Day Nine Hundred Forty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our movements have become greatly restricted, even within this commodious dungeon. The number of guards has dropped, but whereas before there were none to interfere with our secretive activities, now even our mundane ones come under scrutiny.

We can barely speak a string of a dozen words before being silenced by a nearby guard.

Thankfully that changed when a certain guard reported for his shift. He was the one responsible for the note in our food from Raj G’s people.

In the guise of giving a reprimand he offered his services and we accepted.

First, he brought news of the well being of members of their group separated in other dungeons. Next he will bring them a word from us.

Day Nine Hundred Forty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

There was a note hidden along with our food last night. It was addressed to Elijah. They identified themselves as followers of Hamashiach, formerly led by Raj G. And they are excited at the prospect of meeting him.

This news set us rejoicing that we had been brought to the same prison.

(And the thought occurred to me that the guard must have known about the message. He would have to have been blind otherwise).

All morning we anticipated the arrival of the guards sent to move us. And our elation continued despite the rather rough handling we experienced when they came in and chained us together.

The chains remained in place as we were led into the grim dungeon.

Day Nine Hundred Forty Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah passed the day in one corner of our cell. I kept watch, moving to the door whenever I heard the approach of footsteps. There was not much traffic down in this wing, and the few of which I became aware, continued on past. (Probably a guard).

As the day went on it was beginning to look like no one would be paying us a call to demand our answer and we would be given another day to accept the mark.

But that thought was interrupted by the arrival of our food. The guard who passed it through to me said it would be the last meal delivered here if we did not agree to the mark by his return.

Tales from my Father Pt 1

Tales from My Father Pt 1

When my Father enlisted in the US Air Force in 1951, he reported to basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio TX. It was a rough time. The Korean conflict had just broken on the scene and over 100,000 men were crammed into a camp meant for 20,000.

Their uniforms were all WW2 issue – Army Air Corps khaki. The new blue uniforms for the recently separated service arm were not yet available.

In addition food was scarce and the men were always hungry. So after basic Dad was not unhappy to be assigned to the cooking school. All those similarly appointed made their way to Fort Devens in Massachusetts. There all the hungry enlisted men who had suffered through basic in San Antone were pleasantly surprised to see a mess hall flowing with “milk and honey.” Six weeks of training in their specialty ensued.

His first orders were for Larson AFB in Moses Lake WA which he reached via Payne Field, north of Seattle.  Dad in his capacity as cook was assigned to an AC&W squadron (Aircraft Control & Warning). These were special radar units were a part of the Air Defense Command (ADC), set up to give early warning about the approach of enemy airplanes. These Washington State sites were tasked to be on the lookout for Bearcat Bombers expected to be coming over the pole from Russia (the USSR). A squadron each was placed at a series of a half dozen bases that ringed the atomic facilities at the Hanford nuclear reserve in the tri-cities area of the state.

Other ACW squadrons were mobilized for service in Korea to do the same function at the air bases there.

From Larson he was seconded to another base, but only spent one day there. He was told that someone had read his orders wrong and that he should have been sent to Colville WA instead. They turned him around, however, and sent him back to Larson, as the new base outside of Colville was still under construction.

Having time on his hands and being curious, my Dad got a hold of some maps and checked out where the town of Colville was located.

When the orders came through for the squadron to proceed to Colville. The Master Sargeant asked the men assembled if anyone knew where Colville was. Dad spoke right up and said he knew the way, the fruit of satisfying his curiosity earlier.  So the Master Sergeant had the PFC join him in the lead car of the convoy as they headed for their new duty station.

They arrived in Colville hungry and pulled up in a line on Main Street. Having scoped out a place to eat, Dad again volunteered, this time to guard the cars and trucks. A lot of locals and looky loos stared in wonder as they passed the parked convoy, pondering what had come to their fair community. (There was very little in the local press about what the military was doing up on the mountain. Their equipment and mission was top secret).

They took the Tiger Road out of town, and over Squaw Creek up to the mountain where the base, at least as far as personnel goes, was ready. The radar installation had not yet been completed, but it would be soon.

Knowing that Colville would be the only place nearby to meet girls, my Dad came up with the following stratagem his first furlough there. Walking down the street he ran into some children, he opened his ploy by asking one of the boys if he had any big sisters at home. When the answer came back in the negative, he switched gears. Did he have a babysitter. Yes, he indeed did have one, and he led my father straight to the house where she lived.

