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Soap Soccer

December 3, 2018


Madera AFS

My first assignment in the Air Force was at a gap-filler site in Central California called Madera AFS.  It was part of Air Defense Command which was a network of radio and radar sites that completely covered the borders of our countries Early Warning System.   Seems quaint now but it was the best we could do in the 50’s and early 60’s.   I worked part-time at a Shell station in Madera and Patty got on with Sears in Fresno.  It was where she met Emmy and we’ve had a lifelong friendship with Emmy and Fred Adair and their son Billy.

I was fresh out of Ground Radio School in Biloxi and didn’t have my security clearance yet so I was assigned to the First Sergeant to do whatever he wanted.  I caught on pretty quick that they weren’t in any great hurry to get my clearance and I was kept busy building a three-hole pitch and putt golf course and planting thee hundred pithy orange trees that we got from a local grower who wanted to get rid of them.  One morning I was on KP duty and was the first one in to the mess (which is what we called the kitchen-go figure).  I went around turning on lights and as I was doing that all hell broke loose.  Sirens were going off and I was going around turning off lights trying to make it stop.  It finally dawned on me that I hadn’t caused the commotion and I ran out into the company street and saw that everyone was heading for the building that was serving as the bomb shelter.  I ran to the building and they wouldn’t let me in because I didn’t have my security clearance.  I had to stand out in the street waiting for eminent death because I didn’t have my clearance.   Luckily, it was just a drill.

Shortly after that I got my clearance and went to work fixing radios. This was the most boring job in the world.  We had a crew of about a dozen people including a Tech Sergeant who ran the place and a Staff Sergeant who acted as his henchman.  There was one guy, I think his name was Gluckman, who was an E3 like I was, but was the only one who got to actually fix radios.  All the rest of us spent all our time doing Preventive Maintenance routines on the radio equipment.   So, I was really happy to be selected to attend training by a Collins Radio Tech Rep by the name of Jack Sayers in Fallon, Nevada.   The training I think was on the KWT-6 (kick while tuning six times) Single Sideband Radio.  I was to run into Jack Sayers again in Panama and Bolivia while working on the Blue Baron Transportable Communications Van.  Anyway, it was an opportunity that I welcomed to get out of the GATR (ground-air-transmit-receive) site for eight weeks.  Fallon, Nevada was a remote site a couple hours east of Reno and the site of Fallon NAS, the Navy’s Top Gun training facility and also Fallon AFS a gap filler site and part of the Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) network.

I arranged to travel with two others who were attending the same training, one of whom had a 1963 Pontiac station wagon that he was suffering buyer’s remorse over and was eager to open up on the desert highways of Nevada to see if he could wreck it.  I didn’t realize that at the time, of course.   I needed Patty to drive me to Madera from Fresno to catch my ride so she would have to miss work for a day.  When she asked her supervisor for the time off she was refused as they were short-handed at the time.  I think Patty intended to take time off anyway but the night before I was due to leave Patty and I had an epic bathtub soap soccer duel and, as I went to stomp the soap in what was to be an amazing end-around goal against an indomitable defense, my feet went out from under me and I came down on my elbows.   There was blood everywhere and I was unable to use my arms for several days what with the bandages and slings I was forced to wear.  So, Patty paraded me in front of her boss to justify taking the time off to facilitate my travel arrangements.

Jack Sayers asked for me to be reassigned to Ajo AFS in Arizona but the Tsgt that was my boss decided that I somehow contrived to go over his head and resisted the reassignment.  I didn’t particularly want to go to Ajo anyway so I extended to take an overseas assignment to Panama,  anything to get away from Madera AFS.



