This is for all my Navy brothers. Today is also the 50th anniversary of the day they got the USS Forestal fire under control. Yesterday was day it started. If you were in the Navy or Marine Corps you went. once a year, to Naval Station Mayport for fire fighting school. Much like every Marine is first and foremost a rifleman, every Sailor is first and foremost a firefighter. While there you were shown flight deck footage of the Forestal fire from start to stop. You saw genuine, honest to God, heroes in action. Who the hell else runs in to an inferno carrying a fire extinguisher. Odds are you can find it on Youtube but know this, it is not for the faint of heart. This is the real thing. 131 men lost their lives that day. Over 160 were wounded. Static Electricity is the answer to the question in your brain. Just think winter time and sweaters.
When she was launched she was the first Super Carrier and the largest warship in the world. That was in 1955. She is currently here in Texas, down in Brownsville actually, being cut up for scrap. She was my last ship in 1974. At the time I was with RVAH 7 out of NAS Key West and we were flying RA-5C's. They flew really, really fast and took pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. If you come across pictures of the damaged but saved Forestal you will see a rather large hole port side aft. That hole is above where our sleeping compartment was. It's where a 1000 pounder went off on what I think was an A-4 Skyhawk. (my first and favorite plane) all those 7 years later, and I am not alone in saying this. we could still smell the fire. Non sibi sed patriae.
On a lighter note, This goes back to about 2005. Fairly new neighbors were babysitting Wyatt while we were off the Island. As was the custom everyone met at Sundial Park for the usual festivities. As the story was told to me young Wyatt approached Ashly with "Miss Ashly, I need to use the restroom". Ashly being a newly imported yankee but quick to adapt to local customs replied "It's OK sweetie, just go behind that tree right there" pointing to one of the huge Blackjack Oaks in the park. Like a boy off he goes. Business concluded he approached with a simple question. "Miss Ashly, do you have any toilet paper?"
I can honestly say I don't know how the story ended. It's still funny.
Welcome to our little slice of paradise! Clear Lake Shores is probably one of the best kept secrets in the entire Bay Area. Yes we are an island. We are surrounded by Clear Lake, Jarbo Bayou and the Lazy Bend canals. Plug this in to Google Maps and you'll see what I mean 29.32' by 95.01' We are about half way between Galveston Island and the city of Houston and located in north Galveston county. I will try to keep us up on all the goings on that we can walk, boat, bike or drive our golf carts to. Very few things pi$$ me off but one of them is wasting my precious time. I'll try not to waste yours. Enjoy. ab