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Red Gauntlet , SASS 60619

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Everything posted by Red Gauntlet , SASS 60619

  1. The stories some of these men could tell! When I met Sir Archie, then a knight, an extra equerry to the Queen, and the former Captain of the Queen's Flight (the branch of the RAF that was responsible for the air transport of the Royal family), he frankly told me that the custom in Britain for many years was that it was bad form to talk about 'one's war'. This was both because of Brit reticence, as well as the fact that everybody had suffered greatly, and so, there was little point. He said it was easier to talk freely to a Yank 'gatecrasher', like me; but, as was true in the States also, men became more willing to talk as the decades went by. He was shot down twice behind enemy lines, and evaded capture twice, one of very few men who were known to have done so. The first time was over northern France, during 'Circus', when he baled out, was picked up by the Resistance, and was among the first taken down the 'Pat Line' to Marseilles. From there, they ultimately walked over the Pyrenees into Spain, where by established protocol they were arrested, and expelled to Gibraltar, and thus home. After that, he could not fly over France, because possible capture and torture could lead to reveal of the Resistance escape lines. He was shot down a second time during Torch, in North Africa, and exfiltrated through German lines to the British army. War stirs the pot. He began the War as an unemployed railroad staffer. He ended his life as a personal friend of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, after having served as Captain of the Queen's Flight for 14 years, and having overseen the flight training of Prince Charles, among other things. So many great men. So hard to see them all go off the stage...
  2. I'd of course read about bismuth as a lead substitute, but never looked it up, which I just did. It should continue to pass muster in California, because the Wiki article points out that while it is radioactive, the decay is very slow-- the half-life of the isotope is a billion times longer than the estimated age of the universe; thus it is considered stable!
  3. Urbanization seems inevitably to bring ever more liberal politics along with it. Think of Denver, Dallas etc as good examples in once-conservative states. California used to reliably produce Republican politicians along with Democrats; yet it always had many big urban centers. There are a lot of theories about it. My state, Washington, has had liberal politics for a long time. It had for decades heavyweight Democrat senators. Yet it has had very good gun laws for a long time, too: shall issue for concealed pistol permits, no restrictions on numbers and types of gun purchases, no unusual transport and handling requirements, open carry; on and on. But we used to also have a viable Republican party, with the occasional GOP gov (tho' not for 35 years), GOP legislature now and again, Republican attorney general. GOP senators. But they've been fading away, and any balance is being lost. So now we have 'safe storage' state laws, and a special training requirement and 10-day wait for 'semi-automatic assault weapons', which are defined as all semi-autos, such as a Ruger 10/22 etc. These have come through the initiative process, funded by cyber-billionaires. These are to be more feared by far than the legislature. Lots of worries for the future.
  4. Apparently there is just one surviving pilot now of the Battle of Britain: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/last-surviving-battle-britain-pilot-22297770 Just a very few years ago when I last checked, there were still a couple of hundred alive; all very aged of course. It's hard to contemplate that it won't be so long before all WWII vets are gone. A kid who lied about his age and got into the Navy in the last months of the War at 17, which is about as young as you could have been to be a WWII vet, would now be 92 if still alive. All the more reason to remember these things.
  5. And Tony Curtis was married to Janet Leigh. All is one.
  6. Right. Regia Aeronautica. He said the CR-42 was slow, but could turn very tightly. He had been in the RAF reserve before the War, and so at 23 or so was older than many of the other pilots. They would go up during the day to fight, then in the evening would take the train into London and visit the steam baths and bars on Jermyn St. Then back up into the air the next day.
  7. Amen. My grandfather was in the Royal Air Force-- in the First war; he flew as an artillery spotter. He was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. I had the good fortune to enter into a correspondence with, and then meet for several hours in 2002, Air Commodore Sir Archie Winskill KCVO DFC*, a WWII Spitfire ace who fought in the latter part of the B of B. He shot down two Italian C-42s during the Battle. A little-know chapter of the air War-- the Italians believed their German compatriots that they were winning the Battle, and they wanted to be 'in at the kill'. So they sent their best biplanes. In fact, the C-42 was relatively formidable, as were several of the advanced pre-WWII biplanes. One of them shot out the canopy of Sir Archie's Spitfire. He died at 88 in 2005. There are very few of the Few left now.
