…but Camelot ended when President JFK was assassinated; he was our last true combat veteran and leader. LBJ came into power.
The Feminist Movement.
The first heart transplant.
Liberal tainted news reporting, ‘Nam and 55,000 Americans.
Apollo 8 and 11.
The Wonderful World of Color and Combat!
Marilyn OD’d and Joey Heatherton was in.
Gas was 29 cents per gallon and you got Blue Chip Stamps.
Fuel, oxygen, compression and a spark was all that was required to fire up your prized motor. Well, that part (almost) hasn’t left us.
Gas stations cleaned off your windshield with real paper…even the stuff from birds. Yes, you were actually waited on. Just how cool was that?
The service attendant that would short dip the dipstick and tell your old man he was a quart low… Well, maybe it’s good that part’s gone.
Pontiac GTO and the Mustang. A behemoth 409 in an Impala. Four-on-the-Floor and a Hurst. Your cup holder was the babe sitting alongside you in a miniskirt. Polyglas GTs and Firestone Wide Ovals. Toyotas and Datsuns were nothing but big Hot Wheels.
Ah… Car styling that said, “American”. In 1959, we had this:
Twenty-five years later, we had this:
What happened? We lost Oldsmobile, AMC, Plymouth… Pontiac and Oldsmobile with the future of GM and Chrysler becoming uncertain soon thereafter. Sure, we can always place blame on management but I feel it is much deeper, much more complicated.
One thing is for certain: I like Clint Eastwood and his spaghetti Westerns… I cringe imagining him riding off into the sunset on a Fiat-badged Jeep.
Indeed, Car 54, where are you?
(Note Jan. 6, 2019: I wrote this over ten years ago for a national Mustang car club.)
Cops love me, I tell ya. We have a special relationship.
Cops and me have met on official business while on the road.
Three times between 2008 and 2010.
But I have not seen the inside of a police car, paddy wagon or jail.
Don’t you wonder why? I had three chances to do so in two years.
During the first two-plus years after customizing my car, I was lit up by CHP, police and sheriff black and whites.
Just once for each law enforcement branch to be modest.
The first time was on my way back from a Ford Mustang car show in San Diego. Heading north back to LA and after passing Camp Pendleton – home of the US Marines’ famed 1st Division – I noticed a CHP motorbike merging onto the freeway in my rear view mirror
I am very good at spotting CHP, you know. Especially since the CHP – for some silly reason – is attracted by bright orange¹ Mustangs without mufflers.
Traffic was heavy heading away from historic Camp Pendleton being a Saturday evening; the entire 1st Division must have just been issued liberty. I was pretty much boxed in on the highway. Going with the flow, you know. There were SUVs and passenger cars all around me, most with tinted windows which are illegal here in California. I remember one SUV with limo tint.
But sure enough, before Las Pulgas Road and the border check point, the motorcycle cop lit me up. Hmmm. I wonder why? Could it be because my car is orange with racing stripes? Nah.
So I pulled over, rolled down my tinted windows, put my left arm and hand out my driver’s side window, with my right hand on the top of the steering wheel. Common sense given the car.
The CHP officer carefully walked up to my passenger window and peered in. He walked to the front then came back. “You were speeding back there, have tinted windows and no front license plate. Driver’s license, registration and insurance, please.”
Speeding? No problem. I wasn’t going to bicker with him about the speeding since we were all going at XX mph. I told him I need to get into my console to which he nodded his head. He looked at my driver’s license. He pulled down his sun glasses. I could see he was MUCH younger than I. He then looked up from my license, stared at me, then stared back at my license. He looked into my back seat area, hoping to see if anyone else was back there like a 16 year old son. “Is this YOUR car, sir?”
I yelled over the traffic noise, “Yes, sir… and I bet I’ve been driving longer than you’ve been alive.” He smiled.
He walked back to his bike and I’m sure he checked for wants and warrants. No big deal. I would want him to do that on every stop. I want to protect my kids, you know.
