1 One Sunday In Perry
2 What the Army Taught Me
3 Not My Mother's Shopping List
4 Brain Calisthenics
5 The Pono Nano Diet
6 Oatmeal Jim-Jams
7 A Walk in the Park
8 Escape to California
10 Printer's Devil
11 Pono - The Addict
13 Love in the Woods
14 It's a Small World
15 Culinary Crutches
16 We Want Sandin
17 Better With Age
18 Parallel Universes
19 Mårten Nilsson Finne
20 Hawaii Is A State
21 Shake-em-up Flashlight
22 The Use of E-mail
23 Normal American Schoolboy
24 Lake Gogebic Early Days
WHAT THE ARMY TAUGHT ME
I was drafted into the United States Army in 1958, so a) I was not very happy about being there, and b) I was very unhappy about being there, and c) I hated being there. However, I was pretty sure I could learn something (few of life’s experiences fail to enlighten one) so, I sucked it up and paid attention. What I learned was not what I expected, but it turned out to be valuable anyway.
Fortunately for my physical well-being, 1958 was peacetime, but unfortunately for my mental stability, 1958 was peacetime. I was stationed in Germany and our mission was to guard the Fulda gap, a traditional east-west route for invasion. We were to “be there” and “be ready” just in case something happened. We were an Armored outfit so we had lots of vehicles. Now, you can check the oil of, and lube the universal joint on a vehicle just so many times before it becomes ridiculous. So, I learned how to look busy and stay away from the motor pool.
I volunteered to be secretary of the bowling league. This involved coordinating schedules, keeping the records, and of course, assuring that the lanes were functioning properly.
I became troop information specialist. This involved keeping the bulletin board in the dayroom up-to-date with the most current Army propaganda, um, information, and delivering an inspiring one-hour lecture every month to keep the troops informed of the most current Army … etc.
I was a member of the color guard for parades. This required marching practice and an exceptionally high-level maintenance of uniforms, and actually carrying a flag or guarding the flag carriers in the occasional parade.
I shared leading the troops in morning physical training (PT). This involved calling the drills and then watching to see that everyone was performing properly.
I also had some work to do in the map room, but I swear I don’t even remember what possible justification I had for that task.
While proceeding from one duty to another I would always walk purposefully with papers or a clipboard in hand. I made it a point to pass by the orderly room to be seen at least once in the morning and once in the afternoon. The rest of the time I was totally devoted to my “duties”.
So, if I happened to be seen in the bowling alley by some officer who wasn’t smart enough to hang out in the bachelor officer’s quarters (BOQ), I had a legitimate reason for being there. If I happened to be in the nice warm dayroom on a miserable winter day, I was sorting bulletins or preparing for next week’s lecture. If I was found in my room during work hours, I was maintaining my parade uniform. I actually had to be with the gang when leading PT, but in order to observe and instruct, I could not of course participate. And if I was found in the map room, I probably knew at the time why I was there, even though I can’t remember now.
To be honest, the extra duties did cost me. I probably spent up to eight hours a week keeping up with the responsibilities. However, the bug-out opportunities were limitless and they kept me out of the motor pool and the weather and the rat-race more hours than I can count! I will not reveal how this expertise was applied during my non-military career, but rather leave that for the reader to consider.
Totally unrelated to the above is the fact that I was Library Administrator, Security Supervisor, and Blood Bank Coordinator with one of my employers. I actually had to work and bleed to keep up with those duties!
Pono as a color guard
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