Okinawa (Part XIV)

June 2

Going home . . . 

[There ultimately comes a time when it’s time to go home.  Surprisingly, it’s an event met with mixed emotions.  These are peope with whom you have spent the past 18 months – at a place that’s been pretty darn nice.  But after that much time, island (or in our case, “rock”) fever also sets in.  I know it’s happened to people who have lived in Hawaii.  You ultimately feel isolated and trapped in a small space.  Here the boys are gathered at Kadena AFB to say good-bye to Lu Scronce (from North Carolina, in dress greens on the far right) and, I assume, me . . . ]

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[And on the way home I get to pay my first visit to Alaska . . . ]

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[And at the Anchorage airport – it felt great to step out into cold air for the first time in a year and a half . . . ]

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[Looks like a famous Alaska bush plane . . . ]

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[The snow-capped mountains were beautiful . . . ]

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[The cars really date the picture . . . ]

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[In 1955 the ‘San Francisco Port of Embarkation’ became the ‘U.S. Army Transportation Terminal Command Pacific’, and the Oakland Army Base became the Oakland Army Terminal. In 1964 the headquarters of the command moved from Fort Mason to the Oakland Army Terminal, and in 1966 the terminal was renamed back to the Oakland Army Base. During the Vietnam War, Oakland Army Base served as a major transit station for U.S. soldiers en route to and returning from all deployment locations in East Asia—such as Vietnam and Korea. The base decommissioned on September 30, 1999 (Wikipedia).  And this is how we were greeted there when we were honorably discharged from the service.  Separation happens when you reach your ETS (Expiration of Term of Service) date . . . ]

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[And now leaving the Bay Area for . . . ]

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[Las Vegas?  Yes!  Remember Vegas from the early ’70’s?]

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[Hard to believe all these casinos, famed in song and story, no longer exist . . . ]

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[And all the stars from 50 years ago – makes one feel really old . . . ]

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[At this time Ceasar’s Palace was the numero uno at the end of the Strip . . . ]

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[What was the “biggest” then would be dwarfed by what’s there now . . . ]

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[And, of course, the desert.  Hey, you’re gonna run out of water!!]

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[Circus Circus was pretty new at this time . . . ]

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[Fortunately, as a returning GI, I had no money for gambling, or for seeing shows . . . ]

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[Now the real reason I stopped here on the way home.  This is where Grandma and Grandpa Obert wintered for many years . . . ]

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[The end of Vegas in daylight . . . ]

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[To the more famous Vegas by night . . . ]

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[And then after all that excitement, I arrived back home.  Home then was with Mom and Dad Obert in Arlington, Virginia.  After gathering my resources, I was soon back to Mpls. to finish my degree at the ‘U’ under the GI bill.  Little did I realize at this time that I would later be back in the D.C. area for my extinguished career as federal bureaucrat and who would some day retire back to dear ole Alex . . . ]

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[Must have been March 7, Mom’s 49th birthday . . . ]

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[And with her favorite son, Baron . . . ]

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[A Happy Birthday toast!  Baron thinking, “Where’s mine?”]

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[Brother Chris, then 19, sporting his Manson look . . . ]

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[Brother Cam, then 17, helps Mom read her birthday cards . . . ]

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[Then photo bombs their smooch . . . ]

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[Dad always bought Mom’s clothes – she was never much interested in shopping . . . ]

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[Dad sporting some rather exotic sideburns . . . ]

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[OK, Natalia, get cracking on these scrap books!]

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[All worn out from the day’s excitement, Dad usurps my papasan chair . . . ]

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[A final tour of the nation’s capital before returning to Minnesota.  Beginning with the Smithsonian Castle on the mall . . . ]

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[The Washington Monument . . . ]

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[The Capitol . . . ]

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[The Capitol dome . . . ]

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[Looking down the Mall from the Capitol steps . . . ]

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[And again, a classic scene . . . ]

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[Ending in the National Gallery of Art, which amazingly turned out to be kitty-corner from my long time place of employment, the Department of Labor.]

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[This wraps up our two-year exposition of the life and times of soldier Obert.  Hope you enjoyed, or at least endured, the tour.  Say goodnight, Dick!]

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I can resist everything except temptation.  ~  Oscar Wilde

Up Next:  Only the devil knows

 

 

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