  8. Starring Janet Leigh. Just so happened to see her in The Naked Spur just last night.....
  9. So run for public office. My wife served 30 years in local public (unpaid) office. She won 5 consecutive elections. I ran twice for local office, and mercifully lost both times, but I threw my hat into the ring in my time. I give money; I show up for testimony before councils and committees. We are a self-governing republic. Our local councils, boards, and our legislatures used to be filled with lawyers, insurance agents, owners of car dealerships, real estate agents, small businessmen and tradesmen of all kinds. Main-streeters. Now they have checked out, don't run, and just complain incessantly. Frankly, I am so tired of the futile complaints of people who 'deplore' the state of politics. The middle classes of productive people had better get back into the game and act. Bury your talents in the ground because you are 'afraid'....You'll pay for it now and hereafter. At least this person ran for office. How many ineffectual complainers didn't?
  10. I recognize the country still, but I don't recognize Cheshire County, N.H. anymore.
  11. I read the book originally in Analog SF magazine, where it was serialized as Dune World. Dune took the SF world by storm, and for many years, perhaps decades, it was the leading single SF novel ever in sales. It has probably been surpassed by now by Game of Thrones or some such, but I don't know. Frank Herbert lived in Tacoma for some years, and there is a great waterfront park here named after him, just finished a couple of years ago. Herbert was close friends with fellow SF authors Jack Vance and Poul Anderson, and for years they together owned a houseboat on the Sacramento Delta. I never met Herbert or Anderson, but I had the pleasure and honor of meeting Jack Vance a couple of times. He died a few years back at 96. I heard stories about Frank Herbert and Anderson from Jack and his wife Norma. The Lynch movie had several good points but was overall disappointing. I never saw the TV version; it got decidedly mixed reviews. I am glad it's getting another go. Haven't read the novel in decades but probably should pick it up again.
  12. We do know he said 'ecce homo', which means 'behold the man." Very similar.
  13. Spring for a new sixpack. Not that expensive, really.
  14. There's a big difference between "citizen" and "resident" .A citizen has a US passport, a resident may or may not have a US passport. A citizen may also NOT be resident in the US too. I know many US citizens who do not have passports, and, indeed, I was one myself for many decades.
  15. This post says it all-- why this was made a non-political forum. When it comes to politics, too many folks forget their manners.
  16. Of course you can be a citizen of a State.
  17. Our whole family has stayed close by; my siblings and our own kids. One thing about the Pacific NW/Puget Sound is that there is less a tendency for the kids to 'scatter' than in many other parts of the country. I think it's a combination of both the natural beauty of the area, with the saltwater and the mountains, but also because the regional economy has stayed strong down the decades. So there are lots of economic opportunities hereabouts, both large and small. My wife and I are still in the house we raised our 5 kids in; which in turn is within a few city blocks of the houses we grew up in. We've been in the house for 41 years, and while it's big, with 12 grandkids in the area we'll be keeping it. Our own kids are highly attached to it, and I expect that at some point, before or after our deaths, one or more will buy it. Attachment to a great house is something I definitely identify with!
  18. My folks moved into a big Victorian in 1953; I was five years old. All of us six kids were raised there; a great house and a wonderful neighborhood. One of my brothers bought the place from my folks and still lives there. So it's been 'in the family' now for 67 years. Most of us still live not far away, so we are in the house from time to time and drive by it often. We are all very glad it's still 'with us', and I understand your sentiment fully. Great that yours has been sold to a good family.
  19. Stagecoach has one of those things the movie guys call a 'trope'; an old recurring theme or device in a story. In this case, a group of disparate strangers thrown together in some common enterprise or peril. Like The Canterbury Tales....it's a great story form. ....most any WWII movie platoon...
  20. Monument Valley was one of Ford's main actors!
  21. I looked it up and now see the 1986 made-for-TV remake has Doc Holliday on the stagecoach. Weird indeed. Looking at the stuff on the 1966 movie, which sounds like a straight remake: it has an incredible high-powered cast. Like a lot of those '60s movies with ensembles of big stars. There are some fine actors listed there-- is the movie worth watching on its own merits?
  22. I don't think Doc got on the coach.... But then, I don't know anything about the 'remake'.... I watched the original again 2 or 3 months ago. A really great movie. Here's a question: how many 'stagecoach' movies are out there? By that, I mean the scenario with the disparate bunch of characters thrown together on the stagecoach outa town, with the story playing out with the relations between the passengers? One other that I can think of right away is Hombre, another truly fine movie with a great cast.
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