Wednesday, July 30, 2014

It Was 47 Years Ago Today, Too...

     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

It Was 47 Years Ago Today

The USNS General John Pope docked in Vung Tau, Viet Nam, with me and about 200 members of the 591st Engineer Company (LE) on board. The adventure continued after 19 days at sea.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Kit of the Day

     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.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Who Knew?

I didn't know Ford came out with a 2-seat Thunderbird until I saw one in the parking lot of El Toro today. A little look on line showed me that they'd been around since 2005, the 50th anniversary of the original T-Bird sports car. Neat.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Happy Anniversary Kristine & Jacob

A year ago today my baby girl married her high school sweetheart.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday (After Midnight Edition)

I conked out in my recliner so I'm running late. Here's a well-armed Cap'n outside his sister's house in Columbia, Missouri, circa 1985.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

More Models

A German U-Boat.

The USS Saratoga, CV 60.

A U.S. Gato Class submarine.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

More Models

A Dauphine helicopter. The real ones are made in France and used by the US Coast Guard for rescue missions.

The USS Montrose, an armed freighter. I like this because my father's people live in Montrose, NY. And it's a neat model.

A Ford Flivver. Did you think they only made cars?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

USS Iowa BB-61, War of the Worlds, Snark Missile

     Some more models from my collection. They were all in the same file so I'm running them together. The Iowa and WotW kits assembled pretty easily, but the decals on the missile were a mother.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Late 1989, feeding my older girl Stephanie.

Oil Tanker

My father served on an oil tanker after WWII, although not one that looks like this, which is the USS San Juan Capistrano. The kit is from Revell.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

The Monitor and the Merrimack

Here are models I built of the two ironclads who dueled on March 9, 1862, and changed naval warfare forever. I hope I don't have to tell you which is which.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

The Sound and the Fury

The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner.

     This is the worst book I have ever read that wasn't written by a Russian. All right, I didn't read it all. I stopped around 40 pages in because life's too short for this nonsense. And here's the deal: after 40 pages I have no idea who the characters are, how they relate to each other, what they're doing, what time of year it is, or why I ought to care a whit about them. I know they're black and some are kids, but that's it. Notice this copy says "The Corrected Text." I hate to imagine what the uncorrected text looked like, or perhaps it made sense after some courageous editor got his hands on it. I bought this because I thought I ought to read a few more American classics before I die. To broaden my range of experience and education. If this is an example of American classics, I'll croak without such enlightenment.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Throwback Thursday

May, 1976, with my mother in Campbell, California. Oh, for that 30" waist again.