Thursday, February 28, 2013

Things that make you scratch your head...and other observations


Mostly these days I observe that it's a crazy freaking world out there...I'll go there shortly.

An inch of so of wet snow covers the ground this morning...I headed out to clear off the feeding station of the back yard birds and rodent Squirrels after I penned a few insults at a variety of usual suspects on facebook...Gawd, has it come down to this?  Spending/wasting and hour of my time in the morning flaming insults at morons too stupid, blind, or ignorant, to realize what the Hell is going on in the world.  So I look in the mirror and ask myself  "Who's the stupid one"? 

Anyway, done with that futile effort and the backyard feeding, here I sit with my second cup of coffee about finished...not much effect since I'm mixing 2/3rds decaf with 1/3 caffeine, following the directions on the Bronchitis Meds.  I am now on my 8th of the 15 day supply.  As for the Bronchitis, I'm continuing to feel fairly good, but Sinus is draining like the Everglades under the watchful eye of the Army Corp of Engineers....

Last night Garry and I headed to Van Wert....first to drop off a check at the local Ford Dealer for a Handicap Accessible Van we have purchased for MRSI, since he is the CEO and I'm on the was the least I could do.  We treated ourselves to a couple sips of one of his home brews and shared a bottle of a local dark brew he had picked up when his group traveled to Punxsutawney for the Phil Shadow Watching, earlier this month...

Once done with those activities, we headed for our pre-season umpire banquet at Fricker's.  Nothing fancy, but we did eat our share of boneless wings and side dishes, and I downed a Black and Blue Draft {a mix of Guinness and Blue Moon}...our guest speaker was long time coach and two-time State Champion Coach, Mike "Spank" Schumm of is a photo of me and Spank discussing a hit batter during last year's Sectional Final at Lima Shawnee.  Spank did a great job speaking and talking baseball before we broke up about 8:30 and Garry and I headed back to Celina in the lite but wet snow.  That was the day in a nutshell...

Bat Sheet Crazy Folks.....

One thing, rather one of many things, despite my many years and travels, education, etc., I had a hard time figuring out...although it is now becoming clear to how any Veteran, especially one who has been to war, can support assholes like Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and others like them, who hate our very being?

Anybody that has read or visited this site over the past 5 plus years knows that I despised the military life, and it's rules, orders, lifestyle, regulations, leaders, etc, I was a trouble maker throughout my tour....however I don't despise those that served with me, or the purpose of the military.  The Kenyan, The Klintons, and Traitor Kerry, do...yet there are some, the vast minority to be sure, that support these troop hating, anti-American sons a bitches...go figure!

My Sky Cop buddy Big Sam Lewis and I have been having a back and forth with one such nimrod on facebook for the past few days...."Mike" it seems loves Obammy and hates us Right Wing Types.  Given the fact that Mike went to high school at a diversified crap hole near Dayton, and then went to college at the most left wing facility this side of UC/Berkeley.  {that would be Antioch in Yellow Springs, Ohio}:

This Marxist dump closed down a few years ago, but it appears that it got back funding from Brother Chavez and Uncle Fidel and has reopened, so it's mindless morons of Marxism can return to their Freedom and American hating ways.  "Mike" is one of the Alumni, so he says, and majored in "Community Organizing"...sound familiar?  Yep, our bastard child Kenyan Born Prez has a brother in arms.

Still I have tried to figure out how a self-proclaimed "Combat" Veteran, or any Veteran for that matter, can support the American hating far left...then like a slap in the ass, it comes to me....

<<<"FREE STUFF"!!!!!  {kind of like the backyard birds and Squirrels enjoy}

Yep, old Mike is a disabled vet, so he used that free money to go to a college that hates America and the ways of the Founding Fathers.  While the vast majority of vets use the benefits given them, for good use, whether it be for college, VA Care, housing, etc, most try to give back to the country that gave them those opportunities, post military....others use those benefits to bilk the taxpayers of the country by getting as much as they can, whether deserved or not...and then using the freedom of speech to bad mouth the Republic they served.  The Founding Fathers would be so proud.  {Not!}

So, yes, I did not enjoy the Military life or lifestyle...but I still love the Republic, just not the so-called leaders the freeloaders have put in place.   I realize that we get the Government we deserve...and sadly today we are "getting it"...the Obama Nation loves "Free Stuff" and of course somebody has to pay for least until the fatted calf has been slain.

Don't get me wrong...I realize that Veterans are disrespected by all sides of the political spectrum to a certain degree, and by Veterans themselves, Kerry, Hagle, Colin Powell, the ultimate EEO hire, and others come to mind...but to support Obama and his Republic hating Administration is as bad as it gets, especially for someone who claims to support and protect the Constitution.

back later>>>>>Will March come in like a Lion?  It appears, at least here in Western Ohio, that answer is "yes".

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Personal Undeniable Facts of Life

Undeniable Fact of Life Number 1 for PRH.....

If I wash the Nitro, it will rain or snow within hours....

Sunny and 42 yesterday, the Nitro was sitting in our pot holed stone driveway{thanks to the 18 wheelers making half assed turnarounds in it} nice day to clean the mud and grime off the Dodge ...right?  So I headed to Westwood Car Wash before I picked up the cat after her trim...and with the coupon, I got the $5 wash...much easier and probably cheaper than doing it myself.  The SUV was looking good...of course I failed to check out the forecast before hand, which said 100% chance of rain by Tuesday{that would be today} with a shot of freezing rain to kick things off much for that, I might have just as well set the $5 bill on fire, much like that bastard child President of ours is doing to billions of Obama Dollars.

Anyway, watching the ice turn back to rain may be my excitement for today....such a sheltered life I live these days...

Oldest son Sam is in the middle of his second week in Salt Lake City, as his company is opening a new warehouse in that Utah city....him and his boss are working the inventory analysis for the new place, and he will return to the Chicago area Friday, then make his way home over the weekend to pick up his baseball umpire gear and other odds and ends....he will transfer his baseball umpire license to Illinois this spring.  I'm not sure he will get much action in this year, but he did live in Illinois back in 2003 and contracted many games back then, so he is familiar with the workings of the IHSAA...despite a few setbacks, Sam seems to be settling into Illinois life without major problems.

