I was sitting in Springdale Country last week doing a book signing. In came a genial older man with a twinkle in his eye and an Air Force hat on his head. With a strong grip and a firm voice, he said, “I’m Noble Waite.”
He didn’t really need to introduce himself though. I’d just heard the day before that Waite had been selected as community grand marshal for the 2008 Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade. He and his lovely wife, Beverly, had stopped by to introduce themselves, because he’d been told I wanted to write a column about him. It was a great surprise, and over the course of our short visit, along with another conversation a few days later, I learned why Waite was so deserving of the honor.
Some background about his road to Huntington Beach: He was born Nov. 14, 1924, in Fallon, Nev. He moved to Huntington Park with his family at 2, and he graduated from Bell High School in 1942. From there it was on to Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. After that, Waite joined the Air Force during World War II, and flew B-17s on 21 missions over Germany with the 8th Army Air Force.