Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Milestones---The End of June 40 years ago and beyond

With the rains having been less frequent of late, we are getting in most, if not all, of our tournament games...tonight I go back to Crestview for one last regular season ACME Varsity contest, which will decide the "seeding" for the upcoming Van Wert County ACME Tournament. A day off tomorrow, which will be followed by at least 9 or 10 straight days of more Tournament Games in the ACME and Junior ACME Ranks before the State Tournaments begin in Celina, later in July. Garry and I were at Crestview last night, where we finished off the finals on the Van Wert-Auglaize County Junior ACME Sectionals, St. Marys the Champions, and Wapakoneta, the runners-up, move on to the Districts at Parkway High School in Rockford....I'll be there on July 4th and 5th....no Holiday for me, but I'd rather be umpiring, despite the heat and humidity which were surely be back by then.

End of June Milestones____

The last days of June always bring back memories of my military days....it seems lots of the final days of this month are days which I remember as milestones of sorts:

June 28, 1968....After a night of bar hopping(18 year olds could drink beer back then, legally) my friend Doug Giesige and I spent our last night of freedom in downtown Columbus. Doug was getting inducted in the Army, I had joined the Air Force, rather than taking a chance on the draft. We hit a few bars, pool halls, and other nightspots, before being shipped off to different locations via the Columbus Airport. June 28th, 42 years ago, was the first time, at the age of 19, I flew in a plane...a 707 from Columbus to Dallas, and then on to Lubbock, and then a small puddle jumper to Amarillo, where I was to spend the next 7 weeks are so in Air Force Basic Training....I would fly many times to many lands and far away places over the next 4 years....and have flown many times since. But I have to say, I do not enjoy it, don't like flying, don't like airports, but sometimes it is necessary.

June 30, 1969(41 years ago today)....1 year and 2 days after my induction in the AF, I was on another place...actually several planes in the next 36 to 48 hours or so. From Dayton to Chicago, then on to San Francisco. After getting orders cut, I would clime on board a Braniff International Airlines Jet and head for Hawaii, and on to Guam, the Philippines, then on to Saigon and Tan Son Nhut Airbase....after an overnight stay at TSN, I was off to Nha Trang, Air Base, in a Air Force C-130....I would spent the next 6 months at Nha Trang, playing Law Enforcement, before heading back to Tan Son Nhut, where I would work Security for the final 6 months of my Vietnam Vacation. Before I left however, I would fly back to Hawaii for a 5 day R&R on the beaches of Waikiki.

On June 29th of 1970...my tour of Vietnam was completed, and I climbed aboard an American Airlines 727, and headed back across the Pacific Ocean. Looking forward to my 39 days(including travel time) of leave, before heading to Upstate New York for my final 22 months of Air Force duty....I said at the time, and will say it today. If I had to do it all over again, I would have finished my tour of duty, in Vietnam. Life, despite it's dangers, was not so bad for an Air Force Security Cop..we had beds to sleep in, real food in the chow hall(at least twice a day), and NCO Club to drown our sorrows, and free access to Downtown Saigon(and Nha Trang before that), where we could unwind....life, even in the Air Force's 2nd most dangerous field(flying over those jungles, now that was real danger), next to being a pilot or flying crew member, was not all that bad.....my tour in Vietnam, especially at Nha Trang, was my favorite time in the Air Force. The Chicken Stuff was at a minimum, and the duty, although boring and somewhat dangerous, was not all that bad.

So there you have it....the final 3 days of June, at least those of some 40 years ago, stand out in my memory banks, like they happened yesterday.....now let's bring on July!





back later>>>>
Photos-My Basic Training Squadron at Amarillo AFB, Texas, 42 years ago, with the late SSgt Joe Prokop as my TI...I would see Joe again at Tan Son Nhut, where, after his stint as a TI, he went back to becoming a Security Cop....sadly Joe, a great guy, died a few years ago before I could find him. The night before I left for Columbus and the induction...I believe this was June 27th of 1968, my neighbor and high school buddy, Bob Jones with me on the left, all 135 pounds, my how that would change in short order...Bob joined the Navy and left a few days after I was inducted into the Air Force. A Braniff International Jet, much like the one I flew on going across "The Pond" to Saigon....and another photo of my skinny ass days at the Honolulu Airport in April 1970 on R&R...I was getting ready to board the Jet back to Tan Son Nhut for my final 10 weeks in Vietnam.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Red Sky at Night, Collar Bones, and More Rain

After a couple of days without the persistent rains of the past month or more, the forecast was calling for an 80% chance of storms and showers for Sunday afternoon....the forecasters did not disappoint...well actually it was a disappointment, but the storms came, whether we wanted them or not.
Sam was scheduled to work the Junior ACME Tournament at Lima Central Catholic, a double header starting at Noon...I was slated to work with my old buddy Jim Runneals at Convoy Crestview, a double header, one in the winner's bracket, another to follow would be an elimination game. The first game was a Marathon contest between Van Wert and St. Marys. I was behind the plate at the site of my 14 inning Sectional Final game in the Spring High School Season. This game was to last just about as long, time wise, 2 hours 45 minutes, but it only took 7 innings. Van Wert carried a 7-3 lead into the bottom of the 7th, but walks, errors, and wild pitches, let St. Marys come away with a 8-7 win, and move on in the winner's bracket....The Cougars meanwhile, were left to take on the home squad, Crestview, who had been thumped on the other diamond by Minster, 21-11 in a 6 inning run rule game on the other diamond.