On the other hand, with 10 days to go before our mini reunion of Vietnam and Thailand "Sky Cops" in the Dayton area, we are getting meal and other preparations finalized.  This "mini" reunion has been a little more "hands on" than the ones I have brokered before...not sure I am a fan of that.  I just like to sit around, eat, drink beer, and BS.....there will be plenty of that, but the added pains in the ass, do take some time and effort.  Let's be honest here, I am lazy, and like it that way...too much work or too much thinking is not to my liking.

On the not thinking looks like plans are moving forward for a visit to Wind Lake in Minnesota's Boundary Waters in either mid June or mid July...with me, Nick, and Jim Olson.  We plan on a Canoe Outing to Moose Lake, then portage the 170 rods{a bit over a half mile} to Wind Lake where we hope to camp on the Island that Jim and I, along with a half dozen of his friends did, back in 1978...of course 35 years wiser and older may have advantages and of course the main disadvantage being a body that has been abused for much of those 35 years.

Jim is opting for June, while Nick and I are pushing for July....June is a bad month for me, due to baseball commitments, etc...but it will all come into place over the next weeks and months.  Meanwhile the baseball "banquet" is slated for tomorrow night in Van Wert....and my first scrimmage is exactly 3 weeks from today....time s moving swiftly along.

back later>>>>

photos-The Nitro, freshly washed sits in the ice and rain this much for spotless and clean.  The usually long haired 14 year old cat sleeping on the heat vent to keep warm in her new trimmed condition.  The "Sky Cop" get together is our next big thing....and photos from 1978 the Island and our camp site from that Summer trip, Nick, Jim, and I will try to re-create that this summer....older but no wiser it appears.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Reviewing the Weekend Past

With the Bronchitis still hanging on, and taking the Meds for same, I gave up my last scheduled basketball game on Friday Night my season officially ended at Pauling last Tuesday and for the next 3 weeks I can rest my still aching left foot, study a bit on the coming rules changes and just resting and getting ready for baseball first scrimmage is slated for March 19th, probably a 50-50 chance of getting a game in that early in the spring.  Otherwise the only thing besides baseball and rules meetings on the horizon is the Vietnam Sky Cops Reunion at Wright-Patterson the weekend of March 8th through 10th....

Foregoing the game on Friday, Saturday I basically vegetated on the recliner, and watched the James Bond movies on Reelz TV, along with an occasion peek at college basketball and NHL Hockey...until it was time to make the 95 mile trip south to Centerville, and sit with our one and only grandchild....Kasyn, aka "The K~Man".

We arrived at 6pm, so Hal and Lisa could head out for the few weeks late 2nd annivasary dinner date...they forwent the movie after but did take some time for themselves, they were back by 10:15, and with Kasyn in bed at 8:30 Grandma and Grandpa were ready to make the drive back to Celina...we arrived home just after Midnight, considering we had done our job to all's satisfaction.

Sunday it was the Dartball Tournament at Mendon, like much of the season, I was below average and went jut 3 for 8 with a triple and a RBI...we were eliminated 2 games to none by Schumm, giving them 5 straight wins over us in a two week period, the scores were 5-3, and 5-4, as they came back from a 4-0 deficit in the last game, and won by scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the ninth.  The All Star game on March 11th and the Banquet on March 18th are what is left for me....I have promised myself that little basketball on Mondays next season, so I can regain the form that I lost this year, my worst in 20 years of play...I can blame basketball officiating, old age, or the sore foot...but frankly I believe it was just lack of concentration that set me back....and ego aside, for someone who has tossed darts as well as I have over two decades, excuses are not acceptable.

Done with Dartball I arrived home just before my old friend Andy, his wife Amy, and sons A.J. and Danny arrived from Detroit.  I hired Andy over 30 years ago at WCSM Radio and we have been friends since...he is now a successful spokesman{having been on Fox Business News TV a few weeks back} and representative for AMAC, the conservative alternative to the Obama Lap Dogs at AARP:

Along with Anissa, we drove out to Bob Evans and ate dinner...and then they headed back to Louisville.   Andy and Amy are from the Cleveland area, but have lived in Kentucky for a few years now...they had spent the weekend in Detroit at the funeral of Amy's uncle....we had a good, but not long enough visit, discussing politics, religion, the nation's problems, and bringing up kids...remarkable I know, but we could, because we agree on almost everything about all of those listed.  Smart folks they are.....and excellent parents.

Once home, I watched the end of the Ohio State/Michigan State roundball game, a big Buckeye win at 68-60, as March Madness is not far off....and hopefully spring is not far away either.  The week is pretty bare of "must do" items...I took the cat out to the vets for a trim this morning, and on Wednesday our baseball group meets at Fricker's in Van Wert for our "banquet"....other than that, I plan on getting back in to working out, and continuing my recovery....still a ways to go on that front.

back later>>>

Photos-Saturday Night with the K~Man and Dartball Sunday....

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Road to Recovery?

Looks like Winter Storm "Q" will dump the snow west and north of us, while we get mainly ice...rather have the snow.  So they have a Winter Storm Advisory in effect for us from 8pm tonight until Noon tomorrow...

Regardless I had already decided to drop my game at St. Marys for tomorrow, I got another old Air Force Vet, a Colonel no less, with 38 years experience to fill in for me...thus ending my basketball season.  I just could not see trying to run up and down the court, a large floor, while trying to recover from the Bronchitis and under the medication that can cause lower leg pain and possible Achilles Tendon Rupture.  Don't you just love prescribed meds?  The doc gives me the possible side effects and of course you imagine you are having them....or at least you hope it's just your imagination.

With the medication, something called Ciprofloxacin, I did sleep better, not as "noisy" or as much rattle in my lungs and brain...but I am nowhere near 100%.  Looks like I will take a few more days off from working out...satisfied with turning up the volume on my XM Radio that is on my Internet, or watching the tube at night....last night, I switched the channels between Ohio State kick ass on Minnesota in men's basketball, and the NHL Game between the Philly Flyers, my favorite team, and the hated rivals, Pittsburgh.  In a back and forth penalty filled game at Pitt, the Flyers rebounded for a late tying goal to slap one in with 90 seconds left and came away with a 6-5 thriller.  I then headed off to bed, to try and make up for the 3 hours restless sleep the night before...Mission Accomplished! 

