Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The REST of the story.

I had mentioned in my last blog that a gent (after this, referred to as C), had growled about my not knowing about things near the moon landing.  So.  To expand.

C and I met through Amateur (ham) Radio.  He had been in the military, (Marines), and I don't have a clue why, but we both hit it off, and were pretty good friends ever since we'd met.  He was pretty laid back... Until someone would get him upset about his wife, family, or on rare occasion, bureaucracy.  He would roar a lot about the paperwork and snarl.  However, the one and only time I saw him injured, was when the hospital he went to wasn't going to do something for his wife, and she was very ill.

I saw him the week after, and noticed his hand was bandaged.  He had become so furious, that he managed to pound the wall for emphasis, and didn't realize quite HOW hard he was pounding, when his fist went through the wall board and hit a stud, breaking his fist.


 He was in more than a bit of trouble for that one.  His wife, however, DID get looked at!  It's just sad that he had to go through all that for it to happen...

I mentioned he was a Marine.  I, at that time, wasn't acquainted with any other Marines...  I had been reading an article, and the byline was, X. Marineguy 3/5 yada.  I asked him, what's with the 3/5 part?  I thought Marines were full time, 3/5ths?  What, is he a Navy guy the other 2/5ths?  He just stared at me for a moment, then started laughing, when he realized I was serious.

 Laughing, to the point he was tearing up, and had to hold his sides...  When he finally was able to settle, he told me it was something on the order of  3 regiment, 5th battalion of such and such area. 

Oh.  (I later found out the various military groups have a running thing with ragging on each other, so he was wondering if I was doing a put down, rather than being my usual clueless, but curious, self.)

We had practiced emergency drills at our local hospital. (NOT the one he got... upset... at.)  We had to use 'tactical' calls.  That is, the normal way to use the radio, you give your call, then every ten minutes, give your call again.  In this case, we just used our calls, if we needed to talk to a specific person.  Otherwise, we would use a card, which would give the areas folks were at.  We would check in, and oh, for example, Bobby would be at the entrance, which was Alpha station, Rick would be at the Emergency Department entrance, which would be Bravo station, and so on.  I had arrived well after the drill had started, and took my place.  C was heading things up, and asked for us to give our calls, and locations for the hour.  I gave my call, and then went blank.  I was WHAT station?  Looking at my info, I was in C station.  Gah.  My brain went blank.  C, c is for... Bah.  I told him,"Brain fart, I am at C, that is Cookie station, until I can remember my letters." He wasn't the only one to laugh, but his was the laugh I could hear the furthest away!  (Annnd, if you ever get on Jeopardy, it's CHARLIE. Sheesh.)

So, we were talking about Jane Fonda, who had been in the news for something, and he was much hot under the collar about her.  "Hanoi Jane" was said, repeatedly, and I was again, clueless.  I hadn't heard much about her, and didn't know why he was upset.  So, in my brilliantly clueless way, I stuck my hand right in the middle of the hornet's nest...

So, what is wrong with Jane Fonda, what did she do?

Ohhh, boy...

Let's just say that he gave me a FULL rundown on military service, and what one does, and does not do, to assist captured soldiers.  Ahem.  That was when he snorted, and half bellowed, "You should KNOW this, it was on the news almost every night then!!!

That's when I regaled him with my not quite 2 year old self story of the moon landing.  His jaw dropped.  He then said, I thought you were a lot older than that! 

I dryly responded, thanks.  He spluttered, But you act older!  I started making digging motions, he clicked, started laughing, aaaand we went on to a less pyrotechnic topic. 

He has since passed away, but he was a good friend, and I think, even if we were both a bit clueless, or tactless, or both, well, we both had a pal to cover for being a doof.

But, I must say, this was better than when I was in college, and had to write a report on where I was when Kennedy was shot.  Having not been born yet, it was an interesting experience.  (So, you and I have something in common, Messimimi!)  At least the teacher admitted she'd made a mistake, and thought she'd checked ages so that wouldn't happen.  I did get an A, so it worked out.