Couldn’t Have Said it Better!

paulette-turner-and-her-broodPaulette Turner posted this the other day:

I grew up in Garden Grove, California, during a time when everyone treated each other like family. We went outside to play, we got dirty….we bought chips & candy from the store. We played “Red Light, Green Light”, Simon Says, “Hide and Seek”, Dodge Ball, Kick the Can, 7-up Baseball, Softball, and Football and marbles. Played in water from the fire hydrant. We ate beans and hot dogs, mac and cheese & peanut butter sandwiches at school. We walked everywhere .

We weren’t AFRAID OF ANYTHING. We made our own go carts, biked everywhere no helmets. If you fell down you would just get back up. We challenged each other everywhere…King of the Hill. If someone had a fight, that’s what it was…a fight. Kids weren’t afraid of fake guns when I grew up. We left our houses as soon as we could in the morning and right after school till our neighbors would yell out for their children as a reminder to get in the house for the night. If one kid was called for supper then we all knew to go home. We watched our mouths around our elders because we knew if we DISRESPECTED any adult, there would be a price to pay. We had manners and respect, otherwise someone else’s parents put you in your place. Everyone’s mother was mom and father was dad, we were a community, I am thankful for so many great memories of growing up.

Hold your finger down to copy and paste. Please re-post with your block if you’re proud that you came from a close knit community and will never forget where you came from!!♡ 12172 Hackamore Rd., best block and neighbors!. We were so fortunate – great memories.

Thank you, Paulette. I, Doug Wolven, grew up at 12621 Fletcher Drive in Garden Grove and graduated from Garden Grove High School, class of ’64 (the best—most spirit)—as did Jack Skogman and Kim Frizzel who lived on Fletcher (there were eleven of us kids).  Jack falls into what he calls “the Fletcher Moon” and I’m right there with him—remembering the golden fifties.

Paulette didn’t miss a thing, except maybe our b-b gun  club (Robert Doss started it), and Doctor Doss chopping off the heads of chickens in their back yard (talk about a chicken with it’s head cut off, what a show, but ya gotta eat). And, Jackie Scholl would remind you of the family car and Foster’s Freeze. And…


Loose Cannon

Loose cannon as a common metaphor refers to a specific hazard aboard ship. Ships of the line, warships of the British, French and American navies bore iron or bronze cannons of five or six hundred pounds that fired balls as large as thirty-two pounds. A thirty-two pounder was a very large cannon. The carriages for these cannons were harnessed with block and tackle (say “take-le”) fore and aft. The two-inch lines were run through pulley systems necessary to run the guns out, and acted as recoil limiters when fired. Block and Tackle might also be used to help “point” the cannon. Some cannons were bolted to the deck, and four men commonly manned each cannon.

A loose cannon doesn’t fire accidentally, as Clinton hoped to infer regarding Donald Trump. A cannon breaking free careens across the heaving gun deck splintering ladders, buckets, crates—six hundred pounds of hot metal in a massive wooden carriage, rolling on heavy wooden wheels destroyed everything in its way, and crushed any man caught in its path—literally clearing the deck [Recall that scene in “Pirates of the Caribbean—World’s End” when the rat Commodore descends from the poop deck as his ship is shredded around him].

A loose cannon is a bull in a China shop times ten. A loose cannon brings the work of the ship to a halt as the careening metal mass destroys the crew and the very ship that carries it until it can be sent overboard or pinned to a rail. As long as the  cannon is loose, the ship is out of service.

Secretary Clinton called Trump a loose cannon and then arrogantly, condescendingly added, “…and loose cannons tend to misfire.” Most likely, mongering fear, she meant that Donald Trump would impetuously push the big red nuclear button.

But Misfire means to fail to fire, as when one relies upon their weapon when the trigger is pulled, or when one expects the cannon to fire when the fuse is lit. So, let’s separate the concept of misfire from loose cannon—it certainly doesn’t mean what she intended. But the idea of miss fire fits Secretary Clinton and President Obama.

The death of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone S. Woods, and Glen Doherty in what is known as the Battle of Benghazi stands as the perfect example of a misfire. Secretary Clinton and President Obama either slept peacefully, or played golf—but no one responded to the cry for help from Ambassador Stevens, and the others who died or were wounded on 9/11/2012.

Hillary Clinton misfired, misfires, and will misfire again, as she blunders along in disregard for the Constitution and our balance of power as has been Loose Cannon Obama’s habit, and she will be Obama’s third term if elected. Further, President Obama golfed as 100,000 people scrambled for places to stay after the Louisiana Flood. Then he scolded Congress three days ago for not getting something done in the loss of 65,000 homes in that flood. He is now guilty of playing more than 400 rounds of golf in his nearly eight years. There are 408 weeks in eight years; and he will have averaged more than one game a week by the time we reach January.

