Saturday, August 27, 2011

Nice people in my life

Two blogs have made me think back today. Mary of FrankandMary and the indubitable Jimmy.

I was 12 years old and had never seen a television, although I had heard of them. Friend Ray Sides told me that we could watch a Television (long before it was shortened to TV) if I wanted to. ‘Has a cat got a climbing gear’, I asked. (meaning yes, in 1951).


I got my bike and we rode to the Fire station. I had never seen a fire truck up close, much less go in a fire station.   We did. Yep they had a spotted dog. As a boy I was so overwhelmed at how friendly the firemen were. They allowed us to sit on the floor for 30 minutes and watch Howdy Doody.


(Buffalo Bob & Howdy Doody)

AWAY FROM THIS Entry for a minute>>


Just now, Sherry tells me that one of the nicest men I have ever met, John Wood, has died. He was a celebrated Fire Chief in Miami. We met John in Eustis, Florida. We were looking for a regular church to attend, John was an usher. I told him we were just shopping around. He said ‘Great, that means you will be back’. And we did come back. We grew to love John and Patty, such an unassuming man.

Someone told me he had retired as a fire chief in Miami. When I mentioned that he said, “Jack, that isn’t such a big deal, there are xx number of Chiefs in Miami.”

But I knew it was a big deal. I am wishing fair winds and following seas to John  good friend. What a GUY!

Back to this entry:

As a kid, I could not believe how good those guys were to us (I always related John to these guys, he was the same way, a Prince among men. We had to leave after Howdy, but who cared? The news was coming on.

John dying has changed my thought patterns. I had a few more to high light, but for right now let me tell you about a guy I met in Biloxi. This also centered around church, you will get the idea that my earlier life was centered on church.

Some of you are familiar with Fred Brannen, who graciously comments here on the log. Fred was in the Coast Guard I was in the Air Force. Three things brought us together, first we were both ‘trailer trash’. Well not really, because at that time (1958 time frame) trailers were logical. We lived in the same trailer park for awhile. Second we actually worked within a 100 yards of each other on Point Cadet. He at a CG Loran Station, I at the USAF Crash boats as a radio operator. Third we attended the same church.

Brannen Family

(I snagged this picture from Fred Alton’s page, Fred Frances and their first daughter Frankie)

Orders separated us from Fred and Frances. We had a few days contact over the next few years after that, and usually sent Christmas cards. But it was over 50 years before we really made contact again. Fred and Frances became dedicated Missionaries to Guyana and then to Africa. Eventually Fred was recognized and became an official within our denomination. I, on the other hand, followed too many paths to mention. Fred and Frances have always stood out as ‘Nice Folk’ to have known.

tennesee 006

(Fred & Frances now, The smiles are the same but Fred has lost his hair on TOP!)

I could go on but I have over extended my word count. I will get to what Mary reminded me of tomorrow.

Nite Shipslog


The song, Auld Lang Syne, is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year.

Car of the day:


This looks sorta like a 1957 Caddy convertible.


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I think that nice attracts nice and when you take a look at your friends that is often the kind of person you are too. It's wonderful to look back at old times past and have such good memories. I have quite a few of them and treasure them for what and who they were. Hope your Saturday is a great one. The weather here couldn't be more perfect. I'm sitting out on my deck at the camper enjoying life today.

Paula said...

Sorry about the passing of your friend. Nice of the fireman to let you kids watch TV. I remember our first one. I liked Kula, Fran and Ollie.

Lucy said...

What a cool entry. It is just so full of good and bad news but as always , interesting. I am pushing my luck on this computer but may work out ok.

Helen said...

Sorry about your friend passing. I was probably 14 or 15 before I saw my first TV. I very seldom watch TV. Maybe the news channel when Ken has it on which he does a lot. He has his computer in the room where the TV is. Mine is down in the den. I can't concentrate when the TV is going so I had rather be down here. An added room made from a carport with two steps down here. Another carport was added to that. Now you know all about the added room LOL. Helen

Fred Alton said...

I'm sorry, Jack, to read about your friend, John Wood. It leaves an empty spot for awhile when our friends die...but we have hope of eternal life. I have two very sick friends now who could go at anytime. What? Trailer trash? Man I was "flying high" as a young married man. It was much much better than that apartment I had rented the first month in Biloxi. And our trailer park had quality people like the Darnell's, Harrison and Sally Vance, plus Herta and Dohmer (that German couple in the smallest trailer). I had to smile remembering that. Thanks for all the nice things you said about us - but it goes double back to you and Sherry. I mean it. AND the memory of the first TV shows...I was allowed to go to a friends house and watch it on Saturday mornings - even though Daddy usually would preach against having a TV on Sunday! Big Smile here! ☻ I loved all the cowboy shows, Lash LaRue, Roy Rogers, Sky King, Gene Autrey, The Cisco Kid, and even watched the commercials in those days. Oh yeah, and the Lone Ranger, sponsored by Nabisco Shredded Wheat!

Cher' Shots said...

I see you sparked some memories for Fred :) That's what friends are all about! Sorry to hear you lost one of your buddies. But he's not lost and we both know it.
'love & hugs from afar'

shirl72 said...

I think my first TV was at Aunt Zetters maybe
8...Remember you would go with Jim Page downtown
and watch TV at the Funiture Store where his Dad worked. What memories and thank God we have them.
I am so sorry about the passing of John he's

This world is in a mess. I just remember the Song "This World Is Not My Home I am Just Passing Through".

Dar said...

Oh Jack and Sherry, so sad to hear of your loss of the dear friend you had in John. There is another star twinkling in the heavens and another whispering breeze touching your cheeks.
As for Fred, when we met you and Sherry, Fred told me that we had just met their 'best' friends. He meant it too. You are all special folks that have made an important impact in our lives. Thanks for being you.