beach by zhangyun


									Board Six Tales                                            

                                     On the Beach
Panama City, Florida was a favorite playground, particularly if you think about the available
attractions of southern Alabama. The panhandle of the Florida Gulf Coast has beautiful
beaches. You can’t say much for the surf, but the beaches and the water are world class – at
least then and even now, quite good except for the tall condominium buildings lining the beach.
Funny how things could be so great if you could get rid of the people.
                                        Gone Fishing
Saturday, June 2
No inspection today - surprise. After getting back from the character guidance lecture (does
anyone listen to what they are saying – maybe out of boredom), we had a formation so Lt.
Moye could officially dismiss us for the day. However, the threat of an inspection had done its
job. The barracks was all shined up and my stuff was shaped up. Nice gesture on the
Captain’s part though.
At 2:00 a group of us piled into two cars and headed for Panama City, arriving at 4:30 - thirty
minutes into the cocktail hour at the Surf and Sand Club. The cocktail hour is a two hour
period from four to six with 45¢ cocktails - considerably cheaper than the usual 60¢. With the
place so packed, it is hard to get many drinks. I went to the bar at 5:40 and couldn’t get served
before the deadline. The trick is: go early and get enough to last the entire cocktail hour.
A pretty good high developed, but 60¢ drinks took me out of the game. My drinks went up 30¢.
The extra 15¢ came from specifying the type of scotch in my scotch sour (a waste of good
Schultz remembers one Saturday afternoon:
A gang of 12 or 14 sitting at one large
table. You know how some people get teased
more than others, well this guy got his drink
(something exotic or unusual like a Singapore
Sling). He took a sip, commenting it didn't
taste right. The guy next to him said let me
have a taste. He took a taste and said, "your
right" and then handed it to the guy next to
him for a taste. The drink went all the way
around the table with each guy taking a taste
and making some appropriate comment. By
the time the drink got back to it's owner there was nothing left. No one complained about the
taste of their drink ever again.
The picture has Schultz, Peterson, Maravich and Rachner.
Miniature golf was after dinner entertainment for this Saturday. I didn’t do well because it was
the first time on this course - although, much easier than ones in Los Angeles.
Later on, we arrived at the 98 Club for the 11:30 floor show. The show reminded me of Juarez
but more sophisticated. The jokes were not better, the girls didn’t go as far; but nicer
atmosphere. No worries about someone putting the make on you during the show. Just slightly
reminiscent of Juarez: the smells, sounds and atmosphere that could never be fully imitated in
the states.
                                                       On the Beach              2
I would like to be able to say something poetic about that night on the beach - it was miserable.
The wind blew, it was cold and the Army blankets were itchy. They say it will be real nice later
in the summer when it’s warm enough to sleep without blankets and without freezing.
Early Bird gets the Fish
A fishing trip was scheduled at 7:00 AM. It was an hour away.
They had iced beer for us on the boat, but I was a little reluctant to start - I was feeling a little
queasy. But, it was free, so what the hell. The queasiness went away.
Fishing was disappointing – no excitement. I caught one, but the only exciting part happened
when I realized a fish was on the line. After that it was just a matter of reeling him in. They put
up a pretty good fight, but the hook won’t break and the leader is heavier than it has to be. So,
it is impossible to lose the fish. Because my 7-pounder (Kingfish) provided a good fight, I can
see the fun of having 50 to 100 pounds of fish on the line.
The quantity of fish we landed could not be considered outstanding. Seven fish, totaling 35
pounds, is nothing to brag about. But they did make a nice picture. From left to right: three
King Fish, two Albacore and one Red Snapper.
For $6 a piece, we did not get a bargain in excitement or fish. I
think we will try a smaller boat with less people next time (our
group was about half of those aboard). Some people went out on
a smaller boat and caught about 30 fish. I can imagine the fun of
getting that many strikes.
The fishing trip ended at 12:00, so we spent the rest of the day on
the beach soaking up what little sun was left.
The boat rental people had packed the fish in ice to take home and DA gave the cooks
permission to serve them for lunch. We were having cold cuts otherwise.
The fish were very tasty. Everyone commented how good they were. It even stirred up various
discussions of going deep sea fishing. I had no idea the fish would turn into such tasty
morsels – complements to the chef. I had the King fish. It was tender and had great flavor -
not like fish at all.
                                           Rainy Days
Sunday, June 17
Humprey talked five of us into going to the beach in spite of the clouds. It was cloudy all the
way down and rained in spots. Blue skies threatened but would not come out. Wishful
thinking, they were actually leaving. We bought meat and bread to eat on the beach. However,
we ate in the rain (under a covered picnic table) - just a sprinkle though, just enough to make
the whole trip seem ludicrous. All because of our desperate desire to escape Fort Rucker.
Although I do not remember, Schultz reminded me of another popular dining option. In
Schultz’s words: There was a small drive-in nearby that advertised, "The World's Largest
Hamburger for 19 cents," really big - eight or nine inches in diameter as I recall. We ate there
several times and no one ever got sick.
Saturday, June 23
They really have a rainy season. This morning it looked nice, the sun was shining with white
clouds scattered around the sky. But about noon, it clouded up with the rain pouring down a
little later. Never have I seen it rain so consistently day after day. When a rainy period ends, it