Clinton’s careless use of the metaphor “Loose Cannon” reflects her casual, arrogant habit of assuming that whatever she says will be eagerly absorbed by most everyone. And it is apparent she and her speechwriter have little concern for the accurate use of English.

If Hillary takes office and is ever found in a position requiring her to push the big red button in our defense, Heaven help us all, it would most likely misfire since she will no doubt have given Russia the rest of our uranium.

Don’t Waste Your Vote

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are running for President. Jill Stein (Green), Gary Johnson (Libertarian), Darrell Castle (Constitutional), and ten (10!) others will be on the ballot as well. Let me repeat: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are running for President, no one else. A vote for any other name on the ballot is wasted.
A close friend told me they were going to vote their conscience in the primary. I assume they voted for Ted Cruz as they said they would—cute? Dumb. Clever? Foolish. Brave? Certainly not—we have a secret ballot here in California!
Was I impressed by his bold claim? No, I was disappointed and fearful that he wasn’t alone in his choice. It would have been foolish to vote for someone who’d already pulled out of the race by the time Californians voted.
I have heard this ‘vote my conscience’ statement quite a bit lately…from a lot of Christians. This phrase is part of the new CC—Christian Correctness®, quickly replacing Political Correctness. I’m not referring to Christianity. Christian Correctness does the same thing as Political Correctness: it pigeon holes the user, or better said, makes them part of the right club. It replaces real thought, straight thought, and ultimately, the truth with clever phrases and an unbecoming passive aggressive attitude.
Ted Cruz and John Kasich, both men for whom I held a great deal of respect nine months ago, have proved themselves no more than sophomoric sour grape sore losers in the end, and might earn the dubious title as the ones who put Hillary in office. Hillary will be the first to thank them.
“Dump Trump” and “Never Trump” are the clubs, the sorry self-righteous congregations of those embittered by not getting Ted, Marco or Carly nominated. And why such a nasty epithet—Dump Trump? He’s not like us! Look what he said about Megan Kelly, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
Donald Trump is not a politician (None of the founding fathers were politician, except perhaps Ben Franklin). Trump might not be good at running, or one might claim he’s too good; he won the nomination big time. I’m not sure why he said much of what he said that was so ugly, but he wants what I want, and I think he can bring it about. He isn’t PC in any way. He believes Christians have taken it in the shins for a long time, and if he’s not against you, he’s for you.
If you vote your conscience, as recently constituted, you will get nothing in return. You will still have your pride…and that little sticker that says so proudly that you voted.
One last word, if you’ve read the first 440 words. The pedestrian, pedantic, dismissive, insulting phrase “I’m going to hold my nose and vote for the lesser of two evils” is just plain nasty. Don’t use it. This seemingly clever phrase warns all those in earshot that they had better not cross the speaker, that it’s what we’re all doing, and that there is no thought beyond this (I’m avoiding conversations with many of my friends till December).
It’s time to grow up. Your vote is precious, don’t waste it. It’s not a game.

Calling Cards on the Sidewalk

I dropped one of my business cards on the sidewalk the other day. I reached down to retrieve it and came a finger’s reach from another calling card from the WPA, the Works Project Administration (originally the Works Progress Administration). It was created in 1935 to help in the recovery from the Great Depression. Buildings, bridges and school built by the WPA bear plaques as a remembrance of our recovery—a slow recovery that ended at WWII.WPA 1941 split copy_edited-3
Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 1.30.56 PM

But, sidewalk calling cards aren’t limited to government projects of coarse. On the brighter side, there are many more business cards stamped in the walks of my town. They were stamped by the contractors of 1950, 51, 52 and on. One of them was one of my Dad’s friends, Henry Cox of Cox Brothers Construction Company of Stanton, California.Cox Bros. Construction 1951 copy


You can find his calling card in the 1951 neighborhood of East Whittier. Look for it on Ocean View above Mar Vista. Hank Cox was around our house a lot. He lived in Garden Grove where I grew up. My father, a broker,  acquired property for Hank to build homes on.

There were many independent contractors who poured the sidewalks in Whittier. They built the houses and the buildings.Griffith Clean Vignette copy

Wonder once in a while. Think of who built this or that structure. Look down at the sidewalk where a stamp, a metal insert, or an iron municipal cover marks the presence of an American worker or contractor. Take notice when it says “Made in USA.”