I blew off the Baseball Rules Meeting at Van Wert....I've got plenty of time to get my four required meetings in...although as President-Elect and the head of the Mentor/Mentee Program I want to get most of the meetings attended...but I just wasn't feeling up to the 22 mile drive in the cold last night.

Hopefully I will feel better by Saturday, Patricia and I will be heading down to Centerville to sit with Grandson Kasyn, while Hal and Lisa belatedly celebrate their 2nd Anniversary....speaking of family, Anissa also came down with Bronchitis...and was put on meds last night...her bout does not appear to be as serious as mine....but with her other handicaps the last thing she needs is a major illness.

So while I attemp to I will maybe watch the twin races at you will know just how bored I am, being sick and all....I don't watch daytime TV...and NASCAR these days in a drag....just sayin'

back later>>>

Photos-Basketball, for me, is finished for another year, and hopefully I will recover enough to sit with 15 month old grandson Kasyn this weekend...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013



Oldest son Sam was born in the early part of the frigid winter of 1981-82...within a few weeks he had come down with Bronchitis and was in the hospital...and again during the early days of April 1982, same thing, and back at Coldwater Hospital.  Sam has battled Bronchitis most of his life, although in the last few years those battles have been fewer and no requiring a hospital not being able to breath.  My 88 year old mother is on Oxygen, after a spell last not being able to breath.

I had really never had a problem with breathing...OK, once back a few years ago I had a quick shot of something that the ER doc prescribed a inhaler for...that lasted a few days.  But despite the colds and flu of the past I had never really experienced breathing problems...yes I was on Oxygen last March after my Carotid Artery surgery...but that was a short trip as well...well he I am nearing 64 and I finally got to experience first hand that "It sucks not being able to breath".

I began to experience the first signs of a cold last Friday....mild it seemed at first, so I went ahead and worked both my Friday and Saturday the time Sunday night arrived, I realize that the cold was no longer so Monday night my breathing was labored, at least when laying down in not being able to breath!  Yesterday I felt better, so like a damn fool I headed to Paulding to work a Junior High double header...I knew by the time the first game was into the first quarter I had made a mistake....comments from a few leather lunged fans about me not moving to get into position were well within reason...they still pissed me off, but they were right...I just couldn't get up and down the floor like I usually do....I took hold of the situation and finished off the night without incident, by forcing myself to move...but by the time the games were finished(about 2 hours after the start), I was sweating up a pretty good lather....and with the snow blowing and the winds whipping at 40 miles per hour, I walked to the Nitro and headed home...coughing all the way!

Little sleep was to be had by the time I tried hitting the sack just before Midnight...I actually thought about heading over to the ER, because my breathing, while doable, was loud and in itself was keeping me awake...sleeping in the boys room to allow Patricia some well needed rest from her own "cold", I finally dozed off about 3:30 this morning...but was awake at 7:30 and knew that a trip to the Doc in Minster was going to be on the agenda...."Bronchitis" was the word...and a particular somewhat potentially harsh medication was also on the agenda...

So here I am....on meds for the next 15 days, if I don't have a reaction to those....I will look for a sub for my final game on Friday, and take a break from weight lifting and training...which always sucks at my age, because it's a pain in the ass, among other areas when you start over again in two weeks or so.

So there you have it....hopefully I will be cured by the time March 8th rolls around for the Vietnam Sky Cops Mini Reunion in the meantime I should save some bucks...won't be treating myself to any beer until at least then....thus saving enough money to pay for the Hotel and meals, or at least close to it.

back later>>>>

Monday, February 18, 2013

Fighting the Bug

Winter insists on hanging around and despite today calling for temps in the middle 40s, the rest of the month looks to continue with the late winter trend....last February and March has us spoiled.  With the up and down winter, Patricia is starting to get healthy from her cold, meanwhile by Friday I had come down with one of my own....not serious enough to keep me from working weekend games at Spencerville, but by yesterday I was feeling pretty rotten, and this morning, I nowhere near "normal".

I seldom get colds or flu, and usually they are mild and short in duration, we will see how this one goes....meanwhile:

Just two dates of basketball remain however, tomorrow at Paulding for the final boys Junior High games of the season, and then I shut it down Friday at St. Marys with a boys JV Tournament Season begins next week for the boys, the girls start this week.

Meanwhile I will try to fight the bug and work towards the Vietnam Mini Reunion and the coming baseball season....

back later>>>>

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Day 2013

Here we are half way through the shortest month of the year....

Garry and I headed to Van Wert last night for a hour long Rules Meeting for the coming baseball season, tonight back at basketball.  Guess I should say, this afternoon, back to basketball.  I have the first two games of the 7th Grade Boys Tournament this after...four games in total here in Celina today, I have the first at 4pm and the second which follows a few minutes after the end of the opener.  Tomorrow and Saturday I will be at Spencerville both nights for JV Boys games.

Temperatures today in the mid 40s, then the bottom will drop out for the weekend, the high Saturday will not reach past the mid 20s, but it should be back in the 40s for early next week...crazy weather this February usually brings.

After the baseball meeting last night, I got home in time to watch my favorite college basketball team Duke play their arch-rivals from home the 2nd ranked Blue Devils came from down early to win by 5...frankly not an impressive game, if the Tar Babies had hit their free throws they probably would have been the victors.

Patricia is still battling her cold/bronchitis/pneumonia, or whatever...she still is at school, says she needs to get the kids tested, meanwhile she did go to the doc yesterday afternoon, and then off to the Coldwater Hospital for chest x-rays to see just how congested she is.  I believe the school is off tomorrow and Monday for President's Day, giving her a chance to rest and recover.

Can you tell I'm stretching for things to write about?

I could make political points about the Idiot-In-Chief and his "State of Despair" speech, but why bother?  It is fun to watch the political pundits on the left mocking anybody, like Mario Rubio, that dare challenge the Kenyan Bastard Child and his Marxist Manifesto for Change.  I have come to despise anybody on the left, or those that support this useless son of a bitch, that's not really worth the increase in Blood Pressure.  There did I make it clear what I think about our Kenyan and Thief?

Politics be dammed, I've got other things to deal with...

