Memories of a Time When I was a young man.

This past Saturday, the ship that was my first duty station began it’s final journey. The Good Ship Independence was towed from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard enroute to the breaker’s yard in Brownsville, Texas.

I reported aboard her in January of 1974 as a fresh faced 19 year old kid from the Montana Prairies. So began my adventure in the United States Navy.

I participated in the ammunition offload along with several other guys that I went through boot camp with. Then I was assigned to V-1 Division in the Air Department.

After a short period in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, we began working up for the upcoming deployment to the Mediterranean Sea.

I freely admit that I was absolutely terrified the first time I was on the flight deck for operations.

In the latter part of July 1974 we embarked the Air Wing and departed.

We covered the evacuation of US diplomatic personnel and their families from Nicosia, Cyprus. All available aircraft were armed. We then coordinated the Search and Recovery of TWA flight 847 which had crashed near the Greek coast. It was an eye opening experience to say the least and certain images remain in my mind to this day.

Finally, we were able to get some Liberty in Naples, Italy. Cold beer and playing tourist. Other ports of call included Cannes, Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona and a few more visits to Naples.

In early January we were relieved by USS America and headed for home. The North Atlantic in January is a rough place, I should add.

20 January saw us go pier side at Naval Station Norfolk. It was a bitter cold day and along with families, friends and a band was a troop of baton twirlers who in those costumes must have been freezing.

It has been a bit over 40 years since I departed The Good Ship Independence as a Petty Officer Second Class now. I know that things change over time and a lot of places that I was stationed have gone into the “dustbin” of history.

The media outlets in the Pacific Northwest gave coverage of Indy’s departure from Bremerton this past weekend.

The following photo is from a Facebook group I belong to………

To those who have been there, you understand.

 

Eyes of a Stranger

Queensryche………………………

Eyes of a Stranger………………sometimes when I look in the mirror, I don’t know the man looking back at me……………………

All alone now
Except for the memories
Of what we had and what we knew
Every time I try to leave it behind me
I see something that reminds me of you
Every night the dreams return to haunt me
Your rosary wrapped around your throat
I lie awake and sweat, afraid to fall asleep
I see your face looking back at me, looking back at me
And I raise my head and stare
Into the eyes of a stranger
I’ve always known that the mirror never lies
People always turn away
From the eyes of a stranger
Afraid to know what
Lies behind the stare
Is this all that’s left
Of my life before me
Straight jacket memories, sedative highs
No happy ending like they’ve always promised
There’s got to be something left for me
And I raise my head and stare
Into the eyes of a stranger
I’ve always known that the mirror never lies
People always turn away
From the eyes of a stranger
Afraid to know what
Lies behind the stare (Lies behind my stare)
How many times must I live this tragedy
How many more lies will they tell me
All I want is the same as everyone
Why am I here, and for how long
And I raise my head and stare
Into the eyes of a stranger
I’ve always known that the mirror never lies
People always turn away
From the eyes of a stranger
Afraid to know what
Lies behind the stare

62 years on the third rock from the sun

After Thursday night/Friday morning it was time for some reflection.

I had potassium level issues, shall we say?

The VA called and left me a message about my potassium being critical at 2.7 and said to hit the ER. The minimum is 3.6 to be safe as being low affects the heart. So it was an all nighter in the ER in Palmdale………………………

They said I was fine at 3.7 but gave me two doses of the liquid in OJ…………ugh.

This is a situation that gets your attention.

62 years. Wow. I remember when thinking that I would be this age was so distant and now it’s here.

Gettin’ old ain’t for sissies………….Buck Pennington aka Exile in Portales.

Silent Lucidity

I like Queensryche……………………

Hush now don’t cry
Wipe away the teardrop from your eye
You’re lying safe in bed
It was all a bad dream
Spinning in your head
Your mind tricked you to feel the pain
Of someone close to you leaving the game of life
So here it is, another chance
Wide awake you face the day
Your dream is over
Or has it just begun?

Commander Cody, Canned Heat, Marshall Tucker Band

We caught a good one this past weekend at The Historic Pozo Saloon, up in the hills above Santa Margarita.

Commander Cody and The New Planet Airmen, Canned Heat and The Marshall Tucker Band……………………What a Splendid Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hippies, Bikers, Cowboys, Old Warhorses, etc…………………..even them Cowgirls in Daisy Dukes and Cowboy Boots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Commander Cody and The New Planet Airmen
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Canned Heat
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The Lady is Pat, age 70 and a Cancer Survivor
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Yeah, it was like that…………………..
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A Most Delicious Brew!
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Caught in the act!!!!!!!!!!!
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The Marshall Tucker Band!
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Speaks for itself!
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Caught in the act, part deux
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These two were having a really good time!
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This gentleman simply said to take his picture!

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Al Pacino Quits Theatre Production After Learning of Author’s Nazi Past – Breitbart

I am impressed. Normally the actions and expressions of actors and entertainers would not mean anything to me. This however is different.  I had family members lost in the period from 1933 to 1945. It’s a sort of a big deal. I ama Jew, perhaps not a very observant and devout one but a Jew, none the less.

I tip my hat and kippa to Mr. Pacino.

Al Pacino Quits Theatre Production After Learning of Author’s Nazi Past – Breitbart.

Why a British warship will host US F-35s – Business Insider

“The “special relationship” with America is central to Britain’s national security and America also counts heavily on British diplomatic and military support. In an era of budget “austerity” in Britain and sequestration in America, there is great benefit for both countries when it comes to joint military operations and platforms procurement.

The combination of budgetary factors, procurement costs and issues, and the continuing need for air and sea power is why the relationship between the US and UK is so “special” that Britain’s next aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, will likely be home to US Marine Corps F-35Bs — American fighters flying from a British warship.”


F-35 In Flight

Read more: http://ciceromagazine.com/features/special-relationship-u-s-marine-fighters-flying-from-a-uk-warship/#ixzz3Yl0ET8HBhy a British warship will host US F-35s – Business Insider.