Man’s Man

So you complete an impossible voyage across the Pacific Ocean on a flimsy craft with no modern navigation aids, end up becoming a world authority on boat building — all while shagging and living with multiple women simultaneously, (which should earn some kind of award all by itself).  As if that wasn’t enough, at age 80 you sail the 4,000-mile Lapita voyage, following an ancient Pacific migration route on two double canoes, from the Philippines to the remote Polynesian islands of Anuta and Tikopia, accompanied only by (of course) two women.

Then having lasted another decade afterwards, you eventually decide you’ve had enough of that Alzheimer’s bullshit, and off yourself without any more fuss, having lived a good, satisfying and rewarding life.

My favorite part of the story is this:

Perhaps because of his unconventional lifestyle, public recognition came late in life — in 2018 he finally won a lifetime achievement award from Classic Boat Magazine — but he wasn’t bothered.

Read all about James Wharram.

More Worms Turning

What happens when the Wokists try to “cancel” you?

1,)  Despite having been nearly completely blacklisted from the country music scene over his use of a racial slur, Morgan Wallen had the best-selling album of 2021, outperforming the likes of Adele, Olivia Rodrigo, and Drake.

2.)  An online poll conducted by the staunchly left Guardian newspaper seeking nominations for “Person of the Year” has been turned off, sparking speculation it was shut down when author J.K. Rowling took the lead.

3.)  Officials have been forced to U-turn on renaming a road deemed racially insensitive after uproar from locals that it was ‘political correctness gone mad’.
Darkie Lane in Swanage, Dorset got its name more than 70 years ago because it was lined by elm trees and hedgerows that made it dark and shady.
The local council agreed to change the name after getting a letter of complaint from a family who holidayed in the coastal town this summer.

Read this, however, to see how far we have to go.

Veterans II

From Longtime Reader Dave L:

I come from an Army family. My dad traveled across France as a medic with the First Infantry Division. My step brother served as an infantryman in Vietnam with the same First Infantry Division. He came home in 1969, just as I graduated high school and said that the best thing I could do was to stay out of the army. Back in those days there was a government job program called the draft and I knew that they were going to get me. I thought that the Navy might give me a chance to travel, wear a very cool looking uniform, and maybe learn some technical stuff that I could use later in my life.

I also thought that I would be able to stay out of VietNam. However Uncle Sam’s plans weren’t the same as mine and I ended up there anyway. About all I have to show for it is a baseball cap that says “US Navy Veteran” – and I had to buy that.

So today my thoughts are for all of the old men in baseball caps.

Some years back I was honored to call an older English gentleman my friend. He served in the British Army in WW2 in North Africa and on the island of Crete. He was captured when the Germans invaded that island and spent almost three years as a prisoner of war. He remained in the army after the war to retire as a senior NCO with over 25 years of service. My English friend sent me pictures of their yearly veteran’s ceremonies. Every vet put on a blazer, wore his regimental tie and beret, and pinned his decorations to his jacket. They made their way to the local veterans’ memorial and laid a wreath in memory of their absent comrades. Then they retired to the local pub and lifted a glass to honor those who had gone on to report to a higher power. The men who chased Rommel across the desert and went ashore in Normandy are still be a bit thirsty.

We Americans don’t wear our ribbons. Mine are on the wall in a shadow box, faded by time. Most of us don’t wear ties except for weddings and funerals and berets are only worn by Frenchmen.

So what do we wear? Baseball caps – that great American invention. We mark our caps with our heritage – the Big Red One, the First Marines, the Strategic Air Command. The navy men wear blue caps with the names of proud ships – USS Enterprise, USS New Jersey, Lexington, Newport News. Unless you’ve been there you don’t know a CVA from a CA or a BB from an FFG, but we know.

The old men see fire and rain and Thuds and Phantoms in the hazy sky. They still hear that distinctive rotor beat of the Hueys. They see long gray ships silhouetted against the horizon and remember the days when they were dirty and tired and hungry. They remember playing rock and roll out to the tree line in 7.62 NATO time They remember the catapults throwing Skyhawks into the air. plane after plane, and doing it all again the next day and the day after that.

They were bored and tired and sometimes frightened, those old men who wear the hats. They came home to a country that didn’t understand and really didn’t care what they had done. Today they fight the diseases and the ghosts of those far off days. They will tell you where they’re going, but don’t ask them where they’ve been.

The old men in hats shake hands when they meet. They ask “Where were you?  What did you do?” and they sometimes say “Yeah I was there too”. Mostly they understand. For that minute in the middle of WalMart they’re nineteen years old again and tired and scared. Then they thank God that they made it home and they remember those who didn’t.

And the old men get into their cars and go about their business. If you look closely you might see the smoke and the tracers and the dead men behind their eyes. Sometimes they won’t hear you because their ears have rung since those days of steam turbines and jet engines and heavy artillery.

They stand and salute when the flag passes by because they learned of respect and honor in a hard school and that education has never left them. Sometimes the old men wake in the middle of the night and hear the band playing The Stars and Stripes Forever and they smile just a little and whisper to themselves “I’d do it all again.”

God bless the old men who wear the hats.

Reprinted with permission.

Oxi Day

From Longtime Reader Brad:

You tell of your Grandfather on a yearly basis… his quiet determination to live his life, support and protect his family, etc.
Perhaps you recall columnist John Kass from The Trib — he’s indie now — he bailed earlier this year immediately after lefty vulture “capitalists” bought The Trib.
I give you this

I always liked to read John Kass back when I lived in Daley City, and this ranks up there with his best.  Wonderful, and humbling.

Thanks, Brad.

No Screwing Around

At some point, you’d think that scumbags  choirboys in Texas would get the hint that their little undocumented wealth redistribution plans may be a little more complicated here than they would be, say, in San Francisco or Portland.  But no:

Texas authorities say an armed customer intervened during the attempted robbery of a fried chicken fast food restaurant, fatally wounding one gunman and sending a second suspect struck by gunfire to the hospital.

And:

Texas man chased down carjacker who dragged woman to her death

The story of the second one, while tragic, is noteworthy because without Our Hero, the cops would probably still be looking for the goblin.  Instead, he faces the needle because there was a witness to the killing, and under Texas law he goes straight to the head of the line.

And it’s getting more difficult in other states, too:

An alleged home intruder attacked an armed homeowner in Atlanta, Georgia, Monday afternoon and was shot and killed.

He was inside the guy’s house, where he assumed room temperature after being ventilated.  There’s no “alleged” about it.

And in Kansas:

KWCH reports that the incident occurred about 7 p.m., and the suspect allegedly started by pounding on a door at a neighbor’s house.
The suspect then focused on a second home, where the armed homeowner called the police and asked them to come quickly because he did not want to have to shoot the man. But the suspect allegedly kept attacking.
The homeowner said, “[He] threw 2 bricks through my window and tried to crawl through in my window and told me he was going to kill me and kinds of other things. So, unfortunately, I had to shoot him.”

Nothing unfortunate about it, old son;  the son of a bitch sounds like he needed killing.  Sadly, he’s only “critical”, but we can hope.  Anyway, for all these heroes: