Anchorage Earthquake – Didn’t Feel it Here

Got an early morning wake-up call from Tanis in Seward while they were still shaking.  Thanks for the calls and concern,  but we didn’t feel anything down here – nearly 400 miles away.  You may be just as shocked that were alive at all,  after no blogs for three weeks,  but I’ll get back on track later today.  Had a 3 week long flu that left me in bed most of November…

One More Veteran’s Day Post

Watch this.  I dare ya!  If you don’t lose it by the time the dog appears,  you have no soul!

100 Years Ago – a War that Never Ended

Who’s ready for a long rambling post?  In 12 minutes Alaska time (as I start typing this),  we mark the official ending of The Great War – the War to End All Wars.  It didn’t end anything.  Didn’t solve anything and didn’t prove anything.  As part of my hangar tours,  I say that there really wasn’t two separate world wars.  Just one conflict between mostly the same belligerents with a 13 or so year armistice in the middle.  (WWII began in 1931 with Japan’s invasion of Manchuria,  not in Euro-centric 1939…)

On 11/11/1918,  most soldiers on both sides had no idea what was happening.  3,000 servicemen died on the morning of November 11th,  as the Americans crossed the Meuse River,  leaving the bodies of Marines behind as they pushed through the fire of the German Maxim guns.  The Americans were seizing the high ground,  pushing the Germans back toward their homeland.  Then everything went silent.  Orders came forward from General Lejeune that our men were to retreat to the position they held at 11 o’clock.  Retreat to a position with our backs against the river with no escape,  should this prove to be just another rumor.  Back – past the piles of bodies,  who until moments ago had been their fellow marines,  friends,  brothers.  All killed AFTER the armistice.

LibertyBondHunn2-1917

A 1917 Bond Drive poster from our collection

Japan and England were allies in WWI.  England asked them to strike Germany’s colonial outposts in the far east.  Japan wondered why they were doing this for England and not for themselves…  They spent the next 13 years reorganizing their society and building an army and navy capable of taking over half the world.  Italy too changed sides,  joining Germany and Japan,  after being on the side of France,  England,  Russia and the United States in the Great War.  An end to active fighting on 11/11 didn’t end the anger,  hatred,  jealousy,  coveting and desire for revenge.  Another 100 years passing hasn’t changed that either.

As part of our WWII hangar tour,  I show two infantry rifles from our collection.  One is a Japanese Koishilawa rifle made around 1927 or 1928.  The Japanese stopped making these in 1929.  The other rifle was actually my dad’s hunting rifle.  It is a Smith Corona 30.06.  I call it my “typewriter”,  because it was made by the Smith Corona typewriter company.  These two artifacts together really illustrate the difference in preparedness between Japan and the United States at the start of WWII.  Japan thought they were so well-prepared for their global conquest that they literally stopped making these infantry rifles in 1929!  The US was so ill-prepared,  we had to have typewriter companies like Smith Corona and IBM make WWI-era rifles for our soldiers to carry.

LaborDeptPropaganda1918

Um…  we had a US Department of Labor CHILDREN’S BUREAU in 1918???

Our two Coastal Defense cannons on Cannon Beach are WWI guns.  They were supposed to be installed on a new battleship in 1919,  but after signing the Naval Agreement,  the size of everyone’s navies (except Germany and Japan apparently) was restricted.  The new ship was scrapped and the guns placed in storage.  In early 1942,  these guns were pulled out and shipped throughout Alaska.  WWI supplying the defense of Alaska in WWII.

If you go to the Aviation Museum in Anchorage,  look for two framed pieces of WWI aircraft skin on display.  They come from the aircraft of Charles H Russell,  a member of the Lafayette Escadrille in France during WWI.  The Lafayette Escadrille (originally called the American Escadrille,  but the Germans complained and so they changed the name…) consisted of a group of American volunteers flying for France prior to the United States’ direct involvement in WWI.  Basically an all American “French Foreign Legion” group of pilots.  A wonderful book that covers the Lafayette Escadrille (along with Manfred von Richthofen,  Pershing,  Patton) is To the Last Man,  by Jeff Shaara.  The Russells are a very prominent family in Yakutat,  since Charles H’s son moved here about 60-70years ago.

At the end of WWI,  we all held hands and signed treaties to reduce our military effectiveness voluntarily.  We didn’t change human nature.  We deliberately weakened ourselves,  making us vulnerable to aggressive psychos who’s goal was/is to subjugate and dominate the world.  Those people haven’t disappeared after 100 years.  They are still looking-hoping for a weakness to exploit.  Our only defense is a military so strong and deadly that the world fears a conflict with it.  And to keep our own aggressive psychos in check,  an armed populace to strong and deadly that our government fears a conflict with it.

And a hope that we never have to use either.  Thank you to all our veterans on this and EVERY day.

