Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Christmas Letter 2016

Posted: December 14, 2016 in Christmas, Life

 

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I am sitting at my desk, it is a little after 2am, thinking about a myriad of stray ideas and thoughts. Probably why I am still up. I did go to bed around nine last night, woke up around midnight unable to fall back asleep. I am thinking about going back for my third cup of Joe, so this might be a long night. It is one advantage of retirement. I can make use of the time as I see fit, however my wife does not like it when I nap during the day, which is her time to hang with me!

I was going to say tomorrow is haircut day, but actually it is today! I also ordered some new Wranglers, a new Bullhide belt, have a new grocery order in and accepted which will be delivered sometime after 7 am, so it isn’t like I have not accomplished anything. Oh I also have my daughters present purchased and on the way. As I may include this in my blog I cannot divulge what it is, but it is something substantial I know for a fact she wants! The wife, well as usual I do not have a clue, and no purchase as of yet for her, but It will come, it always does! She always says she does not need anything, never gives me a wish list, even when I tell her that giving presents is what it is all about for me! It is where my joy is, watching someone get a present I got them when I managed to get it right and bring them joy! I am pretty sure I am getting at least a shirt or two, as she started in on me when she noticed I was looking at them myself. She never bitches, so it has to be because she has shirts on order already!

I actually have a lot to be thankful for this year. I myself feel fine, even though I do have a few challenges, as I am 68 now. But I still can walk as far as I want, still ride my motorcycle, I just can’t run very far, and I am carrying too much weight, which I am working on. It will not be part of a new years resolution however, just an attitude adjustment.

Vivian had some challenges this year, she got a little brittle, tripped and fell breaking her arm. Then while still rehabbing the arm, she fell coming down the stairs at the movie theater and broke her hip. The arm just required healing and rehab, but the hip had to be pinned, and she had to spend some time in a rehab hospital to get mobile again before she could come home! However she is moving around well, no walker, still a little stiff at times, but she healed up in record time! So now I need to get her out walking with me. She is too skinny, and I am too fat, so we need to find the middle of the road this year!

I was planning one more motorcycle trip up and down the western coast, then wherever the roads of the northwestern states would take me. However my wife will not share the motorcycle experience with me, so next year we should both be able to take a trip in the SUV and do basically the same thing! I have always wanted to show her all the places I lived in the Riggins and Lucille area, maybe some back roads up through Burgdorf and McCall areas. I will find some shorter motorcycle journeys to fill my need for the wind in my face and the roar of horsepower! I tried a club, but their trips are too regimented for me.

So the daughter was promoted to Principal this year. She is a little younger than most principals, but this school had need of her specialized skills!, she was  an English teacher who also was trained in reading and comprehension difficulties. She is also bi-lingual. She taught college for a short time, but when the school year ended she elected to take a job back with her younger students. It turns out college age students who are having comprehension problems and difficulty making it at that level are not so much suffering any malady, they are just plain lazy! She loves her kids, but thinks she needs to get them at least by junior high level to do the most good! She has been a very successful teacher, and now a Principal. She was an assistant last year, and then she also did the summer session this year as temp Principal. The school then requested her where she had been an assistant the year before as their new Principal.

She just sold her condo and moved into a much larger house with a huge yard. It even has covered RV parking. She has two pitbull mixes she dearly loves, one a rescue from the local pound. They are the most loving dogs I have ever seen, not a mean bone in their bodies. They do bark a lot if you come up to the fence or front door, but I have seen them both hide behind my daughter when people they did not know came in. It takes them about thirty seconds to make friends however, then they will not leave you alone, begging for attention and play time!   My daughter basically bought the house for them!

So Christmas will be a good one this year, I hope that it finds all of my friends in good cheer as well! My thoughts are always with you, and look, no politics!

Merry Christmas

John and Vivian Love

 

A Reblog of A note from Abroad, my favorite travelers. I mainly did this reblog on this trip because I know a lot of teachers and thought they would like it.

 

Sunday, October 30th ~ Floreana Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador Day 5 ~ This was our last full day on the ship. Although I enjoyed Floreana, it was my least favorite of the islands we visited on our itinerary. Still a few fun memories, but not the WOW factor we experienced earlier.

via Galapagos Islands ~ Post Office Bay, Champion Islet, Cormorant Point (Floreana Island) — A Note From Abroad

A Reblog!

 

Another exciting chapter in the adventures of Tim and Joanne! 

 

Friday, October 28th ~ Tagus Cove, Urbina Bay, Isabela Island Day 3 ~ Before we take off on todays excursions, I wanted to share more information of what day-to-day life is like on board the Santa Cruz II. There are several primary large areas where meetings, or lectures, or meals can be served, the Panorama […]

via Galapagos Islands, Ecuador ~ Tagus Cove, Urbina Bay — A Note From Abroad

 

The next edition of my reblog of the Galapagos Islands thanks to Tim and Joanne!

