Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Of Dodgy Weddings, Bit Scary & Too Fond of Tractors

Nick, an English Facebook friend, recently posted the map of England on the right; the one on the left is from my files.

After Dad passed away, a massive amount of 8th Air Force material involving his WWII service came to me. Recognizing that somewhere in all that stuff was his story...the one he never really told, I undertook to learn what I could from it.
One project was to take from his diary, that of an excited 21-year old 2Lt on his way to the greatest adventure of his life, his route of flight as they departed the States, eastbound over the Atlantic. He was a navigator so, he diligently recorded the waypoints along his journey. Making a very accurate route tracing on a map was possible. Now, Nick’s modern chart of England placed alongside a traditional version adds an entirely new perspective to Dad's adventure.
Landed at White Walkers, took a train south through 17th Century Massacres and Perpetually Drunk, continuing south to a city near Gobby. Then, in routine military fashion, reversed course, now traveling northbound on the same tracks. Turned left at Dodgy Weddings and headed west across Spare Bit of Scotland, they crossed the North Channel, disembarking at Liam Neeson’s and continuing westbound to an area just south of Can’t Decide What It’s Called, near Bit Scary.
Here the boys met some REAL veterans where they began to learn what they had gotten themselves into. The unit’s task was to prepare the first wave of Replacements for their combat assignments to the approximately 40 Army Air Force bases situated to the southeast, in the region of Too Fond of Tractors, etc.
The most important lesson imparted near Bit Scary was that if they got lost, steer 330º and “You Caunt Miss It.” That bit of sage advice would later save Dad’s fanny once or twice and he wrote a story about it, entitled 330º.
Upon leaving Bit Scary after traveling via some unrecorded means and route, they ended up first assigned to the 94th between Russian Spies (probably then known as Nazi Spies) and Too Fond of Tractors. Although they were pleased with the civilized digs they found at the 94th, just south of there, at the 447th the day before, Kaffun and MacDonald were shot down. So, they picked up their kit and moved south where a couple of replacement crews were now needed. He probably never knew why his crew was moved, since his diary and subsequent stories only complain about the muddy, unpleasant living conditions they found at the newer base. Kaffun and his crew were killed; MacDonald and his, taken prisoner.
Crossing the shore over the Too Fond of Tractors coastline, he joined the Aluminum Overcast, most frequently steering a course of 150º bound for where there was a problem. When 2 engines failed on the same wing or when the vertical stabilizer was shot up or when the flak shell pierced the right wing on its way to explode at a higher altitude or the fog was too thick to see through…recalling the sage advice imparted at Bit Scary, they sometimes steered the reciprocal of 150º …. 330º. And he never missed it….50-times.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Same Theater, but We Saw Different Films (+ some Facebook)

For those of you who haven't made a venture into Facebook on account of no time, being fearful of it, not enough tech savvy to consider it, concern for your privacy, etc., let me assure're right !!  On all of it.

However, done right in a way that suits you, it can be a remarkable tool and a frequent kick.  There are a lot of talented people in there.

Of course, Gus is probably freer than most to ramble around since he's well, you know.  Most folks have either come to grips with it or have tuned ol' Gus out...and what does Gus say to that?  Yep, that's fine with him.

Lefties have the most problem with him since he has, as my friend Kendall likes to say, "Republican tendencies."  Actually he's not so much Republican as he is Conservative.  I think having to go off and fight in a war somewhere tends to do that to most participants, though not all.

I use Facebook to make connections with others I either knew or who traveled some of the same pathways as mine.  One of my fine early friends recently described comparing recollections as like having gone to the same theater but seeing different films...a perfect comment on the matter of crowd recollecting.  That's the kind of thing I find fascinating.

In Facebook, Gus tends to be pretty flippant but, always receptive to serious (& confidential) conversation, and always willing to meet a challenge as well as exchange a kind thought. Most challenges come from those who don't think my way that I routinely agitate by posting memes of a conservative some of these:


A PC free zone