Thursday, August 28, 2014
I think this was taken in 1982. The place was Art Scott's house and the occasion was an apres Bouchercon party. The man with the camera is the late, great John Nieminski, seated on the chair is Walter Albert and the shaggy character in the foreground is Steve Stilwell. That's me on the right without glasses or breadbasket. I wore contact lenses for a few years but a severe eye infection while trying extended-wear contacts put me off them for good.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Thursday, August 07, 2014
Here I am with daughter Stephanie and dog Spike circa 1992. Spike was the best dog you could ask for and Steph is now a grown woman with a baby of her own. Thankfully, those glasses are long gone.
I think I should have dusted off this photo before I scanned it.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Yesterday was the anniversary of the day we docked in Viet Nam. Today is the anniversary of the day we actually disembarked the General John Pope. I distinguished myself by falling down the gangway en route to the lower deck. Once there, and none the worse for wear, we climbed into landing craft and sailed to a dock in Vung Tau. Vung Tau was called The Riviera of the Orient at one time. I had a three-day R&R there once and I can see why. The beaches are exceptional. But we didn't have time to enjoy the beaches that day. We were trucked to an airfield and loaded onto C-123s--small, twin-engine transport/cargo planes.
A little while later a crewman removed a plate in the floor and started kicking at something. It was the front landing gear, which wouldn't lower electrically. Gulp. Shortly after that the plane, which was in descent, veered sharply up and left. The pilot apologized. He mistook a dirt road for the runway of Xuan Loc International Airport. Great, I'm thinking, my first day in country and I'm going to be killed by our own people. Well, we landed safely, loaded onto trucks, and convoyed out to Black Horse, a muddy pit in the middle of jungle and rubber tree plantations. That night we were serenaded by the sound of artillery shells roaring over our tents.
The photo above is not of any of my company areas, though it's typical of the ones where I lived.
The adventure had begun.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Friday, July 25, 2014
I suppose most of you watched this wacky service sitcom in the sixties. It should have been no great effort for Revell to issue this tie in model kit of the PT 73. When Kennedy took office they dusted off the molds for an already extant PT boat, changed the box art to say PT 109, and made a new decal sheet. You would think new box art and decals would serve for this kit, too, but it didn't. The PT 73 was based on a Vosper, a British MTB (motor torpedo boat), which is what was used in the TV series. Later, the kit was issued as a Vosper MTB proper. Revell marketed the PT 73 from 1965-69. It included figures of McHale and three crew members. Current value for a PT 73 in fine condition is $75-100.