Thursday, October 27th ~ Galapagos Islands ~ Isabela and Fernandina Islands Day 2 ~ A ship wide wake up call at 7:00 and breakfast served at 7:15, with a planned departure (again via panga boats) promptly at 8:15. Our day will be divided up into two sections. The morning on Isabela Island with our sightseeing […]

via Galapagos Islands ~ Isabela Island, Fernandina Island — A Note From Abroad

 

My friends have made it to the Galapagos Islands and the ship they will be calling home  during their trip through the islands. Their first day is chronicled here, enjoy!

 

Wednesday, October 26th ~ Galapagos Islands, Ecuador Day 1 – Getting off of the airplane I was already wondering where I was and what had happened. This surely was not the Island paradise I had envisioned. In fact far from it. Can’t say why I had envisioned lush and tropical, but the reality was hot, […]

via Galapagos Islands ~ From disillusion to wonderment all in a single day — A Note From Abroad

A friend of mine was asking a question about remembering some of the old style things as kids, like eight track tapes, etc. Hell, I still have an eight-track player that works, and a box full of tapes!

 The first house I lived in that had a phone was the old crank style. Our phone number was one short, one long, and one short crank. There were about eight of us on the line. Anyone could pick up and listen in. We could only talk to those eight households or the switchboard board at Lucille Idaho, ten miles north of Riggins. Lucille had a permanent population of about eight people! The rest of us all lived up Cow Creek, which dumped into the Salmon River. The switchboard could call anyone and connect us to a regular phone. Oh yeah, we did have a radio that only got one station with elevator music on it, and then only when atmospheric conditions were right, no T.V. signal at all. We did have an old wind up Victrola with a few records like the Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze, some old German beer drinking songs, really great stuff! Not vinyl, the old hard platters that would shatter if you dropped them. Idaho is weird, even then all that was 50 or 60 years out of date. The water for the house came out of Cow Creek. It ran into a little catch basin with a screen on it so tadpoles or leaves did not come out of your faucet or plug up the plumbing, but no other filter. The electricity came off of a power pole, but that was kind of new, we still had a paddle wheel electric generator mounted over the creek that still worked. However it would only run the lights. The fridge and electric stove had to come from Idaho power connections. I had over an acre of lawns, a 3/4-acre garden, thirteen flower gardens, two wood stoves for heat, and just who do you think roto-tilled, weeded, harrowed, cultivated, mowed, and cut all that wood? All with a push mower, a two hand scye, one axe, (no wedge or mall) a hoe and shovel? Me, that’s who, I was thirteen! Rode my bike down the mountain to the bus stop three miles away every school day and pushed it back home at night. That was actually my best and most relaxed time. I would read a book balanced on the handlebars as I pushed the bike back up the hill, which was my entertainment time! There was always chores to do until it got dark, then homework! If I got done with homework before bedtime, or it was summer, I was allowed to read, which I loved to do! Oh, it rarely snowed there in winter over a few inches, it was too freakin cold to snow!

 This was the first family I lived with after leaving my mother and step-dad. We had some weird rules. First of all I admit to having some bad habits. I used words like dang and darn, tended to leave lights on after leaving a room, said pitcher when I referring to picture, evil stuff like that. So the rule was, for any infraction of rules to numerous to mention was a swat with pants down, bent over, with a wooden paddle with holes drilled in for speed. Second infraction was two swats, and then doubled again to four, then added four every time there was another infraction! Twenty swats became the limit. Oh I could be repeatedly paddled at the twenty limit, it just did not get added to once I got that far. I am not against spankings, just the sometime idiots who are in charge of the spankings. I also went to church four times a week. Sunday mornings and evenings, Tuesday was youth group, and Wednesday we had prayer meetings. You see I had run away from home and taken my sister, but that is another story. But since my mother and stepfather were sinners, well it was catching and I had it! So they prayed over me at all of these meetings, waiting for me to be visited by the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues. They were Pentecostal, you see, so no Ghost, no saving. Now my sister actually lived with the preacher of this church, he was the brother of the family I lived with, who was going to also become a minister, and did sometime after I left them. My point is, I can only imagine the hell she lived in!

 So one fine day, having memorized the Holy Ghost speeches of my little congregation, they always said the same gibberish, I proceeded to spout what I had learned, thinking they would now leave me alone. Well it appears my thirteen-year-old brain had not thought this through. Everyone recognized his or her part when it came up! I was literally thrown out of the front door and down the stairs of that church as the spawn of the devil. And this, as I said, at the ripe old age of thirteen! I was still required to go to church down the road at the Community Church. You could be any religion and go there. Not a bad church. The minister, a Mr. Prohaska was very understanding and made it plain from the git go that he did not consider me a spawn of the devil. He also never prayed over me. For me, but never over me. So I planned a new escape. Again, not really a plan, just figured no matter where I ended up had be better, at least that was the thought running through my thirteen year old head.