Family History in Newspaper Clippings

March 8, 2018

Family History in Newspaper Clippings 

Patty has found 17 clippings about my family’s 1932 trip from Philadelphia to Springfield, Oregon in 1932, and they’re from Chicago, Miami, Salt lake City, Tampa, Akron, Lansing and several cities in Oregon.  Must have been a slow news-week.  It was picked up by the Associated Press and hit a nerve.   Most of them referred to a rusty old flivver with two flat tires that ended up in the lawn of the Democratic candidate for governor of Ohio’s front lawn.   That’s what I don’t understand, why was this sedan considered “antiquated” when it was, at most, 20 years old?  Also, they never mentioned the itinerant that Dad had picked up to do the driving.   I remember Millie and Edie saying that Mom had demanded that Dad kick him out of the car when they were crossing the Rockies.  To my knowledge, Dad didn’t drive and Mom didn’t either until I was in High School (about 1957). 

Anyway, I thought it was interesting that it was so newsworthy and so far, she has found only one follow-up article and that was from the Albany Democrat-Herald on the 22 of April 1932.  Apparently, they were in front of John Cotner’s home at 6 AM when they arose and Dad asked to buy two dozen eggs and then asked Mrs. Cotner to cook them for him.  He then went to a nearby store and bought some bread and they ate their breakfast in the car.  They then proceeded to Springfield where Uncle Sam had promised them a place to live if they could get there.  This article is titled “Hard Journey Nearly Ended” and cited some of the hardships narrated through press dispatches that the family endured and had become prominent in the national press.   

Family History from Eugene Register-Guard posts v3

February 24, 2018


1-23-49 Bruce Marriage 21-23-49 Bruce Ware Marriage 11-23-49 Bruce Ware marriage 35-4-61 Uncle Johnny obit   Patty’s favorite uncle

7-6-39 Gordon & Marian wedding  Cousin Gordon & Marion’s wedding

7-19-39 Woody marriage license

7-22-39 Woodrow Ware wedding

Enter a caption

10-28-58 Patty picture    A picture of Patty in middle school


11-2-60 David accident   about David & Grandma Watson’s accident







Family History from Eugene Register-Guard Posts v2

February 24, 2018

'47 Millie's Shower

Theresa, Ginnie, Cousin Marion, Mom, Millie & Betty Jean Fletcher Millie’s Shower ’47


1-17-44 Ginnie shower

2-7-37 Pete class picture

4-5-41 4H G

4-7-46 Millie shower

4-14-41 Baptism

4-26-54 Pete EVS

7-29-54 Pete EVS

8-27-50 Pete Army

9-27-46 Edie honors

9-28-52 Bobby Sam hero

10-1-62 Mike hero

10-7-50 Pete wounded

11-3-32 Brattain school Ginnie & Theresa 1st & 3rd

11-26-50 Pete Wounded

12-16-32 Theresa & Edith honors

12-17-39 Millie & Ginny Choir

1962~1963 A Year Of Change

November 5, 2017

My beautiful picture

So much happened this year looking back on it.   I mustered out of the Navy, worked in a sawmill, worked in a plywood plant, moved houses, met Patty, got married and joined the Air Force.  All that and more. 

As 1962 starts I’m in the Navy returning to Long Beach, California aboard the USS Mispillion.  I’m a Radarman 2nd class (a rating that doesn’t exist anymore, they’re called Operations Specialists OS now) and we’re due to spend time at home port doing maintenance and catching up on leave.  A lot of the sailors are taking leave and spending time with their families but I don’t have anyone so I spend my days chipping paint and going to downtown Long Beach to get in trouble.  We’ve got the Saratoga Bar, the New Yorker Bar, the Pike amusement park among others.  My Buddy Jim Driver, a Signalman 3rd Class, met a statuesque blond who worked as a barmaid at the New Yorker and married her on the spot.  Another friend, Huey P. Dugas, another Signalman 3rd Class, not to be outdone, proposed to the barmaid at the Saratoga and set her up in an apartment near the Pike.  Dugas had used up all his leave so he shipped-over to get more so now he’s looking at four more years in the Navy and having second, third and fourth thoughts.  A few weeks after he got engaged, he went on liberty to see his honey and caught her with another sailor in his apartment.   Meanwhile, I just turned 21 and to celebrate caught the Red Train to Hollywood and spent my birthday at the Hollywood Burlesque watching a very talented young lady doing interesting things with tassels. 

