Saturday, August 31, 2013

55 years ago today…..

Sherry gave birth to our first child. We named him Jackie Jr.  He was born in a military hospital on Keesler AFB, in Mississippi.

Back then military hospitals were all ‘military bearing’, facilities.  So with  Sherry in labor I took her to the hospital. I started following Sherry and the male nurse. He turned to me and said, you can go home airman, we won’t need you. We will call and let you know if you are needed. I stood there for a minute watched my love disappear thru double doors, and I went home.  For some reason I ended up at our pastors trailer, giving the phone number to the hospital.

Scanoldpic9 070 - Copy

(Sherry just before giving birth)

This story has gone around everyone of our friends there and many at home. Back in THAT day, the only way you knew if you were going to have a boy or girl was the old wives tales of ‘She is carrying the baby high, it will be a girl, or She is carrying the baby low it will be a boy. That could be backwards, but some of you know about that.

Anyway like most macho men, I wanted a boy. I told every one  we were having a boy. So around the first of August, I put HIS name in our family Bible. Also the month and year, leaving the day blank. Jackie Leon Darnell Jr.  then I went around saying the Bible does not lie, my son’s name is in there. (I know, I ain’t never been just right in the head)

Now, things are getting tight,  it was getting late, on the 31st of August and no call. I was beginning to think that was silly to put that in the Bible. The phone rang,  The pastor’s wife answered and said it is for you.

“This is Airman Darnell,”

“I am happy to tell you you have  healthy baby girl, she weighs 7 pounds and ten ounces,” after that I could not tell you what she said, I thanked her and hung up.

Pastors wife says, “Well? What?”

“We have a little girl.”

“When can you see her?”

“I don’t know.”

Later the phone rings again,  for me.

A friend saying it was a joke, a bad one, and they are sorry.


Phone rings again around 10:45. For me.

“This is the Keesler AFB Hospital, glad to announce you have a son, 7 lbs 13 oz. He and your wife are doing well, you can come on back to visit for a little while.” 

Scanoldpic8 005

(Here he is in the laundry basket in the back of the car, a few months later.)

The incident made a good tale, after jack Jr. was born.

I found out 53 years later, the preacher’s wife, and I love her to pieces, was a little tired of hearing all the bragging and the Bible entry, etc and set that up, and she did apologize.

Jacks Birth day 068

(Sherry and her two boys, Mark on the left Jack Jr. on the right, outside Olive Garden tonight)

Thanks for coming this way.

Nite Shipslog


If I have told that before, act like I haven’t. LOL


1910 Ford

1910 Ford


1910 Stanley

I think

1. Therefore  I am.

2. I am happier working  than any other time. (excluding the private time with my girl of  course)

3. I am envious of those who can live in the moment.

4. Once we QUIT traveling I want a big car, one of the last large Cadillac's or Lincoln’s. They are quieter and I may can hear better.

5. I am the luckiest guy in the world, I really mean that.

6. It is hard to answer the question, ‘What is the most interesting place you have seen?’ Because in their own way they are all the most interesting.

7. I want a bigger RV. But I know we do not need it. And we would have to finance it and that is out of the question. We LIVE debt free, and have for years.

8. People who are head over heels in debt are as happy as I, because they can accept it and it does not put them under stress.

9. One day, I will learn that everyone in my family is not going to do what I expect, and live with that. (that is probably the hardest thing for me to accept in this whole world!)Angry smile

10. I enjoy tucking my girl in bed more than I did the kids. (Surprised smile).

11. I have the most beautiful girl in the world.Winking smile

12. Trying to keep up with the proper foods for me to eat, according to all the studies, IS ACTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE.

13. I will be totally deaf and become a hermit.

I think a lot more things, of course, but some are unprintable. Confused smile

BUT/AND I THINK having internet friends is very close to having close physical friends.  I enjoy you  guys.

Nite Shipslog


I think life is good and I think we should enjoy it instead of borrowing trouble from tomorrow. I think how many times I worried about something that NEVER happened. (ever do that?)



1909 cars. Above the Packard below the Ford.


It is hard to believe my dad was about 6 years old then, and had NEVER seen an automobile. In North Georgia the horse and wagon was still the mode of travel.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My cousin Dewey

Well he isn’t Dewey any more he is called Howard. All his life he was Dewey, ‘tis hard to get used to calling him Howard.

Anyway he was a sailor, then went to work in San Francisco for the CBI (Calif. Bureau Of Investigations), I think that is right.  Anyway he is retired and living in Las Vegas. I think secretly he is working on a ‘system’ that will work in the Casino’s there.  At present is is ‘intentionally’ losing every night to set them upSurprised smile.  But do not tell them, it is a secret.