NavyRecruit-1917

This 1917 Navy recruiting poster with “Christy Girl” is our most valuable propaganda poster in the collection (so far)

Veterans Day Tomorrow

A friend sent me a link to an NBC story about a batch of war propaganda posters discovered in a New Hampshire library recently.  Here is the link:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trove-war-posters-discovered-new-hampshire-library-n934816

Just to point out the kind of collection we have here (but unfortunately can’t display yet,  till we get more of the building heated and dry),  of the 4 posters they have in the two photos for the story…  we have all 4 of them.  Plus most of the ones they describe (like the Nazi fist stabbing the bible),  we have those too.  Their collection consists of 190 posters.  We have over 400…  I don’t have most of the collection photographed yet,  but here are some of the ones they feature…

The poster in the guy’s hand and the one on the table…

 

Here is the Nurse Cadet Corps poster on the left.  I don’t have the “can” rationing photographed,  but here is another in the same rationing series about rationing meat…  We have the whole series.

ThisistheEnemy-1943

“This is the Enemy”…

And the article talks about posters that look like Norman Rockwell painted them…  That’s because he did illustrate many government propaganda posters,  like these illustrating FDR’s “Four Freedoms”…  By the way,  we don’t have “freedom of worship”,  we have freedom of religion.  The effort to change it to “worship” comes straight out of the Soviet constitution.  They had the freedom to worship the government approved religion,  not a freedom to worship any religion.  Big distinction!  The “Freedom of Speech” image is a cool duel self-portrait of the ender Rockwell looking up at the young Rockwell.  And what the hell does “Freedom from Want” even mean?  I want a B-17.  And an SBD Dauntless.  And a P-51 Mustang with duel controls.  Come on Government,  satisfy my “want”…  Unfortunately we seem to be raising a generation of Americans who expect the government to satisfy their wants – let alone their needs

May the sacrifices of our veterans to keep our world free not be wasted by our current and future generations.

My Only 1st-Hand Fishing Report

Night before last,  Patrick came through the shop with a fresh report…  I would have posted this earlier,  but I’m suffering through a really bad cold/flu and have been in bed most of the past week.

So he went down and fished hard down at the lower landing end of the river.  Chased some fish around,  but didn’t touch any.  I haven’t had any success in this fall season down there.  Seems as though these fall steelhead are in a hurry to get upstream and don’t slow down enough to have much success in the lower river.  And his efforts were rewarded by getting charged in the dark by a sow with cubs…  So we still have some bears on the river.

Next day,  he went to the bridge and had better success.  First cast in the bridge hole,  he had a steelhead hammer his bead.  He said he was excited to have a hot fishing day ahead of him.  Unfortunately for a long time,  that was his only hit…  Water was clear,  low and had become pretty cold after a few days of deep freezing clear nights.  Then it started to rain…

The moment the raindrops started hitting the surface,  the bite was on.  He said it was a fish on nearly every cast.  A mix of dollies,  resident rainbows,  steelhead and one huge silver.  Then it got dark and he had to get to the shop before we closed…

So that is the ONLY fishing report I have had.  Right now,  we have one guy at the Forest Service cabins,  three guys in a jet-boat,  Patrick,  two guys arrived last night and two more on today’s morning flight.  There were a couple extra cars in the 9 Mile parking lot,  but the people weren’t seen anywhere…  Pretty quiet.

It has now changed back to rain – well,  scattered showers.  Warmer,  so water temp is back to being perfect.  Flow right at 300 CFS.  Just about perfect conditions through the weekend,  with heavier rain coming Sunday night…

Yakutat Land Sale November, 2018

The City and Borough of Yakutat is selling 5 lots located along Ocean Cape Road.  Two are directly on Ocean Cape Road,  while three are back behind on a platted,  but non-existent Water Tank Loop Road.  The “water tank” in question is upland from the Delta Western bulk facility.  These lots are along the road to the Ankau,  less than a quarter mile past The Mooring Lodge,  Delta Western and the AC grocery store.

CBYLandSale

The deadline for the initial offering is December 3rd,  2018.  Before placing a bid,  check to see how far away basic utilities are from the lots.  My guess is they are within easy reach,  since the West and South Additions are beyond these lots and you can tie into water and sewer relatively easily compared to some of the other properties offered lately.  These look like pretty good lots!  Zoned “industrial”,  you can pretty much do anything you want with them…

Here is the complete packet on PDF:

CBY Land sale Nov 2018 (2)

Don’t forget to vote tomorrow!

Tomorrow is November 6th…  Get out and vote,  if you haven’t already done so.  And just to get you in the mood,  here is a little video that’ll inspire…

John James is a veteran and rising star in Michigan politics.  Here is a great voicemail left by a reporter.  After asking for an interview appointment for Wednesday to talk about the election results,  she THINKS she hung up the phone.  She didn’t.