Two characteristics of eastern North Carolina
- hot and humid. The air base was only 10 feet above sea level.
And 5 feet of that was built-up land fill. The surrounding area
was only 5 feet above sea level.
The heat we could handle but add in the
humidity and it made for one lously place. This is 1966 Marines.
No air-conditioning needed by these few, these proud.
Captain Barbara was the OIC when I arrived
at ISO. Position required a Major. Captain Barbara was a realist
and knew the Marines would never promote her. Interesting when
you consider that they really didn't care that a woman was the
spokesmen for the Marines at Cherry Point.
The '66 World Series was the Dodgers and
the Orioles. Being a big time Dodgers fan I was looking forward
to the games. After all they beat the Yankees in 4 straight in
'64 and just who were the Baltimore Orioles anyway?
Captain Barbara had set up a TV in the
front office and when I saw this I convinced her to rearrange
the desks and set the big lounge sofa in front of the TV so we
could all watch the games. She agreed. That's the kind of person
she was. After the games everything went back to business as usual.
I bet $100 on the first game with Bill
Gregory. Dodgers lost. I doubled the bet for the next game. Dodgers
lost. Doubled it again. Dodgers lost. What the hell doubled it
again. Dodgers lost. Series over. $800 in the hole to Bill.
A short time later the Los Angeles Rams
played the Baltimore Colts in their first game of the NFL season.
Being a big fan of the Rams I bet my $800 on the Rams to beat
the Colts. The Colts were the power house team in the NFL in those
days and everyone was convinced I would be $1,600 in the hole
by the end of the game. I did too. But we were all wrong. Rams
won and went on to win their conference over the Colts. Now that
I am even with Bill I give up betting forever. Never again.
Prior to the
World Series fun Captain Barbara had decided that Pfc Krill was
not spending enough time with the rest of the ISO team and decides
to have me help in the Thursday night field-day of the ISO office.
Funny, never once did any of the ISO team come over the the photo-lab
and help me clean that area. I had to clean the photo-lab area
then go over and help with the ISO office area. It wasn't a big
deal. And it was kinda' fun working with the ISO crew. Maybe Captain
Barbara was right. But it was the principle of the thing. Right?
Anyway Bill and I were assigned to clean
the front office where the officer's worked. Couple of desks,
couple of chairs and the big leather sofa. No biggie. We went
After getting everything cleaned but the
floor we start out sweaping the office area. I'm behind the officer's
desks sweeping under the desks. I hit something under Captain
Barbara's desk. I look under to see what it is. There, before
me, is a small electric desk fan on the floor. It has a button
switch so you could use your foot to turn the fan on and off.
Laughing to hard to stand I fall to the floor. Bill comes around
to see what's so funny. He see the humor of it but he just wants
to finished the cleaning and get out of the office.
Bill saids, "Yea so. Everyone in the
office knows about that fan. I got plans so lets get this done
and outa here."
"No way Bill. This is to good to pass
up. Do we have any crep paper?"
"Do we have any crep paper?"
"Yea. We probably have some in the
"Well go get it."
"O.K. but I don't want to know anything.
I'll get the paper then I'm leaving. Whatever you have planned
I don't want to know about it."
"Fine. Just get the crep paper."
Bill returns with the crep paper and I
locate the tape. I cut strips of crep paper about 5 feet in length
and tape 4 or 5 of these strips to the fan housing. Arrange them
so the Captain won't see them when she sits at her desk but when
she turns on the fan they will do their deed.
Then next morning I'm gone. Have jobs all
day. It wasn't until the end of the day I find out what happened.
Sometime late in the morning Captain Barbara
storms out of her office and goes right up to Bill and asks, "Who
cleaned the front office?"
"John, Captain Barbara"
She returns to her office.
Funny thing, I never had to do field day
at the ISO office again while Captain Barbara was the OIC. I would
have to wait until Tweedledee and Tweedledumb came aboard. That's
Captain Barbara was gone by the Fall of
1966. Not her fault she was more qualified than her replacement.
Way more qualified.
True story. Just ask Bill. [Next]