Anyway, to back up a wee bit, our sweetheart of a friend Miss K. came along this year and with her came her brother N. N got me laughing so hard that we had to tell him to tone it down because, as the driver, I needed to be able to see--which I can't do when laughing as hard as I was. Anyway, in between spurts of jokes and PSA's N napped as did K. It's a phenomena that I can't quite get my head around--how does one drop off to sleep like that?
So Friday. Like I said, I wanted to get out by 10 (hoping for even earlier) and we didn't make it out until 11. N helped me to load the truck while the girls continued to get their beauty rest (and I don't mean that snarky at all--I was fine with them still being in bed because I went to bed earlier than they had and I also know that tent camping isn't exactly the most conducive to fantastic sleep and neither one of them is exactly in one-hundred percent tip-top health [me either for that matter])...but anyway we managed to squeeze everything and everyone in eventually and headed south. I drove a little faster than I had wanted to, but I really, really, REALLY wanted to arrive before dark so that we didn't have to set up after nightfall like we had last year.
Well, we arrived, signed in and decided to skip supper (which turned out to be spaghetti again which at least two of us couldn't eat anyway) in order to go set up at the Courter's place where we camped last year. I think we even got the exact same spot....
After doing a rush-job there, we whizzed back into town, windows down, soaking up the Tennessee air and rolled into the vendor area where we unpacked nearly all the rest of the truck and got the tables and tent set-up, leaving the boxes packed--which due to the amount of humidity (read "DEW") was smart--everything would have been as wet as we were in the tent that night.
They were fixing to play the Friday evening movie, so we hauled our coolers back to an unoccupied table and supped upon the contents. I about choked a couple of times over the Walt Disney scrap-drive cartoon. It was highly amusing.
It is clear to me, looking at the photos, that our photographer didn't ask anyone to take her picture and none of us were considerate enough to think of it. Sorry Katherine!! Kick me next time please! (One of our quad was fast asleep hugging a bench, so he naturally wouldn't have thought of it. ;] )
We rolled on out after the film at some point and hit the sack. I didn't sleep very grandly, as the ground felt harder than usual and I also felt like I was going to roll down hill if I relaxed. Anyway, I slept enough to get me through the day without falling apart. :D
Saturday didn't go exactly as I had planned, as I had intended/hoped to catch some of the speakers, spend some greater amount of time gabbing with a dear friend, attend what I'm sure was a very cool presentation of aerial training, and also spend a little more time looking at things, as well as being a bigger help at the vendor area. However, though things didn't go as planned, it was fine because I got to spend quite a lot of time with Bob, whom I call my "best beau":
Speaking of Bob, the Boyer Sisters serenaded him personally with "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and he was truly delighted. In fact, I think he was pretty pleased with all my friends because he told me later, "You have a bunch of real nice friends." So, for any of you reading this--THANK-YOU!! You helped make a 96-year-old sailorman happy!
I have so far neglected to mention that Johnny (Bob's brother) was there too. Johnny left before Bob did, but it was real nice to see him too. The two of them are still best friends and quite a pair!
I may return to Bob here in abit, but for now, I'm going to grasp at a few other Saturday memories while they are in my head.
THERE WAS A B-17 FLYOVER.
Mr. K and Luke were at our vendor tent, replete in their sailor's duds, and I can't remember if I was in the middle of a sentence or not, all I remember is, I saw her coming and as she roared overhead, bomb bay door open, I literally tore out the back side of the tent (probably with some sort of thrilled exclamation) and waved frantically. I later felt that I was probably a bit rude, but since they also enjoyed seeing "Sentimental Journey" fly over, that it was okay. :D Oh well, now the K's know how I react to old warbirds. It's odd how excited I get over a hunk of flying steel....
I grabbed K at some point and we went off to get ourselves a half-track ride...only it really was a troop-truck. :) Still, it was fun! We were squeezed in nice and tight and I struck up a conversation with the girl on the other side of me (Julianne, I think it was) and I actually forget what all we talked about--but I think I remember correctly that she was from Alabama. Still, it was a nice little, somewhat hollared conversation and we grinned at each other when we saw one other later on.