The "highlight" of the first contest was me...I was a human target behind the plate, getting hit by foul balls no less than 5 times..4 of them solid shots, once in the mask(no damage), once in the shoulder, one a solid hit in a crease of the protector, just above the chest protector....and then the big one...a quick hard foul tip, that caught my collar bone square...I was down to one knee, and walked over to the VW Dugout thinking "That might have broken the damn thing"...but it didn't apparently the Houseworth bones are as thick as the Houseworth skulls....I've got a bone bruise, but otherwise no worse for wear...it has been a rough Summer on the aging body. However, I was back out behind the plate and finished the game off.

Game #2 got started late, and the sun was shining bright.... but another storm brewed and that one headed north into Paulding County, which had gotten blasted on numerous occasions throughout the day....our luck was not to last however, and in the bottom of the 5th, with Van Wert on the verge of run ruling the host school, leading 9-2 with one out, 2 on, and a 3-0 count on the batter, I saw a large bolt of lightning hit to our west...we called the players in to wait out the 30 minute time delay...before resuming the game, we needed not to have bothered. Withing 15 minutes all Hell broke loose and the storm came down on us with a vengeance. 60-70 MPH winds accompanied by straight line rains ended any chance of finishing the contest in the late afternoon.

So here we are, Sam and I will work the finish of the Van Wert/Crestview game then move to the back diamond for a elimination game...then Garry and George will work the other Winner's Bracket contest on the main diamond at 6pm. This however is in doubt at least for today...you see it decided to rain like cats and dogs again about 7 this morning, it's over now, but with as much rain as the Convoy area go last night....I'm not sure either diamond, especially the back reserve diamond, can dry off in time.

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More Rain? Red Sky at Night, Sailors Delight?

As I headed out of Convoy, once the game was cancelled for the day, Jim and I headed to the local carry out for some liquid refreshments...I saw one of the biggest bolts of lightning in my life at the west edge of town near the Indiana Border. As we left the Carry Out, the rains returned with force, and the winds with them. As I drove down Ohio 49 south of town, I knew what it was like going through a Hurricane. The winds probably in the 60 or 70 mile range and the rain was blinding...I drove 5 miles through that before coming up on the Intersection of US 224 in Van Wert County...the rain settled down and I made the 30 mile trip to Celina in a steady, although manageable, downpour.

Once home, I grabbed a beer, and watched more heavy rain move in from the west...after than, with Patricia sitting on the porch, I noticed a yellow turned to red hew...so I grabbed the camera, and took a few photos which are included today.

The old saying is, "Red Sky at Night, Sailors Delight"...so I figured the rains were done...not so fast, as I said, another large round of storm came through this morning, making 27 days of 33 with at least some rain...that streak is going to end it appears, as the rest of the week will be dry, or at least so they say! I'll believe a week of dry weather, only after the 7th day.

Meanwhile, rain or not, the Baseball Tournaments will continue...Garry and I, along with a dozen and a half other guys have been selected/nominated to work the Junior ACME and ACME State Tournaments, much of which will be held in Celina....not sure how many, if any, I will be assigned to work, but in the meantime, I have many Sectional and Districts games, as does Sam(along with his baseball work in Columbus), to work in....

Rain or not, the summer is going to be a busy one....

back later>>>>>
Photos-The RED Skies would not have proved a Sailor's Delight this morning, as despite the look out west of my porch last night(notice the scenic power lines)...more heavy rains hit the area around 7AM. The one thing the rains, heat, and humidity bring, is a bumper crop of flowers and weeds to go with them. And my Diamond Chest Protector is not protecting me that well...arms, and collar bone have been the latest victims...might be time for a new one next season, and probably a new plate mask as well.






Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Dog Days of Summer in the Blog World


It doesn't take much to realize that when Summer comes a calling, the Blog World, especially in my little corner of it, slows to a crawl, and to tell the truth, the posts are pretty insipid and boring.....but I'd rather bitch about the rain, than talk anymore about that useless ass that sets in the White House....politics sucks, and that giant sound you hear from Washington DC, is Barack Obama, sucking the life out of this Republic.

I just don't have the time to plop my arse in a chair and actually think of what to write...and what photos to post. So bear with me....through the coming baseball tournaments, Bar Stool Open Outing, and other outdoor stuff, just staying out of doors, is going to take precedent over what I post for the next couple of months...that's just they way it is. For you regulars, stop by, I will have the daily rain updates. It rained again last night, and again after Midnight, giving us I believe 26 of the last 30 days with at least a shower...tomorrow looks dry as does Saturday, but the storms will return by the end of the weekend.

Off to umpire...back later!
Photo-One of my Giant Sunflowers from last year's harvest...will I top last year with this season's crop? Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Obama The Magic Kenyan Strikes Again!


America's Kenyan-and-Thief, Barry Soetoro has struck again: This low life son of a bitch proves again to be an out of his league, thinned skinned loser, who cannot take criticism:


Replacement General Petraeus was obviously picked so Conservatives wouldn't complain about McChrystal being ousted...you gotta wonder why an honorable guy like Petraeus took the job. He should have told the Marxist Kenyan to take a flying leap at a camel on roller skates.
tick...tick...tick...The Shit is going to hit the fan soon, and Obama is going to be the recipient

more later

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

McChrystal Goes Rouge!


After the storms finished yesterday it turned out sunny enough to dry off the baseball diamond at Russia(Rue-She) Ohio, and we managed to get our Double Header in with visiting Sidney...only the 2nd and 3rd games I have umpired in the past 10 days, getting rained out or outright cancelled 8 of the past 9 scheduled contests. Russia won both ends of the double dip by the same 6-4 count.

The rains are not over, despite the short respite...it stormed again this morning, and more rain is in store through Thursday. Tonight I am scheduled to be in Celina, where the artificial turf makes the game at least a possibility to complete, depending on when the next batch of storms arrive in Mercer County. Sam, minus his Deer Wrecked Toyota,(see yesterday's blog post) is slated to do a game at Spencerville. Meanwhile the rain will not cool things off...92 on tap for today, 94 with humidity to match for tomorrow.

