A day to remember our friend

We got the news this day, seven years ago. Kfir down at NAS Fallon. We all had our fears of what happened. It couldn’t be….. But sadly when the details came out it was. Somehow, I knew when the news initially said the jet was down. I don’t know why but I did.

Lex was gone. An amazing level of hurt came over me. It’s still here as I write this. When I went to work, I did the most thorough of pre-flights on my jet that I had ever done. It was almost like he was watching me. It was that pilot to crew chief link that we had. That was how our relationship was. I was glad to have had it that way.

The following of Lex has led me to a group of friends that I treasure with all my heart.

Sorry, it’s getting hard to see the keyboard and screen……….

ORPO sends……………..

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Thanksgiving Greetings

The Old Retired Petty Officer sends greetings and best wishes to all this Thanksgiving. I hope all of you have a splendid day, truly.

Missus ORPO and I are at home with the usual although it will be delayed until tomorrow due to the effects of my flu shot that I received on Monday and the crappy work hours that I currently endure.

To all the First Responders, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coasties out there doing what they do away from home this day, we appreciate all that you do. Some of us have been there and done that.

I had my first Thanksgiving away from home at RTC San Diego. I had two aboard the Good Ship Independence while deployed to the Med and Nor Lant. Then there was the one on Ranger and one on Kitty Hawk.

Even in my ballast train days, I had Thanksgiving with the Eldest Son(SFC) at the Repple Depple at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

So please, enjoy the company that you have this day with family and close friends. I will crack open a Stone Go To IPA later and raise a toast to all.

ORPO sends.

Time Flies……….It’s been three years since that awesome day……Already?

This day three years ago, I was privileged to spend a great day onboard The Good Ship USS Ronald Reagan CVN 76 with my dear friends, Chris Goodrich, aka the OldAFSarge and The WSO, Erika Cho.

I thought for the sake of waxing poetic that I would post a few pictures of that most awesome of days.

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Sandy Eggo Sunrise

5

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NAS North Island Flight Line
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Fort Rosecrans…………resting place of our friend, Captain Carroll Lefon……
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Point Loma. This is a familiar sight to yours truly as I saw it many times when aboard Ranger and Kitty Hawk.
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Kestrel’s Four Ship Diamond
hand-maintaining
Maintainers “flying with their hands!”
Old AF Sarge
Chris as the Squadron Duty Officer!
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OldAFSarge, The WSO and yours truly. 
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HSC-4 and The Colors
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Chris, Erika, Bubbles and Mrs. Bubbles.
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HSC-4 CAG Ship
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Selfie Time!
Launch Bar Parallel
I managed to get the launch bare almost parallel with the deck. It was simply luck!

I still think about that day…..I suppose I always will as it was that return to what I spent so many years doing.

To smell the salt air, catapult steam and jet exhaust…………………

Attack Squadron One Two Two Reunion 2015

A gathering at the Fleet Reserve Branch 261, 788 E. D Street, Lemoore, CA and The Naval Air Station Lemoore CA………..

Lemoore was home to Missus ORPO and I from June of 1985 to March of 1989. We still treasire that time in our lives.

It was good to meet a few old shipmates……………..Errecart, Taylor and Edgren…………………………..

Errecart and Taylor and I did the World Cruise together on The Good Ship Kitty Hawk………………………..in 1987. Edgrenn was my Indoc PO and Ejection Seat/Cockpit Safety Instructor at VA-122 FRAMP.

Damn………..I ain’t a kid anymore…………………..

The first picture below………………..yes.

Lex
I finally made it……………….yes, tears were shed.

122 Group and Jet 4 122 Reunion Flying Eagles Lin 122 Reunion Group 1 Argonauts CVW 2 Flying Eagles

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Late Addition.

The Picture of Me with John Edgren, Richard Taylor and Mark Errecart……………………………………..

4 musketeers
Shipmates

Back on The Verandah…………………………….For Buck

It has been too long since I did a Beer Blogging Post from The Verandah at Casa de Glenn y Sharon………………..

Too Long

It wasn’t the same without The Exile In Portales…………………………………………….