He came back and handed me a “fix it” ticket while saying, “I’m letting you off on the speeding but you have 60 days to get these violations fixed.” I now had to officially get my window tint removed and front license plate installed on my then show-quality car, then have an officer sign it off.
“Ok, sir. Thank you… but you never answered my question if I’ve been driving longer than you’ve been alive.”
He grinned, patted my passenger door’s window sill and said, “Have a good day, sir,” while smiling and walked back to his bike.²
Gee. I didn’t get tackled to the ground, handcuffed or guns drawn on me. I wonder why? Instead, he just smiled.
And I am glad he didn’t ask me to pop the hood… That’s a whole different type of fix it ticket under there. It would have been a gold mine for the CHP money bucket.
Another time was at lunch. I can’t exactly say for sure but perhaps I was speeding just a teensy-weensy bit. Anyways, a Fullerton PD black and white lit me up.
Same routine. Pulled over, rolled down my tinted windows and put my hands where he could see them. He did say he had seen the car driving around before and that he was going to let me go on the window tint, the missing plate and a VERY loud car…this time. But I do think he recognized the “Voss Performance” stickers all over my car. Voss knows a lot of cops around there, thankfully.
The other time, the same routine and results, thankfully. I think the LA County Sheriff felt sorry this nice car was being driven by a decrepit old man in a higher crime area.
But each time, I did not make mainstream mis-media. You know, CNN and the like.
I followed the officer’s orders. Plain and simple.
Nobody came out to say I was being discriminated against because I got picked out of a dozen cars going the same speed, some with a LOT darker tint than mine. What if I were of a different race and I went after the cop? Is it because the cop is a racist?
And please don’t say it was just a traffic stop. It’s the same if a cop approached me on a street corner. I interacted with a cop.
But one thought I do have. Slavery was abolished more than 150 years ago. There’s nobody alive today from that time – well, at least not since George Burns passed away. Yet, they still speak to it in volumes in our children’s US history books. But don’t you find it curious they pretty much overlook WWII which was only 70 years ago?
And if any one “race” has a reason to scream discrimination, it would be my father’s generation about 75 years ago. People of Japanese descent in the “West Coast Exclusion Zone” had all their citizenship and rights stripped away and worldly possessions taken. I don’t recall any other “race” en masse having their citizenship taken away by the stroke of a President’s pen and put behind barbed wire.
I do feel one thing. All this poppy-cock about it being solely the cops that caused the riots in Ferguson, Baltimore and unrest in Philadelphia. It was WRONG for anyone to have NOT complied with the officer’s orders in the first place. Simple as that. Why resist arrest or fight a cop?
If someone doesn’t have drugs, weapons or outstanding warrants on their person, complying would be the end of it… like with me. The only crime I committed was being old. Well, I guess the tint, no license plate, no mufflers and supposed speeding, too.
Why isn’t attention being focused on why these so called race incidents occurred in the first place? Some jerk did not comply with an officer’s orders. Plain and simple.
Has NOT complying become accepted as an appropriate behavior for thugs when stopped by law enforcement officers… and then for it to be pretty much overlooked if something happens just because of their race? That a cop can be assaulted and to say afterwards its part of their job to be a glutton for punishment and not have the right to protect himself/herself? If they fight a cop, what would they do to YOU?
No, I am not condoning someone dying for whatever reason. But we have to stop overlooking the perpetrators themselves and then using their upbringing as the excuse for their behavior… and make them – and their parents – be accountable for their own actions. We need to stop giving them hall passes in every way, shape and form. In essence, we have to stop making ANY race feel special just because of their race. I blame the DOJ, too, for not placing any blame on the “victims”.
If we don’t, this spiral will never end.
1. It is orange. Not yellow!
2. By the way, there are no more “fix it” tickets here in California. You are cited for tint, no plates or whatever else with no chance to appeal. Each type of infraction, I believe, is about $160.