Our coming mini reunion at Dayton has now 50 attendees on the list....who would have thunk that?  If everybody shows, we will surprise out numbers{about 45} that came for a day trip on that frigid January 31st, back in 2009....this thing is getting almost too big for me to handle by myself, but lucky I have several people helping me with the details.  This one should be one to remember, and that is a good thing, because we are losing people almost weekly for the larger, well funded VSPA Group.  This year March 8, 9, 10, are the dates at the Hope Hotel:

and the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson:

Again this year, plenty of Beer and BS will be found....should be a great time.

That's the short and sweet of it for now...

back later>>>>

Photos-It will be good to get back outside for baseball, the first scrimmage work begins when I return for the upcoming Sky Cop Reunion at Dayton...not much going on at my "work" desk this morning...the juices just are not flowing forth....Me and my buddy Wayne DeZarn, after 19 months as a civilian contractor in Afgahnistand, Wayne is back in the Dayton area, for now....hopefully for him and family he won't have to go back to that Hell Hole....and the Green County folks and Bob Griffith came up with a poster and name badges off some of the photos I sent to them, here is the poster below, and some of our group back in 2011:  Leave it to me to stand beside 6'7" Big Sam Lewis and look like the runt of the litter....

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Air Force Days 1968-72 the Epilogue

Definition of EPILOGUE
: a concluding section that rounds out the design of a literary work
Literary Work?  Hardly...but this will conclude my 3 week look back at my Air Force Days....first off however, the everyday basics.
We finished out the regular season of Dartball last night...I and we, as a team, went out with a whimper getting swept at Schumm...matching my worst night ever, going just 1 for 11, a lone single, with no RBIs, dropping me down to a pitiful .277 batting average with 17 RBIs...still good enough for 3rd overall on the team in All Star Average, .311. good, or just pitiful enough to make another All Star team.  Needless to say, in my mind, as someone who for several years running had All Star Averages over .600, it's a major let down on my ego. 
The all start average is your batting average{.277} combined with your RBI total times 2{17 x2=.34}...paltry to say the least.  The worst full season batting average I ever had was my first season, back in the early nineties of .286....I can blame several things for the season ending slump....sore foot, too much basketball on Mondays, before showing up to toss darts, old age, lack of concentration...I prefer just to say I had a slump...and hopefully will be back towards "normal" next season.  Meanwhile a week and a half off before the post season tournament begins, February 24th, with the All Star Game and Banquet in March.
Tonight it's back to basketball, a JH Boys double header at Lima Central Catholic....just 5 more dates remain after tonight, 2 boys junior high tournament doubles to work, and 3 boys JV games, 2 at Spencerville and one more to end the season at St. Marys.
My Look Back at the Air Force 1968-72....Epilogue
You can always look back at certain points of your life, especially when you age, and the effect they have had on your 3 years 10 months and 11 days in the US Air Force certainly made a major shift in my life and my attitude.  From the 5' 9" 140 runt of a 19 year old when I entered on June 24, 1968, I grew to 5'11" 185 pounds by the time I walked out of Griffiss Air Force Base on May 5, 1972 at 23 years old.
I changed from a smart mouth kid from Ohio who knew nothing about life and the world out ahead of me, to a smart mouth kid from Ohio who knew just enough to get by being a smart ass, without getting busted in rank or busted in the chops...I knew when to hold em' and I knew when to fold em'  Smart mouth I might be, but no fool was I...I learned how to buck and fight the system, I knew when to walk away from trouble, and when to confront it head on,  but with eyes open and focused.

I have no illusions...I despised the Air Force.  I despised taking orders, especially from people I thought I was superior in intelligence to.  I wanted one thing out of the Air Force, and that was OUT!  Once I got my discharge, I headed back to the world, and whatever might lay ahead, it didn't matter, I was out of the Air Force and Military, and that was a good thing.   No more forced orders{which I did my best to ignore anyway}I would live my life without taking orders...and frankly I have done just the  40+ years since I have been out of the Military, I have spent the most part working in situations where I was either my own boss or where if I didn't like the work or said orders, I was out the situation {job} in short order.

I pretty much ignored or pushed back in my mind the nearly four years...I even passed my Civil Service Exam, but turned down the Security Postal Jobs offered, because they reminded me too much of the rules and situation I faced in the Air Force....I finally came to terms with my Air Force life back in 1999 when I began searching the Internet for Security Police and Vietnam.  I came across the VSPA site....and that opened back up those four years in my mind and opened up my memory banks to the times, good and bad, in the Air Force.


So for now, I have come to terms with those days....and frankly I could write a book, but won't, because that is how much hooking up with old friends and adversaries has brought back those memories.  Looking back over the past 5 1/2 years I have written much about those Air Force days...and as long as I keep this blog alive, I will continue, on occasion, to drop in memories of my days as an Air Force/Vietnam Sky Cop.

back later>>>>

Photos-.38 Police Special, the tools of the trade as far as Air Force Cops....of course we also used the M1 stateside in my early days, then switched to the M16 in Vietnam and during my final years at Griffiss.  Dartball winds down, just the tournament and all star games to go...along with the banquet in March.  Me playing cop at Nha Trang in old roommate Richard "Jack" Gates, we roomed at Dover and then hooked up in Vietnam.  Me an Harry Bevan on Patrol at Nha Trang in August 1969, and me and Harry, who went on to become a Philadelphia City Cop, in October 2011 at the VSPA Reunion...not much change, do you think?    And below Howie Pritchard and me, we had not talked or seen each other since the Spring of 1969 at Dover, until he found me on this blog and we hooked up late last month near Chicago.....the Air Force days are alive in my memory banks, the good, the bad, and the ugly....?


Monday, February 11, 2013

Hawk(Bird) and Hawk(Wind) Return....Griffiss/Air Force Days part 16

It seems the flu bug is still in full force...daughter-in-law has it, thus we cancelled our baby sitting gig with the "K-Man" on Saturday, after all who wants to go out on a Anniversary Dinner Date when you can't hold it down?  So we have pushed that back a couple of weeks, until later in February...that way I'll be done with basketball and we can spend more time with the grandson...hopefully the flu/cold bug will be done...because as of yesterday Patricia came down with her own brand of cold/flu, whatever?  She is pretty miserable and took the day off from school...and taking a look at her, she may not be ready for tomorrow either.  The bug, which{knock wood} has so far eluded me, is still around...I filled in Saturday for an official who has the bug..I worked his games at the Junior High girls tourney at Elida.  Talking with the tournament manager, he told me of the 800+ students in the school, over 270 were out in a single day last week....close to shutting down the school.  Let's hope that runs its course in quick order.