He really isn’t such a bad guy, fun to be around but cannot talk plain. I guess at what he says. He has  been back East for a couple weeks. Howard is the one guy who keeps up with what is happening in the family. Many times he has notified me of an illness or death of some one here in NC or SC from SF or LV.

Anyway we had breakfast together  the day he left and Shirl took him to the Airport. The waitress comes over calls him by name and hugs him.

I asked “How long have you know the waitress?”

“About 5 minutes, while I was waiting for you!”  I worry about my cousin.

Anyway he is always interested in my health and well being.  He is always sending me stuff for “OLD FOLKS”, what to eat, how to exercise etc. Well today it was ‘Hey Jack, click on this site. It is something to keep seniors occupied. (Honest his graphics run along the lines of our friend Jimmy, the Miami Outlaw. At times the site would embarrass my mama, but this one was safe.)  Just move your cursor, once the site is there.'>" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"<>

Tell me what you think, did it keep you entertained?

Thanks for coming this way.

Nite Shipslog


All in all, cousins are fun.



1908 Buick

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I think anyone could do it.

Another first for me, but only with the help of ‘youtube’.  In Michigan I broke our new Nikon digital camera. I destroyed the LCD display on the back, I cracked it good.  I had already crossed it off then I decided to look it up on the net.

To my surprise, there was a ‘youtube’ video showing exactly how to to it.  It only took a new part and less than an hour with a small Philips screw driver.  Now many times I will take a chance on fixing something that if I fail I have lost very little.

So a search for the part resulted in a few of the LCD screens. I ordered one for around $20.  Better than near $100 for a replacement.

Tonight I watched the video again. I removed 6 screws. I had to pry the sucker apart with my pocket knife, but it took very little pressure. Using my fingernail I loosened a connector and the screen came out. I simply slipped the new connector in, flipped the little lock with my finger nail, reinstalled the screws and batteries and ‘Voila’ we have our camera back.


(You can see the cracks in the old one. I have a small screw driver pointing to the paper thin connector)

I could not have done this without someone taking the time to make a video as they performed the ‘surgery’.  So in the last few years I have looked many things up on ‘youtube. Installing trailer hitches on cars, fixing washing machines (3-4 of them), Steps on the motor home, and some more.  All of them have been easy to follow and save me many $ at the same time.

That got me to wondering, our Jean, here on Blogger has added storage and I think changed her hard drive, I wonder, did she use youtube?

Thanks for stopping by.  Have you repaired anything with the help of the internet?

Nite Shipslog


You never know what you  can do, until you try.



1904’s.. top a Model A For, below the Mercedes


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I just want to say:

Life is good, and we should enjoy every day, rain or shine.  I love to think back to times past. I just received an e-mail from my Grandson Josh. He sent me an address about Vacuum tube technology. He knew of my experience starting with USAF schools at Keesler AFB, Mississippi.
He knows I worked on some of the earliest tube type computers. I think there were about 100,000 vacuum tubes in the Burrough’s computer.  Funny thing is, it was not as intelligent as our phone or even a present day digital watch, back in 1959.
Scanoldpic9 015
One of the few pictures of me in an AF uniform.
Scanoldpic9 016
(This is Sherry, behind my work building, yep, that is the Crash boat work center before I started school)
The reference brought back memories of our first apartment in Biloxi, Mississippi, and out first son.  How happy we were to be starting a family, funny how little we knew of life.  No different of young folk today, and of course with all my doubts and concerns, they will make it. The pictures used tonight have been used before. But I happen to be thinking about them.
Scanoldpic9 070
Sherry;s mama Susie. One beautiful lady. She was present with Sherry at the birth of both boys in Mississippi and Missouri.
Scanoldpic9 069
Sherry & her mom, remember those little photo booths?
What a great time, young, ready to handle the world.
Scanoldpic9 035
Jack Jr. in my hand, yeah that was ignorant, but I was young and a little ignorant of kids. I did not realize you could ‘break them’.
That boy today:

That boy today and his first born Ben!
Thanks for stopping by.
Nite Shipslog.
The longer you live, the more memories that will invade your mind.  So for a good time, LIVE LONG!
1904 Studebaker
1904 Studebaker, seems impossible that was over a hundred years ago.  1904 was the year Sherry's mama was born... Seems impossible.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Just some thoughts

We are working around the motor home. catching up.  I think I have the steps jury rigged to work with a switch, they are no longer automatic. 

They used to come out and go in automatically if the door was opened.  The controller or ‘brain’ is expensive, so we decided to bypass it and install a manual switch. They still go out and in electrically, but the switch will have to be used.

We can handle that.