General Stanley McChrystal in Deep_____

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/21/mcchrystal-says-ambassador-betrayed-criticism-afghan-war-strategy/

I never really had much use for General Stanley McChrystal, Obama's hand picked General in charge of the Obummer's non war against Radical Islam....you see McChrystal is a self admitted Obama voter, and that automatically makes his less than smart, or anybody that I would respect. He's also a career(see lifer) Military Officer, another group that I have really never had much use or respect for. Nothing against today's military troops or their mission...It's just that I was a confirmed trouble maker during my 4 years as a Air Force Security Cop, some 4 and more decades ago. For every career type I respected, like my friend and boss, the late Phil Lange, there were at least 3 or 4 more that I would do my best to drive nuts...by refusing orders(get a haircut, shine those shoes, etc) I thought were petty. Sometimes "The Mission" I thought was pure Mission BS...and let the same be known. I knew I was not going to spend more than my allotted 4 years in service to my country....that kind of life(i.e. taking orders) was not in my make up. It's still not today.
Anyway back to McChrystal....Seems General Stan, decided to give an interview with the Left Wing unreadable rag known as "Rolling Stone"...what the Hell is with that? A military leader, the top dog in the war on terror, talking details with a Marxist Music publication that hates this country while at the same time worshipping the Kenyan and Thief. Not a good move Stan...especially if you are going to criticize the Son of a Bitch and his Marxist Staff, while giving that interview.

Here a a few hints Stanley, if King Barry allows you to keep your job:

(1) Never do one-on-one interviews with Left Wing outlets...you know, CBS, MSNBC, Time, er, Rolling Stone...you know, those media that hate the Military and hate America?

(2) Why Apologize to this Son of a Kansas Marxist Whore? You told the truth, and 2/3rds of American Voters agree with you...forget what the media, Islamics, radical college profs, or illegals think....they hate you!(and the rest of us Real Americans).

(3) Resign, before Obama fires you or makes you wear a set of Monica Lewinski knee pads while in his office...show some stones man, I'm sure many everyday troops in the Military support you, and might, just might, tell Obama, Biden, and Company, where to stuff his War on America!

According to all the National Polls, kicking Obama while he is down, seems to be great sport...and down he is:


I'm sure as Hell enjoying it.....saying "I told you so" 18 months after this big eared Bozo got elected by 52% of the voting fools, brings a warm feeling to my heart...but a cold wind still blows through the Republic....and we must be aware of what is in store until we can defeat Obama and the Far Left at the polls in the coming elections. If we can defeat him before 12 million illegals, voting in mass as Democrats, keep the far left in power.

back later>>>>
Photos-Hey General McChrystal! What the Hell were you thinking giving a one-on-one interview with Rolling Stoned...the non-journalistic Obama butt sniffing rag?

Monday, June 21, 2010

(Father's Day) Weekend Cook Outs, Oh' Deer!, and Summer Officially Begins











I just looked at the Radar(9AM) and a large RED mass of storms is again heading our way....this, with the early Sunday Morning rains, will make it 23 of 27 days with at least some sort of precipitation...by my count. It actually could be worse than that....but regardless not a pretty picture on this Day #1 of Summer. Today will be the longest day of the year as far as total daylight hours...tomorrow we begin the slow side towards winter and within 6 months it will be pitch dark in Western Ohio by 4:40pm...Today, however, if we get continued sun, it will stay daylight in Mercer and surrounding counties until about 10pm this evening. I am scheduled to do another double header this afternoon, at Russia(Rue-she), but it appears likely that I will have my 10th and 11th games cancelled in the past 10 days...ouch! It has not been a nice weather this summer baseball umpire season...and costly to say the least!

Cookin' Out_____

Saturday Afternoon I headed to Nick's place on the southside of Grand Lake...for the next 6 hours folks would come and go, bring food, lawn chairs, booze, beer, etc. The highlight was the deep fried fresh Blue Gill that was served...fresh from a private pond of Barry's, not from the mud and alge ridden swamp called Grand Lake St. Marys, plenty of fixin's to go with the fish. I had a couple of Cigars, and more than a few beers....enough so, that Patricia, who had been working in her shared garden, weeding, drove out and picked me up...no way was I driving the Jeep back the 5 miles to Celina. I picked it up yesterday....just in time for Hal, Lisa, Anissa, mom, and sister Marty and her husband Pat, to come over for a cook out for Father's Day.Hal, Lisa, and their dogs arrived at 2:30 and stayed for about 3 hours before heading back to Beavercreek...they brought with them a half dozen huge, thick cut, prime steaks....Hal and I fixed them on the grill, and with the other food selections it was one of the best feed weekends I have enjoyed since the Diabetes Diet(still down 27 pounds) began last Labor Day. The dogs, including the new "Cammy" whom they plucked out of a shelter about 10 days ago, were well behaved... at least once Reagan, the old Airedale, got done checking the boys, Cameron and Alfie, out.

Deer!______

The Boys, Sam and Hal that is, have not had a lot of luck driving the past few months. Back last September Sam was broadsided near Columbus when he turned into the path of a SUV that had it's turn signals on, but didn't turn...he was sited, and the damage, including some, "injury" for the SUV driver, claim was about $12,000....then Hal hit a table that had dropped off a pick up truck on I-675 near Dayton...causing a couple grand in damages to his new Ford ride.


