Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I have a friend

1958-59 We moved to Biloxi, Mississippi when I joined the USAF. We lived in an apt. until we could buy a little trailer and cut expenses. We bought a 32’ aluminum trailer and my BIL moved it to Ocean Springs, MS. There we parked beside a Coast Guard Guy, Fred Alton Brannen and his beautiful wife Frances. 

Sherry and Frances were both pregnant at the time. We learned his parents were Church of God preachers, my dad was one also.  We had a lot in common. What a small world!

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(MY Girl in front of that trailer and after the birth of Jack Jr., cute, ain’t she?)

Our paths became diverse with orders. We kept in touch with Christmas cards and visited once or twice in the last 50 years. Fred & Frances became a missionaries,  while Sherry followed me thru many career changes.

I mentioned before that we moved over 25 times, finally, moving into a Motor Home, now we can move anytime. LOL.

I know I am repeating for some, but once we were ‘camping’ at Standing Indian, near Franklin, NC. One day we climbed Standing Indian Mountain. There Sherry met some happy, dirty, smelly hikers who said they had started hiking in Georgia and were hiking to Maine. (Our intro to the Appalachian Trail the ‘AT’)

That evening around a campfire, I had this great idea. “Honey, why don’t we sell everything we have, buy a sailboat and sail around the world?”

For the first time in our marriage she said, “NO!” to one of my GREAT ideas.

She countered with, “But we can hike the AT.”

My time to say, “ARE YOU CRAZY? You have never had a back pack on, and we are over 60 yrs old.”  Then I thought again.

Okay honey, you have followed me around the world and over the country, this is YOUR idea, I will follow you, we will give it a try!”

That started our adventure on the AT. Now we have hiked from Georgia to Maine. Thru 13 states, and we now need to finish Maine (the 14th state) to complete the trail. NOW, Back to friend Fred.

Brannen Family

(Fred & Frances with ‘Frankie’, the child they were expecting when we met!)

Fred is an amazing guy, presently winning the battle with cancer and nearly thru the Chemo treatments, he read that I wanted to hike the 100 mile Wilderness near Katahdin in Maine. He e-mailed me saying, “I sure would like to hike with you.” thus, another idea was born. So at present, our plans are to do the wilderness. He also says that Will, his brother, and a good friend of his, says they would like to do the wilderness.

Fred & Frances 013

(Fred, taken a couple years back when we re-connected at his cabin in the Cherokee Forest, TN)

More on this as time progresses. Thanks for coming by the LOG.

Nite Shipslog


Due to earth's gravity it is impossible for mountains to be higher than 15,000 meters.

(My calculations says that is about 50,000 feet, Clingman’s Dome is 6,643 ft. the highest peak on the AT. We climbed, hiked, to the first Glacier on Mt. Ranier, that was probably higher since Ranier is over 14K high)


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My Girl just before we met Fred and Frances. We lived in an apt then. Oh yes, that is our 1953 Plymouth.


betty said...

What an adventure that would have been to sail the mighty sea! But I can see Sherry's wholehearted NO about it; I'd be the same!! Wonderful adventure to look into doing, Jack, to hike with Fred part of the trail! I hope it can all come together to do so!! It is so neat to have a friendship that has survived over the years to be reunited in this season!


Anonymous said...

Yay! for Fred...sounds like you have a great adventure planned!

shirl72 said...

My life seems so dull after reading
all your and Sherry's adventure.
But I am happy doing my thing.

If we all counted the times we
have moved it would probably count-
up especially if you worked for
a Company that transfers you. I have moved a few times.

Love the pictures.

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

I hope that Sherry and Fred are blessed with healing and some good health so you all get to do your hike. It;s chilly and cloudy here so far today.

~mel said...

I can't wait to read that final entry, "We did it!"

The more the merrier ~ oh how I wish I could make that trip with you too. I'll let Fred proxy for me and keep you entertained along the way:)

Paula said...

I'M with Sherry. I think the hiking was a better thing to do. You know feet on the ground and all that.

Anonymous said...

When life feels difficult, it is a joy to arrive here and read about how wonderful it can be.

Please have you all a good Wednesday; and much success upon each plan you two ever make.

Chatty Crone said...

How do you live in an RV and have all these pictures at your disposal and know where to find them? Awesome.

I do hope Fred will be able to climb with you - what a great way to renew the friendship.

You guys do the coolest things.

Moved 23 times - phew.


Louis la Vache said...

hee hee,,,
«Louis'» parents had a '53 Plymouth!


Sounds like a wonderful adventure for old friends to tackle. don't know where you all get the stamina. Good luck.