Okinawa (Part VI)

May 22

Let’s go to the beach . . . 

[I remember both guys who are now nameless.  The guy holding the fish got it with a speargun while snorkeling.  He’s the only guy I can remember who found an Okinawan girlfriend and then lived in town with her . . . ]

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[I believe this to be Moon Beach.  Tom Morris of Fridley, Minnesota, is sitting . . . ]

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[I remember the guy on the left is me.  I went snorkeling with the other guy, and he said he almost drowned laughing under water at me.  We saw a sea snake swimming around – deadly poisonous – and he said my eyes almost popped out of my mask when I saw it.]

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[The evening’s dinner?]

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[Nice to walk the beach, exploring around corners and stuff . . . ]

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[Roy Gorena, future fellow resident of Arlington, Virginia, employed at the Department of Labor.  Roy was part of the group transferred to Okinawa from Vietnam . . .]

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[I can’t remember his name either.  Kon’nichiwa!]

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[Sights along the drive to the beach . . . ]

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[Storm clouds would roll in; half hour later it likely would be sunny again . . . ]

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[Fishing haven . . . ]

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[Tiny coastal village . . . ]

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[And we’re at the beach.  This time Manza Beach.  Like the previous beach shots, these are all on the East China Sea where the beaches are protected by coral reefs.  I have to admit – I may have my Moon Beaches and Manza Beaches transposed . . . ]

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[We have a raft here.  And you can see the coral reef barrier a couple hundred yards out where you can see the breakers – and darker blue water outside the reef . . . ]

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[On one of these ventures I got a pretty serious sunburn.  If you miss work because of sunburn, you could receive an Article 15.  Non-judicial punishment is a form of military justice authorized by Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  NJP permits commanders to administratively discipline troops without a court-martial. Punishment can range from reprimand to reduction in rank, correctional custody, loss of pay, extra duty, and/or restrictions (Wikipedia).  Our uniforms were starched.  When you put on a clean uniform, it was called breaking starchBreaking starch with a sunburn was not a pleasant experience – but I never missed work . . . ]

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[Not my boat motor on the left . . . ]

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[Rafting with the boys.  That’s me on the left, I remember the guy without a name next to me (though I’m sure I knew it at the time), Bill Petronus is standing, Terry Bess is sitting.  The latter two I pointed out in a previous post.  All but me were Vietnam refugees . . . ]

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[The raft has undergone a reorganization.  I bet Roy picked up my camera and shot these photos . . . ]

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[I must be going out in a rowboat . . . ]

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[Just like this one . . . ]

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[The local fisherman are about a quarter mile from the beach here standing in shin deep water . . . ]

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[Yup, a big skerry, and a small boat of GI’s . . . ]

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[Snorkelers!  Watch out for the sea snakes!]

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[Hot day at the beach . . . ]

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[Grandmas with the grandkids . . . ]

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[The local folks in the water . . . ]

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[A GI wife?  The only bikini I can ever recall seeing there . . . ]

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[Exploring around the shoreline . . . ]

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[Enough walking around – back to the beach . . . ]

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[OK, walking around again . . . ]

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[Let’s go fishing . . . ]

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[If you go back 3 photos, you’ll see the walkway from where this photo was taken . . . ]

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[Back at the barracks, a soldier . . . and his car . . . ]

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[Our wheels around the island . . . ]

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Let’s go to the amusement park . . . 

[Yonabaru is a town in Shimajiri District, Okinawa Prefecture.  It is located at the southern end of Okinawa, on the east coast, overlooking Nakagusuku Bay.  As of 2015, the town has a population of 18,410 (Wikipedia).  In 1970, when I was there, the population was 9,639.]

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[Methinks this place no longer exists.  That’s my roomie, Webbo, in the unseatbelted chair in front of me . . . ]

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[Yup, the place may have been on its last legs in January 1971 . . . ]

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[Nevertheless, nice views . . . ]

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[I remember the guy in front of me was from Redlands, California.  I just can’t remember his name . . . ]

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[Nice view of Yonabaru . . . ]

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[As Redlands looks back me, there is no way this place could have passed OSHA regulations . . . ]

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[Your cub reporter; butt in hand . . . ]

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[If that’s my camera around my neck, who took this photo and how did I get it?]

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[Here’s our barracks and parking lot – yes, I remember both guys and that car.  Names?  Ha!]

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[Wondering if the parking lot photo was a prelude to another trip here?]

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[Must be – that’s the guy who owned the little red sports car . . . ]

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[And another shot of Yonabaru from on high . . . ]

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[I must have brought the telephoto lens on this trip . . . ]

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[Up close and personal shots of the city . . . ]

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Let’s say good night, until next time . . . 

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Don’t let your daughter-in-law eat your autumn eggplants.  ~  Japanese idiom

Up Next:  More Okinawa?

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