Last night Sam called, waking me up at 12:20 in the morning to wish me a belated "Happy Father's Day"...I was rather short with him, and somewhat irritated. He had been playing softball up north in Ann Arbor, and waited until late after Father's Day to call....I went back to sleep, only to be awoke 20 minutes later...Sam was on the ramp off Ohio 315, some 2 miles from his place in Columbus, and a deer darted in front of his Toyota...sad to day Daisey the Doe didn't survive the impact....not sure about the Corolla. Instead of having AAA(American Automobile Association) tow it to some ripoff artist in Columbus, like he had done last time with his totalled Dodge, he had the towing company bring it back here...dropping it off at about 3:30 this morning, glad we invested in AAA some 25 years ago, it's paid us all back in tow jobs... Was the Toyota totalled? Not sure, there doesn't seem to be any engine damage, just the radiator and plenty of front end repairs...2nd Major Wreck in 9 months...we will see just how much "Nationwide is on his side". Good news is, Sam is OK, bad news is...The Toyota, and I suspect his check book won't be.














So that is the Father's Day weekend in a nutshell...some good, some bad....but the weekend that was.
back later>>>>
Weekend Photos-Nick(L) and Jeff making the Batter for the Beer Batter to go with the deep friend Blue Gill, and the fine Saturday Night Sunset on the way back to Celina. Barry and his Race Boat...he and the ride will be racing in Pittsburgh, PA over the 4th of July weekend. Lisa and Hal, and the pups...and And Cameron and Alfie(R) relax waiting on the food...don't know why I didn't photograph the Steaks....they were worth the effort just on their own merit. And Sam Toyota...took him months to get a deal on it...but Daisy The Dead Doe may have taken it out in a split second.




















Saturday, June 19, 2010

Who Will Stop the Rain?

I've always said, "When you have nothing to talk about except the Weather, you don't have much to say"...that has been the story of the past few weeks, as Spring moves into Summer. Not much going on, except the Heat, Humidity, and continued rains in the Heartland. After a 60 hour respite, with Thursday being the only completely rain free day in, the storms were brewing across the Midwest again last night.
Reminds me of an old Creedence Clearwater tune from the early 70s:

The Radar turned an ugly Red as the initial storm passed through Chicago into northern Indiana and lower Michigan...it arrived dark and ugly into West Central Ohio about 9pm. We got the winds, some brief heavy rains, and lightning...no major damage that I have heard of...unlike Chicago, where the Sears Tower lost a number of windows.

A second band of storms moved through early this morning, and now the sun is back out with accompanying heat and humidity, which comes at us with a vengeance....and Summer doesn't officially begin until Monday.

The Weather, along with team cancellations, is putting a crimp in my Cigar and Beer fund for the season...counting 3 double headers I have had a total of 9 games cancelled in the past week...a tidy sum of cash in the $500 neighborhood. You expect rain outs in the Spring season of High School Baseball, usually not so much during June...this year is the exception, and it's keeping me home and frankly bored. As the song goes "too hot to fish".....double header cancelled today, nothing tomorrow, and back to rain when the first day of Summer arrives on Monday...just in time to put a damper on another round of baseball...Damn!

Patricia is in Dayton at a school related meeting this morning, and Sam is playing Softball in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he said the friends he was staying with when they arrived last night were without power...seems they got hit worse than us....Anissa, Me, the Airedale, and Cat, are "Home Alone"...enjoying the A/C and watching the boring assed World Cup. The USA doesn't play again until Wednesday in a must win situation agains Algeria...win you move on, lose you are done, and a tie...you leave your fate in other teams hands.

Like I said...not a lot going on, as you can tell, but I will return...

back later>>>>>

Photos-NOT from last night storms..the Sears Tower gets hit by Lightning...and a funnel cloud forms along the Ohio-Indiana Border(photos from Ohiostorms.com and windlightning.com)




Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Brief Respite from the Monsoons of June



A brief shower hit the Grand Lake Area yesterday morning about 7:30...then the skies cleared and the humidity was lowered, and our 3 week miserable hot and wet weather came to an end, for at least 72 hours. Today will mark only the 3rd day in the past 22(by my count) that will go without rain, by tomorrow night, it could return, then the next 5 or 6 days are calling for heat and at least a chance of a storm each day...guess I better get out and enjoy it while I can.



Without a baseball game, due to cancellations and/or rain since Saturday...I am scheduled for a ACME League game at Lima Perry tonight, nothing tomorrow, then we will see what the weekend brings...games scheduled, along with showers.


In the meantime, I did managed to watch some World Cup Soccer(akin to watching paint dry) and finally got around to trimming the brush and weeds, while Patricia edged the sidewalks around the house....and we have plenty of sidewalk area, both along the streets, and in the back yard to clear up...she had the hardest of the two tasks.






With the sun out....the flowers are coming out, and the Sunflowers are beginning to stand tall...the attached photos are from the new crop of late Spring/early Summer buds around the house.

Meanwhile...with at least one good sun filled less humid day in the forecast....I am out of here...









back later>>>>





















Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Monsoons of June take down Touchdown Jesus!


Another group of powerful storms blew through the Midwest last night, and Western Ohio from Van Wert To Cincinnati were affected...we got our share in the Grand Lake area as well...probably upwards of 2 or 3 inches, depending on location. I'm counting 16 of 18 days with at least some rain...and things have not ended yet...more on the Radar for later today and tonight.