Went over to my sister Shirl’s today. I was going to help her with  scanning but I was no help, I could get her scanner to work.

She is into growing cotton and has a few plants on the back deck.  They are pretty plants, I’m not sure the cotton pickers of old, were impressed Winking smile

My day was in the helping mode, We also went over to Jack Jr’s and helped him install his new washer and dryer.

Sherry fixed the boys favorite meal, they both ate with us. Pintos, salmon patties, cabbage and cornbread. Delicious.

I am beat.  Oh before I close, you that know or corresponded with friend Mort, in the UK. His Mum passed away. He was none to complimentary of their National Health System and the elderly. Mum was not treated well in her last few weeks of life and he was not very happy.

If you pray remember him, if you don’t pray, think positive and send those his way. He is a good guy.

Thanks for coming this way.

Nite Shipslog



We change our minds at times, humans are like that.



1919 Model T.

When one is Wealthy, well?

A gentleman named Harold Lewis Of Belmont Fame, from the local Ford dealership, collected some antique cars.

He bought a nice piece of land near our home and proceeded to apply for a building permit to build a nice attractive warehouse for his cars. OUR fair city said NO, NO  not here you won’t.  You will build a house.

So build a house he did. Nice home, huh?

Pictures from Shirl's camera 098

The entire lower floor is free standing. Except for one center post. He built this with living quarters topside, which no one uses, but hey, if you have enough money and gumption You can do this. The back side has huge double garage doors, Drive in and out.  He also built a matching three car garage behind.

Okay why am I on this subject. Cars of course.  Mr. Lewis has passed on, but John  (son in law (?)). He manages the site. Shirl called and asked for a tour and invited me along.

Pictures from Shirl's camera 045Pictures from Shirl's camera 049Pictures from Shirl's camera 085Pictures from Shirl's camera 095Pictures from Shirl's camera 086

The A model above 1924 I believe, and the 4DR convertible 1935 are the center pieces. He has some beautiful Mustangs also.

Pictures from Shirl's camera 087Pictures from Shirl's camera 088

Loved the ‘40 Ford Coupe. Bobby Ferguson had one of these locally in the mid 1950’s.

Pictures from Shirl's camera 089Pictures from Shirl's camera 096Pictures from Shirl's camera 097

It was nice seeing the cars, and I always like it when a person wants to do something reasonable, and some local Gov’t refuses and he gets around it because it was right in the beginning.  Pretty nice HOUSE, huh?

Nite Shipslog


Right doesn’t always win, but it should!



One of my favorite cars, the 1953 MG. Showing this one for the last time.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Yes, there was trouble in Paradise, A confession.

Someone asked, “Didn’t you and Sherry ever have a fuss?”

Well…….. Yes some very serious ones.

Do you have to be right all the time? That was me  (Still is sometime).

Yes, Sherry my love, and I even separated two times. Not on paper, nothing legal, just unable to handle my attitude.  I was a Chief for heaven’s sake, I knew everything. All Chief’s do, ask any sailorSurprised smile

I have written a book with this in it so it is no secret. I took a part time job while we were both working in DC. I started drinking too much. I worked in the lumber dept. at a drug store. Yeah, it was a big store, ‘Dart Drug’.

Sherry is a ‘Christian’ in every sense of the word. She is and always has been a very good person. She loves going to church. We had always attended together. Well I stopped, and we had discussions about that, so I moved out of our apartment in Arlington.

She worked just a short distance down the hall from me in the Bureau of Naval Personnel. She was Civil Service, I , active duty USN. We had been separated a few days and she (always logical)  came to my office and asked if I would attend counseling. Sure, she set it up.

We drove together to the Naval Annex at Anacostia. The Counselor, was a Navy Chaplain, So I had no question, this guy would see my side.
He welcomed us and chatted for awhile, very congenial. He asked a few questions, smiling and nodding. In a few minutes he asked Sherry to step outside. “I need to talk to the Chief a few minutes.”

Sherry left and all was quiet for a minute. He had been leaning back in that swivel (I am in charge) chair. He sat forward, looked me straight in the eye and said very succinctly, “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU CHIEF, ARE YOU CRAZY?” not stopping for an answer he continued, “I have men come in here with real problems, you don’t have one. You have a great lady there and all you have to do to solve this ‘PROBLEM’, is go to church with her, IS THAT A BIG THING?”

I stammered a “No sir.”

“Then get your ass in gear, apologize and go to church with her. I don’t care what you do in church. Plan your next week, sing to yourself, make retirement plans, anything, but take this lady to church. I have men come in here with problems, you don’t have one.  Now are we on the same frequency?”

Meekly, “Yes Sir.”