About this time, I got a call from the Red Cross that my Dad had a stroke and was in the hospital.  I asked for leave but was denied without going through some paperwork and getting the Red Cross to declare it an emergency.  I was incensed!  I had the leave saved up but the ship decided since I hadn’t scheduled it, I needed the Red Cross to authorize it.  So, I put in for discharge.  Since I was on an involuntary extension I could do that.  Dad survived the stroke but was in bad shape.   About a month later my separation came through.

I drew my pay and had about $800 saved up so I went to downtown LA and bought a car, a ’55 Ford Custom, and drove home.  This is about May or June.  When I got home I found Dad living with my sister Millie and Mom dividing her time between their home at Waldport and Eugene.  Bob offered me a job helping him move houses and Don offered me a job at Georgia Pacific. I decided to go with Bob since the prospect of working in a mill was what drove me to the Navy. 

It was interesting work and the only thing I didn’t like about it was crawling under houses where you had very little room and there were spiders and snakes.  My job, once we had the house loaded out on dollies, was to ride the roof and lift telephone wires and power lines over the house.  I’d tie off a rope to the girder on one side of the house and loop it over the house and tie it off on the other side.  Then I’d climb up the rope and use it to gain access and move the lines.  

Moody House Moving 2

One of the jobs we had was to move some old farmhouses so they could build Fall Creek Dam.  These houses we bought very cheap since the government had already condemned them and paid off the homeowners.  We had some property in Jasper that we were to move them to and place on new foundations.  One farmhouse was built on blocks and very close to the ground so we had to dig our way under the house to set our jacks.  There was a lot of dry rot and snakes and spiders, the stuff of nightmares.  Anyway, we got it in the air and loaded out.  It wasn’t pretty but should be a pretty easy move down Big Fall Creek Road to Jasper.  We were making pretty good time until we came to a bridge over the creek.  The road split on the other side of the bridge into Big Fall Creek Road and Little Fall Creek Road.  We got hung up on the bridge with our girders not clearing the stanchions of the bridge.  As we were standing around trying to figure out what to do, Bob Steele of the Oregon State Patrol came screaming up to us wanting to get to the other side because he was on to a poacher on Little Fall Creek Road and wanted to catch him in the act.  Bob was sweating bullets because we had expired PUC tags on the rig that was pulling the house and if Steele noticed that it would have been a big fine.  Bob Steele was so mad he didn’t notice the tags and Bob quickly got a chainsaw and cut us loose and Steele was on his way. 

 While working on those houses Bob and I decided to go fishing.  We left after a night of heavy drinking about 5AM so we could get an early start and made it as far as the bar in Jasper.  We decided this looked like a likely spot so we got our poles and were fishing the sinks on the other side of the bar and enjoying some beers.  Bob had the company checkbook open on the bar and we were having a good time on our fishing trip.  Well, as good a time as you can have when you’re hung-over from the night before.  Then Chet Rooks showed up.  Chet was Bob’s partner and he didn’t see the humor in our fishing trip.  Chet was upset about Bob’s having the company checkbook open on the bar and made a big deal of it.  Chet was a hothead and somewhat violent and was always angry about something.  Anyway, Bob bought him out and his brother, Buck Rooks, stayed with us.  My brother Pete joined us and we were very successful for awhile.  As long as Bob could stay focused on lining up jobs we were pretty busy. 

Bob was an alcoholic and couldn’t keep it together for very long.  House-moving is a boom and bust business and when the jobs started drying up Bob started hitting the bottle.  I could see that Bob wasn’t going to be able to make payroll with such a big crew so I quit and went to work for Georgia Pacific in their sawmill.  I was doing the same work as my future father-in-law was doing for Weyerhauser, stacking lumber in the drying shed and loading boxcars.   They kept getting after me to join the union but I was reluctant because it cost money and, in my experience, they would go out on strike at the most inopportune times.  Usually when it benefited the company like around Christmas or in the late summer when you couldn’t get in the woods because of fire danger.  They finally told me to either join or I was fired so I joined and they promptly went out on strike.    

