Poll of a Billion Monkeys

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Day in Memory

The Exchange - A Day in Memory

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day 2007 to all of my family, to all of my buddies, and to everyone serving from my church in the Middle East/Gulf, Europe, Africa, and in the Pacific.

I know your job is hard, that it’s a difficult slog sometimes, that you’re far from home, sometimes scared, and sometimes bored out of your skull. That it’s dangerous and difficult from time to time, when you’ve finally got enough time to think about it anyways, and that you miss your family and home. That you won't get a day off for Memorial Day. But to everyone I know, in or out, thanks for what you’ve done for everyone else. I love you all, think about you often and try to pray for you daily. I’m glad to call you friends, and family.

So take care, be cautious, do your job, live well, and come back home safe.

Especially my nephew in the Pacific. I know it’s been rough for a'while but we got your latest pictures and you seemed to be looking and doing very well. We miss ya kid and we often pray for you. When you get some leave stateside then drop by and see us.

The girls said to tell you that you looked super-hyper cool in your big-daddy pimp hat.
One day you’ll have to tell me who the baby is, and who your buddy was in the pic you sent.

I’m getting whatever you’re sending now.
When you get the chance then send me some pics of the local area and some of the local-yokels where you’re stationed. Send me some shots of the beach and ocean where you and the little woman go diving.

Take care of yourself and we’ll keep thinking about you.

As for my old buddy Sandman. I’m not really sure where you’re at right now, and it’s not really important I guess, but when you get back we’ll discuss it then. Like we did the last time. I hope your projects are going well and your command is smooth.

If there is anything I can ever do for any of you then let me know.
You know that already but I’m just saying it anyways.

As for the young Mr. Sandman (Sandman Jr.): I got your invitation to attend your graduation ceremony and I’m certainly honored by the invitation. Unfortunately I doubt I’ll be in Germany anytime soon and so will miss the graduation, but when you get stateside and go visit your grandfather then drop by and see me or give me a ring.

I’ll send out a private email with our new phone number. If you ever need a place to pitch your head one weekend then come on by. We’ll put you up in the guest room.

I do know that your mother and father are very proud of you, with good reason. So good luck and Godspeed with your graduation. You’re a fine young man from what I hear tell of, and that can’t be all bad. I remember when you were born and still squirting your diapers. Your dad was as proud as a peacock and jittery as a June bug. You’ve come a long way young man. I guess that makes me some kinda ancient fart sure enough. I guess I’m also kinda glad I lived to get far enough to hear about you graduating.

So Happy Memorial Day everybody.

In memory then till we meet again.

By the way I know that some of you, depending on where you’re stationed, miss the green. This morning I got up early and played hooky from church. It was just so beautiful out that I couldn’t sit inside a building this morning. So I got my Rudding pack and my camera and went out to the lake to do a little walk-about. I had just planned to follow the run off and cross the stream at the outlet but instead I ended up making a real expedition out of it.

I found my way around all of the barriers and even over and through a few and made my way to the spillway for the run off of the flood plain to snap a few with my field camera. In addition I got several of the surrounding buildings. The lighting was pretty intense though cause the sun was really glowing and so some of them look kinda washed from the glare. All these shots are untreated. No manipulation, just as is.

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times, if you’re gonna infiltrate then always go when and where everybody else is not. And holidays and a coupla hours before sunrise, those are always the best times. Everyone is off doing their own thing or they’re bedded down, or both, and there you go. Free and unrestricted access to wherever you need to be. No questions asked.

So I got some good shots of some good places and no one ever knew I was there. It was very relaxing despite the heat and the length of the hike. It actually turned out to be, all told, one of the best vadding runs I’ve had in months. I wish I could post everything I shot but I’ll show you guys in person my photographic and film files when I see you in person.

Anywho I got a lot of greenery too as everything is in bloom, the weather is just now turning really warm, and it was a nice area. Summer is now just around the corner in this neck of the woods. So if you miss the green cause all you’re seeing is sand and stone then here you go people. Enjoy.

The waterway from the creek with the old iron support braces/I-beams

Part of the pathway through the forest

The growth running near the swamp

Approaching the spillway from below

The spillway from above

The floodpath from the lake

I wish I could convey through these photographs just how big this spillway and the floodpath really were.

The bottom of the spillway and the floodhole. The place stank of skeeters and gnats. I’m glad I didn’t have to pitch anywhere nearby as they would have tried pecking my eyes out if I’d stuck around awhile. Also a lot of bloodflies. A few tried drawing off my neck but luckily I had my beard full and thick all over my neck and face. Made it hard for them to score my flesh but it also made me sweat like a stuffed sow. In the muck I saw jump a muskrat as long as my arm and the blackest, slimiest bullfrog I’ve ever seen. Don’t see how they lived in that mess. It wasn’t green, it was black, so black it was like a mered mirror, and smelled like typhoid.

Looking up. It was a steep climb out.

Looking across the mouth of the chute.

Part of the regulation system. You can see a huge nest built along the top of the scaffolding.

An abandoned CPW control building.

The climbable side of the building (with a grapple).

An I-beam in the water.

Well, that’s about all I’m posting for today. The hike was fun but the whole place was rectally deep in ticks. It crawled. When I finally got back home I showered and pulled off 6 ticks and 3 or 4 deer ticks. It’s gonna be heavy this summer.

© JWG, Jr. 2007


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