30 Questions – Have I…?

 

My Life
Saturday Night Genealogy Fun
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.For “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun,” Randy Seaver, in his blog “Genea-Musings,” suggested answering some of the questions that have been going around Facebook.  Here are my answers to 30 personal questions.

Have I:

1)  Driven 100 mph: I think only once, however, I’ve been a passenger in cars doing so several times. (None in the past 45 years; oh, the stupidity of youth.)

2) Ridden in a helicopter: Several times in the Navy to and from the Kitty Hawk. Once from Clark Air Base (Philippines) to Cubi Air Station (Olongapo City, Philippines) with the door open (safety harnessed in with a short leash). What a way to see the country for the first time!

3) Gone zip lining: No and I’ve never had a desire to do so.

4) Been to an NFL game: yes, many, had season tickets the Vikings for several years. I was at the last game at the old Met Stadium (where the Mall of America is now).

5)  Been to Canada: As a teenager, I went to the Boundary Waters area and canoed in and out between Minnesota and Ontario many times. I have also visited Winnipeg, Windsor, and Vancouver.


6) Visited Florida: Yes, many times, mostly for work but a few times for pleasure.

7)  Visited Mexico: Yes, Tijuana when I was in the Navy stationed in San Diego.

8) Visited Vegas: Yes, several times mostly during my Navy Days, but also a few times for work.


9) Eaten alone at a restaurant: Yes, occasionally, I’ll have breakfast. I don’t recall ever having dinner alone in a restaurant, except while traveling.


10) Ability to read music: Not really.  I can see a note on a piece of paper and can find it on a piano, but slowly. Let’s see…. “every good boy does fine” EGBDF and “FACE” are the mnemonics I learned. Humm, they go from the bottom up, right?

My brother Mark and sister Sharon sitting on my 2nd motorcycle, a Honda 90, about 1967.

11) Ridden a motorcycle: Yes, I’ve owned several. My first was a Yamaha 60, a 2-stroke, which was the first motor vehicle I owned (I was 15). My last was a Yamaha Virago 750. My knee was getting too bad to enjoy long rides, so I sold it and bought a convertible.

12)  Ridden a horse: Yes, when I was a teenager living in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, I cleaned a barn & stable area at a farm nearby in order to ride the horses there. Also, when I lived in the Oregon desert in the early 1970s.  Not since then.


13) Stayed in a hospital: Yes, clavicle (as a kid), shoulder (twice while in the Navy), and a knee operations.


14) Donated blood: Yes. When I was young, I gave often, when I was young and feeling really broke, I’d give plasma too. While I was in the Navy, they’d have blood drives. If you gave blood, you would receive early liberty. We called that “vampire liberty.”


15)  Been snow skiing: Not really.  Cross country a few times. Never downhill.

16)  Been to Disney World or Disneyland: Yes, I’ve been to Disneyland a few times back in the 1970s. Once for a “Navy Day,” where the park was closed except to Navy and Marine Corps personnel and their families. A three-minute wait at “Pirates of the Caribbean” and no wait at the “Matterhorn” made for the best theme park experience by far!

17)  Slept outside: Not intentionally, I prefer sleeping in a tent or RV. The Hilton doesn’t count as “outside,” does it?

18)  Driven a stick shift: Yes. I’ve owned many stick shifts when I was young — “four on the floor,” “three on the tree,” and “three by the knee.” I don’t think I’ve driven a stick in twenty years.

19)  Ridden in an 18-wheeler: Yes. I had a license to drive one while I was stationed in Oregon and one drove there. My license also had fire engine and bus endorsement. 

20) Ridden in a police car? Only as a juvenile. The first time was when I cut my wrist going through a window (NOT intentionally) and a police car took to the local hospital. They didn’t want to wait for an ambulance.


21) Driven a boat: Yes. My stepfather had boats and I did drive his occasionally. The Officer of the Watch was too smart to even consider handing over the con to me while I was on the Kitty Hawk.

 22)  Eaten Escargot: Sort of. I had snails once while in the Philippines. I got so sick; I’ve never eaten snails again. I don’t know if what I ate were land snails or sea snails. Either way, I’m playing it safe and not ever eating them again.

My “Cruise Ship”

23) Been on a cruise:  Do three and a half years aboard the USS Kitty Hawk count? My wife wants to take a cruise and thinks it’d be nice if I came along. (She’s said, “No thank you,” to our visiting the Kitty Hawk.)

24)  Run out of gas: Not that I recall. If I had, I would probably want to forget about it anyway.

25)  Been on TV: Yes, as one in a crowd or audience, not as an individual.  That doesn’t count community TV or a “TV Productions” course I took in college.

26)  Eaten Sushi: Yes, I have my particularly desired rolls (Philadelphia, Alaska, California). There are some I’d never touch – Snail sushi — <Shudder>. (See 22 above.)