About this time I met Patty.  Dave Wildt was a high school buddy of mine and we went into the Navy together he had gotten out sometime before me because he wasn’t involuntarily extended.  He was dating LaDonna Wyant and her best friend was Patty Lindsley.  Actually, Patty and Dave had dated first but there was no magic there, Patty said it was like dating her brother.  So Patty introduced her best friend to Dave and it worked.  Dave and Donna thought it would be a super idea to double date with Patty and I so they set up a blind date for me.  Actually, I think it was Dave’s idea and Donna had reservations.  However, my father died and I had to cancel so our blind date was postponed for a couple of weeks.   This is all covered in “How I Met Your Mother” in Chronospots.   Anyway, back to my story…

So, I’m out of work.  My brother-in-law got me a job in the plywood plant pulling off the chain and grading plywood.  I was working swing-shift and making $2.16 an hour and dreading coming back to work the next night.  It was repetitious, mind numbing work and I ended up with splinters in my stomach for months afterward.  Patty and I are married now and Patty was working at Sears and we were barely getting by.  We’d do our laundry at Millie’s and she’d slip some meat in our laundry which she said would just go bad because she took too much out of the freezer.  The Navy was looking pretty good now. 

I went down to the Navy recruiter and asked if I could get back in.  He said sure, at the same rate I was before.  But I didn’t want to be a Radarman anymore because the Seavay Rotation (time at sea versus shore duty) was 7:1.   I wanted Air Traffic Controller or Electronics Technician but he couldn’t offer me that.  So I went next door to the Air Force and spoke to Jim Peach the USAF recruiter.  He could offer me Ground Radio which was as close as he could get to ET but I’d have to take a reduction in grade of two paygrades to get it.  I took it and went to Portland to the Armed Forces Entrance and Examining Service center to enlist. 

They gave me travel pay ($300) to Keesler AFB, MS where I was to start my training.  I was going to leave Patty with Millie but Millie talked me out of it and Patty and I loaded our 1956 Dodge with everything we owned and hit the road.  Looking back on it, I’m surprised that Patty was going to let me get away with leaving her at Bob and Millie’s because she really wanted to go and I’m really glad that we went together.  I guess at that point Patty looked to me to be the adult and make decisions for both of us.  Boy, has that changed!

So, that’s the year of change I mentioned in the title and part of our life’s story.  Looking back there’s so many things that happened and so many ways it could have turned out completely different that it gives me chills to think about it.     


Green Pea soup and Mayonnaise

February 5, 2017


Ka’anapali Beach

At 4AM this morning as Patty and I were lying in bed discussing George Washington and his wife Martha and their lack of progeny to contribute to the Daughters of the American Revolution rolls, Patty said something about green pea soup and mayonnaise.  I spent some time trying to figure out what the context could be for those words and Patty noticed my silence so I had to admit what my problem was.  Of course, she hadn’t said any such thing and she was thoroughly disgusted with me for thinking she had.   I mentioned this to illustrate the wide range of subjects that are up for discussion at that hour of the morning while our minds are active but we are not.

Another subject that we discussed led to our revisiting something that Patty discovered about six years ago.  At that time, our eldest daughter Traci was having her 44th birthday and Patty realized that she was born in 1944 and that Patty was 67 and Traci was born in 1967.  Whoa!  Next year I will be 77 (maybe) and Susan was born in 1977 and Susan will be 41 and I was born in 1941.   You see the relationship?  This doesn’t work with my dad since he was born in 1892 but it seems to work with our generation of mid 20th century parents and children.    It just seems intriguing that this relationship exists and I wondered if anyone else ever considered it.   Food for thought.

Anyway, we have a lot of these sleepless nights and most of them are brought on by our concern about where we are going as a country.  I’m pretty sure where we are going and I’m not happy about it but I probably won’t be around to see the results of these tumultuous times and the eventual attainment of a more progressive, tolerant country.  Ergo, we are going to Hawaii!  We are hoping that lying around on the beach, having dinners at the Kona Brew Pub, and taking walks at sunrise and sunset will snap us out of our funk.  It’s worth a shot.   We won’t be seeing much news and won’t have daily postings from the Proud Liberal to inflame our sensibilities with outrage at the latest injustices and we’re hoping that will enable us to get off this daily routine of sleepless nights.  