Flight of the Grumman Goose

Remember Fantasy Island? Remember Tattoo shouting “De plane, de plane” from the tower of the white mansion? For a moment you glimpse the Grumman Goose flying at you, then passing to your left. Tattoo races down to meet Ricardo Mantalban in his white linen suit (I’m sure it wasn’t polyester). The actual mansion, fronted by the  lagoon, is in the  land-locked Los Angeles Arboretum. Most likely the Grumman is still flying somewhere in Alaska, Seattle or Florida…Hawaii?  Barring the historic DC-3, (Dakota, C-47), with its first flight in December, 1935, and still going strong, definitely Queen of the skies (opening to “Burn Notice”?), no plane of World War II vintage has logged the continuing hours of the Grumman Goose  G-21. A personnel transport, it first flew in May, 1937.

Screen Shot 2013-10-18 at 4.33.04 PM

Santa Catalina Island enjoyed hourly air service from San Pedro Harbor and Long Beach Airport up through the nineteen-sixties via Avalon Air Transport and Catalina Channel Airlines. Both used the Grumman Goose, flying several planes each. Avalon Air also had the four-engined Sikorsky VS-44 Excambian, lovingly dubbed “Mother Goose” by Islanders. This plane flew once a day, then spent the afternoon bobbing in Avalon Bay. The steamer was still running till the late 60’s, as well. (Google pics and facts)
Our family enjoyed Catalina when I was a kid, my three brothers and I, Mom and Dad. Dad bought a 40′ Chris Craft Sedan in 1955, and we motored over (like that boat talk?) every few weekends when the weather was right.

When Dad was done with boats, he partnered with two friends and purchased Hotel Catalina; so we still had to get to the island.  I took four trips on the steamer in my teens.  It ran from the  then construction site of the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, (opened in 1963) near where the Lane Thomas is docked. Avalon Air Transport planes took off from under the bridge, too. San Pedro was a lot more romantic in those days with the steamer, fishing boats and sea planes coming and going.

Driving from Garden Grove to San Pedro for a two hour trip on a “cattle boat” wasn’t Dad’s cup of tea, I guess, and we drove to Long Beach Airport to climb aboard the Catalina Channel Air Grummans. We’re talking 1962-63. These planes were plenty old by then. Our luggage was placed in the nose from the outside. Two opposing covers in front of the wind shields opened from the center allowing access to the “hold.” An aisle ran between 10 to 12 seats set along each side.

The engines kicked over, puffed a gray-white cloud of smoke from each exhaust, and roared to life. The engines revved, and the sheet metal vibrated till it was tuned to itself.  We trundled along to the strip. The pilot spun the Goose onto the strip—literally—pivoting on the left wheel. He pulled the two throttles forward. We rattled down the concrete airstrip struggling into the air. The co-pilot cranked up the wheels. There was plenty of noise, but once in the air the rhythm of the two engines settled down. The flight lasted fifteen minutes.

Landing on the surface of the Pacific Ocean—you know, the Pacific, the one with all the waves—landing can be touchy. The plane settled toward the surface, inching down till the boat-like hull split the waves. The wing floats, little pontoons also shaped like boat hulls, skimmed the surface. The pilot slowed the engines, and the plane settled in, turning left or right, wallowing, rising and falling like a… goose… on the waves. The wheels were cranked down. The engines revved again, pulling us up to the ramp onto the concrete yard at Pebbly Beach. There were buildings from when the earliest sea planes ran to Catalina as far back as 1935. A shuttle carried you to town, about two miles around Mt. Ada.

The Buffalo Nickel Restaurant 1-310-510-1323, occupies one of the old buildings dating back to the 20’s or 30’s. The food is excellent and if it’s your birthday, it is free. Call them when it’s time to eat and they will pick you up at the Moll where the jet boats arrive or at the east end of Crescent where town begins. The shuttle costs nothing, the service is friendly, and no one cares if you wander around Pebbly Beach after lunch, looking for broken pottery shards from the Catalina Tile and Ceramic Company (1927-37).

My family enjoys the Catalina Express 1-800-622-2354, whose boats cross from LB to Avalon in an hour flat. They’re catamarans and very stable. For the past few years they have offered you a free ticket on your birthday, too. We like to hike deep inside the island, or snorkel in Lovers’ Cove. I’m glad I tasted history back then when I was a kid, but there is so much to the island, I’m always interested to hear someone else’s story about Catalina.

I’m sorry I have no site or phone number for Channel Air or Avalon Air—how cool would that be? You will enjoy the plethora of photos of the Grumman Goose on Google.