TD Jesus Goes Up in Flames____


Near Mason, Ohio,(Home of Kings Island Amusement Park) on Interstate 75 between Dayton and Cincinnati for the past 6 years has set what has come to be known as "Touchdown Jesus". The 62 foot statue that appears out of the water at the Solid Rock Church, has been an Internet sensation since 2004...that is until early this morning, when it, or what's left of it, became a world wide sensation. "Touchdown Jesus" is now just a stick figure, after a lighting strike took it out during the storms that came through last night and early this morning:


As a Christian, I have always thought this statue smacked of Idolatry, but it was a great conversation piece....you can be it will be even more so now that it's up in smoke. I am sure the Church will get enough donations to rebuild it bigger and better...and I cannot imagine the bottle neck traffic it will cause on I-75? Here are some after fire photos from the Dayton Daily News:

Hot and Humid it remains, with baseball being cancelled at every turn....this kind of weather, during the few "nice" weather times we get in this part of the world...frays and nerves and makes the time less enjoyable for sure...but it could be worse, we could live in Arkansas or Oklahoma City.
back later
Photos-Touchdown Jesus as seen before last night...video and photos of the aftermath can be found on the 2 links.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

More Rains and Looking Back at Dover AFB 1968-69


The 15th annual Ottawa Run American Legion Baseball Tournament came to an abrupt end last night. My young veteran umpiring partner, Jason, and I were in our second game of the evening session(and his 4th of the day) when the loudspeaker cracked a warning from the press box that heavy rains, wind, hail, and lightning were heading for Ottawa. The announcer advised folks to leave if they wanted, or to take shelter in the block and concert swimming pool building. We finished up the 3rd inning of our game and delayed the contest....a good move, because the storms came, big time.

Another day of heavy rains for the Midwest in general, and our area of Western Ohio, finished off the tournament...diamonds to wet to get back to baseball today, so the rest of the the schedule has been cancelled, and we are finished. In addition to baseball, the adjacent park had a festival going on, and the Ottawa Police had to come and make sure that activity was cleared out as well....Jason, I, and another couple, along with 2 from the Ottawa PD waited out the storm...and I finally headed south towards Celina about 9:45....arriving home as the fast moving storms ended, at about 11pm. The weather before the storms had been hot and very humid, setting the stage for the storms that followed.

Tonight and tomorrow, as well as probably Tuesday look wet and wild...the late Spring from Hell(weather wise) continues unabated.
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Dover AFB, Delaware______

I have written many times about my experience with the Air Force Security Police in Vietnam, first at Nha Trang, then at Saigon(Tan Son Nhut)....but not so much from my days leading up to the Summer Vietnam trip, when I was stationed at Dover, Delaware...or my last 2 years in the AF at Griffiss AFB in Rome, New York. The call from my old roommate, Jack Gates, got me to thinking about some of those days...the photos he and his wife sent me last night helped spark some old memories.

I arrived at Dover after spending the summer of 1968 in Texas. First at Amarillo for Air Force Basic Training, then following that up with a couple of months training to become a Air Force Cop...Air Police that was changed to Security Police sometime in early 1968. I arrived at Dover, green as grass, a 19 year old SP assigned to Security at the MAC Base not far from the Atlantic Ocean, in the home state of my mom, who although born in Pennsylvania, considered Wilmington, Delaware, her home...having grown up there during the Depression and World War II years. Since her brother, my Uncle Bill DeVore, and his family still lived in Wilmington, that would give me a place to visit on my days off, and I took full advantage of that, getting off the base as often as I could, by heading the 5o miles or so north to stay with them.

My time at base security was usually spent guarding the "Mounds" ...a stock pile of Nuclear Weapons surrounded by concussion mounds for protection, which was the job of the 416th SPS to provide security protection...a thankless job spent in the cold and snow of the winter of 1968-69, along with a prick of a Tech Sergent named Jack Adkins, that convinced me to volunteer for Southeast Asia early in 1969.

When I first arrived at Dover, I was assigned a room with a kid from Virginia named Robert W. Little the 3rd...Bob was, or at least maintained, he was a child of privilege. We got along, but his pension for neatness and me being clean but not as much as a neat freak led me to hooking up with the old man of the Squadron, 23 year old Jack Richard Gates...and moving in to the room with him. 2 men to each room was the story with the 436th...and Jack and I remained roomies until I headed back to Lackland for AZR School in Spring and Summer of 1969...next stop Vietnam. I headed over in late June of 69, Jack would follow in September, he was assigned at first to the 366th Combat Security Police Sq. As mentioned in last weeks story on Jack, we would meet up one time in Saigon in the Spring of 1970...that would be our last contact until late last week.

There were other caricatures at Dover....Lippencotte, Walsh, Pritchard, Turcotte, Hochendoner, and a few dozen others...these guys I got along with, others, not so much. There are always cliques in Military Squadrons, and Dover was no exception....Jack Gates and I were pretty much a Clique of 2...although we did hang around with Pritch, Turcotte, and even Bob Little...I believe all of the above mentioned ended up in Vietnam....Walsh near Nha Trang an Hon Tre Island, the rest, other than Gates, I'm not positive....I know not what happened to any of the others beside Steve Walsh who lives in Florida, and Bill Hochendoner, who was murdered nearly 40 years ago near Pittsburgh by his girlfriend's ex-husband....A long story that I found out from some of his friends I met at a Bengals-Steelers football game some 20 years after the fact.

Dover had it's moments.... and I'm glad I found Walsh in Florida, and that Jack Gates contacted me, but when I left Dover for Vietnam, it was probably the highlight of my Air Force days....I hated the base, the duties, and especially a couple of my supervisors...I was glad to get the Hell out. It was the worst assignment of all those I had, despite the good time off duty and the friends I made.

When I left Dover and headed for Nha Trang, my life and me as a person would change forever....I got a dose of reality and a chip on my shoulder, I would no longer be the kid that backed down, that was no longer in my makeup, and still isn't, even today...I thank the days and time spent at Dover for that.
back later>>>>
Photos-Thanking Jack "Richard" Gates and his wife Lisa for the photos, except the one with me guarding the "Mounds" which is from my collection...top left: Robert W. Little III, Howie Prichard, and Jack R Gates...(2)Jack Gates and Pat Houseworth, (3)Pat at the Mounds,(4) Gates and Ron Turcotte,(5) and Jack R. Gates at his gateshack at DaNang AB, RVN in 1969.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Another Round of Rain/Heavy Rain!