The Hawk Returns....

Overnight the wind picked up, thus the return of the Hawk,  in old Air Force terms...that is what we called the wind as it blew across the flight lines at the various bases during cold weather months.  The Hawk was the enemy of the roving Security Police, we always considered the cold and wind much more dangerous than any possible intruder, at least stateside. 

Speaking of Hawks, I have written about and attached photos of our back yard visiting Red Tail Hawk that has been around for quite a few winters now....I believe it's the same one.  For the first a handful of years, I was thinking it was a Marsh Hawk...but as the winters passed it grew with age, and if it is the same one, it became more evident that it was a large Red Tail....Marsh Hawks tend to be more lean in length, while the Red Tail Hawk is a larger more stocky bird, and the color  of the tail varies in color, sometimes red, sometimes a grey striped....anyway this old boy{girl} has been hanging around for a few years, feeding, or at least trying to feed, on the Sparrows that feed off seed in the back yard.  Yesterday was the Hawk's longest visit, hanging around for over an hour, before taking off before sunset, probably empty handed.

Griffiss 1970-72...

Griffiss Air Force Base was the base where I spent a lion's share of my 3 years 10 months and 11 days of my Air Force was also the base I can honestly say I despised.  SAC, as in Strategic Air Command, was as Chicken Shit duty as you'll find in the Air Force.  Sure SAC has an important part and duty in the defense of the nation, but it was also sidelined with a fixation on short hair, spit shine, and allegiance to simple minded orders...those didn't fit me, and I did my best to buck the system for my final 20 months of duty.

I gave it my all to drive the "lifers" I served under batty, especially those I didn't particularly care for...Joe Gomez, "Taco Joe" as we called him, was my favorite target.  Joe on several occasions tried to stick me with Article 15s, once for refusing to get a haircut, which was a lie...I grabbed one of the young lawyers on base, and we proved that my haircut was "legit".  Another time Gomez and one of his Staff Sgt "Toadies" tried to catch me sleeping on a Delta Dart 106 post, I had gotten a flu shot that morning and, in writing, warned them that I was having health issues due to the shot..."Foiled Again" he was. 

After driving Joe and Company a bit nuts for a year or so, his ass was shipped to Germany...meanwhile I was comfortable , and still a Buck Sgt, as my days waned down.  I had a run in with a Brigadier General, once again about the length of my hair, then again with a F-106 pilot, and both times, nothing came of it.  Yes it was silly mindless BS, but it was my way of revenge for what I thought was the usual "CS"...that would finally come to a rather sudden end in May 1972.

Early in 1972, the rotating shifts for Security Police would end in SAC...we would be assigned permanent duty hours.  I worked "A" Flight, which was day shift, with Monday and Tuesdays as my days off....that final duty would signal the end of my Air Force days....

I was assigned to work as NCOIC of a small group of Airman, in Security, most of them from the New York City area, who were serving their first tours of sunny spring day, we were working in the Delta Dart 106 area, when the assistant squadron chief, a first lieutenant, came to check on say I didn't like this little bastard, was an understatement...we called him "Adolph" behind his back...he had a little Hitler style Mustache, regulation of course.  So Adolph came calling, and how it came about escapes me all these years later....but it ended with my standing with my back to him, he made the mistake of grasping me on my shoulder, to get my attention...taking the golden opportunity, I yanked away and backhanded him with a glancing blow....with that action I'm sure Adolph thought he had me by the short hairs....he was wrong.

Major Bartles, the 416th SPS Squadron Commander called me in..."Here it goes"  I thought..."8 weeks to go, and here I am, headed for the court room"....Turns out the Major, who confessed he didn't like "Adolph" either, had talked with the handful of young airman, and they swore to him that the lieutenant made the first move, and I was just acting in my own defense....end of problem, although it would be the end of my career in the AF.

The Major told me he would offer me an early discharge, one where I would get out on 5 May 72, with an Honorable Discharge, but with the stipulation that I would not be eligible to Re-Enlist...."WTF" I thought, if I had known that, I would have decked the little bastard weeks or months before...I was relieved of duty, and within 72 hours I was a free two years of inactive reserves, no haircuts{although a Chief Master Sgt tried to force me to get one before signing my discharge papers...that didn't work either}, no more stupid uniforms, orders, regulations, etc...I was a free man, so to speak.

Over the years I have come to look at those nearly four years in a different manner....after years of ignoring my thoughts/memories on that time, I found the VSPA and came to embrace those times...both the good and bad.   I will take a final look back on the Epilogue of this story in the next posting.

Final Regular Season Dartball action tonight, at Schumm....tournament up next, followed by the All-Star Game and Banquet....back later>>>>

Photos-The Red Tail Hawk, in serch of stray Sparrows kept vigil in the back yard yesterday for over an hour....The KC 135 refueling jet and the Delta Dart F -106s were among the Aircraft, along with the B-52s, that were the main planes of Griffiss, as was the 9 months of my new Dodge Charge sit buried in the SPS Barracks Lot for most of the winter of 71-72....

Friday, February 8, 2013

Arriving at Griffiss August 1970...Air Force Days 1968-72 part #16

Our upper 40s sunshine turned to some rain overnight, the winds picked up, and the temperature fell into the upper 20s...It appears that we will have up and down temperatures for the next week to 10 days.  Game tonight at Crestview, then I picked up a 8th grade tournament double header at Elida for tomorrow...before we head to Centerville to sit with Grandson Kasyn.  I probably should not have taken the Junior High games, but was doing the AD a favor, and I still should be able to finish up and head for the Dayton area on time.....2 weeks left of Basketball, then a break before baseball takes up in mid to late March....

August we go to Rome, New York....

After 39 days or so of partying and relaxing in various degrees back in Ohio, I packed up my newly purchased Mercury Cyclone and headed towards upstate New York...I spent the first night in a local motel, arriving too late to check in on base at Griffiss.   The next morning would be one of my many disappointments during my remaining 21 months of Air Force life.

