Friday, November 12, 2010

Flashback Friday # 19 ~ Veteran's Day, 2010

Yesterday was Veteran's Day, so this Flashback Friday give us and you, the readers, an opportunity to reflect on the veterans we knew and loved in our early years. That might include our own service.

Some place I have at least one picture of me in uniform. If I could find it I would put it here.
Linda asked several questions about us and how we related to family members in or who had been in the Military. Click her icon, right, if you want to read others or participate in this with a blog post of your own.

Linda's questions and then my answers: (you will note that some of these I did not answer as they did not apply to my family situation--they may apply to you)

Were/Are either of your parents or other family members active military personnel or veterans? What branch? When did they serve;

was it during wartime or peacetime? Did they share much about their experiences with you or others? When you were growing up, was the USA (or your country, for those outside the US) involved in a war? What do you remember about it and how did it impact you? Are you, your spouse, or any of your children veterans?

I will start with my parents and uncles. None of them exactly fit the military as their years were mainly between WWI and WWII. For the latter war I do remember that they all had to register for he draft but because they had families and were in an essential industry of farming (later farming would not warrant a deferment) the were passed over by being placed in a category which was mainly never needed.

Two of my cousins were old enough to serve. My cousin, Don, went first, into the U.S. Army. I don't know if he was drafted or enlisted voluntarily. I do remember when the war was over he came home real soon. And he bought a new 1946 Ford Club Coupe as veterans had first priority for buying the new cars. Don then used his GI Bill college opportunity and became second of us nine cousins getting a degree. My cousin, Jean had gone to college and was a school teacher near the time Don came home.

Bud, my other cousin, enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. I remember tales of his training more than of his service. During training camp he had to do a 'desert survival' training regimen. He parachuted into a desert, Arizona or New Mexico, without provisions. He has his knife and could have had matches, I don't remember. He survived. When he was discharged he moved to Colorado and became a barber near the University of Colorado campus.

Jean's husband, Dwain, was drafted into the U.S. Army. He trained at Fort Bliss, Texas, for communications. After that he spent the rest of his time in Korea. He came home and became a prosperous and well respected farmer.

I do remember how our family, us younger kids too, respected those guys who were serving. We were so proud of them and we thanked God that they came home alive and with no major injuries. I still get quiet when I think of their service.

Mrs. Jim's brother was not so fortunate. His plane was shot down over Italy. After the war his body was found and returned to New Orleans. Mrs. Jim was not aware of the burial until last year. She had inquired of the Department of Defense thinking his body remains were at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. He was much older than Mrs. Jim and died a few months before Mrs. Jim was born.

I was the next cousin to go into the service. That service time was most of the time between Korea and Viet Nam. While in college I had a draft deferment for that. Then when I dropped out there were many volunteers for the draft and our county quota was always filled.

Wouldn't you know it, but two weeks after I got married I received an order to report for my Army draftee physical. Had I informed the draft board of getting married I would have been deferred again. But they said no 'take-backs.' It wasn't too bad because Korea was over and people weren't even worried about Viet Nam.

When my term was over there was a depression that has been said to have been worse than the one we are in now. I don't think it lasted so long though. That and the end of the war were responsible for the closing of the Elgin National Watch factory in which I worked. And jobs were not to be had.

So I re-enlisted int the Army, this time for a 42-week electronics school. I became a NIKE Missile Control Systems Maintenance person. That helped my self confidence as I graduated third in a class of 143. Two Warrant Officers were ahead of me.

Viet Nam was on when this second term was up so I quickly got out. By then I was an E-5 rank (a private is E-1) I had spent my entire five years in Texas, all but six weeks of it in El Paso. Eleven years later I went back to college on the GI Bill. That was a nice benefit.

My training and two years experience with electronics were responsible for me getting a job with Philco Tech Rep as a field engineer. I served with them seventeen years with most of my time spent at the NASA Houston Mission Control Center as a Flight Controller simultaneously in Simulations and in Mission Operations.

