June 06, 2014

D-Day 70

"Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

"You are about to embark on The Great Crusade... ...the eyes of the world are upon you.

"Your task will not be an easy one.  Your enemy is well-trained, well-equipped and battle hardened.

"The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!

"I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle.  We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

"Good luck!  And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking."
-Dwight D Eisenhower.

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June 05, 2014

The First Of Many

The year is 1979 or 1980.  The place is Duckford.  Wonderduck has been friends with Vaucaunson's Duck for roughly a year, and there'd been a lot of Fight In The Skies played in that time, with more still to come.  The game is fun, challenging and exciting, but Wonderduck wants to know more about the planes of World War I... because doesn't everybody?  The library at QS Trotter Elementary School has practically nothing on the topic, of course.  Which means that purchasing is the only recourse, and herein lies a problem.  Problem #1: Wonderduck is 10 years old, and has no income of any sort.  Problem #2: Momzerduck and I are... not to put too fine a point on it... poor.  Duckford is in the midst of a deep Recession, either a hangover from the nationwide '75 one or the beginnings of the crushing early '80s failure (note: Duckford was a factory town... emphasis on was.  They went away in this time).  Money was very tight indeed... often it came down to "heat, light, food: choose two."

Which just goes to show how great a mom Momzerduck was... she made it work, somehow.  Yes, times were tight, but she never complained where I could hear her and things always came out okay in the end.  Looking back at it, it must have been hell for her, and here comes lil' Wonderduck, wondering if he could get something frivolous like a book on World War I airplanes. 

I don't know that that's how it went down.  It was 35 or so years ago, after all, but if it wasn't exactly like that, it must have been pretty close.  But sometime not long afterwards, a trip to Royal Hobby occurred that ended up with me leaving with a book on airplanes from the beginnings of flight through 1918.  And did I read the hell out of that book.  It wasn't a children's book, oh no.  It had a good basic history of flight at the origins, the names and figures involved, and then it got into facts and figures of planes famous and failed... the entry on the Phillips Multiplane set my brain a-racin', trying to figure out how anybody would think that'd work.  Of course, things like aerodynamics weren't as well known then as they are now, but I was just a kid.  So I kept reading, over and over, until I practically had that book memorized.

And then I grew up.  The games of FITS stopped.  High school happened, and it sucked.  Then college, getting kicked out of grad school, and the real world came a-callin'.  Somewhere along the way, the book disappeared, probably into the trash one way or another.  Other interests came and went, or came and stayed, and I simply... forgot.

The end.  No happy ending here, folks.  It doesn't work that way in real life, I'm afraid.  It's gone.


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June 04, 2014

Midway Day 2014

Just don't have enough time to do this justice, but here's an interesting photo of filmmaker John Ford, taken with some Marines at Midway.

Of course, Ford made the classic documentary The Battle of Midway, as well as the less well-known Torpedo Squadron 8Both are watchable here

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