Learning the Ropes 01:23:2019

Updated: Feb 1, 2019



1969 Phu-Cat Re-Visited

This home to 67 or so Germen Shepherd! No AC or fans. No beer, just warm water.


I put Duke to bed after a little brushing and rubbing spots all dogs seem to have, behind the ear, in the ear, Duke loves that.

I put the radio away leaving the battery to charge and went to clean my weapon, next. The gun wasn't dirty but I ran a rag through-it anyway. Last thing to do was securing your weapon. The gun-cabinets were under lock and key. The last truck was waiting for the last man to get aboard, and end the night. Most of the handlers slept, but a bunch started playing cards and drinking, and would be at it 2 hours later. I was in bed, first time I would get to use my new fan, and I was dog tired.


The card-game made no difference, I slept hard, for a while, but the heat was to intense. I woke up and just laid in my misery, sweat-hot and my fan wasn't keeping up. I jumped up, and made my way to the latrine and took the coldest shower the plumbing would give me. It broke the spell! I barely dried off and quickly got back in the bed and the fan felt good against my cooled-off body. I slept.


This is our 4th day at the Cat. Most off us were wide-eyed and bushy-tailed by 12:00 hours. Maybe four hours sleep, and that was not enough, to stay awake, all night.


A group of us were on our way to the chow-hall. I had not eaten breakfast and I was hunger. We had adjusted to the airman's chow hall, and found the food ok. There are plenty of choices as you moved down the serving line. It looked like a carbon-copy of any state-side chow-hall. The food was good with a nice variety.


Joe and I ended up at the BX.


He was looking for a camera, and I tried on a watch, it was a Japanese Seiko watch. Up until that time I wore a Timex. We didn't have enough money to by a stick of gum. Payday was still trying to catch up with us. I would buy that Seiko watch and two more to send to my parents. I spent a lot of money in that base exchange. It was everything Japanese, and really seeing high-quality products from Japan was different. We couldn't buy a thing, so we spent an hour walking around and checking out the things you could get here. I could buy a car here, in fact Vinny did by a Chevy II, and shipped it from New Jersey to California by rail. How is that for some air force service?


Back at the barrack, our temporary barracks, we walked in through the rear of the building and in the latrine, two airman were in the process of gutting the biggest damn snake I had ever seen.

What kind, I don't know, but it was big enough to swallow you and me. The skin was valuable for making shoes and accessories for the rich. There was one-hell of a mess in the showers, and smelled real bad! I wanted to get out of there fast, but I had no place to go, this was home. So I laid down and rested for a while. I lay in my underpants as the fan moved across my near naked body, slick with sweat. I wanted to run to anyplace that had air-conditioning, the NCO Club and the officers club, you think they might be air-conditioned, definitely, lowly airman not welcomed.

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