GM and I got our game in at Convoy last night...a 9-8, 2 hour 45 minute marathon...but at least we got the game completed. Tonight and the weekend hence, doesn't look all that promising, to say the least.

Patricia and I awoke to the sound of thunder and the crash of lightning about 7:30 this morning, here it is past 9am, and the thunder and dark clouds, with accomping rains, are still with us, and on the radar...seems it doesn't matter if the weather is north or south of the Grand Lake area, we having been getting hit hard, and today, at least this morning is no exception.

This of course plays havoc with the Summer Baseball season, whether it's ACME, American Legion, or the summer wooden bat college leagues, that Sam his slated to do in the Columbus Area this weekend. Needless to say the kids games, Little and Pony Leagues are getting hit the hardest, those baseball diamonds are always the last to dry....

As you can see from the Radar at the top, the rain, although not wide spread, is hitting us hard...the dark reds are the worst, and we have a good sized pond in the east side yard...and frankly our house and yard are among the highest points in Celina...if we get some rain in the basement(still in it's 1923 mode), you know we have had too much rain.

Game tonight at Russia(Rue-She) for me, looks "iffy" at best, Sam is to be home for ACME at Convoy tonight, a double header tomorrow in Celina, and then 3 College Wood Bat games at Capital University in Columbus, for Sunday...the extended forecast is not promising, although Columbus will be spared this first salvo of storms. I am scheduled to umpire the Ottawa Run American Legion Tournament up north this weekend, something I've done for the past 10 years...4 games in 2 days, but those look "threatned" at this point as well.

Only time and Mother Nature will tell....back later>>>>
Photos-The Radar as it looked about an hour ago..at 8:30am, it has not improved since...and the dark clouds north and east of the front porch.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Black Hawks Hoist the Stanley Cup


I finished up the ACME game locally last night about 8:30 and headed home to watch Game #6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.....As I climbed out of the basement shower, the Philadelphia Flyers scored to take 2-1 lead midway in the 2nd Period. Chicago countered with 2 late goals to go in front 3-2.

A late Flyer goal in the final period of regulation tied things up, giving us Philly fans some hope, but the Blackhawks took the cup with a fluke goal, 4 minutes into the Overtime.

As a long time Flyer fan I was disappointed in the outcome, but in reality Chicago deserved to win...a good 6 game series, which saw 4 game, including 2 in OT, decided by 1 goal...one other was by 2(thanks to an empty net goal, otherwise it would have been a 1 goal Flyer win as well)goals...the Flyer Goaltending gave up some weak goals, including the Cup clincher last night on Philadelphia Ice.

Considering the Flyers clinched a playoff spot on the final day of the season, by winning in a shootout....I can't complain about my team winning the East and coming up 2 games short of their first Cup since 1975...Congrats to Chicago on their first Stanley Cup in almost 50 years, and only the 4th in their long history.
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Game with Garry at Crestview tonight....and the rains are scheduled to move back in for tomorrow night and the weekend....which could put a damper on the American Legion Tournament this weekend in Ottawa. I've scheduled to do 4 games, 2 each on Saturday and Sunday...time and the incessant rains of late will tell the tale.

back later>>>>

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Reconnecting from 40 years ago-Jack Richard Gates

I cannot remember a more miserable Spring, rain wise, since 1981....no, it hasn't been cold, but the rain totals, combined with rain at least 5 days out of each 7, have made this one Spring I will be glad to see come to an end. How much rain have we had? Too Much!

I headed the 55 miles north to Bluffton, Ohio, yesterday afternoon...the radar and forecast had been showing rain, but by the time I pulled into the County Park where the Bluffton was set to face Cory-Rawson the showers had held off....that is until I stepped out of the car. The sky opened up and it rained at a steady, but not hard pace for approximately 20 minutes...stopped in time for us to get the 5pm start underway, then picked back up in the 2nd inning, and rained light, but steady, for the next 2 hours. We got the game in...it took 2 1/2 hours, as Bluffton scored 2 in the 7th to tie it up, and plated a run in the extra 8th inning, to pull out the win 4-3.

Harold, my partner on the bases, and I agreed the conditions, and lighting was getting bad, so the 8th would be the last inning, one way or the other....Bluffton's run put an end to that problem.

I grabbed a coffee on the way out of town, and it continued to rain all the way to Celina...the showers picked up overnight, and as I type this blog page this morning, it continues...I am scheduled to work here in Celina tonight...doesn't look good, but since Celina has artificial turf on the infield, anything is possible.

Jack Gates______

As I was getting ready to head towards Bluffton...my cell phone rang, I looked at the screen, it had no name, just a number with a 270 prefix. No idea? But I answered it, and a voice on the other end asked if this was Pat? "Yep", was my answer..."Do you know who this is"? the voice responded. "No" was my answer, but the voice on the other ended vaguely sounded like my old roommate and Air Force buddy Jack Gates, from Oklahoma. I had been trying for years to see how Jack was, but had failed to ever find him...although I did talk to a Jack R. Gates in Sulfur, Oklahoma, a few years ago...turns out(although I never confirmed it until yesterday) it was his father...but my efforts to locate Jack had failed. But he did located me...that came yesterday. "This is Jack Richard Gates" he said.....I had about 20 minutes before I had to head north, so I filled the time reminiscing with "Richard" Gates, as he is called these days.

