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March 1, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy on STONEYEND
 

By the middle 80's, East Garrison at Fort Ord was mostly out of use.  It had once been an industrial area with warehouses and offices and such.  But those functions slowly shifted to the coastal side of the post and what was left was just storage and a handy place to train truck drivers to manuever around tight corners and narrow streets.  There was a large open area that had once belonged to the truck drivers' school that was perfect for watching new tractor-tra...
February 18, 2013 by charliemama on charliemama
 

I was a terrible Army wife.  I started out that way and I never got any better.  One of the worst things about it was that my in-laws made sure I knew it, too.  And feeling guilty about it on top of everything else made it even worse. 

 

I can't remember when I actually came face-to-face with the frequent separations that are a fact of Army life.  All I remember is that I hated it and I never got over it.  It always followed the same pattern...
February 16, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy on STONEYEND
I got up at 0400 (4:00 am to civilians...and for Marines it's when Mickey's big....oh well...you've already heard it..) and went down the concrete stairs to the little latrine for a shave and a shower and whatever else was needed (except on the day that changed everything) .  Then back upstairs to get dressed and straighten my AO (Area of Operation...really just my bunk and locker).  Next it was downstairs to the parking lot to pre-trip and warm up my jeep.  While it w...
February 15, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy on STONEYEND
It is clear and bright here this morning...and just into the teens temperature-wise.  It has been colder and clearer at times but this morning it is enough to keep me indoors and postponing some woodworking projects for me and MC.   It reminded me of a similar morning in Fort Leonard Wood several years ago when the man on the radio told me "If you looked outside and thought it would be a great day to wash the car, you are DEAD wrong!"  It was five below zero that morning and just ...
February 12, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy on STONEYEND
In late 1973 I bought a 1969 GTO.  It had been painted a Corvette yellow that made it look like a plastic banana when it was polished up.  It had a black vinyl roof and interior and it was sweet.  We lived in Phoenix at the time; it was an Arizona car, pristine paint and not a speck of rust underneath, or anywhere else for that matter.  The yellow Goat was a great performer.  We took it on several trips to San Diego and other places;  it always got 21 plus miles per...
January 30, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy on STONEYEND
I joined the Army in the summer of 1964.  Even with the restrictions on physical activity because of the Spinal Meningitis outbreak at Fort Ord, the physical training was more intense than anything I had ever done up to that point.  We had to sleep with the windows open  (we got in bed, turned out the lights, and watched the fog roll into our platoon bay).  We only had one case of meningitis but we had half-a-dozen guys go to the hospital with pneumonia....but I digress....I ...
January 19, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy on STONEYEND
I'm sure you have done the same thing.  Made a move in traffic and then realized it was a mistake and could shortly become a really bad time.  I had pulled out to pass an inter-city bus on a hill.  I was on my way from my post at Bad Kissingen to the Border Camp at Wohlbach.  In between the towns of Nudlingen and Munnerstadt, the two-lane road winds up a hill and then down the other side.  The vehicles from the tactical units were not allowed to go over 40 mph.  ...
January 11, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy on STONEYEND
The SkipperAdded: Friday, January 11th 2013 at 12:25pm by bigfatdaddy
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 Edit This PostI want to tell you a little about my brother.  He was my step-brother but we never quite saw it that way...we were brothers.  And as such we didn't always agree or get along.  In fact, one afternoon a hundred years ago,  I had to lock myself in the Chief's Chevy while Skip, my brother, circled the car ranting and threatening to kill me.  ...
January 10, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy on STONEYEND
I subscribe to a site called "German Shepherd Tips" on Facebook.  They post some really great photos of Shepherds and many of them have funny captions that portray the nature of German Shepherds.  Today a couple of these pictures hit really close to home. I have written a number of articles about the German Shepherd that shared our home early in our marriage...our "first son", as it were.  He was an attack-trained protection dog;  very smart, very loyal, extremely protec...
January 10, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy on STONEYEND
 

I had jury duty on Tuesday.  I hadn't been to the courthouse for a few years and was surprised at the changes that had been made.  First of all, they moved the entrance around the block...but they didn't move the juror parking lot so you have to walk twice as far as you used to.  Security has been bumped up since the last time I was there, too.  I had gone in early so I got a good spot in the jury parking lot and I went through security without too much hass...
January 4, 2013 by Big Fat Daddy on STONEYEND
In the Fall of 1954,  my dad, the Chief, traded in his '53 Chevy on a  brand-new 1955 Forest Green Chevrolet 210 (that means it had two doors and a door post), with the first edition of the small block V-8 engine (265 cubic inches),  a two-barrel carburator, and a three-speed standard transmission.  It was his absolute pride and joy (next to mom, my sister, and me).  Little sister cried as they took the black '53 Chevy onto the lot and we loaded up into the new &...
December 28, 2012 by Big Fat Daddy on STONEYEND
 

About the time I was getting started with the Fort Leonard Wood Saddle Club, in 1985, I got a new staff sergeant assigned to my instructor team.  He was from Arizona;  single, a tad on the wild side, and a very good NCO.  I was shopping for a horse.  I fell in love with a Leopard-Spot Appaloosa that was the sweetest, most beautiful horse ever.  He was named Comanche and he was big and strong and so ruined by a string of idiots who had owned him that he was noth...
December 27, 2012 by Big Fat Daddy on STONEYEND
 

Every now and then a headline will grab you by the heart and you fill up with emotions you didn't think you  had.  When I heard that General Schwartzkopf had died this evening, it affected me that way.  I haven't thought of the man for a few years at least.  I was one of half-a-million soldiers who served under the lead of "Stormin' Norman".  He was a real soldier; when he was put in charge, he took charge.  Later, after he retired, he kept his...
December 25, 2012 by Big Fat Daddy on STONEYEND
 

The weather-guessers have been telling us for days that there was an increasing chance of snow Christmas eve and through into Christmas Day.  Last night as we were loading the kiddies in the cars and giving and receiving Christmas hugs and wishes, the tiniest of flakes began to drift down.  By the time we got the last of the grandkids secured and the doors closed and the motors started, the snow was falling in earnest.  

 

We do this every year,  but...
December 10, 2012 by Big Fat Daddy on STONEYEND
 

We got some snow last night and the trip to church this morning was more like we are used to this time of year.  We have been basking in Spring-like weather the last few weeks...but no more!  Three inches of snow is managable but the deep-freeze temperatures are startling after such a mild autumn.  The roads were very icy and slick.  Listening to the cars in the neighborhood spinning their tires and making that "zzzzzzz" noise reminded me of a night more than twenty...