Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Welcome! This is my first attempt at a blog entry and am having trouble thinking about a good subject to write about. Maybe it should be about photography? That's a good idea. I've been shooting photographs since 1960 when I was "loaned" a camera by my 9th grade science teacher in Alexandria, MN. He had a darkroom at the school and photography was one of the "scientific" hobbies students could participate. I had a lot of fun between taking photos and developing the film and making prints. But, we moved from Minnesota to Washington state and football and student activities became more important. When I graduated from high school, I had a long talk with my Dad about the lack of money to go to college and if you joined the military, there was the GI Bill after you got out to help with college. So, I decided to join the military and see if I could learn a trade. Well, my Dad and his brothers had been in the Navy in WWII and never said anything really bad about their duties, so I started to look at what the Navy had to offer. And, they had a job called "Photographer's Mate"! My best friend at school, Jim, also was looking at joining the Navy so we talked to the recruiter together and decided we would take all the tests and join the Navy. We both did well on the tests and went off to Spokane to join the Navy. After more tests and physical exams, we were sent to San Diego for recruit training in the fall of 1963. We were in boot camp when President Kennedy was assassinated and that day still remains vivid in our memories. Jim wanted to go into submarines and I found out that being a Photographer in the Navy was an "aviation rating" but could be stationed just about anywhere that the Navy had bases. So, after boot camp, I was sent to Pensacola, Florida where the Navy had a photography school and I was enrolled in "A" school which was the basic school After you had been in for a time and was advanced in pay grade, you could go to "B" school which was advanced photography and you could also go to various "C" schools: motion picture cameraman; camera repair; quality control; photojournalism, and others. During my career in the Navy, I attended "B" school, camera repair and motion picture camera operator schools. I was also designated as an aircrewman so I could fly in various types of aircraft if there was a place for you to sit. I started out flying in the H-34 Seahorse and the P2 Neptune in Iceland and then a number of different aircraft in Vietnam including H-1 Hueys, C-130 Hercules, CH-47 Chinook, Cessna O-1 Bird Dog, C-47 Gooney Bird; and C-123 Provider just to name a few. When my tour in Vietnam was done, I was transferred to the Navy Marine Corps Exhibit Center in Washington, D.C. to run the photo lab that was attached to the unit. I got out of the Navy after my first four years and tried to join the college crowd at the University of Washington. That didn't work out so after almost 60 days as a civilian, I re-enlisted and was given my rate of PH2 back.