On the intercom “Send Mrs. Darnell in.”

All of a sudden (Heckle or Jekyll), is a nice guy very sweetly he said, “Mrs. Darnell, I think we have this worked out, don’t we chief?”

Very meekly, “Yes sir.” I knew he was right, but I was too stubborn to admit it.

“Now you two go on, kiss and make up then have a great life,the Navy needs happy families.”

Okay, enough dirty laundry for today.

Nite Shipslog


You are not always as right as you think you are.

Most problems can be solved by a  sincere “I am so sorry.”



This was the Intruder, methinks, a Packard prototype, I could be wrong. But we took took this picture in the

Studebaker museum  in 2007.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Play work….

Time to fix my  boo-boo from Las Vegas where I backed the motor home into the little FIT.


The damage was more an aggravation than a lot of damage. You know these plastic cars, well l gouged and put deep scratches in the plastic bumper


The job really isn’t hard. But I had never worked with plastic before, so I had to make sure the materials would be compatible with plastic.  Once that was done I sanded the area down and filled the damage with body putty. it dries fast and can be sanded in a few minutes. Then give it a coat or two or primer.


Then 5 or 6 coats of matching paint, feathering the edges a little farther out each time. Last 4 coats of clear sealer.  Not perfect but I am satisfied. (smile). Now most of my boo-boo is gone.

While I was at it I fixed a corner of the motor home that I dinged up on the trip.

Two more jobs down and still the Entrance steps to be done. I have been eliminating some things on that job, and seems, as always, it is headed for the small computer controller.  We shall see.

oh yeah, we have been enjoying the visits of the humming birds, about 5 ft. from our window.  They also come while we are sitting on the deck outs side.  I am learning a lot of what most of you kjow already. I was surprised to see a bee run the hummer off.  Anyway that is adding to the fun.

Thanks for coming by the log.

Nite Shipslog


I have decided that time doesn’t go by faster as we age. BUT after 70 you actually age 3 years with with the passage of just one.

Maybe after 70 we live in human years and age in dog-years.Winking smile



the 1968 Camaro

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Not much to say (yeah right)

I start off like this and end up with 400-600 words. I have been practicing auto body work today.  I have to cover up for my stupidity in Las Vegas when I hit our new (to us) Honda Fit.

I learned a few years back that there was a paint shop in Gastonia that would mix paint to match your car and put it in a pressurized  spray can.  so today armed with a blue handle off the motor home and a silver piece off the Honda we went to check if they were still open.

Yep, and an older lady (Almost as old as I) waited on us.  Her son came out to match the paint, and said we could pick it up in the morning.  I filled the cuts and cracks and sanded them. I used the wrong primer and her son said he had a solution that would remove the primer, and I could apply the correct one. No problem.

So in the morning I should be able to nearly complete the job on the FIT.

I am actually gong to cut this short.

Shirl says she has been blending her fruit, so while writing this entry I took a break and put banana, strawberries, cantaloupe, and apple in the blender, along with all the honey we had which was about a tablespoon full and two packets of Stevia. I think that is called a smoothie. It is good. (Anything else I should have added?)

Thanks for coming this way.

Nite Shipslog.


Everyone’s opinion is right in their eyes, even mine. However I like everyone else think mine is righter!



Two great 55’s  the Chevy and the T-bird.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I lied….. Then Stella came to make it better!

Today Son Mark came bringing a huge hunk of cantaloupe out to us. He said. “We had a bunch of these, I usually do not eat them, but these were very good. I saved you some of the last one.”  So Shirl, he did pay attention to them!!

Home and Stella 006

The ‘lope’ must have been 9” across.

Now of course I did not admit that I had dissed him on the net about his farming ability and concerns. The cantaloupe was good. I just finished a big bowl of pieces that I cut.

This is Miss Stella…..  They all love to drive the coach.

Home and Stella 066


Home and Stella 070

And what is in here G-Grandpa? Curious of a child, what a wonderful part of life, learning.

Stella and I relaxing after playing in the School house.

Home and Stella 004

Kids love to go in and out of things. She had a ball with the School House.

Home and Stella 003

Then she found Grandpa Marks magnetic level. She checked every Post to make sure it was plum.  I see our engineer in the making.

Home and Stella 001

Rececup texted us that Stella was asleep before they were a mile away.

Home and Stella 068

We do love this part of being home.

Thanks for coming this way.

Nite Shipslog


Unfortunately, there's an element of truth in this:
A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country.
~Texas Guinan. 19th century American businessman


The Hudson Hornet 1951


I was not a mechanic, but I remember something about a ‘Cork Clutch plate’, that would get it off the line fast,  I am not sure exactly what they meant.