Today, I thought I’d visit with Old Man Jack for a while. I didn’t drive my supercharged and unmufflered Grabber Orange Mustang to visit him although he loved it so much. It looked like rain. But I did take a cigar with me.
I know he didn’t mind the cigar.
He said it “doesn’t smell much better than the stinkin’ islands…but anything smelled better than those stinkin’ islands”.
He would reminisce much more frequently about the war on those islands when it involved “fun memories” and I recalled one while chatting with him today at his grave. Believe me, whether it be a “fun” memory or not, a tear or two always tags along.
Old Man Jack always described the islands in the Southwest Pacific to be “those stinkin’ islands”. He had said that while things always stunk, “everything smelled like shit”. Pardon the French but those are the words expressed by the now old man who was back then a young boy of nineteen. Hell, put it into perspective. That spoiled young singer Justin Bieber is nineteen. I’ll leave it at that.
“When I got there, I wondered why things smelled like shit,” he said with his trademark grin. The one where the left corner of his mouth rises. “Well, I was a dumb shit punk myself back then.”
We had been touring the mock up of the CV-6 carrier deck (USS Enterprise) at the Chino Planes of Fame Museum back in 2003. Our friendship had begun solidifying by then. I had taken him there primarily to see his beloved F4U Corsair so this was a side trip at the museum.
On the “flight deck” was a Douglass SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber.
One thing he immediately spit out was after seeing the plane was, “That rear seat is just a metal plate. You sat on your parachute for a cushion…” He then continued, “…and those were twin .30’s back there.”
He told me once a Navy dive bomber pilot “grabbed him by the collar” early on and told him to get into the rear seat “quick-like”. I remember asking him why because at that time, I didn’t know he was certified to fly. In typical Old Man Jack fashion, he quipped, “‘Cuz I was the only one there.” Accent on the “there”, please.
“Well, we were flying up there. Man, that parachute made for a lousy cushion,” he said. “Then a Zero got on our six…and then I saw these little flashes. I figured out real quick he was shooting at us.” Jack’s still got that grin on his face.
“The pilot yelled, Shoot, you son of a bitch! Shoot! Shoot! So I did.”
“The pilot kept yelling, Shoot! Shoot!“. Then I yelled, “I did! I did!”
He wasn’t afraid to say it. Jack said he got so scared he just laid on the triggers and didn’t let go. There was only about 15 seconds worth of rounds. He had fired off all his ammo.
“Man, I heard every god damn cuss word from that pilot,” he chuckled, still with that trademark grin.
But then he ended it by saying, “…And whoo-ee, I crapped in my pants… And that’s how I figured out why everything smelled like shit.”
I never asked him what happened to that Zero…or if they successfully dropped their bomb…or what happened to that Navy pilot.
But one thing is for sure. I would have liked to have seen Justin Bieber in that back seat behind those twin .30s.
I’m sure his voice would get even higher…permanently…and would have needed a diaper change.
Real men don’t wear diapers. Jack sure as hell didn’t. He just shit in his pants and wasn’t ashamed to admit it.
I enjoyed our chat today, Jack.
And I’ll be sure to drive the Mustang next time so you can hear it.
Mr. President, I take exception to your leadership. I feel it is flawed.
You are supposed to be MY president.
My fellow Mustang buddy’s president. He’s Black and has a doctorate. Oh. He’s married to a Middle Eastern lady – who screams while sitting shotgun in his grossly overpowered car.
My neighbor’s president. He’s Hispanic, an American citizen and is in the USAF (and who got his pay cut due to The (Dumb) Sequester.)
My blogging friend’s president. She is Irish with blazing red hair.
Yes, even #41 and #43’s president. They are Caucasian and BOTH served in the Armed Forces. Hell, #41 was shot down and lost his two crew members. Like Old Man Jack, even he must’ve had nightmares for the rest of his life.
You are the elected person to represent ALL of us…together.
But do you?