2016 A year in Review

December 21, 2016



Oops, I did it again.   I didn’t make a Christmas card with a clever rhyme about our activities for the year like I did for 20+ years until our 50th wedding anniversary when I used that anniversary in Hawaii as an excuse to quit.  I also didn’t write a newsletter to catch everybody up with our activities.  And I haven’t written anything to Chronospots in five or six months.   So, this is my effort to cover all those failures in one fell swoop.  (BTW, having used this expression, ‘fell swoop’, I decided to google it and found that Shakespeare invented it in 1605 in Macbeth.  This kind of edification is a side benefit of reading this.)

So, to get on with it, as usual Patty has been flitting hither and yon on her many adventures.  In February we spent about three weeks in Hawaii, a week at the Hale Koa in Waikiki and then two weeks in a beach cabin at Bellows AFS.  We intend to do the same this February.  In March my sole remaining sibling, my sister Theresa, died and we attended her memorial service in Salem on the 19th   Then in April, Patty attended a ceremony honoring some revolutionary ancestors in Tennessee where an Eagle Scout took on a project to restore an old cemetery.  She reconnected with some of her cousins there and they shared some of their moonshine with her.  In May she flew to Seattle to meet up with Susan and then they flew to Scotland to embark on a 100 mile pub-crawl known as the West Highland Way.  Actually, they hiked more than a hundred miles because some of the pubs were a way off the trail.  On the way home they stopped off in Iceland to enjoy the Blue Lagoo again (they’d been there before).   Then in August Patty returned to Eagle Cap for the fourth time for another working vacation building and repairing trail as 72 year old women are wont to do.

While Patty was off enjoying herself I was home taking care of business as usual.  This year we repainted the house but this time I had professional help.  My grandson, Samuel.  home from OSU for the summer, helped as did ‘Two Stiffs Needing Work’.  The last paint job lasted about 13 years so this will probably be the last time I must worry about this chore.

In September we spent a week at Kala Point during the Wooden Boat Festival with Karen and Rob.  Karen took Patty on a sailing adventure on The Schooner Adventuress where Karen had crewed as a teenager.   Then, in October, Patty joined some friends on a working vacation in Utah at the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument removing Russian Olive.   She spent about a week digging out Russian Olive which is a wicked brush with inch-long thorns which is an invasive weed there.  In November we left on a whim and caught a hop on a USAF cargo plane for about three days on Waikiki.

We’ll be home for the holidays and aren’t planning on doing anything special except enjoying the time with Traci and her family.  Speaking of which, Samuel is now in his second year in Mechanical Engineering at OSU and I firmly believe he will become a world-famous inventor or something.  Gabriel is a Junior at Ashland High School and a member of the Ashland School Band (Tenor Sax) and on track to become an Eagle Scout in the very near future.  Traci is an Educational Assistant in the Ashland School District and volunteers at the school libraries and Ashland Library by doing their displays and artwork.  She also has a presence on the web:  traciscraftcorner on ETSY.  Rene is a professor at Southern Oregon University teaching some esoteric folderol and travels to Denmark and Guanajuato, Mexico frequently because his expertise is apparently in high demand there.  He also helps McGraw-Hill in their video presentations.  Rene’s niece, Eunice, is also a neighbor.  She’s been with us to get her MBA and now is gainfully employed at a local firm.  Patty got her Master’s at SOU too, about 25 years ago.

Susan is still working at Microsoft doing something as mysterious (to me) as Rene and apparently very good at it since she recently got another promotion.  She lets me come up to prune her grapes once a year.  I prune Traci’s grapes too.  It’s good to be useful for something.   Kai is currently on hiatus from his tech job but is still active in several bands and has a possible opportunity to accompany a famous musician on a tour.  Sue and Kai are planning to participate in the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st.  We accompanied them to the Rally to Restore Sanity/Keep Fear Alive with John Stewart and Stephen Colbert in 2010 and it was a blast!  I hope this trip goes as well.

So, that’s done.

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