Jack R. Gates 1968-70____

I first met Jack Gates in the fall of 1968 when I arrived at Dover AFB, Delaware, as a young, raw, Security Policeman, fresh out of "Cop School" at Lackland AFB, in Texas. After a few weeks rooming with a kid my age from Virginia, Jack and I became roomies...2 guys from as different backgrounds as you could get.

Jack was a full 4 years older than this 19 year old from Ohio. Jack was 23, a real gramps compared to most of the first termers thrown into the Security field at Dover...a chain smoking "Okie" from Central Oklahoma, south of OK City. We did have one thing in common at least...we hated the Air Force, or at least we didn't get along with the authority figures who were in our command....Jack Adkins comes first to mind...out Tech Sargent shift boss, who did his best(worst?) to keep me, Jack Gates, and a few others in line...never did work.

Jack and I roomed together for 8 months or so, before I was shipped back to Lackland for AZR Combat School in June of 1969...I then headed for Vietnam, and Jack followed a few months later. I was sent to Nha Trang, then on to the Capital at Saigon's Tan Son Nhut Air Base. Jack "Richard" Gates was shipped to a Hellhole called Da Nang in the far north of South Vietnam...after 3 or 4 months there he was sent to Bihn Thuy. It was from his stay there that Jack and I met up one last time, 40 years ago this Spring.

Jack was on an in-country R&R from Bihn Thuy when he arrived at the 1300 Barracks that housed the 377th Security Police Squadron at Tan Son Nhut, he woke me from a sound sleep sometime in the early afternoon hours of that cloudy Spring day(funny how sometimes deep seeded long forgotten memories come back clear as a cloudless day). We ended up heading downtown, where I proceeded to show him some of the "hot spots" of Old Saigon...a steak house, a brothel, and a bar....we spent that day exploring Saigon. When that day was done Jack said his farewell, and headed back to his base, to continue his R&R, I headed out to work Charlie Flight... I never saw or heard from Jack Gates again...until yesterday.

"Richard" Gates, now 65 years old, lives in a small town in Western Kentucky, on the Tennessee Border...he sounded good, and like the old Jack Gates I knew, when I was a 19 year old kid who didn't have a clue, and Jack was the "Old Man' of the 436th SPS at Dover...at the ripe old age of 23.

I e-mailed him some information on the Vietnam Security Police Association, and this blog....we will remain in contact, it will be interesting to see how his life and mine have changed from those days, 4 decades ago.

Welcome Home Jack_____I mean Richard Gates!

back later>>>>
Photos-Sorry to say I have no photos that I could find of Jack...sorry to say, many photographs from those days are long gone...but top is a photo Jack Gates took of me, as we worked the "Mounds" aka Nuclear Storage Site at Dover..taken in December of 1968, that me holding both our M-1 Carbine...the second photo is of me at Tan Son Nhut in the Spring of 1970, about the same time as the last time Jack "Richard" Gates and I tipped a beer together...40 years ago.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Helen "The Crone" Thomas sent Packing


More rain on the Horizon, and it appears that there is a good chance that my ACME game at Bluffton, a 50 mile drive, will get washed out....something I have been accustom to since the High School season ended for me at the Regional Finals 10 days ago. The rest of the week, off and on, doesn't bode well for baseball, playing or umpiring either. The only good thing about the weather is that we had a couple of nice, sunny days, with low humidity.

I have not been talking or writing about politics much of late...a self made promise to stop listening to talk radio, Fox News, and getting myself pissed at the legions of left wing loons screaming about the poor Illegals, the poor Islamics, and how wonderful our half assed Kenyan Prez is.....Barack Insane Obama...how's if feel asshole? Your popularity is in the crappers, and your favorable numbers, along with your fellow Democrats, are not looking too good for November, are they?

The tragedy of the BP Oil Spill continues, with Obama sitting on his hands trying to make political points out of it....this dofus son of a bitch has never worked a real job, and his inexperience is showing....
Meanwhile we do have some good news in the headlines:


This Islamic Terrorist supporting hag is as ugly on the inside as she is on the outside...if not for her love of the Islamic Terrorist trash and PLO Scum she supports, she would have been gone long ago. A gutless anti-Semite to the core, she finally lived the last of her 9 lives as a so-called reporter...some are passing off her words as a mistake that comes with her age, she will be 90 in 2 months. I pass it off as this hag is pure evil and has been since she came on the scene 67 years ago...how she ever got a job is beyond the mind's imagination.

As a former "Journalist" myself, spending years in radio and cable TV as everything from a News Anchor to News Director, and Sports play-by-play guy, I can say with honesty, that Helen Thomas is not alone in her miserable thought process. A bigoted Marxist assclown, in love with everything Anti-American and pro Islamic...good riddance indeed, don't let the door hit you in your ugly mug on the way out Helen, don't leave this earth mad, just leave. Even the Butt Boys in the Obama Administration are steering clear of support for one of their major mouthpiece lapdogs. Joe McCarthy was right...they are everywhere, especially in government and the media.

Ding-Dong the Witch is Gone....for now! Can someone please drive a stake through her black heart to make sure she doesn't come back?
Back Later

Monday, June 7, 2010

Road Trip! far Western Indiana


If nothing else, with the recent downpours, tornado activity, and flood watches in Ohio...I don't think we will hear much complaining about "dry" weather if and when it comes later in the Summer....it has been a miserable stretch of wet and storms over the past couple of weeks...but it could be worse.

The Grand Lake area has gotten our share of rain, and I am sure we are breeding a cash crop of Mosquitoes for August and September....but we have been spared the storms that have brought the Midwest Cyclones and Flooding. Others places to the north, east, and south, in the Buckeye State, have not been so lucky.

