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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Monday, March 27, 2006

KS - tech training

5- The events of this writing took place in the spring and summer of 1960. My name had no personal mode of transportation attached to it, but one of the guys in our group had an old car and we went to the drive-in movie a couple of times. Once in particular I remember we had 5 guys in the car and 2 in the trunk. We parked away from the projection building and when no one was looking, the trunk guys got out and inside with us. The auto was crowded to say the least.

We had all brought something to munch on and mine was a whole sub sandwich and large bottle of Canada Dry ginger ale. I came away from that experience neither hungry nor thirsty. It’s funny how some things stick in one’s mind – but I don’t remember the name of the movie we saw.

On a couple of other weekends, I went home with another friend from our base that lived in Rhode Island. His sister wrote me the rest of the time I was in the army – strictly as a friend. This was the only place I have ever been exposed to “duck pin” bowling – it was played like the regular game except the pins were shorter and fatter – the ball was also smaller, a little larger than a softball. On one of the trips another friend from Alabama went with us, this guy had a much thicker southern drawl than even yours truly and they really got a bang out of that. These folks were very hospitable and treated us much like family members. The trips were a hoot and really helped us get out of the daily rut of schooling.

Our training class was fairly small, it seems I remember about 20 or so, and we got along reasonably well considering the length of time we spent together – 35 weeks – this being shortened from 38 weeks by dropping an outdated piece of equipment. Any incidents in the class were minor in nature and were quickly defused by the teacher or sergeants that were also students. With the exception of a few sergeants mixed in, the class was mostly privates.

One incident I do remember happened in one of the basic electronics courses. We were working on vertical practice component boards, wiring together certain circuitry for the requirements of the class. The class was a little short of these boards, so some had to double up. One of our class members was very smart, but was a little short in the area of common sense. One day his partner, a sergeant, was working on one side of the board and this young man, fiddling with the electrical plug on the other side, tightened up the wires thereof and absentmindedly plugged it into the electricity. There were sparks, a cloud of smoke and a very wide-eyed sergeant suddenly appeared above the board. Some sharp words resulted but there were no permanent injuries.

There was never any doubt who would come out at the top of the class academically since there was a sergeant among us that aced almost every test. Another student and myself vied to come in second and it was nip and tuck all the way but I lost that position to him on the last test by a point or two.

The next file-contained paperwork was dated 3 August 1960 and told of my successful completion of training, granted me 14 days leave – spent in Augusta Ga. – and ordered me to report, prior to 1200 hours 26 August 1960, to Fort Dix, N. J. for shipment to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (otherwise known as SHAPE) located a few miles outside of Paris, France. This promised to be a case of country comes to town and I wasn’t sure if French could even be spoken with a southern accent.

TBC - ec

11 Comments:

Blogger Bonita said...

You got high marks, I see, even coming in 3rd place - electronics has sure changed since then. I think you should have gone into creative writing...you have natural talent here. But, maybe years of practice, too.

3/27/2006 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

You are right about electronics changing - we were schooled on vacuum tubes, transistors came a bit later. My interest in writing only came into being about 2000, a few years after we got our first computer. I do enjoy this form of language expression. ec

3/27/2006 11:31:00 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

As I was reading your memories I attempted to recall my days in Armor Officer Basic at Fort Knox. Strange, I couldn’t recall any details. I remember the assignment I had prior to the start of AOB and the work I did after I graduated and was awaiting orders to go to D.C. But the actual training escapes me. Maybe there is a reason for that?

3/27/2006 11:40:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

SSN - Some of my army days might be better off forgotten as well. The reason that I remembered so much was the odds and ends paperwork and letters that I never got around to discarding. ec

3/28/2006 12:16:00 AM  
Blogger jay are said...

so interesting to see these little glimpses into your life, into the past....it reads like a book :)

3/28/2006 01:13:00 AM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Mr Eddie ~~ An interesting Post.
Thank you for sharing pieces of your life with us.
My Broadband is going to go through
the phone line. I also have a security pendant to summon help if I need it. This makes a need of 3
things plugged into the phone. I
think it will be OK in a few days.
Cheers, Merle.

3/28/2006 05:09:00 AM  
Blogger country-gospel-singer said...

Very nice entry. What is best?? very smart or common sense? I have known a few of those. LOL Have a great day w/blessings, Janie Marie

3/28/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger country-gospel-singer said...

Oh! Oh! I would like to ask you if you know anything that will get rid of pesty little ants?? LOL Since you have blueberries I thought you may have seen a few of these little pests! LOL Janie Marie

3/28/2006 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

jay are - Thanks - I value the experience but wouldn't want to go back, unless I could have a do-over.

merle - Our broadband comes by phone line, TV cable and even the power company is working on a way to get it on the electric lines. Amazing stuff.

CGS - It would be best to have some of both, but I would choose common sense otherwise - some smarts would be implied with that. On getting rid of ants - I usually don't use chemicals on them because these may get into something I would eat, so I just burn them with a propane torch. This might not totally get rid of them but at least they usually move. ec

3/28/2006 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger country-gospel-singer said...

ec Thank you for the advice, but don't think I had better use a torch on my kitchen counter! LOL LOL Sorry, I didn't say where. I could have almost bet that you didn't use chemicals; that is why I asked. LOL Blessings, Janie Marie

3/28/2006 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

CGS - Ah yes, the torch is much safer when used outside. :) ec

3/28/2006 10:48:00 PM  

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