Saturday, February 10, 2007

Hero of the Day

Nomi says, "Hi, Spiderman!"

The Legendary Frankie Laine Dies at age 93 ... where all did you read about this famous person? Oh yeah, that was Anna Nicole ...

Frankie Laine dies from heart attack
published: Thursday February 8, 2007

Singer Frankie Laine has died after suffering a heart attack.

Laine - one of the most popular singers in the '40s and '50s - passed away in San Diego's Mercy Hospital aged 93, on Tuesday.

The veteran singer, who sold an estimated 250 million albums during his career, had been initially admitted for hip replacement surgery.

Laine, whose hits include I Believe and Jezebel, gave his final public appearance last year singing his first big hit, That's My Desire, on US TV.


Statement from the family of Frankie Laine

February 6, 2007

We are saddened to announce the passing of Frankie Laine, musician, father, husband and friend. He died at 9:15 this morning from cardiovascular disease at age 93 in San Diego, surrounded by his loved ones.

Frankie led a long, exuberant life and contributed greatly to many causes near to his heart. He donated his time and talent to many San Diego charities and homeless shelters, as well as the Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul Village. He was also an emeritus member of the board of directors for the Mercy Hospital Foundation.

Born Francesco Paolo LoVecchio on March 30, 1913, he was one of the most successful American singers of the twentieth century. He charted more than 70 records – 21 of them gold – and achieved worldwide sales of more than 250 million discs. He will be forever remembered for the beautiful music he brought into this world, his wit and sense of humor, along with the love he shared with so many.

Frankie is survived by his wife Marcia; brother Phillip LoVecchio of Chicago, Illinois; daughter Pamela Donner and grandsons Joshua and David Donner of Sherman Oaks, California; and daughter and son-in-law Dr. and Mrs. Irwin Steiger of Couer D’Alene, Idaho.

We ask that you respect our privacy during this time. We thank you for caring about the life of Frankie Laine, a remarkable human being and musician who has left an indelible mark on the world.

Click here for the legend's website

Virgie Bell's View: Why would we listen to Putin about much of anything?

What is wrong with having a missile defense in Europe? Vladimir Putin is very concerned about the USA installing one in Poland or Chechnya. Unless Russia is planning to use a missile against these countries, I don't see the problem. Here is the leader of Russia that cut off a gas supply this winter to a little country there at its disputed borders, the country that grabbed two oil fields from the Persian Gulf before we were bombed at Pearl Harbor. During Desert Storm and Desert Shield we furnished Israel with just such a peace weapon. In order for the Persian Gulf War to even stand a chance, we had to be sure that Israel did not use its right to retaliate against Saddam Hussein lobbing missiles into their country. That is all that country was allowed to use to defend itself and the world was ready to go up in smoke unless that country stuck within that guide line. They had to use that missile defense system several times and it worked pretty good, it seems to me. I also remember that it was Putin’s country that armed Iraq ... illegally I might add. It seems also that the whole South American continent is falling in line with Hugo Chavez and his Dictatorship. Just another Hitler is all the man is. The only thing is that he is within range to blow the USA off the face of the earth. He stood in front of the UN and in a booming outraged voice offered to help anyone who would strike a war blow to the USA. It is time to lay the politics aside and to admit that we are in a mell of a hess in our country. Before it is too late ... SUPPORT THE TROOPS!

Michael Reagan, Artist of Fallen Heroes Project

This link I'm giving you in this post was given to us, my Gold Star Moms online support group, by one of our members, Shirley, who lost her eldest grandson in May of 2004 in Iraq.

Many times she's talked about the artist, Michael Reagan, founder of the Fallen Heroes Project. He's a Vietnam vet who has given up a brilliant career to draw every face and capture every spirit of the sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers of our precious fallen. He does this without charge. Though there are so many people and foundations that do these type things, after listening to this video recorded at a Rotary meeting in Seattle, I can certainly understand why he is so precious to Shirley. I'm going to contact him for myself.

This video is nearly 1/2 hour, so watch it when you're not busy. But do watch it. It will touch you deeply and it is such good news about good people in the midst of all the wicked news that the media is so full of right now.

Because of the spiritual change within this man, the rest of his life is dedicated to this project, or at least "for as long as families ask or as long as there is breath in him. [Mr. Reagan]"

This video is what I needed today. It reinforces within me the focus to give. We can never outgive the Giver, or those who've given so much for us.

I hope it blesses you as well. Click here.

My love and best to each of you who continue to give something to us here at Gunz Up.

Semper Fi,

P.S. In his speech he mentions a grandmother knitting him a blanket. That's our Shirley he's speaking of.

The Life Line

February 10

I AM your Saviour, your Saviour from sins' thralls, your Saviour from all the cares and troubles of life, your Saviour from disease.

I speak in all to you both. Look to Me for salvation. Trust in Me for help. Did not My servant of old say, "All Thy waves and Thy billows are gone over me?" But not all the waters of affliction could drown him. For of him was it true, "He came from above, He took me, He drew me out of many waters."

The life-line, the line of rescue, is the line from the soul to God, faith and power. It is a strong line, and no soul can be overwhelmed who is linked to Me by it. Trust, trust, trust. Never be afraid.

Think of My trees--stripped of their beauty, pruned, cut disfigured, bare, but through the dark seemingly dead branches, flows silently, secretly, the spirit-life-sap, till, lo! with the sun of Spring comes new life, leaves, bud, blossom, fruit, but oh! fruit a thousand times better for the pruning.

Remember that you are in the hands of a Master-Gardener. He makes no mistakes about His pruning. Rejoice. Joy is the Spirit's reaching out to say its thanks to Me. It is the new life-sap of the tree, reaching out to me to find such beautiful experssion later. So never cease to joy. Rejoice.

Russell, A. J., ed., God Calling. Barnes & Noble, 2002.

For Flag Gazer


The handsome little animals in this photograph are well-bred Angora goats, not yet a year old. They look like aristocrats and they should, for Angoras are the blueblooded elite of the goat world. Their long, curly, silky fleece, known commercially as mohair, is used in making fine upholstery, yarn and fabrics. Angora goats are dainty, shy, and not at all smelly. Their fleece is so rich in healthy oil (lanolin) that goatmen who handle them a lot have pink, soft hands like a baby's.

Goats are among the oldest and best friends that man has. There are 137 mentions of goats in the Bible. Goats were among the first animals brought to America by Captain John Smith and Lord Delaware. A frisky Arabian goat, according to legend, discovered the stimulating effects of the coffee bean. Great thinkers of history like Zoroaster, Buddha and Confucius all said kind words about goats. Modern men who get to know them, including Author Carl Sandburg, Conductor Artur Rodzinski and Mahatma Gandhi, usually think they are wonderful, and pictures like this one help explain why.

