MIDWEST CITY, OKLAHOMA — The Christmas decorations are already going up. Jim Law’s tree is ready.
He organized Thanksgiving weeks ago.
Law even has ‘Turkey in the Straw’ ready to play on his harmonica.
“I’ll walk into a place and say, ‘hey. it’s almost Thanksgiving,'” he says. “So I’ll pick up my harmonica and start playing.”
He turns 95 in December with his sharp memory intact, perfectly willing to sit down with a reporter to discuss engines, especially the aircraft engines he started working on in 1941 before the U.S. was even involved in WWII.
“You know, living in the country you had to know how to do all that stuff,” he says of his early mechanical training. “Working on Model-T’s and all that.”
He had his harmonica with him back then, but was too busy to play.
This is a man who worked on most of the bombers and transport aircraft used in WWII.
He flew the famous Berlin Airlift in 1948.
Law served a tour in Korean Conflict, a much longer one than he expected.
Jim recalls, “We were only supposed to be there for 25 days temporary duty. I was there for 2 and a half years.”
He spent a few Christmases in France during the Vietnam war.
Jim Law was a chief by then, one of the first in the Air Force.
He worked at Tinker Air Force Base with his son who also joined the Air Force.
In 1967 he finally retired to sell refrigerators at Sears.
Somewhere along the line he re-discovered his harmonica too.
“I have over 120 songs I can play,” he boasts.
People around Midwest City know him now as ‘The Harmonica Man’. He plays wherever he might be waiting or standing.
His doctor told him the instrument was good for his lungs and his brain, as if he needed any encouragement.
“I play wherever I go,” he says.
The ‘Law of Jim’ has always been about the details of running smooth, in engines and in life.