Sunday, December 30, 2018

Old Tucson Studios

Outside of Tucson, over Gates Pass and into the Saguaro National Park, lies a historical gem, completely touristy, and great fun!

The Old Tucson Studios was built to film western movies and if you have ever watched old westerns than you have most likely seen it featured. It was built in 1939, burned some years later and rebuilt. It is now, mostly, a tourist attraction and theme park, although there is certainly no reason more movies or shows might not be filmed there.

Over 200 films and many TV series and movies were filmed here. You can see a complete list here:

You may be surprised by how many of them you know!

1860's armored car

From the TV show of the same name
The town was originally made to mirror Tucson in the 1860's

OK Corral?

There are lots of interesting exhibits, shows, and fun things to see and do here, so, if in Tucson, check it out.

Next time, on the 4th, we will return to visiting Vietnam memorials. The first one for 2019, the tenth year of this project, will be in California, so join me there, as we have done for 10 years now, at 9:00am.

To see Vietnam memorials from any state, please click the state name on the left side of this page.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas 2018 redux

I have no idea why the previous post popped up 6 days early, that stuff is way above my pay-grade. So, I thought I might try again with these words from John Lennon and Yoko Ono before returning for one more non-memorial post on the 30th.

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young
A very Merry Christmas
And a happy new year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong
And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red one
Let's stop all the fight
A very Merry Christmas
And a happy new year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

Albuquerque, NM

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
A new one just begun
And so happy Christmas
We hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young
A very Merry Christmas
And a happy new year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

War is over, if you want it
War is over now

Christmas 2018

This is a repost of what I wrote last year, with a small update or two. It still rings well with me and I'm not sure I could write anything more appropriate this year, so if you missed it enjoy, if you saw it please enjoy once more.

It came upon a midnight clear...

51 years ago tonight, I was on duty somewhere in 'Nam. I can't say I recall doing exactly what, it was just another day to a large extent.

I remember that in base camp they tried to have a special Christmas dinner, but I really don't remember it. I guess it is possible that we were out of port, running up or down the Mekong, I simply cannot remember. What happens to our memories?

I do remember that my parents sent a little Christmas tree. I think maybe it had little lights on it and  at one time I am sure I had a picture, now long gone. I am sure they included various goodies. I do remember that we all gathered around it and completely enjoyed having it sitting on top of my foot locker!

The biggest surprise of that Christmas didn't actually occur on Dec. 25, but several months later.

I finally made it home in April and after the dog went crazy when he saw me get out of the car, and my parents and family all ran out to the street, we all eventually, went in to the house.

And, there, where it always was during my childhood, stood the Christmas tree, all decorated, packages beneath its boughs, waiting for me to come home.

Of course, I have no idea what any of the packages contained, that after all is not what we remember, we remember the feelings, the love and in this case, the relief, of finally being home.

It was indeed special.

This Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Solstice, Kwanzaa, Los Tres Reyes or whatever holy day, holiday, or celebration of new beginnings that you may choose to celebrate remember to take a moment to remember, to be thankful for and to wish them safe home, those, as Mick Jagger calls them, "the common foot soldier, the salt of the earth." You know that while we celebrate with our families and loved ones, hundreds of thousands are pulling duty somewhere, many miles from their homes and loved ones.

Give them a thought.

                                                                               men of good will!

 Happy holidays to you and yours.

Many of you will know that during the holiday season, I often take a small break from writing about memorials. So, next time, on the 30th, look for something a little different, as usual, at 9:00am.

To see memorials from any state in the union, click on a state name on the left side of this page.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Sanoran Desert 2018

Recently, I was back in the Sonoran Desert, one of my favorite places and was able to take a few interesting shots.

Many of us, especially those far away from any desert think of what we see in movies like Lawrence of Arabia or our old western favorites. Large spaces of rolling hills of sand, or a few Saguaro Cacti, otherwise pretty desolate and devoid of life.

Well, these places certainly exist, but the Sonoran is filled with life of all kinds. The Sonoran Desert, by the way, is the only place on earth where the iconic Saguaro grow, so if you see them in your movies, the movie was filmed in Arizona, California, or Mexico.

Saguaro in very unusual light
The following pics are a few of the different kinds of life you might come across in the desert. By no means complete, but beautiful all the same.

I was also able to capture this guy peeking out from some Prickly Pear cacti.

Of course, there is also human life in the desert. This Mission was started in 1692 on the Tohono O'Odham reservation inhabited for generation after generation before Father Kino ever showed up to build his mission.

Next time, on the 25th, I'll post some other interesting shots from my various travels. In the meantime, best wishes and happy holidays to all.

To see additional Vietnam memorials and other photos from any state, please click on the state name on the left side of this page.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Georgia XI

We came across this most unusual Vietnam memorial while driving through Georgia. I'm not sure I have ever seen anything quite like it.

It sits at the site of an old (1909) cotton mill and has utilized some of the equipment from the mill in the memorial.

It is not specifically Vietnam which is so often the case with memorials in smaller areas.

This section of paver bricks names and honors some of those remembered here.

There are a couple of other features here that I will write about later.

As many of you know at this time of the year I choose not to focus on memorials and post a few other interesting ( I hope) pictures I've found along the way. So, next time join me for something completely different, as always at 9:00am on the 20th.

To see additional memorials from Georgia, or any other state, please click the name on the left side of this page.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Florida XVI

The west coast of Florida is especially beautiful and Naples is, arguably, one if its highlights.

After some initial difficulty locating the exact location of Cambier Park, Steve and I were delighted to find this memorial among the many sports fields, tennis courts and many other amenities.

 Many wars and heroes are remembered and honored here.

 Vietnam, too, has a dedication section of the wall.

There is another memorial here dedicated to Vietnam that I will write about at a future time.

The memorial is located on the corner of Cambier Park Way and 8th Street South.

Next time, on the 15th, we will return to Georgia, so meet me there at 9:00am.

To see additional memorials from Florida, or any other state, please click the state name on the left side of this page.

Monday, December 3, 2018

California XXIV

About 25 miles south of Los Angeles is Carson and located at a busy community center/sports complex, with a pool and other amenities, is this memorial to our lost brothers and sisters.

 It seems completely appropriate that our children and grandchildren be reminded of the sacrifice of the few for the many while they enjoy the freedoms so costly won.

The memorial list a series of names with no designation as to what war they might have participated in listed. I looked up a few and found names from several wars, including Vietnam.

This window display, also, does include artifacts from 'Nam.

The memorial is located at 22400 Moneta Avenue.

Next time, on the 8th, we will revisit Florida, so join me there, as usual, at 9:00am.

To see other memorials from California, or any other state, please click the state name on the left side of this page.