Life August 31, 1942

For Flag Gazer and Keys for IDing Goats from Sheep for De'on and Kayla!

A flock of 600 Angoras heads for home pastures at ranch of "Goat King" Adolph Stieler near Comfort, Texas. A sure way to tell goats from sheep is to note their tails: goat tails always point up, sheep tails down. Texas is the biggest U.S. goat State. There are nearly 4,000,000 Angora goats in Texas, which is almost as many as there are in Turkey where Angoras come from.

Life August 31, 1942

For Flag Gazer cont'd.

An unhappy Angora kid is pushed into the dip after he has been sheared. Dip is a brownish, evil-smelling chemical mixture which safeguards the shorn animals against ticks. All goats hate it.
Shearing crew gets busy on four of "King" Stieler's Angoras. Goats are shorn twice a year, spring and early fall, yield about 3 lb. of fleece per shearing. Shearers use truck with special body equipped with multiple power-driven sharing heads like barber's clippers. Good shearers get 7 - 1/2 cents per goat, can make up to $15. a day. After the shearing, crew gets a goat to eat.

Shorn goats crowd together for warmth and mutual sympathy. They are not pretty now and they know it. Angora goats make noise by snorting or blowing through noses but rarely bleat.

Life August 31, 1942

For Flag Gazer: Finale

Mohair warehouse at Kerrville, Texas, belongs to goat-raising Schreiner family, who also own hotels, banks, stores. Scott Schreiner (left) is shown here with local mohair buyer.
"General MacArthur" (above) was prize fleece buck at recent Goat Show and Sale at Rocksprings, Texas. He sold at auction for $530. Note hair on face and belly, sign of good Angora.
Mohair products include curtains, mittens, toy dogs, rugs, blankets. Before the war much mohair was used in auto upholstery. Huge stocks of it are available now to replace restricted wool.
Goats eat cigaret butts and owners encourage them, because tobacco kills intestinal parasites.
Goats love to browse standing up. The leaves they can't reach look greenest.

Life August 31, 1942

Friday, February 09, 2007

Friday Night Kind of Stuff

Flash Dumbbell video

Missile Game 3D: This one is too much like the ole weapons qualifications to me. And guess what, I don't have to!

What would happen if you fired a gun on a train moving as fast as a bullet?

This is a good question because it involves the concept of reference frames. The quick answer is that relative to you, the bullet will always travel at the same speed. In other reference frames, however, unexpected things can happen!

You may have heard of Newton's first law:

"Every body persists in its state of rest or of uniform motion in a straight line unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed on it."

We could rephrase this a little and say that a body in motion tends to stay in motion and a body at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted on by an external force.

Imagine you are on a perfectly smooth speeding train, moving at a uniform speed (not accelerating or turning), in a car with no windows. You would have no way of knowing how fast you are going (or if you were moving at all). If you throw a ball straight up in the air, it will come straight back down whether the train is sitting still or going 1,000 mph. Since you and the ball are already moving at the same speed as the train, the only forces acting on the ball are your hand and gravity. So the ball behaves exactly as it would if you were standing on the ground and not moving.

So what does this mean for our gun? If the gun shoots bullets at 1,000 mph, then the bullet will always move away from the gun at 1,000 mph. If you go to the front of a train that is moving at 1,000 mph and shoot the gun forward, the bullet will move away from you and the train at 1,000 mph, just as it would if the train were stopped. But, relative to the ground, the bullet will travel at 2,000 mph, the speed of the bullet plus the speed of the train. So if the bullet hits something on the ground, it will hit it going 2,000 mph.

If you shoot the bullet off the back of the train, the bullet will still be moving away from you and the gun at 1,000 mph, but now the speed of the train will subtract from the speed of the bullet. Relative to the ground, the bullet will not be moving at all, and it will drop straight to the ground.

What's true for bullets, however, is not true of some other things that you might "shoot" from the front of the train. A great example is sound waves. If you turn on the stereo in your living room, sound waves "shoot out" of the speaker at the speed of sound -- something like 700 mph. The waves propogate through the air at that fixed speed, and they can go no faster. So if you put a speaker at the front of the 1,000 mph train, the sound waves will not depart the train at 1,700 mph. They cannot go faster than the speed of sound. This is the reason why planes traveling faster than the speed of sound create sonic booms.

Here are some interesting links:

If you spun a carousel fast enough, could you get the edge of the carousel going nearly the speed of light so that time stood still for people on the carousel?
Breaking the Light Speed Limit
Newton's Three Laws of Motion

Photo of the Day: I married Greg for his legs.

Steve Ramos, De'on and Greg Miller
Lubbock International Airport
October 5, 2006
Partners for Iraq: Sand and Rubble

Well done, please.

Hey everybody,

Just got in from the hospital not too long ago, burnt some fish sticks for us and we're all good now. Greg swears he's going to get me a fire extinguisher for Valentine's. Of course, he laughed when he said it, because 13 years later he is still trying to live down that he bought me a Thigh Buster for Valentine's in 1993. No, I don't forget stuff like that very easy. Saddle up, as he says. Don't you just hate it when they say stuff like that and you haven't even gotten to the second word yet? :)

To Doc Duty and Sgt. Rett: Your Valentine's boxes are in the mail! And I mailed them from Hobbs. The wildest thing, in Lovington's post office a man was really mad about a little white-haired lady butting in line. True, the post office was packed and I guess he should've been next, but he was talking really loud and rude to the Postmaster. Everybody's mouth was hanging open. Finally, the Postmaster asked him to leave or he'd have him escorted out. This didn't deter the man who wanted complaint forms and phone numbers. I stood there with my two heavy boxes for about 5 minutes and got the heck out of Dodge! Outside of the time factor, I became concerned for (OF ALL THINGS) my new vehicle that Mom is so proud of for me.

It's true. I'm a sorry sucker. Here the lady could've been injured, and I go out to get my vehicle out of the middle of any crossfire! But truly, the lady was taking up for herself pretty good, especially after another gentleman joined in and threatened to call the police on the man.

Well, so much for small town news. Postal in Lovington. And now, I'm about to go figure out something to POST myself.

Okay, it's Friday. And yes, I'm in my (well actually, Steve's) red shirt for our troops on Friday. Mine was dirty and Steve's was folded so neatly in my drawer (SINCE I HAVE NOT SEEN HIM SINCE THANKSGIVING!!) So I wore it.


Back in a bit!