My Mom answered his knock at the door. This being a small town out west in the early 50’s, if a man in uniform appeared on your doorstep, hospitality required that you invite him in. So she did.

She was home from school that day, looking after her younger siblings. Their mother had just passed away the week before. She entertained the young airman by playing the latest 45s on her record player. So the music of Eddy Arnold, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Patti Page and Bing Crosby’s version of Harbor Lights formed the sound track for their courtship.

They were joined in wedlock six months later. And for the shivaree (a quaint custom that takes various forms along the frontier in the US) he was made to push his new bride down Main Street in a wheel barrow.

All Hail Eloise

 

All Hail Eloise

As they say in the movies, the following is based upon a true incident (and as you can see by the amounts and the mention of Cub Foods [i.e. Winco] this was back in 1991):

Let us sing of my pure one –
Famous in battle
Let us take up her praise upon our lips
For ’tis fitting that we praise –
Our lips and not her own.

With firm and measured tread
She takes the Safeway, the Thriftway
The thronging CUB food aisle
Swiftly to the fray she sweeps
Where each combatant must join the list
Against the exacting foe.
(All buttoned and be-ribboned
Anxious to take its toll)
With each stroke of the infernal engine
The cents into dollars count
Pressing hard ‘gainst the family purse and budget
As to the skies they mount
Thirty-seven point eighty blink the lights azure
Thirty-seven dollars and eighty cents
A princely sum that’s sure
Yet is her brow disturbed?
-No! There is only more resolve.
For her weapons this moment sheathed
Leap out at the total called.

And 37.80 ceases flashing
From its lofty height it tumbles down.
First fifty cents are taken off
Then six dollars in a lump
Double the sum of forty
As the coupons fall like trump
The total is hacked in half
And as the haze is cleared away
Another sixth is shorn
The total mortifies in rigor at 13.64

All hail Eloise
As she leaves the field
The victor undisputed
All hail Eloise
Her booty gained
In battle well-reputed.

RWOz2

Day Three Hundred Forty Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We are still being held offshore, awaiting someone’s decision to allow us to enter the harbor.

All appears peaceful in the vicinity of the grain ship’s anchorage, but that is most likely due to the rather large security presence surrounding her.

The pilot has been tight-lipped and taciturn, and when spoken to, changes the subject when questioned about conditions in the city.

Elijah broke through when he asked after the pilot’s family and how long the famine has endured. This reduced the man to tears and it all came tumbling out.

Food has been scarce in the area since the descent from the north of a great plague of locusts. The survivors have taken to consuming the dead invaders.

Day Three Hundred Thirty Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah was granted his wish today. The Captain held back his permission until after the search for the crew on the other ship was completed.

The remains of the other captain and his team were found in a barricaded cabin off the bridge deck, though not the entire crew. The rest must have gotten off. A fact that appeared to be proven when two lifeboats were discovered to be missing from their davits.

Elijah asked me to stay behind while he chose the Purser to accompany him over. They turned up one of the missing lifeboats. It was tucked up out of sight alongside of the grain ship, its occupants mere skeletons.

Elijah wants to collect some locusts for food.

Day Two Hundred Eighty #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elam, the name of the former madman, goes where we go and lives where we live. He hangs on every word that Elijah passes on to him.

Sy’s parents invited us (Elam included) around to the back of their residence where they supplied us with food. Elijah again tried to persuade them to go to their son, adding that the city’s days are numbered. They declined again, but this time I sense some hesitation.

We turned our faces to the city center. Along the way Elam stopped at each cross street and called out the dire warning. “Twenty nine days!”

Elijah spoke on the administration building’s steps. They still deny us access.

The crowds are getting bigger and linger longer.

Day Two Hundred Sixty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We all recovered from our mutual surprise rather quickly, due to the absence of the mark on any of our foreheads. This band of a dozen or so people has been hiding out and scavenging in the area since shortly after the recent troubles.

Elijah questioned them all in turn, and answered theirs. (He mentioned two names unfamiliar to me. I learned later that this was due to a promise Elijah had made to Sy, to seek after his parents. No one knew them).

They invited us into their abode, in another basement off of the tunnel. And refreshed us with food.

As Elijah settles in to instruct them in things of the Spirit, I will explore the building above.