Checking in with Base Operations the next day, I was informed that my assignment to AFLC Law Enforcement had been "deep six ed" in favor of a sweet SAC assignment to Security..."Screwed Again"!  Another in the long of getting back doored by the good ole' military establishment...I had come to expect that, so I figured "What the Hell"?  I was assigned a spot in the Police Barracks, and eventually a slot on one of the Flights...I would work Security, 3 day rotating shifts, just like Dover....three 8 hour second shifts, 24 hours break, three overnight shifts, a 24 hours, break, which was followed by the 8 hour day shift, and then 72 hours sucked to be sure, you seldom could get enough sleep, and by the time you got your 72 hours needed that break just to drink and rest in varying amounts....that rotation lasted until early Spring of 1972, when we were assigned permanent shifts...which I was assigned to Days with Monday and Tuesday as my off days...whoopee sheet!  That would eventually lead to my demised from Air Force duty...if only I had known earlier.

I met and worked with some of my best Air Force friends at The Griff...the late Jack Friedl from Moon Township, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh, Jack would pass away some 20 years after our Air Force days...also Bruce Dei of the Cleveland area, Bob Kohli from Bluffton, Ohio, George Hundley, a black kid from Gadsen, Alabama, and a number of others, whose faces remain in my memory banks, but names have faded.  Lifers were also memorable...the thing about Air Force lifers{career types}, at least most of those in the Security Police field...the hated guys that had been to Vietnam....not sure exactly why, but I always suspected we did the job they were scared to handle.  A sort of perverse "Penis Envy"...we did it, they didn't have the balls to go over, unless they were forced least that was my take.

Of the "lifers" who were my supervisors, I had "Taco" Joe Gomez...who I didn't get along with at all/Carroll Marcelle a 20 year Staff Sgt, a black guy with a German good of a man as you'll ever meet...Davignon, I can't recall his real first name, but we all called him "Dave", another good guy, who fit the bill of those that was scared shitless of being sent to Vietnam before his 20 years were up.  Also Major Bartles, spelling on that one is uncertain, and a small in stature First Lt, who finally gave me a chance to get out early.  Those story-lines will be coming up as this final few chapters fall into place.

The things I did get to enjoy during my off days and time at Griffiss included that first winter of 70-71, where I learned to Snow Ski, along with Jack Friedl we would ride the miles into the lower Adirondacks to a place called "Snow Ridge" outside Turin, New York.  I was never that good, but what I learned was good enough to get me a job years later in Northern Wisconsin, where I worked part time at a Ski Park in Wausau, for a winter nearly a decade later.  The next summer also gave me an opportunity to do something I never thought I would try....Cliff Diving/Jumping.  

Growing up on the Gulf of Mexico in Venice, Florida, you would think I was a pretty good swimmer....nothing could have been farther from the truth...I stunk, couldn't swim a lick...almost drown in a south Florida Canal, and would have if not for my cousin Jack Poling, later to die in Vietnam...Jack saved my life and I finally got the nerve to take swimming classes, and learn to swim, still never great at it, but at least enough to save my ass if needed.  So when Jack Friedl and I headed out to Lake Delta, north of Rome, I had no intention of diving or even jumping off the 50 foot high cliffs that surround the eastern shore of the lake.

After a few minutes of watching others dive or jump into the deep blue waters below, I finally figured "Why Not"?  So after a few weeks of Jumping feet first off the twin cliffs, one was estimated to be 48 feet above water, the only 52, I finally got the nerve or stupidity to dive head first...and I did, but only twice, the first off the short 48 footer, the second off the 52 foot high dive...I survived both and said to myself "OK you proved you could do it, now what is the point of pushing that envelope anymore"?  There was none in my mind...I continued to jump on occasion and water skiing if I could bum a ride from local skiers and ski boat was a good summer.

Those were among the good at Griffiss, the bad and the duty far outweighed those....and my Air Force days would seem long and discharge would see so distant that I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel.....that next!

back later>>>>

Photos-The B52 Bomber was the main attraction at Griffiss, and our, as Security Police, main duty...guarding those uploaded with Nukes....we also provided security for the flying gas tanks, the KC-135, and the Delta Dart Jets, the F-106.  "Captain Hair"...yep as a Buck Sgt in SAC, especially in the Security Police field, hair like mine was frowned upon....try as the lifers might, I seldom got it cut...not because I particularly liked it that way, but because it pissed off the brass and senior NCOs and that, after all, was the main point.  Snow as a big thing that first winter of 1970-71, over 300 inches off Lake Oneida was dumped into the Snow Belt of the Mohawk Valley....but I did learn to Snow Ski at Lake Turin, as it looked back in those days...the next summer I did some Cliff Diving and Jumping into Lake Delta on several occasions.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Part #15 My Air Force Years 1968-72 Between Vietnam and Griffiss, upstate NY

Sunshine for this morning...rain for tonight...

That is the forecast, cooler for Friday and Saturday, then a typical up and down, mostly down, range for through the middle of I guess not to get to high or to low for the time being.

Attended the first baseball rules meeting at Van Wert last night....earlier yesterday I pulled up the official state online meeting, while the first baseball game or scrimmage is still over five weeks away, depending on weather, it's good to get back to thinking about baseball, by far my favorite sport, especially to officiate.  Meanwhile just 9 dates on my basketball calender remain, beginning with a quick drive to the local intermediate school for a Celina boys freshman contest, tomorrow night back to Convoy Crestview, Saturday off, as Patricia and I watch the grandson while his mom and dad go out for a 2nd anniversary dinner night out.

The up and coming Vietnam Security Police Group Reunion at Wright Patterson Air Force Base/AF Museum/Hope Hotel, is coming along nicely...I have folks helping out from Greene County, the Hope, and Bob Griffith, a fellow member, is getting things ready on the Dayton end....this will be our biggest and best it appears, although we don't want it too big...we are looking at 50 or so Sky Cops with wives and guests.  When that arrives, spring cannot be far behind.

Leaving Tan Son Nhut Behind....a 39 day break!

As my days at Tan Son Nhut were winding down, my orders came....Griffiss Air Force Base at Rome, New York...a stone's toss from Syracuse, in the lake and snow belt country, in the Mohawk Valley and the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains.  I would be working Law Enforcement, so my orders said{they lied, like so many other times during my Air Force days} with the Air Force Logistics Command portion of The Griff....of course the orders didn't tell me that the AFLC portion of the base was being swallowed up by SAC...the mighty Strategic Air Command, "Chicken Shit SAC" as we referred to it.  I would find out that my AFLC assignment as well as LE, was just a dream...SAC was about to become my nightmare, or perhaps, as it turned out, I would be the lifers at the Griff's nightmare?  It was the one revenge I had....