Virgie Bell's View: Goodbye Franke

Yesterday in the paper was an obituary for Franke Laine. Gosh, did that bring back memories. Readers of this blog would probably not recall anything that he sang, but he was truly a great talent. When we had moved to Texas and I was getting ready for school each morning, I remember his songs being on. My mom got that music going while she fixed breakfast. He did Henandos Hideaway...Mule Train...and some other great songs. When I go to bed I will think of a dozen, but I can’t right now. If you remember the TV Show "Rawhide,” well he did the theme song for that every week. Clint Eastwood played Rowdy Yates.

I saw Clint Eastwood being interviewed in a talk show yesterday. He still looks good to me and he has been around a few years. Franke Laine was 93 years old. Like I said, the memories come flooding back of my family. The ones I grew up with. Music was really great then. I have a hard time understanding what there is to like now days, but then I think a Ship and Shore Blouse should cost $4.99 so you see I am way back there. If the TV had of gone on all day about remembering Mr. Laine, I could understand it. I do not understand all the hype about Anna Nicole Smith. If she had a talent it remained hidden and I will say that was the only part of her that she didn't over expose every chance she got.

Last night I couldn't go to sleep for a while thinking how sad it is that we give credence to someone like that. Leave it to me to find something wrong, but I did not think she was all that sexy. Her gums and teeth were just so ... I don't know ... big? Her breasts were surely not real or her hair. I mean she was the bimbos bimbo and she loved being that it seems. It is sad that she found nothing more substantial in her life than strip shows and gambling, and posing for cheese cake. Poor little baby girl that she left behind. And all these guys coming out of the woodwork claiming to be her father. It must be true then that she did receive all that money from that Mr. Marshall. I had really never paid that much attention to the details of all of that. Ms. Smith held no charm for me, but obviously, I am not the same as the ones who really made her into a celebrity. In the final run she was famous for being famous. I will watch to see who shows up at her funeral. Or I will read about it at any rate. Did she have a life other than being famous for being famous? I would hope so. I also do not know what is going on with this William Arkin. I guess it is just as well that I don't. If he is really insulting our troops. I will check it out. I don’t watch NBC, so I am behind. I am on FOX 24/7 because they SUPPORT THE TROOPS!

Goodnight, Aaron

The Voice Divine

February 9

THE Divine Voice is not always expressed in words.

It is made known as a heart-consciousness.

Russell, A. J., ed., God Calling. Barnes & Noble, 2002.

No, We'll Never Forget!

Some of you will have seen these photos before, but many of you haven't since they were taken when we first started our blog. Regardless, I hope you like them. These two of Hennessy and Aaron's duffle bag were taken on the night before Steve left for Iraq. We took these pictures of Hen because he smelled Aaron. This duffle, as well as one I gave to Steve, never made it to Iraq. They were left with some of Aaron's stuff when he came to Amarillo on Valentine's weekend 2004.
When I brought the two bags into the den, Hennessy got on it and sniffed and sniffed. And then he stayed there for several hours. Steve's foot is showing in each of the photos ... I didn't crop ... we'll let Steve keep his feet and clean socks.

Photos of Hen were taken October 4, 2006

Steve and De'on @ Lubbock International Airport

October 5, 2006

Bye, Steve. You're smiling here because you haven't heard the bad news on the visa. And too, you haven't been shot yet.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Torpedo Squadron 8: Part Seven

part 7 of 8 parts


There was one plane to Gay’s left, close by, and another in front of him and below the nose of his plane. He lowered the nose to see what plane it was and it was gone. When he looked to the left, that plane was gone too. Now there was only Gay’s plane left. The Skipper had lost his hope of “a favorable tactical situation.” "The worst” had “come to the worst,” and there was “only one plane left to make a final run-in.” Tex Gay doesn’t remember whether at the moment the Skipper’s message actually flooded through his mind again, but he had seen the Skipper die and he was determined “to go in and get a hit.”

Then the voice of Radioman Bob Huntington came into his ears over the intercom from the rear seat. “They got me,” it said. “Are you hurt bad?” asked Gay. “Can you move?” There was no answer. Tex took his eyes off the waves long enough to see that Huntington was lifeless, his head limp against the cockpit. As he turned back, he felt a stab in his upper left arm. The hole in his jacket sleeve told him what had happened. He shifted the stick to his left hand, ripped his sleeve, pressed a machine-gun slug from the wound with his thumb. It seemed like something worth saving, so he sought to put it in the pocket of his jacket. When he found his pocket openings held shut by his safety belt and parachute straps and life jacket, he popped it into his mouth.

He kicked his rudder to make his plane slip and skid so as to avoid the Zeros. He was heading straight for the carrier that the Skipper had picked out. The ship turned hard to starboard, seeking to put its bow forward and avoid his torpedo. He swung to the right and aimed for the port bow, about a quarter length back. When he pushed the button to release his torpedo nothing happened. Apparently the electrical releasing equipment had been knocked out. Since his left arm was practically useless from the bullet and a shrapnel wound in his hand, he held the stick between his knees and released the torpedo with the emergency lever. By now he was only 800 yd. from the ship and close to the water. He managed to execute a flipper, turning past the bridge of the carrier and clearing the bow by about 10 ft. As he passed over the flight deck he saw Jap crewmen running in all directions to avoid his crashing plane. He zoomed up and over but as he sought to turn back, four Zeros dived on him. An explosive bullet knocked out his left rudder pedal and he careened into the sea, a quarter of a mile from the Jap carrier.


continued in next post

Torpedo Squadron 8: Part 8-The finale!

cont'd from previous post

The impact slammed his hood shut tightly and the plane began to sink. He opened the hood and rose to the surface. As he reached the surface, he heard the explosion of his torpedo striking home on the Jap carrier. Floating beside him was a black rubber seat cushion and a deflated rubber boat. Apparently the Jap bullets had broken the straps which held them secure. Afraid that the Zeros would dive again and machine-gun him, Tex held the seat cushion over his head. Two cruisers steamed close by him and a destroyer saw him and ran to the deckside to point him out. However, he was unmolested. In about ten minutes the dive bombers from his carrier, apprised of the Jap fleet’s location by the Skipper’s contact report, swooped in. As they exhausted their bomb loads, more came in. The Jap fleet was in utter confusion, with most of its air arm trapped on the decks of the carriers where they had been refueling. For two hours the bombers dived, sending their destructive loads into ship after ship.

Thus, with all of its 15 planes destroyed and all but one of its pilots killed in its first engagement, Torpedo Squadron 8 had done its part to rout, for the first time in the war, a Japanese fleet. It had also kept the planes which were refueling on the carrier’s deck from taking off in time to meet the attack. Had the Skipper not played his hunch with his faithful boys following in his wake, the planes that were caught refueling on the decks of the Jap carriers might have had time to take the air again to reverse the tide of battle.

