31, 2015.

7) By submitting an entry to the contest, the entrant gives the author the right to use winner’s name, city, state for publicity purposes.

8) Winners will be notified online (blog site) and by email. Pre-paid credit cards for the first three places will be sent by USPS. I will order the eBooks via Amazon as gifts.


web: johnachor.comfacebook.com/jachor1LinkedIn.com― Twitter: @CaseyFremont

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