Yes, I voted for the other guy. Glad that’s out in the open. Whew. Now hate me.
But all through your campaigns and years in office, you have made it a point to distinguish (imply?) yourself to be Black…and rarely or never infer that you are “White”.
How can that be, Mr. President? Your mother was White. Your father was Black.
To me, that’s 50%-50%.
It’s simple math. The same simple math taught in school. Well, pardon me. Not too many folks recall seeing you in class.
Perhaps you ditched classes, Mr. President, just like my angelic oldest daughter..? But my oldest daughter got straight A’s. I’ll let you see her report card if you’ll show me your transcripts.
So I excuse you on your mathematical error.
Trayvon Martin died on February 26, 2012.
On March 23, 2012, you said on national TV:
“But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. And I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.” (Note: President Obama, the LOCAL authorities and DA DID get to the bottom of exactly what happened shortly after the shooting, right?)
After the verdict was read, you made another statement. On July 20, 2013, you said:
“When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son,” Obama said. “Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”
The Zimmerman/Martin fight took place in a smaller township called Sanford, FL. The local – LOCAL – authorities concluded there was not enough evidence to hold or charge Zimmerman under their STATE laws.
But alas… The MEDIA was a huge contributor. In my opinion, it was primarily CNN who started a fire where there should have been none. Day after day, they tried to “stir the pot”, as they say. RACE came into the limelight thanks to CNN fueling the self-grown fire.
Then Obama’s ill-advised comment… RACE again. He’s HALF-WHITE.
Race is one thing contributing to the deepening divide amongst our citizens.
In his first speech, he fueled the frenzy with those words, “…and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”
Who is “we’re”? Him? The Feds? It fell under state and LOCAL jurisdiction. And the local law enforcement and DA – closest to the case and evidence – had closed its case.
Obama and CNN was pouring copious amounts of salt onto a festering wound.
By the way… How does CNN pick which murder to sensationalize? Why didn’t CNN sensationalize this more recent one – of four Blacks killing an unarmed White college student:
I am curious why you did not come out in front of our nation and say, “If I had a son, he’d look like Joshua Proutey.”
In closing, how DARE Obama distinguish himself from me implying Trayvon Martin could have been his son – for whatever reason – in front of our country.
You are supposed to be MY president.
You are to lead us… represent all of us… and not imply “favoring” one race over another.
How do you bring this together instead of dividing it?
Simple. Like this:
Face it. There are racists.
White people who hate other races. Blacks who hate other races. Asians who hate other races.
Lead us. Tell us citizens to quell this lunacy…and get off the minority soap box at the same time.
ps PLEASE PAY MY USAF BUDDY. HE IS IN HARM’S WAY AND WORKING TO PROTECT US. HE IS NOT HOLDING HIS HAND OUT LIKE 47 MILLION OTHERS ARE.
A few of you know I’ve been in a little bit of “funk” the past month or so…
No real reason… just things.
But I had a GREAT Father’s Day! So a belated and short post.
It started out with seeing my “second” dad – Old Man Jack. I last visited Jack on Memorial Day… but it was a bit saddening to see that his only daughter hadn’t been by.
It’s always good to see him – although I didn’t stop by in my LOUD supercharged Mustang he loved so much.
Of course, you can only have one dad… and mine’s 94. We had a Father’s Day Brunch at his assisted living center and his luckily, his appetite was back. We enjoyed a special Father’s Day brunch. Meat and potatoes! His fave!
He then finished off his lunch with…sweets! Man, he’s got a sweet tooth! These were Japanese candies sent to him from my cousin Masako (and Izumi) in Hiroshima. (He had four. lol)
Does he look content? LOL
And someone “special” had called… and wanted to give me a Father’s Day hug! Ou-la-la! She is a gal with one of the sweetest souls around…and she shall remain nameless. 🙂
She’s had a positive impact on me. 🙂
And then… the grand finale…
I headed up from Fashion Island in Newport Beach to Pomona…My oldest son, Takeshi……graduated from Cal Poly Pomona! He’s even got a straight A streak going! And he BEAT his brilliant sister in Organic Chemistry by getting an A! She will never hear the end of that one… 🙂
Congratulations, son! And a BIG thanks to my ex and his step-dad. I couldn’t ask for a better guy.