When the next dawn came, the ships of the Jap fleet that had not sunk had limped away, leaving telltale oil slicks behind. Gaunt and sick from swallowing salt water, Tex Gay floated idly in his rubber boat, heedless of his badly burned leg, a shrapnel-torn left hand and bullet-punctured arm. At 6:20 a PBY patrol boat roared over the horizon. Spying the oil slicks, its pilot swooped down, waved to the figure in the lifeboat and flew on out of sight. Tex didn’t mind. He knew the PBY had a patrol mission to execute. At 2:30 that afternoon, the PBY returned and he was flown to Midway for hospitalization.

Ensign Gay, 30 lb. lighter and slimmer and harder, is back in the U.S. He has had a furlough and time to tell his story to friends who knew him before he became a warrior. He has done his best to console the widows, mothers and fathers of his lost pals, and he is now back in San Diego with a new torpedo squadron that is being formed. He knows he is probably going back into the Pacific again to fight the Japs and he is certain that he knows who is going to win. If it should be his fate to die, he is ready to join the boys of Torpedo 8 who, when put to the test, proved they were just what the Skipper said they were—“the best in the world.”

Life August 31, 1942

Admiral Nimitz and Ensign Gay

In the hospital after his rescue, Ensign Gay gives Admiral Nimitz a report on the Battle of Midway. Floating in the Pacific, he had a fish's-eye view of the main action.

Life August 31, 1942


To SgtMaj Ploskonka on his promotion today!!Now, get some rest before heading to Japan!
SgtMaj Ploskonka was a Gunny with Aaron on OIF 1 and visited with him briefly on OIF 2. Their relationship was a special one based on Aaron's loud mouth, broad smile, and love of cigarettes and cake.
For those of you unacquainted with this great Marine and leader, you can read his messages to Aaron and to us by clicking here.

Bicentennial Inaugural Jan 20, 1989 Photos 1

I'd nearly forgotten that Virgie Bell had asked me to put these up. Thought I should do that before I get to Panama!

My roommate and I took the subway downtown for this. What a great day!

De'on & Limo shot #1
De'on & Limo shot #2. I asked my roommate to take a photo of me getting into a limo (which I was NOT of course!). Mom loves this one because when I showed it to her she said, "Well, of course you look ignorant De'on. That's the wrong door to get in if you really had a limo to ride in!" Oh well.

A view of the Potomac River from a window in the Mexican restaurant we had lunch at on that day.

Bicentennial Inaugural Jan 20, 1989 Photos 2

The U.S. Army Band

This horse is from the Armored Guard in Lubbock, TX!

Virgie Bell's View: Current Female Leadership Setting Us Back

Seems Madam Speaker of the house is insisting on an airplane to rival that of Air-Force One. Why oh why am I even the slightest bit chagrined? Maybe I should even find it somewhat amusing, but I don't. It makes my blood boil. Wave a red flag in front of an enraged bull and you will get an honest evaluation of my mood.

Shelia Jackson Lee of Texas pulled a similar stunt on a commercial flight to D.C. Something wasn't up to what she deemed her due and she let loose. "I am an important Congresswoman blah blah blah.” This kind of degrading behavior reflects poorly on us as a nation. It should shame us as women. And especially in light of the fact that someone needs reminding of how Pelosi came to be in the position she’s in.

Listen up oh self-inflected EGOS out there: President Bush won by the majority vote of our entire nation. Cheney was his running mate; therefore, he too is an elected official by the same voters. The rest of you men and women, democratic or republican, are there by a squeak in your home state, and usually because we can’t stand your opponent. Not because we are enamored of you. Far from it. Get on that national election ticket and give us a chance at you and see for yourself. Condi Rice is the only female that acts with any degree of decorum. In all things she conducts herself befitting... example: the term "An Officer and a Gentleman.” Hillary, chief among you, has had to face just the voters in N.Y. She has never had to face a national vote on her own. When our female leaders act like a bunch of desperate housewives turned politician, then it does more to hurt the female movement—it sets it back years.

A word about so many candidates running for president, and doing so early each year. See what it got you with John Kerry. And you know what, he hasn't a clue. In his mind he is some big heroic statesman, with superior intelligence. Not even close. Yes, President Bush comes from a powerful family; his back-ups are the same ones who pulled the Middle East out of the fire during Desert Storm Desert Shield when Saddam Hussein tried to take over the oil rich Kuwait. John Kerry has Madam Ketchup and poor old Cindy Sheehan. He has his record of being anti-military and his activism to run on. As far as being brilliant, he is not. He came from a family whose name sparked recognition to someone somewhere. Not to me. He came up with pretty much everything except money in his pocket. An Aunt paid for his college education. He graduated with grade points slightly below that of President Bush from Harvard.

Recently, there was an article about the men running for President who are also veterans. John McCain, POW etc. When it got to Kerry’s it told the whole Swift Boat Hero business again. Only this time the arm he used was an injured arm. He can’t help himself.

Hillary truly scares me. She really does. Hell has no fury like that of a woman scorned. She was scorned in the highest position available to her. Wife of the President. Her claim to fame is as Bill’s wife. Oh...and the education. Just like Pelosi. Madame Speaker is the daughter of so and so. WHO? Shelia Jackson Lee, who knows, and for that matter who really cares? Same for Barbara Boxer...short and stands on a box to speak in microphones. Now Ms. Pelosi wants to also take friends and colleagues on trips with her. What a poor pathetic example of female leadership. The woman who sewed a fairy costume; don't make me laugh. But please, SUPPORT THE TROOPS!

On Me Alone

February 8

I AM your Lord, your Supply. You must rely on Me. Trust to the last uttermost limit. Turst and be not afraid. You must depend on Divine Power only. I have not forgotten you. Your help is coming. You shall know and realize My Power.

Endurance is faith tried almost to breaking point. You must wait, and trust, and hope, and joy in Me. You must not depend on man but on Me, on Me your Strength, your Help, your Supply.

This is the great test. Am I your supply or not? Every great work for me has had to have this great test-time.

Possess your souls in patience and rejoice. You must wait until I show the way. Heaven itself cannot contain more joy than that soul knows, when, after the waiting-test, I crown it Victor, but no disciple of Mine can be victor, who does not wait until I give the order to start. You cannot be anxious if you know that I am your supply.

Russell, A. J., ed., God Calling. Barnes & Noble, 2002.

Torpedo Suadron 8: Part Six

This is number 6 of 8 parts.


After they rendezvoused in the sky, the Skipper took the lead and the 15 planes of Torpedo 8 fell into the prearranged formation in which the Skipper had chosen to take them on their first adventure. Flying in six sections of two and a seventh section of three, with Gay bringing up the rear, the Skipper led them on a course south of west at 300 ft.