Sam came home from Columbus in between classes at Ohio State and before the Finals start tomorrow...he was scheduled to work double headers both Friday and Saturday(that one with me), but neither on was destined to be played, costing him a couple of hundred bucks, and gas money...but at least he got his clothes washed, courtesy of his mother, and a chance to study for the upcoming finals before Summer Break.

Yesterday it got cooler and dried off for a day or 2....the rains, with much cooler conditions(only 68 scheduled for tomorrow), are back in the forecast for tomorrow.

Road Trip_____

My old Red Door buddy for 40 years, Nick lost his aging Chow about a year ago, and had been deciding whether to get another dog. He called me last week and said he had found a Chow/Akita mix over in far Western Indiana, about 210 miles from here...she was a 2 year old female in a shelter. He wanted to know if I could make a "road trip" to pick the mutt up...."Why not", I say, "we can do it Sunday".

So we headed out early yesterday, about 6:30 in the AM, and headed across the flatland of Indiana, and into the Wabash River Valley...traveling the 200 miles from Montezuma, Ohio, to Montezuma, Indiana, in about 4 hours...being the 60 something year old, too much coffee, made for too many pit stops to use the "Johns"....finally arriving at the shelter/pound in a small town just outside Montezuma called Hillsdale. Interesting that the Wasbash River begins in our Country Mercer, and we didn't cross it again until we got within 15 miles of our pickup spot...where it is much wider/larger. That area of Indiana is actually pretty nice, and remote.

The dog Nick had found online was a female Chow/Akita mix, with perhaps a bit of Rottweiler...she seemed like a pretty laid back dog, that had not been abused at all. The workers told us she was a product of an overcrowded home, that authorities had removed. After Nick paid the fees, we began our trip back across US 36 towards Indianapolis. "Bendy" was the Dog's name....and she was a perfect car dog.

From first meeting, it appears Nick has picked himself out a good one....but of course time will tell.....we had a couple beers and smoked a cigar upon our return. After that, I returned home and watched the Philadelphia Flyers get crushed by Chicago, to fall behind 3 games to 2 in the Stanley Cup Finals...Philly needs to take game 6 at home on Wednesday to force a game 7 back in Chicago....the Goaltending has been shaky, not only for Philly, but the Blackhawks as well....it should be interesting....I still believe the Flyers have a chance, but a Chicago Cup for the first time since 1961 is certainly a good possibility.

Today_____

The game I had slated for today is cancelled, not for weather reasons, but because of a lack of players for the visiting squad, cancelling their varsity season, and playing only a JV squad....tomorrow the rains move back in for, so with a full schedule slated, the rains will have an effect. Sam has a double bill at Crestview tonight, then heads back to Columbus for finals....

back later>>>>
Photos-Nick's new dog, "Bendy" on the return trip, relaxing in the back seat. At Nick's place after the return....and Crossing the mighty "Wabash" on Route 36 in Western Indiana....












Thursday, June 3, 2010

Jim Joyce's Blown Call/You can put away the Brooms Chi-Town, No Sweep For You!


Looks like sports is the topic for today...and my umpire work is not that topic...this first one is about a guy I met a few years ago..a Major League Umpire, and fellow Buckeye, Jim Joyce.

By all accounts Jim Joyce, a former ball player at Bowling Green State University in Northwest Ohio, is one of the better umpires in the game....I have always counted him as one of the top 10 I have seen in action. This may be because I met him a few years back, or because he is a friend of a couple of my acquaintances, former broadcast partner, "Wulfie" being one of them...last night however, changed the way Joyce will be perceived for decades to come...long after his career is finished:




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGlTt8qUlsM&feature=related

To say he "blew" the call would be an understatement tenfold. The play was not even a "banger"...with a perfect game on the line for young Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers, even a close call should have been an out, as in,"When in doubt, call em' out"!

This wasn't even a tie goes to the runner...of course that is a myth anyway...ties do not go to the runner, in reality, there is no such thing as a tie, so unless the runner beats the ball to the bag, he is out, plain and simple. I feel bad for Galarraga...I feel even worse for Jim Joyce.

Here is more from Yahoozer Snooze: Check out the idiot comment on "tie goes to the runner"... again, no such rule!



MLB Commish Bud Selig needs to do the unthinkable and overrule the call...it would make things right for both pitcher, fans, and Jim Joyce. He has the power, and in this rare case, Selig needs to do the right thing.
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No Sweep for You, Black Hawks___

While that miscarriage of justice was taking place in Detroit, in Philadelphia, the Flyers were trying to hold on vs the Chicago Black Hawks in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Chicago took the first 2 games at home to move out to a 2-0 lead...both of those games were decided by 1 goal...game #3 would be no exception, except this one would go to Overtime, and the hometown Flyers would take it by a 4-3 count a few minutes into the extra session, as forward Claude Giroux scored.


Now standing at 2 games to 1...Philly still faces another "must win" situation to keep their legitimate hopes alive...regardless the Black Hawks will now have to go home at least for a game. Tomorrow night's game is back on VS Television...which in my opinion does a much better job than NBC, because they face less constraints. Here is video of the game winner:
Go Flyers!
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The rains continued yesterday, although south of us in the Dayton and Cincinnati got the brunt of the downpours...more thunderstorms are slated for today, whether I get the game in at Crestview this afternoon remains in doubt. It looks like we are in for a cash crop of Mosquitoes this coming summer...have I ever mentioned, I hate wet weather? Makes me wonder why I never moved to a desert area to live.
back later>>>>
Photos-Umpire Jim Joyce and Detroit hurler Armando Galarraga's names will forever be linked together. Claude Giroux of the Flyers slips the game winning Overtime Goal past Chicago's Antti Niemi.