A Day to Remember
That day, of course, being the 4th of July. If you happen to be an American it's a pretty special day; the day a rag-tag group of somewhat disorganized colonies became a fledgling nation. If you aren't an American, well, it's still a pretty special day for us, so humor us, ok? (And speaking of humor, a co-worker in a place we were once employed asked our Token Englishman (all aviation companies have at least one of those and most have several, aviation engineering being right behind professional rock & roll musician as the job occupation most often exported by our friends in the UK) if the British celebrated the 4th of July. We were somewhat bemused and anxiously anticipating said Brit's response, which wasn't long in coming: "Of course we celebrate the 4th of July in Britain. We call it Thanksgiving!" It's all in perspective, right? Right!)
Anyway, we're still stumbling along trying to get reorganized and up and running with the "real" RIS, but today's going to have to be yet another half measure. It is the 4th, though, and it's special to us, so we're going to run some photos you might not normally see on these pages. Yes, it's a tribute of sorts and yes; it caters to our own particular interests. We think you'll find something to enjoy today but if not, thanks for stopping by and we'll see you next time around.
People and Places
We show mostly airplanes around here, and sometimes we show a few of the people who maintain and fly them. We almost never show the other guys, the ones who slogged through the stinking mud waiting for Serious Bad News to rain down on them. Today's their day, along with some airmen, courtesy once again of militaria collector extraordinaire Bobby Rocker. How many times can we say you owe these guys if you're an American? Our answer to that one is "not nearly enough".
Bloody Buna Redux
This is an aviation site and that's why most of you are here; because you're aviation modelers and enthusiasts. We're that way too, but we have a personal interest in the ground-pounding side of things, and in particular an interest in the goings-on in the Southwest Pacific during the Second World War.
That said, have any of you ever been to The Everglades? We mean in the Everglades, as in out of your car and walking through them? If you have, then you can identify with this next group of photos; those guys are hot, sweaty, filthy dirty, and eaten alive by insects of every variety known to man. They're in a totally unfamiliar environment, fighting an implacable and courageous enemy who know their business and fight to the death. The things they see and experience will brand most of them for life but few of them complain to anyone who wasn't there with them, because that's their way. These pictures were taken in and around Buna Mission in 1943 but they could have been taken any time and any place where American GIs have ever fought.
There's nothing good about War. There never has been and there never will be---it's a plague and a destroyer of lives. Everyone who comes in contact with War suffers from it, no matter which side they're on. Think about that for a minute, and think about the guys in the pictures you've just seen. We owe the guys who wore the uniform then, and who wear it today. To a lot of Americans the 4th of July means fireworks, and beer, and a day off from work. To us and, we suspect, to a great many of our readers, it's a reminder of the sacrifice of others. Thanks, GI, and Gyrene, and Sailor, and Airman. Happy 4th of July!
A couple of final notes for today:
First, to all of our readers overseas who don't celebrate the 4th of July, we ask your indulgence. This is a special day for us here in The States and we hope you understand.
Next, we're going to try to set up the scanner tomorrow, which means we'll get back in action in terms of photos (and yes; you've seen that Phantom and the shot of John Landers in these pages before, but they're a fitting way to end the day with) and maybe even get back to a halfway decent schedule again---we sure haven't had one lately so it's about time!
Finally, we've been building again, albeit not to the extent we'd like to, so we'll have some new modeling features for you too. In theory that's something to look forward too, but then again maybe not---you just never know, do you?
Nope, not this time around! We've got to scan some stuff first, so please be patient with us!
The Relief Tube
We've been out of action for so long that we've built up quite an accumulation of entries for this part of our blog. There are so many, in fact, that we're still going through them to prepare them for publication; please forgive us if you wrote in and haven't had your comments published yet. We'll get to them in a bit; honest!
Finally, let's remember that the photos above came from the collections of others. We'd like for you to do that right-click-and-save thing but if you plan on publishing them please remember where they came from and give credit for the images.
Be good to your neighbor and we'll meet again soon.