After an uneventful hour, the Skipper’s voice broke the radio silence: “There’s a fighter on our tail.” What he saw proved to be a cruiser plane flying at about 1,000 ft. It flew by without paying any apparent attention, but the Skipper and boys knew it had probably radioed an alarm back to the Jap fleet and that they would doubtless be met by a reception committee of fighters.

They kept to their course and the flight continued uneventful until the motor of the plane Plywood Teats was flying, in the last section, began to spurt oil. When the windshield was obscured, Plywood reached outside with a rag to wipe it off. As he did so, he transferred the stick to his left hand. Unwittingly, his thumb pressed the trigger button on the stick and sent eight or ten rounds whizzing past Abercrombie’s plane. Quick to understand what had happened, Abbie mopped his brow in mock panic and then grinned broadly at Plywood, who appeared to be roaring with laughter.

Almost another hour had passed since they had seen the Jap plane when two columns of smoke were sighted beyond the horizon. The Skipper dropped down low and the boys followed. Now they roared forward at torpedo-attack level, barely skimming the waves. When they burst over the horizon, it looked as if the entire Jap fleet was before them. They identified the carrier Soryu and a cruiser as the burning vessels set afire the day before, and counted in all three carriers about six cruisers and ten destroyers. The ships were moving away from Midway, as the Skipper had guessed, and the carriers were loaded with planes which apparently were being refueled and rearmed. The Skipper immediately broke radio silence to send his contact report back to the U.S. carrier, giving position and strength.

Then the action the Skipper and the boys had been waiting for began. Anti-aircraft fire went up from the ships and the surface guns began hurling explosive shells. Some 30 Zero fighters that had been circling high above the fleet, awaiting their arrival, began to dive. But the Skipper paid no attention to them. He wiggled his wings, as a signal for the boys to follow, and opened up the throttle.

As the Zeros swooped down on them, the Squadron’s rear gunners opened up, making a terrific racket of machine-gun fire, punctuated by the louder, less rapid explosions of the cannon on the Zeros. By the time they were within eight miles of the Jap fleet they were caught in a barrage of fire from the ships.

When the first plane plunged into the water the Skipper, apparently forgetting to press his intercockpit communication button, was heard asking his radioman, Dobbs, in the rear seat: “Was that a Zero?” If Dobbs answered his voice was not heard, but in any case it was not a Zero. It was the first plane of Squadron 8 to go down.

When the second went down, Radioman Bob Huntington spoke from the back of Gay’s plane. “Let’s go back and help him, sir,” he said. “To hell with that,” Gay blurted, “we’ve got a job to do.” Then the Skipper got it. His left gas tank hit, his plane literally burst into flame. Tex Gay could see him stand up and try to get out but it claimed him and Radioman Dobbs. Dobbs, a veteran enlisted man, had been ordered back to San Diego to become a radio instructor for the duration, after this engagement.

The barrage from the Japships grew deadlier. Surface shells, aimed to hit the ocean just ahead of them, were throwing up spouts of water which licked the bellies of the planes. Anti-aircraft filled the air with acrid black smoke. One by one, the planes of Torpedo 8 went down. Flying so close to the water, they might as well have been crashing into a stone wall when they hit it. Tex Gay’s mind flashed back to his childhood for a comparison with what was going on around him. There was a far-off day when he had tossed orange peelings in the water from a speedboat. It reminded him of that. The planes hit the water and they were gone, as though they were moving in the opposite direction.

Life August 31, 1942

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Hello to my favorite students!

We have a great deal of material to cover on the test, so just as soon as we finish up with Torpedo Squadron 8, I'll review you some for this one.

Doc Duty has promised me that he will take the test this time and I know we can count on Karen.

Steve is dealing with many things right now--well, I guess everybody is except for Virgie Bell and me. And with Dad in the hospital for another week, we are running a little further behind than I'd hoped. But we'll catch up before the test.

So get your thinking caps on and sharpen those pencils.

You know I love you,
The Teach

P.S. I'll be back in a bit with more Torpedo Squadron 8. Thanks to all the greatest readers in the world. I wouldn't give you up for anything. Don't quit me now!



Photo of the Day: Other Voices

Braving the bitter cold in downtown DC.

I've seen people stand over the steam vents this way or put plastic up and attach it to a building to try and stay warm.

FOXNews. com reports that 9 are dead from the cold.

how good do I have it?

Light Ahead

February 7

TRUST and be not afraid. Life is full of wonder. Open child-trusting eyes to all I am doing for you. Fear not.

Only a few steps more and then My Power shall be seen and known. You are, yourselves, now walking in the tunnel-darkness. Soon, you yourselves shall be lights to guide feet that are afraid.

The cries of your sufferings have pierced even to the ears of God himself--My Father in Heaven, your Father in Heaven. To hear, with God is to answser. For only a cry from the heart, a cry to Divine Power to help human weakness, a trusting cry, ever reaches the Ear Divine.

Remember, trembling heart, that with God, to hear is to answer. Your prayers, and they have been many, are answered.

Russell, A. J., ed., God Calling. Barnes & Noble, 2002.

Virgie Bell's View: Trash

I have nothing but contempt for the Army officer who is refusing to be deployed to Iraq. He joined the military for the express purpose of making a name for himself. I hope he is found guilty of the worst charge that can be thrown at him and I hope he is jailed for it. This man did not join the military until he finished college in 2003. At the time he did join he knew that his chances of going to Iraq were almost 100%. He was not drafted. By his own actions he has proven that he has taken tax payers dollars to support himself while planning to misuse those funds against the very people he is supposed to defend in a war, any war in which we are engaged. I realize that at this time, the war is unpopular, but in 2003 the citizens of this country stood behind our soldiers and the War on Terror. This is a prime example of what is going on in the liberal teaching in our higher education facilities. It is also screaming off the pages of our liberal leaning press. Mr. Watada is exactly the result of what we allow to go on in this country when we cater to this kind of civil disobedience and military treason.

I thought that John Kerry was just some kind of dolt that was probably born with his foot in his mouth. We hear that he is still just this over-aged hippy throwing combat medals over the fence of the White House, but this is not so. I hope the American people see through this for what it is and that is a tactical decision to undermine the very institution that is put in place to guard the life and liberty of this country. Our Military. I hope he is locked up and the key thrown away, however at the rate things are going he will be running for public office with a book in the works. If anyone believes that something like just pops into existence, then you are wrong. It is a conspiracy to undermine everything America believes in. No matter what anyone says, our political system has gotten completely out of hand, thanks to those that piously proclaim patriotism. It is nothing that can be very surprising to those of us who can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Nikita Khrushchev said that communism would bury America without firing a shot. Fidel Castro, Hugo Chaves, Saddam Hussein are some of the prime leaders of this vast conspiracy. Of course, I get to see Sean Penn outside of the building where Mr. Wataba is being called before a court of inquiry. Hello again to this jerk. I would hope that this does nothing for his career but put it back in the toilet where it belongs.