There was a BT-13 (Daddy said, "Basically a fixed gear T-6") which they did a training demo with, but I didn't hear that because I was up near the courthouse with Bob, rather than down at the encampment. However, Bob and I enjoyed watching the plain roaring overhead and he got to talking about how it can be overwhelming when you have 40 planes diving at you...the noise brought back some memories for him, but he didn't seem overly disturbed. He tells me that he was never really frightened, he fell back on his training so much that he just wasn't scared. He mentioned how when the Hornet was attacked at the time that he hurt his back, "I had on my anti-flash suit and life vest and I don't remember putting them on."
There were both more reenactors and spectators this year in addition to more vehicles. The German's had a tank:
Speaking of motorcycles, the German medic rode one...and there is a story to go with him.
I don't have a plethora of battle stories this time, but I do recall seeing this man take a hit...and then his helmet and helmet liner sit there and rock back and forth:
Speaking of jeeps and military vehicles, for the past couple of years, I've been after a half-track ride. Well, it finally happened Saturday night. After the supper and USO show and fireworks were over and my head was pounding, we first got a jolly go-round in the back of a red Ford owned by the Courter's and driven by Jessica (who also had a headache, poor thing); we picked up a load of young soldier boys part way through town and I got to hear about the Henry Ford Festival at Greenfield Village from the blue-eyed young'un standing on the running board. I confess that I remember very little of what Robert actually said...but found it amusing at the time. It actually made me laugh because I knew who he was because I'm FB friends with his mother and I told him that and he kind of rolled his eyes. It didn't dampen his enthusiasm any however and he kept chattering at me and his pals until the drop off.
Anyway, we had a chance, after hopping off the Ford to catch the last ride on the half-track! I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to get up there, particularly in my formal and heels, but with a hand given to each of the young men in the back, and a dose of "forget about looking graceful" and a foot stuck way in the air, I was pulled/hopped up to be followed quickly by Katherine, the K ladies, and a several of the K fellas. I nearly fell as soon as I was in because my leather soles slid on the rather inclined metal interior, but I didn't fall. Miss K and N were both in the truck rather exhausted and therefore missed further rides. Anyway, we took off down the street and zipped about. On our way back up, the damper was put on the evening when Mr. Courter hailed the half-track asking if any of the K's were on board. As most of the passengers were K's he quickly passed the information that Josiah had jumped off a moving vehicle and was in an unknown condition. Isaac stayed on with Katherine and I while the rest of the family were assisted down and ran to where Josiah was.
I will skip ahead here and let y'all know that Josiah was alright. It was a great relief to see him on Sunday morning, looking exhausted and worn to be sure, but very much on his feet. I was really kind of worried about him. I later got a grin out of him that almost made me cry because I was glad to see the twinkle behind those ornery eyes.
So, I DID get my half-track ride and it was fun despite the way it ended up. Perhaps I can hop another next year....
We returned to our camp shortly thereafter I took my headache to a readjusted bedroll and slept like a log. I was still tired next morning, but I wasn't in pain any more, so I was happy about that.
However, I wasn't overly thrilled over when I realized that I had left my red-striped sailor outfit at home by accident--so I had to go to church looking (or at least feeling) slightly frumpy in my gored denim skirt (thing is starting to wear out) and a t-shirt borrowed from my sister. That shirt looks real nice on her, but green isn't exactly my best color. :D
Anyway, I don't believe the saying that "clothes make the man", so I could go to worship just as reverently in my "frump" as my "frills" (not that my sailor suit is exactly frilly). The church service that took place after some music and a talk by Mr. Potter, being held in the local Southern Baptist Church wasn't exactly what I'm used to as far as depth of content and such...I understand also that it was somewhat unusual circumstances and they were trying to keep with the history theme, so they kind of leaned towards songs most of us think of as more "patriotic" than "churchy".
After church, we were fed again (a billion thanks to these folks for feeding us multiple times!) and some people headed out to the Axis vs. Allies baseball game. We were not among them. I actually intended to leave around 1-2...but we didn't pull out until 3 local time...because, some of us were playing music (I'm glad I slid my spoons into my purse!) and then the Katherine and K ended up helping Mrs. Courter clean up. I did just a very, very small amount right before we left, but I really spent most of my time here:
Here's a few shot of "The Ocean Mutts". Don't ask. I'm not allowed to tell... ;)