Month: November 2014

The Money Run Characters: John

TheMoneyRun-JohnWhere does one start with John? His mother Muriel, a saint, could most likely tell us, but she’d probably tell more than John would tolerate. Muriel, I truly am amazed when I think of you and rearing John.

Let’s start with the orange flight suit… John thought he was slicker than rolled toilet paper in flight school in the Orange Thing. He says he was the envy of every student naval aviator… at the time. (In all the photos you seen—have you ever seen a Naval Aviator in an orange flight suit? I rest my case.)

Once he started flying out in the fleet, well he got cool and began wearing the men’s version of flight suits. John, if you ever read this you can respond on the home page under “Comments”.

John and I lived next door on Okinawa. Christmas Day we sobered up enough to attempt a barbeque. After several San Miguels, I remember Herb (Schutt) and John discussing how to get the dad gummed coals going. After two cans of lighter fluid, (probably more) the burgers were marinated à la the above-mentioned fluid and burnt to a crisp. No coals ignited. I called them gasoline burgers.

Their conversation, as drunks always to do, drifted off the barbeque. Herb said if one could hit a window glass correctly and hard enough—one could break the window and not cut their hand. Of course John disagreed. So, Herb broke all of John’s lower cased windows to show John. In the process Herb encountered a small cut on his pinky finger. And of course, the ensuing conversation almost broke out into an all-out brawl.

John and I became very good friends after we got out of the regular Marine Corps. In the book he’s married, but in real life he’s solo and available, i.e., he’s looking for a new “honey”. So, all of you single and unattached women over 25 reply and send appropriate photos. John instructed me to audition you for him. He insists he’s too busy. There you go buddy don’t say I didn’t ever do anything for you.

John graciously removed his flight school picture for me from his photo album Hall of Fame volume III. I know Juan, I said I wouldn’t let that slip out. OOPS.

The Money Run Characters: Ted

TheMoneyRun-TedWhere does one begin with Ted? Let’s try to go to the real beginning. We served in country together and we hooked up again in the reserves in Alameda, CA in the ’53 squadron HMH-769.

We flew the A model of the ’53s there for over fifteen years. So one day while flying together somehow the subject turned to flying in in Viet Nam. It was one of those, ‘you were there when I was there?’ Sure enough there was his picture in the Cruise book. The pictures of Ted show he was truly a trained communist killer. Check out his personal side arm.

On our way to summer camp in a ’53 I’d put two Cubans in a humidifier with Jack Daniels and sliced apples. Ted walked up into the cockpit. I made a big production about the stogies, I gave Ted his and we both light up. The copilot kept saying, “Where’s mine?”

Truly enjoying the cigars, we teased him, “If you weren’t in country with us—you don’t get one.” To this day we both say best cigars ever.

Then there was the trip to Dallas…

In Tustin picked up a pilot who was on his way to Yuma, but we broke down in San Diego. This pilot stretched our patience—a lot. Ted went to maintenance supply looking for parts, so I sent the hitchhiker with Ted.

After about four hours of babysitting, Ted and his shadow returned. I told them to meet me at station weather. Hopeful about leaving, I expected Ted to have obtained the needed part.

His shadow, a major mind you, occupied the outside steps, below the second story windows to weather.

Ted said, “Richard, if you ever stick (redacted name) with me again, I promise I’ll kill you.”

“Why?” I asked.

“I almost killed him.  I had them talked into giving me the part and (redacted name) informed them that we didn’t have all the correct paperwork,” Ted pointed out the window, “And look at this…”

I shook my head and looked out the window. I’m not kidding, there the was two weeks of laundry spread out on the steps, metal hand rails, and whatever else he could find.  I mean underwear, socks… the whole nine yards on display out in front of the building. He’d washed the clothes and didn’t have time to dry them. He was using the San Diego sunshine instead of going back over to the Laundromat. Ted told him we were going to leave him and he’d miss the ride to Yuma.

We would’ve left him, but we didn’t have the part we needed.

Ted’s wife Dale graciously sent the pictures. Ted, I promised you I wouldn’t tell anyone you aren’t allowed on the computer anymore. Dale, thanks for the pictures.