27) Seen a UFO:  Possibly. Back in the 1950s I saw something I didn’t recognize. A few moments later I saw two fighters speeding after it. I never heard what the military called the event.

28)  Been Bungie jumping: No. I wouldn’t do it on a bet. With my knees, I’d probably split into two.

29) Visited another continent: Yes – Asia & Africa. While I was in the Navy. I lost three 36-exposure rolls of film I shot when at Tsavo National Park in Kenya. The photos would have included why I think hyena’s are the scariest critters ever. They look at you and you just know they think you’re food.

30)  Been to Ellis Island?  No. I have no ancestors who came through Ellis Island, so I’ve never had a personal interest to visit. 

As I go through this list, I’m amazed at how many of the items I did while I was in the Navy. 

Schools I’ve Attended – Chapman College & Chaminade

My Life
Those Places Thursday
By Don Taylor

USS Kitty Hawk (Official Navy Photo)

Life aboard the Kitty Hawk didn’t support taking college courses very well. While at sea, my group typically worked 12 and 12. The birthing compartments really didn’t have anything that could be used as a study area. While in port, nobody wanted to do anything except get off the ship, so, it was typical to either be on duty and have a watch or be off the ship. After three and a half years on the Kitty Hawk, I think I only completed two or three courses. They were all part of the PACE – Program for Afloat College Education. The classes I had were sponsored by Chapman College, in Orange, California. Luckily, they all were transferable later on.

After my time aboard the Hawk, I went to a Navy School in Northwest, Virginia which is a tiny town in the southeast part of the state along the North Carolina border, just east of the Great Dismal Swamp. Nineteen weeks of school there prepared me for my next duty station, NAVCAMS EastPac. I arrived there shortly after Naval Communications Station, Honolulu was officially renamed Naval Communication Area Master Station, Eastern Pacific. There I worked in a funny little place we called the “Dinosaur Cage.”

NAVCAMS was a great duty station. It was located in the central valley of Oahu bordering the Eva Forest Reserve. After being on the housing waiting list for a few weeks, I was able to bring my wife and son to live with me in a Navy Housing community called “Camp Stover.” To get to Camp Stover you had to drive through the gate at Wheeler Air Force Base (Now Wheeler Army Air Field) then south through an Air Force housing area to the Naval Housing at Camp Stover. With the small navy base and housing, the larger Wheeler Air Force Base, and the huge Schofield Barracks across Kunia Road, there were many opportunities to take college courses. Chaminade University in Honolulu sponsored the classes and with a stable work environment, I was able to take quite a few courses, both lower and upper division. My lower division classes, such as Marine Biology and Oceanography, transferred to Anoka-Ramsey Community College. My upper division classes, such as Philosophy of Law, 430, later transferred to Metropolitan State University.

The most difficult class I had in college was through Chaminade. It was “American National Government.” For the final, the professor handed everyone two blue books to write our answers in and told us to let him know if we needed more. The test only had ten questions. I’ll remember that first question forever. “The office of the president of the United States consists of 12 major functions. Explain those functions and how they came to be either through law or tradition. Yes, the rest of the questions were like that too. I pretty much filled my two blue books and had to turn in my books when he called “Time.” I left feeling like I might have passed, but probably not. My hand was sore and cramping after two hours of writing when I left. Luckily, I did pass; I so didn’t want to have to retake that class.

After my three years in Hawaii, I decided to leave the Navy after 10 years/10 months active duty and return home to Minnesota. There I would make use of the GI Bill.

Today, the Kitty Hawk is decommissioned and destined to be scrapped. There is some activity to try to make it a museum ship. I would like to see that happen, but I doubt it will. The Kitty Hawk was the last of the aircraft carriers to run on oil and is one of the last two carriers that could be made into a museum. I understand that nuclear carriers are not candidates to become museums due to the destructive dismantling necessary to remove their reactors.

The Northwest, Virginia base has been renamed and is now the “Naval Support Activity Norfolk, Northwest Annex.” The equipment I was trained there to work on is long gone.

The base in Hawaii is repurposed and renamed. Google Earth shows that the equipment I worked on there is also long gone. (Although, it appeared some of it was still there in 2002 when I last visited Hawaii.)

Although I never took classes on the Chapman College campus, I look at it as the place I began my college education. Chapman College became Chapman University in 1991 and is highly ranked among master’s level universities in the west.[i]

I only one class on the Chaminade campus. There was a Marine Biology class that required lab work and labs for the class were on campus. The campus was only about 25 miles away from the base. All of the lectures were in Wahiawa. While I attended Chaminade it added graduate programs and changed its name from Chaminade College to Chaminade University.[ii]


ENDNOTES

[i] Wikipedia: Chapman University – Rankings and titles. History https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapman_University#Rankings_and_titles.

[ii] Wikipedia: Chaminade University of Honolulu History https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaminade_University_of_Honolulu#History.