 So you must understand where all this was taking place, the Riggins Idaho area. One way in and one way out, no other civilization for miles and miles. So running away was a problem, whether north or south it had to be down highway 95 and I knew that would not work. Going overland to the west only got me up against the Hells Canyon, kind of a son to the Grand Canyon. Going east was what they call a primitive area, nothing doing there but maybe a meal for a mountain lion or bear! Or if you were lucky maybe just getting lost and starving to death, you know, the old fashioned way! But luckily the family I was living with had a reunion scheduled I was now fourteen. This took place in Greenleaf Idaho, southern part of the state, and all kinds of places I could head out to. So I packed a ditty bag, you know, with the toothbrush, the couple of bucks I had stashed away, the only other pair of jeans I owned, and some underwear. Which no one looked sideways at, basically what I would have normally packed! I took off in the middle of the second night there. It was a long dirt road and then some county paved roads leading to all kinds of exotic places like Caldwell or Jerome, I mean we were in Idaho spud country!

 So I am trodding down the road, ditty bag in tow around midnight or so. I did not have a working watch. I see a car pulled off to the side of the road. In it was a lady, a school teacher, related by marriage to this family. I had met her before, so knew who she was as soon as she started talking to me. So on that dark night, she convinced me to go back and keep my mouth shut! She said she was in the process of trying to get them to let me come live with her and her family. She told me if I could just wait a couple of weeks that should come to pass. Their resistance had been that she was not religious, so she had joined the Assembly of God church in Council, which was also Pentecostal. I did not know this at the time. She then made me a deal that I would be treated just like her kids, and I would have some say over what happened to me. If I did not like living with them, she would help me find a place that did not include an orphanage. So we shook hands and that was the best damn deal I have ever made! Most of you will know who this women is, but as this will go public, I am not mentioning names.

 So I moved to Council Idaho. This very decent person kept working until she also got my sister, and then abruptly left that particular church. I did well. I had only been to two years of schooling and I was going to be fifteen that fall. Part of that other story I mentioned! So I had some catching up to do. I got straight A’s my junior and senior year. I was class president my sophomore year, editor of the school paper my junior and senior years, on the student council, science club, main string in three sports, and one of the football captains, we went undefeated by the way! So let’s just say I loved school, Council, and everything about it. It was a thriving ranching and logging town with a large mill at that time. I worked in the woods during the summer my junior and senior year. Fibbed a little about my age, but I was a big kid! All of the logging is gone now, mill torn down, so the town is suffering, but still hanging in there!

 So I went to Boise State, but ran out of money second semester. I joined the Marines for four years to get an aviation school guarantee, plus I also did not want to get drafted and become cannon fodder! I scored high so got into avionics working on a computer warfare bird. I wound up in Nam for two tours because my particular skills were hard to come by! They would bribe me with meritorious promotions to extend. I did that twice. So had been an E2 about two weeks before going to Nam and then promoted to E3, but it turned out there were no NCO’s in Avionics electric shop, so they promoted me to E4, a corporal so I could run the shop. So in six months my original one-year tour was up, so they promoted me to E5 Sergeant if I would extend for a second tour. I loved my job, however I did not like stateside troop and stomp. They offered me Staff Sergeant with guaranteed chance at Warrant Officer, but I was going to have to give them 8 more for all of that or four if I only wanted the Staff Sergeant, I was not willing. I should have at least stayed in the reserves, but hindsight is 20-20!

 So got out. Was always planning on continuing my education. Had been taking courses by mail while in the service. It turned out, even though I was not a grunt, but having a high stress job and hanging out on mission runs in Danang, lovingly referred to as Rocket City, gave me PTSD. Not that I admitted to that. However all I wanted to do was race my motorcycle, go boating, trash my 4×4, and was crew chief on a professional race boat, had the odd sand rail, etc. By the time I calmed down I was a daddy and had a mortgage. I had turned my military education into a career as an automotive computer and advanced engine diagnostics tech. I got my master ticket, became a smog tech, but mostly what I did was five gas analysis under load on a dyno. I could look at your tailpipe emissions and tell you what system was down, and usually what part. Once I got proficient at the dyno and 5 gas, I never used a scope again. Just my diagnostic computer and the dyno was all I needed. I knew how to do all the rest, brakes, alignment, pull an engine or trans out of a class A, the whole pie so to speak. But after my first year I was the shop foreman and usually the service manager, so if it was a dirty job, or heavy, I pointed and ordered someone else to do it. I lost nary a nights sleep over it either!