Did you get a look yesterday at Ryan O’Neal? This Hollywood star of Love Story from years ago has turned into another Marlon Brandon. He is grossly fat and has in the past knocked out the two front teeth of his son on which he pulled a gun on yesterday. This has become a way of life for Hollywood Has-Beens. I am glad that Farrah Faucet has been found cancer free. I also think see is a jerk in that she did this infamous painting with her nude body on a wall of glass. Gag. What is the matter with them or with us for that matter? We let them become newsworthy while they are young and glamorous—only to be an embarrassment for us that we ever helped make them achieve financial success!

Talk has been bandied about in favor of the death penalty for some child abusers. I am for it. If that darling little girl who was buried alive ever receives justice then that monster responsible needs to be put out of our world so that he can never lay a hand on another Jessica. Too often these monsters are being let loose only to commit these vile, evil acts again.

And…. I see where the big money is coming out of Hollywood for the Democratic Candidates. Streisand and Liz Taylor have out the big check books. I wish Barbra would go back to taking care of the husband she bought and Liz would take up her crusade for all things Michael Jackson.

And wow! It looks like Fatal Attraction is coming right out of The Right Stuff. It is a crying shame too. On this cheerless note ... I SUPPORT THE TROOPS!

Steve is also a Musician ... a very talented one, at that!



I don't know if any of you are aware of what a talented man Steve is. He's just one of those that likes to learn so many things and seems to have a drive toward perfection.

He shared the music below with me a while back, and I wanted to share it with you. He said it's okay.

Although Steve graduated from that famous Texas Longhorns University, he first accepted a music scholarship at UCLA, and in order to accept this, he had to turn down another scholarship for roping. What a guy!

Below is one of the pieces he played with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. It's the Overture from the Marriage of Figaro. It was the first of four pieces they played that night. In this, as well as the one below it, Steve has an oboe solo.


Below is a piece from a Fall concert at UCLA that Steve has a solo in. Although Steve can play most any instrument, here he is playing the oboe. They were performing Tchaikovsky's work, and this is part of Swan Lake, the finale from Act I. It begins with his oboe solo.


You may have to install musicmatch to hear this, but that just takes a few minutes and is well worth it.


Good morning!

copyright (C) 2000 by The New Yorker

Literary Cartoons

"What the hell ever happened to the old-fashioned love story?"
Copyright (C) 2000 The New Yorker

Literary Cartoons cont'd.

"Write about dogs!"
Copyright (C) 2000 by The New Yorker


Copyright (C) 2000 by The New Yorker

Literary Cartoons-cont'd.

"If you were to boil your book down to a few words, what would be its message?"

Back Cover

To Do

  1. Call Bank
  2. Dry Cleaner
  3. Forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race
  4. Call Mom

Copyright (C) 2000 by The New Yorker

O Lord,
do not let William
grow up too quickly
may he make no Decisions
without consulting me first.
may he still find his greatest Pleasure
in my company.
I know he is
developing new interests,
and making new friends,
but I do want to share in
every part of his Life.
remind him constantly of
all that he Owes to his parents.
Prevent him from
growing too independent.
and if he must have a Girl,
let it be that
sweet little Cynthia Black.
prayer from a natural parent David Head
Redding, David, ed., Prayers I Love. Strawberry Hill Press, 1978.

"I Have to Know"

Thomas Hauker

"Thomas," his friend lowered his voice so as not to be heard by the guard. "I have to ask you this favor. I need to know if what the others say about the grace of God is true. Tomorrow, when they burn you at the stake, if the pain is tolerable and your mind is still at peace, lift your hands above your head. Do it right before you die. Thomas, I have to know."

Thomas Hauker whispered to his friend, "I will."

The next morning, Hauker was bound to the stake and the fire was lit. The fire burned a long time, but Hauker remained motionless. His skin was burnt to a crisp and his fingers were gone. Everyone watching supposed he was dead. Suddenly, miraculously, Hauker lifted his hands, still on fire, over his head. He reached them up to the living God and then, with great rejoicing, clapped them together three times.

The people there broke into shouts of praise and applause. Hauker's friend had his answer.

dc Talk and The Voice of the Martyrs. Jesus Freaks. 1999.

My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.... It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now.... I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

Paul the Apostle
Martyred in Rome, 65 AD
(2 Corinthians 12: 9, 10 THE MESSAGE)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.
C. S. Lewis

Marine Moms Online: Their Voices Continue

Why Does My Son Want to be A Marine?

The reasons why some young Americans have chosen to become
United States Marines
As told by their mothers, fathers, wives, and other loved ones


Can anyone tell me why my son wants to be a Marine? I know about Honor, Courage, and Commitment. I know what the Recruiter promised. My son had other options, but said that first, He Must Become A Marine. He didn't share a lot about the whys, just that he had to do it, and is now in his 2nd week of boot camp. I would love to know why some kids chose to serve, and others wouldn't do it if their life depended on it. Can anyone share why they feel their son/daughter chose to become a United States Marine? Is it a "calling?” When does the pride overshadow the fears I have?


Why do our kids choose this kind of life? Look around you at everything you have and stuff others take for granted. Your son only wants to make sure you have everything, freedoms, the right to choose and to be safe. My son, when asked why he is a Marine, his answer is "Why Not!" When told "Thank you for what you are doing," he answers, "My Pleasure."

…My husband has been a Marine for almost a year now. I still don't understand completely why it was that he HAD to become a Marine but I can tell you, you will be so proud of your son. I was against him joining the Marines when he did it and even through boot camp I hated it. But in his letters to him I didn't let him know that and I didn't question his decision to join. They don't need discouraging letters while they are in boot camp. But the proudest day of my life was when I went to Parris Island for his graduation. He looked so handsome in his uniform and I could clearly see the changes that the Marines had made in him. Good changes. It takes a little getting use to but I adjusted. Just hang in there. They get great training. Even now he is still training for what to do in case he gets deployed. That makes me feel better. Thank the Lord he hasn't been deployed yet. But I just wanted to tell you that for me, going to his graduation changed my WHOLE view on him being a Marine. Since that day, I've been glad that he choose the Marines and choose to serve our country.