is hot for a couple of days and then starts again. And, when it rains, it pours.
                                                      On the Beach          3
KP was periods between meals
waiting for the few people to get
hungry. It only takes an hour to clean
up the place after each meal. I am
always the pots and pans man – the
least desirable job (assigned to the
last person). When I get Monday’s KP
over with, it will be a while before I get
it again.
Again we tried to get a tan on the
beach while the rain was coming
down. It didn’t do any good.
We bought lunch in the grocery store
and ate at the park by the beach.
Eating in the rain is funny the first time
but it is getting on my nerves. It has happened two weeks in a row - for a month nothing but
sunshine, now nothing but rain.
I got up 25 minutes late for KP and my watch was 15 minutes late. So it added up to 40
minutes late. Trull chewed a little, hinting that next time he would turn me in to the orderly
room. Since DA is looking for extra details, I believe the best course to follow is to do what I
am told. These past 3 days eliminated KP for a while.
My anniversary (June 25th) - sixteen months to go - day by day.
                                         Quiet Weekend
Saturday, June 30
Today is payday so no inspection. In the afternoon,
Humphrey and I went to Panama City, where we took in
the cocktail hour at the Sand and Surf. After that we ate
and took in another show at the Club 98: same old show,
night on the beach. It was warm and I enjoyed a good
night’s sleep.
Club 98 has a one drink minimum - I always order a
Manhattan; a drink I really dislike. I can easily nurse that
drink for the entire show - like taking medicine.
Although it rained an hour in the morning, it cleared up
nicely. I got burned a little after all day on the beach.
Quiet weekend - a little quiet - only Humphrey and I -
neither being talkers. Still enjoyable though.
            Sleeping with the Mosquitoes
Saturday, July 14
The sun was shining when we left - nice start - still shining when we got to the beach. Saturday
afternoon, was 96 degrees. Also, at the Surf and Sand, we did not have to wait in line for
drinks. We got there at 5:00 - enough time to have four drinks. Arrived at the bar 10 minutes
                                                    On the Beach           4
to 6:00 - still served. Unusual, considering I have gone to the bar in the past at 5:20 and
unable to get served before six.
For co-op-dinner we borrowed a fire and roasted hot dogs - miniature golf followed. Later, the
9:30 show at Club 98 had the best stripper I have seen in Panama City.
Bedded down on the beach behind the Sand and Surf. Oodles of seaweed provided an
excellent haven for mosquitoes. We moved when they started getting together to carry us off.
We fought our way out to the beach by our picnic grounds. No mosquitoes, just lots of people
wandering about at 4:00 in the morning - not much sleep.
At 7:00 in the morning, it started raining and did not stop until we left at 12:00 noon. The
weekend started out so nice. Well, maybe next weekend.
                                     Presher in Action
Saturday, August 25
Another month has flown by.
We went over to test to move the desks, but decided
to wait for the mechanics, who were coming over an
hour and a half later. We moved pictures, chairs
and papers before they got there. While the
mechanics moved the desks, we labeled things with
the officer’s names. We didn’t move desks.
I told Humphrey I wouldn’t go to Panama City unless
he got someone else to go. So he got Presher.
After a slight delay on the road (Presher helping
Humphrey fix the flat and me taking a picture), we
got there about 3:00 and stayed on the beach until
5:00. Then the Sand and Surf for cocktail hour followed by a picnic grounds dinner.
After dinner we went to the greyhound dog races (on the way to Rucker, just south of the
Florida border). I did not bet but Humphrey and Presher broke even betting on all the races.
Mike gave me $2.00 to bet on the number 2 dog in the 10 th race (don’t ask why). He did not
want to come but wanted to bet on the race. In short, his dog won. So, he won $15.20 without
even going down there.
Back to the beach for the night.
All day at the beach. Presher tried to make out with 3 women who were with a Major. He drank
their liquor and beer - getting pretty drunk. He planned on staying with the Major overnight if
one of the women would stay but the Major couldn’t promise anything. He left the Major and
his women and come back with us. He was out of cigarettes so he asked a nearby women and
then sat down with her. He wanted to see if he could make out with her. He talked to her for
about an hour without any success. She finally took her 3 kids and went home. Then we went
Presher: always trolling, every waking moment. And if we can take his word for it, he often
succeeds. I have heard the same stories time and time again. He either has a very good
memory or they are true. I have to go with the later.
Presher Stories
                                                        On the Beach   5
One story he tells at reunions has him sitting at a
table in a bar and his cigarette tray is heaping full
(he smoked a lot). He calls the waitress over and
tells her about the full ash tray. She grabs it and
dumps it on the floor and says, “Now honey, that
wasn’t so hard was it?”
Another one has him in bed late at night with an
officer’s wife (not Board Six) and her husband
comes home - lights coming up the driveway.
The husband has been drinking (he did a lot of
that) so he was a little slow getting the car
parked (ran into a few things) and making it into
the house. Presher and the wife had enough
time to toss on their clothes and be standing in
the kitchen when the husband came in. The wife
says, “Honey, I was a little scared and I called
Johnny up. We were just having a drink and he
was trying to calm me down.” Her husband
probably was relieved that his wife was not
He has a lot of stories like that and every time he
tells one he laughs harder than anyone.

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