Before all of that however, I had 39 days leave coming...and in the middle of summer no less...that I was looking forward to.  I boarded the United{I think? perhaps it was another Braniff, unlike the trip across, I really don't remember} flight, backtracking the same route as the year before...Philippines, Guam, Hawaii, and San Francisco.  Then on to a "Red Eye" to Chicago and O'Hare, and a 707 on to Dayton in the morning....all pretty much a blur.  Dad and Mom picked me up at Vandalia, home of Dayton International, it was I believe, a Saturday...but I could be mistaken on that as well....thus I began my 30 day leave plus 9 days travel time.

The 39 days, most spent in Celina, where the folks had moved from Montezuma earlier in the year, was a pretty good time...a few dates with girls I knew before going in, a quick trip with mom out to Wilmington, Delaware, where her brother,  my Uncle Bill lived, and a few Cincinnati Reds games at newly opened (in late June 1970) Riverfront Stadium with dad...but mostly it was spent with Jerry Jones, drinking and raising Hell in his 1970 Dodge Charger Six Pack Hemi....his new ride was a beast, and frankly we were crazy in it.  Jerry managed to get his license suspended, after one run we made down Main Street in Celina, back to his place in Montezuma...frankly, as the old saying goes, "It was amazing I survived the leave" .

As for myself...I had sent money home to mom, hoping to save enough for a 70 Plymuoth Road Runner...but my partying ways after being transferred to Saigon, left me a bit short...I instead opted for a close to new 1968 Mercury Cyclone.  No it wasn't a high powered Mopar, but it got me through alive for another year or so, until I finally managed to buy a new 1971 Dodge Charger 383...finally a Mopar I had always wanted..but as I said, the Cyclone was good enough for the next 12 months or so, until I could manage the payments on the Charger.

The month of July 1970 was a wild one...a bit of civilian life right in the middle of my Air Force "career".  I will have to say I did not encounter the hassle and harassment that some would have you believe came when returning home after service in Vietnam...small town America, places like Celina, that just didn't happen...even the guys that didn't go, and opted for marriage, kids, and/or college, didn't say much negative about Vietnam, or at least at those of us returning.   For me July 70 saw bottles of Boone's Farm Wine, and gallons of canned and draft Pabst Blue Ribbon and Stroh's Beer consumed....those brought the usual bouts of stupidity and fighting hangovers.  Then I was packing my bags and gear, I had gained nearly 20 pounds in a month, about what I had lost while overseas...some new civvies, and me and the Cyclone were headed out on a warm August morning for Upstate New York....that portion of the story begins next.

back later>>>>

Photos-Grand Lake..whether 1963, 1970, 90, or today, It's always, good fishing or not, been a big part of life around Celina, and in my life....The Cap and Coins of the 377th SPS, my six months there flew by, I probably should have stayed, and would have, if I knew what awaited in upstate New York, and we aren't talking about the huge amount of snow that first winter...some 300 inches fell on the Mohawk Valley in the 70-71 Winter...and although I don't have photos of the Mercury Cyclone I purchased on my return from Vietnam...but I do have this one from the Summer of 1971, sitting on my Dodge Charger at my favorite haunt on the lake, Windy Point.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

February 6th.....Year 1977

I got out early, around 10am to get some things done that needed to be taken care of...the temperature read 25 degrees on the bank wind, plenty of sunshine, it seems much warmer than that.  The Sun of course is shifting, and even though we have plenty of winter weather ahead, the direct sunlight, especially in absence of wind, will make the days between now and actual spring seem that much warmer.

"February 6th"  I said to myself " that is one of those days I have burned into my memory banks for the rest of my days"...frankly, I don't really know's just a date, and really nothing special happened on this day.  However the reason I remember February 6th is pretty simple.  I was living just 2 houses from where I reside today, on Brandon Avenue, back in 1977...Patricia and I had been married about 7 weeks.  Much like today it was a sunny day, with a bit of snow on the ground and I was ready for had been a long winter.  I yelled at the Airedales, Rag and Max, and loaded them in the Jeep Cherokee...and we headed for Windy Point...the dogs loved swimming there, but with ice on the lake and temperatures in the 20s, there would be no swimming for sometime to come.

Windy Point, on the southside of Grand Lake has always been a place where I cold go and just sit...especially in the fall and winter months, very seldom would there be anybody around...1977 was one of those days.   I don't remember if I had classes that day at Wright State Lake Campus, probably not, but I did have to bartend at Fat's Stag Bar that afternoon.  I had moved on from Hocking Tech and was enrolled in the Environmental Health Program at WSU-Lake, taking day classes while I worked afternoons and evening at Fat's slinging drinks and serving ham sandwiches and chili soup.

One thing about those first two Airedales was...they loved to ride.  If and when I stopped and got out of the Jeep, Max the 100 pound male, and Rag, his female boss at 65 pounds would jump to the front seats...Max always in the driver's seat and Rag taking over the passenger side...damn I miss those days!  During the summer months I would haul them out to Windy Point to swim...the both loved the water...Max was a natural swimmer, like all Airedales, being the partial descendants of Otter Hounds, they were drawn to water...Rag on the other hand, while loving the water, was the worst damn swimmer of any Airedale I have known...she did a half assed "Dog Paddle" but always got to where she was going....

Patricia and I would drag them to the Michigan Lakes, where we would all end up in the shallows of Higgins or Kneff Lake in the Upper portion of the lower Peninsula...anyway back to February 6th, 1977.  That day, it seems, is the day I designated to be the beginning of my lust for Spring weather....and so it remains to this day.

Baseball Begins....sort of!

Tonight we will have our first official meeting of the Mid-West Buckeye Baseball Umpires Association...Van Wert Middle School will be the site.  Thus but another sign that Spring is on the horizon, and we can soon leave Winter behind.  I am looking for the end of basketball, although last night in the 7th/8th grade Junior High games at St Marys, I officiated the best Junior High game I can remember, as the host Roughriders took down Fort Recovery in the 8th grade game 48-43...after a 16 all time at the half, both teams were on fire in the second half, with St Marys finally scoring the last 6 points of the game to put it away.