…You may well have asked the hardest question in the world to answer. When I asked my son why he joined the Marines, and why he picked infantry, he said he wanted to serve with the best of the best (The Marines) and he wanted to serve our country at the very front. I'm not sure they can put into words why they finally make the decision.

…That's a very interesting question. I'd love to hear some of the answers you get from folks on this board who have been in the Marine Corps Family for a while. With my son, it appears as though he was "called." He has planned on becoming a Marine for years. He has never wavered, and is now in his first days at Parris Island. He's a very patriotic young person. Some aren't. He is. All I know is this is something he has to do.

…I truly understand how you feel, as I had the same question. Our Marine was absolutely the last person his father and I would have thought would have entered the military, especially the Marine Corps. Our son was 20 and away at college when he (unknown to us) became interested in the Marine Corps. He told us of his interest while we were driving him home after his second year at college. I think his father almost drove off the road when our heads snapped around to look at him sitting in the back seat. All he ever said is that he wanted a challenge. I do not think he has an overwhelming sense of patriotism, but maybe he feels uncomfortable expressing that. From everything I can understand from our chats (he is not the most open of our children), he wanted a challenge and to prove something to himself and chose the Marine Corps because it is the hardest and the best. I am proud of him and of his decision to become a Marine. The Marine Corps has given him so much... and I do not discount the tour in Iraq. Yes, it was very, very difficult (and that word really does not do the experience justice). He is a different person now, but I think a better person. One that he tries to hide but it is there and not always hidden. I will leave you with the comment he made as we were driving away from Parris Island after Boot. He was leaning over the seat talking to us and at one point said, "After boot, I now know that there will never be anything in my life that I cannot accomplish." I thought Wow, if only I had had that sense of self confidence when I was 21. That is what the Marine Corps gave our son, and I wish all 21 year olds could have that same feeling. Our world would be a different place.

…When I learned my son wanted to join the Marines, I said to him, "Do you know what is going on in the world right now?" He said, “Yes, and I am choosing to be a part of it.” Some are part of the problem, some chose to be part of the solution.

…My son and his friend always wanted to be in the service. His comment was that the uniform really looked the best - he really loves the formal part of it. And he liked that they were the ones who watched over the President of the United States. He has learned so much in the Marines and, yes, all have been trying times. He's been overseas three times and will be in the Marines for 6 years in January. There was one movie that he and I went to after he came back from boot camp. It was Jurassic Park, the third one -- the one where the Marines come and pick up the cast in the end. He stood up and yelled ("Yea") because the Marines came in to save them. His comment after was that in other branches -- the army, is listed as soldiers -- the navy, as Seabees, but the Marines have no distinction - they are all Marines no matter what their rank is - that was really important to him.

…My son said he was felt he was called to be a Marine.

…My son joined because of 9/11. He wanted to protect his country. My son turned down 3 scholarships to college to join the Marines. I think it is a calling to serve.

…My son and I had this conversation well into his 4 year commitment. He was a national merit scholar finalist in high school, a GATE student (gifted and talented), and received a scholarship for college in his senior year. He scored 2 points shy of a perfect score on his ASVAB test. He could have chosen anything. He chose infantry. I was a wreck. He chose the Marines because of the camaraderie of it. He chose the Marines because it is one of the many things he wants to have accomplished during his life. He chose the Marines before 9/11. He chose the Marines because he wanted to shoot guns, roll in the dirt and mud with the guys, and blow things up. He loves his Marine brothers. They are the brothers he never had. (He has one sister.) He is now on the recall list and could go back to Iraq, but would rather not. However, if called, he will go...because he signed the contract. It's about brotherhood. It's about the brotherhood he never got growing up or from friends at school. I get it now. And you will too.

…Our son wanted to be a Marine for such a long time. We just could not accept that fact, until I asked him and he told me he felt "called" to serve. I know that might sound strange, but after visiting with many Marine moms, they say the same thing. Oh there are some that join for other reasons, but you would be amazed at the number of young men who had plans to do something else, but first "HAVE" to do this. It even makes me prouder that he is also sacrificing his own goals and dreams to follow this calling.

…My son told me that he had to because he thought that it would help him become a more responsible man. Getting through boot camp was an enormous accomplishment for him. And I do have to say he is more responsible in many, many ways. The most important reason for my son though was that God put it on his heart to do.

…My son's decision to join the Marines was two fold. He didn't want to go to college because he hated high school and it was really difficult to get him through. He indicated to us (mom and dad) that he couldn't cut it in high school so why should he have us shell out thousands of dollars for him to go to college and bomb out. Secondly, he said he needed the discipline that the Marine Corps would give him. I cannot find fault in his decision because he is doing what he thinks is best for him. I'm so proud of him and his ability to make such a decision. I'm also sad. This is our "baby." Someone counseled me by saying that all the decisions and choices that we made to raise our son was for this very point in time: for him to stand up and be an adult and make the decisions that will allow for his own success. We may not like it, but this is how we raised him.

Photo of the Day: Josh and Who?

Sgt. Rett,

Is this the friend of Josh's that you talk to? If not, do you know him?

Semper Fi,

Hey, Doc Duty

Flag Gazer shares some great news about Rambo and his interpreter. Go check it out, or maybe you know about it already. I know that you think a great deal of this man.

Afghanistan has a lot going for it with great and honorable men like Rambo on their side and those of our military like you and your group over there training the Afghanistan National Army Medics.

Thanks Flag Gazer for sharing this good news!

And everybody check out what a young girl from Orange, CA has done and continues to do for our troops. Go Shauna!

God's Longing

February 6

TO the listening ear I speak, to the waiting heart I come. Sometimes, I may not speak. I may ask you merely to wait in My Presence, to know that I am with you.

Think of the multitudes, who thronged Me, when I was on earth, all eager for something. Eager to be healed, or taught, or fed.

Think as I supplied their many wants, and granted their manifold requests, what it meant to Me, to find amid the crowd, some one or two, who followed Me just to be near Me, just to dwell in My Presence. How some longing of the Eternal Heart was satisfied thereby.

Comfort Me, awhile, by letting Me know that you would seek Me just to dwell in My Presence, to be near Me, not even for teaching, not for material gain, not even for a message--but for Me. The longing of the human heart to be loved for itself is a something caught from the Great Divine Heart.

I bless you. Bow your heads.

Russell, A. J., ed., God Calling, Barnes & Noble, 2002.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Photo of the Day: Gunner's Smoke Break

Goodnight, kids.

Torpedo Squadron 8: Contact with the Enemy Part Four

** Part four of eight parts.


On the evening of June 3, as the carrier snaked its way through a starry Pacific night, the pilots of Torpedo 8 filed into the ready room. Several days out from their base, they had every reason to feel that on this trip they were at last going to see the action the Skipper had trained them for. That morning, patrol planes had sighted a strong Japanese force approaching Midway in five columns, and during the day Army Flying Fortresses from Midway had attacked it, setting two ships afire.

