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Author Topic: "It was better when the old man Ran it"  (Read 1306 times)

Trailer Park Casanova

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"It was better when the old man Ran it"
« on: December 10, 2009, 01:27:35 AM »
When I came back from Viet Nam, I was sent to Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station.
It was a Navy Sea Plane station during WW2 and was bombed by Japan in the second wave of the Pearl Harbor attack.
I'll get back to that.

I was operating a juice crane helping some communication guys mount an antenna on base one late afternoon.

The officer of the day was driven up to me in a jeep, I jumped out and saluted,,, and he asked "Are you Buchanan?"
I said yessir.

"Good, get showered and report to the officers club,, you're bar tending tonight."
Word got out amongst the officers I knew how to mix drinks. But that's another story.

An audit had revealed that once again,,, the civilian manager and the bartenders were all stealing at the officers club,,,, so they were fired and the CG put Marines in running the place.
" I can see to it you're all in prison if we catch anyone stealing now".
The old man had enough of it and was determined to do what ever it takes to stop it.

So in addition to being a heavy equipment mechanic, 5 nights a week I bar tended when I got off duty.

Oh brother did I ever get to meet the movers and shakers of the WW2 world.
Many of the different alumni groups would hold their annual meetings and reunions in Hawaii, and naturally they'd stop by the Kanehoe Officers club.

Got to meet the Old Man himself Jimmy Doolittle and some of his 30 seconds over Tokyo raiders.
He was only in his 50's during the war and he was called the old man even back then.

The Buddhaheads who fought the SS in Europe would occasionally stop by.
Flying Tigers,, Hells Angel's,,, Jimmy Stewart,,, all the famous I got to met.
On top all that, I got paid $2.20 an hour!! No tips that I can remember.

One evening the most forgotten man in television Arthur Godfrey came by and held court with Walt Disney.
Both heavy drinkers and heavy Chesterfield smokers.

Chesterfields were 14 cents a pack, $1.30 a carton BTW. Cocktails 75 cents.

Godfrey was a veteran with ID,, not sure if he was WW2 but he was very big into aviation, flew his own planes, was even a qualified commercial pilot for Eastern airlines,, hence showing up at the air stations O club.

I was instructed to show those who asked any remaining battle damage from the WW2 Pearl Harbor day attack.
The area around the O club and the club itself still had some extensive damage.

The Sailors that were present on that day would visit and they told me how it all un-folded.
"We got credit for shooting down 15 of the attacking planes. (27 over all) they told me.
That's a fact but ya never hear about that. Amazing IMHO.

"It wasn't like in the movies with the smiling Japanese pilot with a fu-man-chu and wired rimmed glasses laughing while he strafed the areas. The attacking planes were several miles up".
It was professional and precision, all coordinated, and they bombed us for exactly 1 hour" they told me.
Ya never hear about that either.

Every visiting group had called their commander "The Old Man".
Even if he was just 30 years old during the war.

I was watching Pawn Stars on the History Channel the other night and the owner of the Pawn shop is called "The Old Man".
Yep,, a handle he picked up in the career Navy when he was 38 Years old!

I used to visit Harrahs hotel in Lake Tahoe.
My parents always loved it..

Lots of military training mfg and construction at the lake during WW2 and it's how my dad got to know Harrah himself.
Off the hook, 5 star service and food.

Harrah eventually passed away, Holiday Inn took over and it wasn't the same any more.
Completely lost its energy, quality and character that Harrah spent decades developing.

I wrote on a guest comment card "It was better when the old man ran it."
That upset them and they sent us all kinds of comp nights and food coupons.

We got phone calls and letters from the Holiday Inn management.
They just didn't see it.

It really was better when the old man ran it.
I think everything was better when the old man ran it.

« Last Edit: December 10, 2009, 01:33:13 AM by Trailer Park Casanova »


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Re: "It was better when the old man Ran it"
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2009, 07:14:30 PM »
Good story.
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