I will continue with a look at my Air Force years in the next posting....with that I will look at the 39 day break between Vietnam and Upstate New York.

back later>>>>
Photos-Nothing Really Planned for today, but once I remembered it was February 6th, I figued I had to get out to Windy Point...just to kick some comwebs out of the memory banks.  Frozen Grand Lake at Windy Point, looking my like it did back on February 6, 1977.  The Original Airedales, Rag(front) and Max, back in 1980 in our Dodge City backyard.  Patricia and the Airedals in the shallows of Higgins Lake, Michigan, Memorial Weekend 1977.  And below Rag and Max's favorite Swimming Hole at Windy Point....

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Daily Grind...Final Days at Tan Son Nhut{my Air Force Years 68-72 part 14}

First thing this morning I made my Breakfast{the usual I eat about 5 days a week} a Engligh Muffin with one of Patricia's home made preserves, a Banana, and massive amounts of coffee...the second thing I did was accidently knock the plate of Muffins into the sink, which happend to be filled with warm soapy water...Epic Fail!  I pulled the muffins out, rinsed them, and tossed the soggy remains out to the backyard Squirrels and Birds, which had been fed their ration of seed about a half hour earlier...back to square one, I poured a second cup of coffee and did the muffin thing a second time.

The Political Bully.....

I was called that again last night...

After a quick night of Dartball, where we went 1 win with 2 loses, and my below average season continued, going just 4 for 12 with many RBI opportunities missed{now batting a partisan .292 with 17 rbi for the season, which the regular portion ends next week}, with one week to go before tournaments, it appears I will bat below .300 for only the second time, and the first in over 20 years.  Age and Basketball Officiating are my excuses for the downward slide....anyway after Dartball, I showered and with no interesting games on the tube, I made a trip to Facebook, and got into a pissing match on the Glenn Beck Page...seems Glenn always draws Liberals and Ron Paul supporters...go figure?  That would be like me heading to Huffinton Post or to converse with the idiots that hang on those sites.  Really why hang with people you hate, or at least strongly disagree with?

Well Hell, being a couple of Weyerbacher Winter Ales into the late evening, I managed to strike up a WWE type political bashing with a few people, Paulbots...they were.  Finally after a few minutes, the "conversation" moved to my inbox/message center, and one guy named Frank decided he would continue to "disagree" with me...of course he had to make the point that my Vietnam "Service" was fake, and that I was faggot, and a bully?  Fair enough, I wasn't exactly "kind" to him either. 

After we got our slashing turns out we agree on about 80% of the issues...his respect for Jimmy Carter, and his dislike for Israel, not withstanding...we will never agree on those points, Carter is a Wimp and an Islamic Terrorist ass kisser, no amount of good can ever erase that from the Peanut Farmer's Bio...and given the fact he was pitiful as a President, makes it a non starter on my side.  As far as Israel?  That is where the Paulbots and the Conservatives part ways...I choose the Bible's side, and it's not with the Islamic Goat Fornicators.  However, it turns out "Frank" is a baseball umpire as well...not sure what level, but it gives us a starting we ended up "friending" each other on FB, and at least that is being the "Bully" and him being the Anti Semite...maybe the 80% of so we agree on, is more important than the 20 we don't.

Vietnam and Tan Son Nhut, winding down.....part 14

After returning from Hawaii in early April 1970, I faced another 11 weeks or so in Vietnam.  I had just been moved to "Blue Patrol" on the Resource Protection Division of the 377th SPS.  The final 2 months plus would be easy duty, no towers, no perimeter duty, or walking back and forth behind blast shields on the flight line.   I would either be driving the snack/water wagon Jeep, or sitting at a desk in some remote inter workings of Tan Son Nhut that needed "Protected" from the enemies within.

The only real  excitement I remember is from one night while protecting a supply depot...some pitiful Tech Sgt. tried to call the MARS line home, and if my memory is correct, the kids answered the phone and informed "Dad" that "Mom" was out and about with her personal escort, who it seems was servicing her, while dad was serving in Vietnam.  The poor bastard lost it, and started to trash anything and everything in sight...not wishing for this clown to hurt himself, I ordered one of his underlings to help me gain control...I finally shoved him face down on the floor, stuck my knee in his back and put my night stick on the back of his neck.  The Airman who was helping me, called base hospital, while I called Central Control....the "paddy wagon" showed up and took the Sarge away...not sure what happened to him, but I knew he wasn't coming back to duty anytime soon.

The rest of my final weeks was/is pretty much a and Aceavedo went to downtown Saigon a few times, to the bars and brothels...on one occasion we were slipped "Mickeys"{? my best guess anyway}...both passed out for a few hours, while they went through out wallets and clothes...lucky for us, they missed a $5 MPC{Military Pay Currency} stuck in my shirt us enough money to get back to TSN and the Main could have been worse, they could have slit our throats, but GIs were usually pretty safe downtown, after all, we were their best customers.

Back on base I filled out my "Dream Sheet"...where did I want to go upon my return to the states.?  After all I would have nearly 2 years left.  So I picked Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, might as well remain in a warm climate?  Hell it would be close, well at least I was "east"...Griffiss AFB, upstate New York was the location....sure no 70 degree January days...but I would be treated to 300 inches of Lake effect snow my first winter back in the states. I learned how to snow ski, and even tried my hand at cliff diving in the mountains that first Summer and Fall....

I should have stayed in Vietnam....I had my chance, they would have kept me, and let me go home for 30 free days of leave to boot....but I had mom and dad to think about, they wouldn't want me to head back to Vietnam.  Too much worry for parents, I understood that...but looking back, I should have stayed at Tan Son Nhut.....

Next:  On the Upstate New York..

back later>>>>

photos-Leaving Hawaii, heading back to Tan Son Nhut, check out the pants!  Glenn Beck, love him or hate him, always brings out the loons....and yes Jimmy, you are no longer the worst Prez in still rank behind LBJ, but Barry Soetoro has taken over the #1 spot...and anybody that was ever stationed at Tan Son Nhut, unless they hid in their barracks, knew where to find the Majic Fingers Parlor and Feed Lot.