In the ready room the Skipper handed his boys a mimeographed plan of attack and to it he appended his own final message. It ran as follows:

“Just a word to let you know that I feel we are all ready. We have had a very short time to train and we have worked under the most severe difficulties. But we have truly done the best humanly possible. I actually believe that under these conditions we are the best in the world. My greatest hope is that we encounter a favorable tactical situation, but if we don’t, and the worst comes to the worst, I want each of us to do his utmost to destroy our enemies. If there is only one plane left to make a final run-in, I want that man to go in and get a hit. May God be with us all. Good luck, happy landings, and give ‘em hell.”

The boys felt proud of the confidence the Skipper expressed in them. They, too, felt they were ready, and they were determined that, whatever the action, there would be more than one plane left to make the final run-in for a hit. But the message did not create any undue tension. When they were “secured,” they returned to their normal off-hours pursuits. Abbie took $45 from Jimmy Owens, White Moore and Squire Evans in a poker game. Big Jack Gray, the Columbia, Mo. Boy, went back to his quarters and mixed some Wagner with a little Glenn Miller on his electric phonograph, while Creamer, in the bunk above him, put the finishing touches on a koa-wood fruit bowl he was carving. Moose Moore read himself to sleep with a hell-for-leather, shoot-‘em-up novel of the Western plains. “Rusty” Kenyon fiddled with the cartridge cases he had started to fashion into a set of dresser lamps for his wife. Only Tex Gay had to show some concern for what the next dawn might bring. As navigation officer, he had to busy himself with getting some maps lithographed for his fellow pilots.

At 3:30 the next morning, June 4, the pilots of Torpedo 8 again gathered in the ready room, there to sit through a critical dawn. As they entered the low-ceilinged, white-walled steel room, their practiced eyes turned first toward the illuminated 3 ft.-by-3 ft. above the teletype machine. Projected from the machine below was the last message that had been received: four PBY patrol planes had made a moonlight torpedo attack on a Japanese occupation force near Midway at 1 a.m. As they settled in their comfortable leather chairs they hauled out their flight charts and copied off the data that had been chalked in the neat columns on the blackboard up front: wind, course, speed, visibility, dew point, nearest land, etc. But the teletype remained silent, and soon most of them had pushed the arm button on their chairs so that they could spend the remainder of their watch in their usual semireclining position. Whatever tension there was relaxed with them.

Life August 31, 1942

continued in post below.

Torpedo Squadron 8: The Skipper

The Skipper, Lieut. Commander John Charles Waldron, stands below one of his planes on the carrier. He wears pistol and hunting knife against possible landings in the jungle.
Life August 31, 1942

Torpedo Squadron 8: Contact with the Enemy Part Five

Part five of eight parts.

After daybreak, when it was announced that the ship was secure and they were dismissed by the Skipper, Abbie, as usual, moaned, “I’m hungry,” and they went to the ward room for breakfast, where Rusty Kenyon ordered his usual plate of beans, for which he got his usual ribbing from the rest of the boys. By 8, the sun was up in a brilliant sky and most of them were back in their quarters. Scarcely had they got themselves settled for their after-breakfast rest, when the loudspeaker barked for their attention: “All pilots report to ready room.” When they got to the ready room they found a new message on the teletype screen: “Midway was attacked this morning by Japanese aircraft and bombers.” There was a scraping of wood on wood as each man jerked open the drawer built into the bottom of his chair, and a flurry of commotion as they hauled out helmets, goggles, gloves, and the pistols and hunting knives which the Skipper had made “must” equipment for them against a forced jungle landing. Then they began to copy off the latest flight data from the blackboard.

Presently the teletype began tapping again. The pencils stopped. And all eyes turned up to the screen to read the message, letter by letter, as it was projected: “E-N-E-M-Y N-A-V-A-L U-N-I-T-S S-I-G-H-T-E-D W-I-T-H-I-N S-T-R-I-K-I-N-G D-I S-T-A-N-C-E. E-X-P-E-C-T-E-D S-T-R-I-K-I-N-G T-I-M-E 0900.” Then, after a pause of almost breathless silence: “L-O-O-K-S L-I-K-E T-H-I-S I-S I-T.”

Pencils began to scratch again as the pilots put every last bit of information onto their flight charts. Ellie Ellison leaned over toward Tex Gay with a broad grin. “Good luck,” he whispered, as he extended his hand across the aisle to meet Gay’s. “Pilots many your planes,” ordered the loudspeaker. As the boys rose in silence, the Skipper addressed them: “I think they’ll change their course. If you check your navigation, don’t think I’m getting lost, just follow me. I’ll take you to ‘em.” As they hurried from the room and climbed up the ladder to the flight deck, not another word was spoken.

Their silence was the grim silence of a football team that has been given the next play by the quarterback and is moving up from the huddle to the line of scrimmage. Before stepping onto the ladder, Tex Gay sidestepped to the sick bay nearby and picked up a tourniquet, which he stuffed into his pocket. When they got on deck, their planes were already there in neat rows. The mechanics were busy and the whine of the inertia starters drowned out the clatter of their trotting feet on the deck. Tucked neatly under the belly of each Douglas Devastator was a white-nosed torpedo—a pickle, as the boys preferred to call them. When they saw the pickles, the boys forgot about the Japs for a split second, for never before had they wheeled their Devastators off the deck with a live pickle in tow. Thus, as they hit the seats of their planes, they were giving more thought to the load they were carrying than to the enemy they were going to carry it to. When the bull horn blared, “Twelve-minute delay in take-off,” Whitey Moore climbed out on the folded wing of his plane and called to Gay who was in front of him and due to be the first of the group to take off: “Tex, if you’ll test the wind, I’ll test the weight.” At 9:12, a stand-by order was shouted and if anything else was said it was lost in the roar of the spinning motors. One after the other the signalman waved off the scouts, the fighters and the dive bombers. Finally, Torpedo 8 was waved up and Tex Gay took his plane off with no difficulty.

Life August 31, 1942

FEMALE ON THE FLOOR: Sometimes A Thousand Pictures are Worth a Word

Good bye, WRAIR
From our big Lovington paper.
Getting my ARCOM at a Mexican Restaurant in MD. Some of that good WRAIR culture I would miss.

I stapled up these thousands of pictures of family on my wall. Yes, I had to unstaple them when I left. But I had good training, remember? 1989

Another view of my bedroom. Isn't Aaron cute in the pictures?
Silver Spring, MD 1989