I was the last of the nine cousins to be in the military. In the next generation only one Nephew, Phil, who is the son of Mrs. Jim's sister, Velma. Phil spent 26 or 28 years years in the Air Force in the medics. He ended his service having the rank a Master Sargent and is now working in Texas at a hospital. He too had received valuable training for civilian life. Phil met Lisa, his wife, in his early days of service. At that time she was also in the Air Force.

On Veterans day and perhaps on Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day I feel proud of serving. At other times I have to tell myself that I got more than I put in with the training, and the job itself when the economy was rough. Plus helping with the finishing of college. That generally keeps me from feeling as if I had spent five years for no great value to my country.

Since I was not going to reenlist my work life changed. I as assigned a three-quarter ton truck every working day. I reported to a farmer's barns and horse pens to start hauling horse manure. This manure was for our sergeant's field (in the desert) day room garden. That lasted about two months until I was a civilian. I have a saying when some terrible experience for me is over that getting out of it 'is like getting out of the Army.' Most vets know what I mean.



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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

National Motorcycle Museum — MidWeek Blues — Jim's motorscooter

This Easy Rider Chopper is in the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa, the home of the artist, Grant Wood. While in Iowa in October, I went there with my sister Lois and BIL, Jim W, and his Brother Jack and his wife Mary Lou.

We didn't pay to go in. Rather we looked around through the 'teaser' windows, one of which is shown here, and then to the gift shop.

We ended up not spending any money at all there. The rest rooms were free which is a good thing for travelers. At the other end of the paved lot was a McDonald's where we did spend some money.

My driving license has a motorcycle endorsement. I renewed it for another six years in October too. The endorsement was an extra $2.00 but it will save me money and headaches if and when I get another bike. My license is good for another six years. I can renew once more with just an eye exam. After that it will be harder for me due to my age. I will be 93 on that birthday.

The pictures below (click on any for a larger size) are also from the museum except for the one on the lower right. It shows three of my toy cars and my toy Vespa motorscooter. If I had not have had that one I would have bought one of the cute little ones, shown in the upper right, from the gift shop. Next time I may buy one anyway.

Back when I was in the Army our second car was a 1956 Vespa Scooter. I bought it new from Sears, branded as an Allstate. All of the 1956 Sears models were a light army green color. I literally wore that scooter out. We lived in El Paso (Texas) where the weather is perfect for cycles and scooters year round just as it is here in the Houston area.

It did get it moved to New Hampshire by my civilian employer. The movers said I should take it and that they would call it a lawn mower so there would not be any problems. Up there it had to sit under a canvas most of the winter time. Snow and ice are pretty treacherous for two wheelers.

This accident story is from a previous post, January 31, 2009:

One of the worst woman drivers I have ever known lived in El Paso. She ran a stop sign right in front of my Vespa motor scooter. I was riding it down a main thorough-fare, she was on a side street.

We were not traveling too awfully fast, each well within the speed limit. She just didn't stop.

I ended up on the hood of her car. Both of my knees were sore for a long time but nothing was broken. The scooter needed quite a bit of repair. It turned out she did not have insurance for anything except collision (covered her own car). She had just purchased this Pontiac new and that is all the dealer sold her.

She did fuss at me for being on the street. Then she said not only did I not have a right to be there but that I was traveling without any lights on. The policeman told her that yes, I did have my lights on. When I pushed it out of the middle of the intersection the lights tried to come on until I took it out of gear.

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If you want to post a MidWeek Blues picture, go get directions from Rebecca by clicking on the logo picture on the right. She has a Mr. Linky and good directions . Just do what I did.

Or do less. All she requires is a BLUE PICTURE or BLUE THOUGHT, you don't have to write.

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Monday, November 08, 2010


Ima felt very brave today. Baring trees allowed her to see for miles.

A slight problem, where the Heck am I?


Awk! Boogeyland!

139 Characters
Story Copyright
© 2010 Jimmiehov
All Rights Reserved

Picture from Susan's blog, Stony River

Check over at Susan's blog, Stony River, for more microfiction Monday! They should read quickly because our requirement is 140 characters or less.
You might like to try this. It's fast, easy, and fun.


Sunday, November 07, 2010


He changes times and seasons;
... He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.

Daniel 2:21 (NIV)

Photo by Jim: Eastern Iowa park near Central City

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