Yes, the eyes are a bit misty now……………………..as I think of my dear friend who is no longer with us……………..and I do think of him regularly

The first Verandah Post this year is for the memory of our friend and one of my blogging mentors……………………..Master Sergeant Buck Pennington……………………………May His Memory Be A Blessing

Red Hook ESB and a Cuesta Rey Captiva
Red Hook ESB and a Cuesta Rey Captiva
SeeGar 2
Back on The Verandah at Casa de Sharon y Glenn

Flygirlpainter does her thing on a brand new 60 Romeo for HSM-49, The Scorpions

Shayne Meder

Master Sergeant

United States Air Force

Retired

Damn this gal does some seriously awesome work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She is doing the HSM-49 MH-60R CAG Bird as she has done all of the Helo Squadron CAG Birds based at NAS North Island.

I asked her if I could blog the progress of this project and she said to take them from Flygirlpainter at Facebook and to go for it. I have done two at http://oldretiredpettyofficer.blogspot.com/ already. Then I realized that not everyone reads that blog, so I am saturation bombing on a less regular cycle here at ATJT………………….

Please enjoy, my friends!

another clue
Masking Off for all those colors
bad assery in progress
Lay out work
hammer time
Detail Stuff
here's looking at you
Business End
hsm 49 patch
Official Squadron Patch
masked all day
Masking the Pylon
peeps
She brought the Peeps!
scorpion red
Scorpion Red!
Stinger 100
Stinger 100, Factory Fresh!
teaser
The Tease
the nose
The Nose
the red is on 4 April 2015
The Red Is On

 

Restless………………..

One of my favourite Gordon Lightfoot songs…………………….

There’s a kind of a restless feeling
And it pulls me from within
It sets my senses reeling
And my wheels begin to spin

In the quietude of winter
You can hear the wild geese cry
And I will always love that sound
Until the day I die

There’s a plain and a simple answer
To each and every quest
From every quiet dancer
Who might be a special guest

In a movie made for TV
Or a late night interview
You might even find them
On the ‘Young and the Restless’ too

Do you get that restless feeling
When you hear a whistle blast ?
Like an echo from the past
Of an old engine flying down
A road that’s iron cast

The lake is blue, the sky is gray
The leaves have turned to gold
The wild goose will be on her way
The weather’s much too cold

When the muskie and the old trout too
Have all gone down to rest?
We will be returning to the
Things that we love best?

Do you get that restless yearning
When you think about your dad?
And the scrimshaw that he had
Of an old schooner roving
‘Neath a sky that’s ironclad

There’s a kind of a restless feeling
And it catches you, off guard
As we gaze off in the distance
Through the trees in my back yard

I can feel the restless yearning
Of those geese as off they roam
Then trade that for a warm bed
And a place I can call home

Will you get that restless yearning
When you hear the wicked blast?
Of a sceptre from the past
Of a cold diesel, rolling down a road that’s built to last

Still, I get that restless feeling
When I hear a whistle blast
See an image from the past
Of an old schooner flying down a sky that’s overcast

This song hits home………………………

Friends that are gone now……………

Lex, Buck, Lionel…………………..

Happy New Year!

It was a pretty good year……………….

The day at sea on USS Ronald Reagan CVN-76 with OldAFSarge and The WSO was a major hi lite! I managed to complete another revolution of the Sun……………………..

I watched my niece get married to a really good man………………………………………..

The disruptions……………………………………….

My friends………………………………..I miss them

Lionel Gendron

Buck Pennington

Here’s to a splendid New Year and a Toast to those no longer with Us.

Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout

 

 

Christmas Weekend on California’s Central Coast

The VQ at Vandenberg was our headquarters.

The Monarch Butterfly Grove is an obligatory stop during the time the Butterflies are here.

The Ocean was making just enough noise as well…………………………………….I think of my departed friends, Lex, Buck and Lionel when I see the sunset from Oceano Beach south of Pismo.

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Lex, Buck and Lionel……………………..Yeah……………..that’s them………………..Dusty in here
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Butterflies………………………Lots of Butterflies
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We love Pismo Beach!

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The next four are some Oceano Beach Rule Five……………

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One of us is gone

It is sad that one of our number has left this life.

Buck Pennington, aka MSGT Buck passed away this past week. The news was posted on his blog, Exile In Portales by his sons, Commander Pennington and Major Pennington.

http://exileinportales.blogspot.com/2014/12/last-callyou-dont-have-to-go-home-but.html

Damn. I am gonna miss him terribly.

Christopher Goodrich has a most eloquent post at his place………………………………………

http://oldafsarge.blogspot.com/2014/12/a-candle.html

Buck

So Long My Friend

Someday, we will meet again

At Fiddler’s Green