 So ended up working one job after the Corps for just under 30 years. The place closed down due to the owner’s ill health and being bought out by the State. I ended up as service manager for a private set of five Bobcat dealerships! It was stressful but the monetary reward was very, very, amenable! I retired after seven more years. This career did allow me to raise a daughter who has a Masters degree who became a teacher an now an assistant principal. She is the love of my life. Well aside from my wife, who I still have not managed to understand how or why I got so lucky!

 So in closing, I am not in love with religion as some of you may have guessed. As a matter of fact I am of the opinion that religion is the most dangerous entity this planet has ever experienced. Christianity just as much to blame as any other. So I do not begrudge you your belief, my daughter is devout, but for now I am not a willing participant. I am a good person and a great friend to have! I do not lie, well let me admit that I am a storyteller and will embellish if I think the story is boring. This piece is not one of those however, and my moral character, for whatever it might be worth, is a choice I make and not because I am afraid to be punished if I choose immorality!

 

 

Fathers Day and my posting of my Dad’s picture got me to thinking about the man who gave me almost every picture of my Father that thankfully I do have! Watch for the video at the very end of this article, it is the one I am most anxious for you to watch!

Warren King is a famous photographer and teacher who lived and worked here in Southern California. He was paired with my father during WWII, 167 Signal Photographic Company. They were both combat photographers, Dad specialized in combat movies when the opportunity presented itself. Not as easy to print up in the newspapers back home, but very valuable to military intelligence. Almost all of the photos I have of my Dad came from this man. A very good friend who I did not find until late in life whose name I had seen in letters sent to my paternal grandmother. He and my Father were very close, but after my Father died he lost contact and did not know what had become of us. I came across a website in which famous Hollywood photographers that had been taught by Mr. King had set up a scholarship fund in his name. I sent him a message via the web site asking if he knew my father and he immediately responded. So there is a documentary about the man, even includes a photo of my Dad!  You can see my Father at 5:16 into the film. It is the picture I am posting with this article and the one I posted on Facebook. At least my adopted families should take time to watch it. It was of course fascinating to me, but for obvious reasons. As I mentioned, Warren and my Dad stayed close friends after the war. After a couple of false starts Warren was offered a teaching job, among his duties he  started a career teaching photography to high school students. He became very famous, his students won prestigious awards every year, and so some of them also became famous in the photographic world. Mr. King took his students to a different foreign country each year on photo shoots, not your average high school photography class!

My father went to work for Hollywood Technicolor Corporation. He mainly worked on special effects for animation. For example, he told me the raindrops in Lady and the Tramp are actually milk drops that were later painted frame by frame to resemble rain and integrated into the animated movie. That is why they look so thick and fat! He loved his job, unfortunately his career was cut short by cancer, the Beverly Hills home we lived in had to go, not one of those mansions, just a regular home. But that is another story. Warren King or J Heslop, another very famous photographer, took most of the pictures in this article that I am including of my Dad. They were all in the same outfit at one time or the other and took photos of each other. So if King and Heslop are in a photo the chances that it was taken by my Dad are pretty good.

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The fellow pictured above with the camera is Warren King, and J Heslop is sitting to his left. No I am not forgetting to put a period behind the J, his first name is actually just the letter J, no period needed. Anyway, both he and my Dad wound up taking pictures and movies of prisoner of war camps, notably Jewish prisoner of war camps. Heslop used a still camera while Dad used a movie camera. I doubt they were together or at the same camp, but I do not know that one way or the other. I do know that because technology at the time could take still photos and get them in magazines and newspapers Heslop became famous! So there is a whole section at the BYU Harold B. Lee library digital photo section dedicated to J Heslop’s photos, he was a Mormon, you see. But he wrote books, was a journalist, and so was famous for more than just his war photos. There are several pictures of my Dad also in that collection taken by Hislop, however finding them took me a while, and some patience. Now the pictures of J Heslop himself obviously are not taken by him as cameras back then required a human to focus, aim, and pull the trigger, so chances are that Mr. King or my Dad could have taken them, no way to know. I will give you a link to the BSU site for Mr. Heslop, there are 75 pages of photos for you to choose from.

http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm/search/collection/JMHes/

 

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This photo is of Sgt. Warren King

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Staff Sgt. Charles Love/Sgt. Warren King

Charles Edwars Love

Dad

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Sgt. Warren King, Staff Sgt. Charles Love

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Dad being awarded the Purple Heart.

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Below is the short documentary on Warren King. Warren told me that other than my Mother and Father he was the first to hold me when I was born. He was also the contact for the VA hospital and came to tell me my Father had passed away. Donna was too young, and no one could find my Mother that evening, so he came to make sure I was ok.  I honestly do not remember that night, or him, until I found him about 15 years ago in an Internet search, as I mentioned. Any of you from my adopted families, I highly recommend you watch the video. It does not talk about my family, but it gives you insight into the kinds of people my Father considered a friend. Thank you for watching, and thank you Mr. King for being such a good friend!