I don’t think an old man can ask for anything greater than that superific day!
Went to visit dad… The workers there told me he’s not eating much as of late. He only had a small salad with a little bit of chicken for lunch. When I asked him if he was hungry, he said no but when I showed him one of his favorite Japanese treats, he went to town.
There goes number two!
Number three down the hatch!
He’s happy now. 🙂 And he did finish the last ball.
Took him one of Alan’s 8×10’s…labeled. He’s 94 now.
My bud Brian drove down from Reno for St. Paddy’s Day weekend – no better excuse to share a stogie together!
Played around with my new Canon SX260 HS point and shoot camera. Never had one that I can remember but it was fun to shoot with.
Superior close up capability.
Hand held. Look at the detail… Not bad for a shaky ol’ fart?
Fish eye setting…
My neighbor’s new son, Gabriel. The father is USAF… I pray for his safe return always.
And finally, these were for me. Like father, like son! LOL
A fellow (not male) blogger took a light-hearted approach to her surviving her husband’s “man flu“. Us guys took it on our bearded chins from the ladies.
Lies. All lies, I say!
Blasphemy that us men would whimper and keel over from the invasion of tiny buggers we can’t even see with a microscope.
Well, guys, its our turn. We must defend our manliness. Light-heartedly, of course.
The other night, I survived another commute home with against hordes of women drivers.
Actually, it was a wonder I made it home unscathed and not get hit by the invisible things only women drivers can see.
They are gifted.
Us men can only see real things.
It is not easy “sharing” the road with women drivers when they have a different perceptions of “lanes”, “sharing”…and things only THEY can see. Invisible things that apparently take up a LOT of space. Thank goodness they can see them or I would run into these invisible things.
And women’s maligned beliefs they had to suffer the consequences of the man-flu… Dastardly. If anything, a man-flu lasts but a week.
Commuting with against females and their invisible things (only visible to them) is five days a week, 50 weeks a year for us hard-working men.
And I thought about the man-flu smack down when I came to this (long) stop light.
I got my trusty new smartphone and managed to snap a picture for evidence (unlike the man-flu blog which had NO evidence)… but of course, none of the HUGE invisible things only WOMEN can see showed up in the picture.
(Trust me. The two vehicles in front of me have female drivers.)
Here is a schematic of the picture. By some miracle, it is as UN-females see it:
Notice where in the lane the female driver of the world’s tiniest car has decided to stop at this intersection. There was obviously a couple of those invisible things that only WOMEN can see…on both sides of her. If you can catch the Man Flu, you probably can’t see these invisible things. She is so blessed, isn’t she?
(This was during rush hour. At a long signal. With other drivers behind us. Forming two distinct lines…except for the two cars in front of me.)
Also trust me when I say the perspective of this photo hastily snapped with my smartphone is as deceiving as is the ladies’ perception of the effects of the man-flu. There is LOTS of space on either side of car #1.
Which brings us to the second car immediately in front of me. There is enough space between car #1 and this one that the front offensive line for the Ravens could do their stretching exercises.
Well, she also stopped her car skewed to the right of center… You can see the reflection of my curbside headlamp on her LEFT tail lamp. Imagine that.
…and she is not trying to make a right turn… Here, at least.
She made the turn at the NEXT stop light beyond the freeway overpass.
Well, gents, a lady friend viewed the photograph at my humble request… and with her special vision, she pointed out the invisible things to me. How blessed are women!
THIS is what they can see with their magic vision!
OK, guys… How many of you want this special vision that only women possess??!
True stories about World War II – One war. Two Countries. One Family