A pair of harmonious tales from WALDO WINDMILL: (1) “In 1968, my barbershop quartet obtained a joint invitation from the Barbershop Concord Society and the USO to take a 17-day tour of the Pacific Hospital Circuit. The tour entailed visiting and entertaining wounded veterans of the Vietnam battle in navy hospitals in Japan, Okinawa, Guam, the Philippines and Hawaii.
“As you’ll be able to think about, given the itinerary, we spent numerous time in navy plane. The primary leg of our journey, for instance, from Travis Air Drive Base in California to Tokyo, Japan, with intermediate stops in Honolulu and Wake Island, consumed roughly 18 hours. The airplane was jam-packed, however luckily we got a civil-service ranking of GS-15 whereas we had been on tour. In essence, we traveled with the identical standing as would an Military colonel, which meant we waited for planes in distinguished-visitors’ lounges, boarded planes first, obtained most popular seating, and had another person take accountability for our baggage.
“Our schedule at every vacation spot was fairly comparable. We visited navy hospitals the place we went from ward to ward entertaining and interacting with wounded veterans. We then carried out in a lounge or auditorium for hospital employees and more-mobile sufferers. Throughout our tour, we visited eight hospitals and various service golf equipment in Japan, Okinawa, and the Philippines. A storm prevented our touring to Guam. A lot of our spare time was spent searching for guitars and electronics in Japan, monkey-pod trays and bowls within the Philippines, and World Struggle II souvenirs in Okinawa.
“Two summers later, the quartet was requested to take the identical tour once more. Just a few particular recollections of our experiences stand out these a few years later. I’ll always remember, for instance, the response of Tokyo cabbies as we tried flagging them down as we stood on the road with our guitar and standup bass fiddle. The 4 of us plus the devices created fairly a problem for Japan’s taxis. I additionally recall the fantastic Japanese vocalists who labored so onerous to sing American songs in English to entertain American service personnel and vacationers. Our 1970 go to to Japan coincided with the super reputation of the hit document by Creedence Clearwater Revival entitled ‘Proud Mary.’ Given the issue native audio system of Japanese have differentiating the /r/ and /l/ phonemes, Japanese vocalists struggled mightily making an attempt to enunciate the hit son’s lyrics, which embrace the repetitive phrase ‘Rolling, rolling, rolling on the river.’
“I additionally recall vividly being woke up by an earthquake whereas at Clark Air Drive Base within the Philippines and the discomfort I felt seeing displays in Okinawa museums of Japanese and American weapons used within the essential 1945 World Struggle II battle. On a extra nice observe, I’ll always remember the heroes we visited day after day in hospitals, nor their devoted caregivers. And I’ll all the time be glad about the fantastic contacts at our tour locations who helped make our visits so pleasant and so satisfying.
“However, in each 1968 and 1970 we had been overjoyed to return house and reunite with household and pals. On each events, nonetheless, we had been upset to be taught that sooner or later on the return flight between Travis Air Drive Base in California and the Minneapolis-St. Paul Worldwide Airport, we misplaced our GS-15 civil-service ranking. In impact, we had been demoted from Colonel to Buck Non-public and upon touchdown needed to retrieve our personal baggage. What a bummer!”
(2) “I’ve sung in barbershop quartets most of my grownup life, so I’ve skilled many uncommon on-stage incidents, however one stands out above all the remaining.
“In 1968, my quartet was employed to supply leisure for a Friday-evening feast of a giant group of Honeywell staff. The celebration was to be held within the second-floor assembly room of Jax Cafe, already a well known Minneapolis restaurant. We had been instructed to reach at 8 p.m. able to carry out.
“Upon our arrival, we had been met by the celebration organizer, who instructed us we’d be singing for about 200 individuals who had been attending a masquerade celebration. Shortly thereafter, he escorted us to the second-floor celebration room the place folks had been seated, all of whom held self-made paper-plate masks in entrance of their faces.
“Our host launched us. We approached the microphone and commenced our first quantity. It was an odd expertise, not with the ability to learn folks’s faces to find out how our music was being obtained. We completed the quantity and had been greeted with an entertainer’s worst nightmare: DEAD SILENCE! No applause in any way!
“Our quartet spokesman was actually speechless as he stepped ahead, desiring to make a number of introductory remarks. Simply then, as if on cue, all people pulled down their masks. We knew instantly that we had been had! We noticed a sea of acquainted faces belonging to our fellow barbershop-chapter members, members of the larger Barbershop Concord Society, their wives and pals. Our quartet baritone’s response was rapid: ‘Uh-oh, it seems to be like we don’t receives a commission tonight.’ He was proper!
“We then realized that our barbershop buddies had deliberate this shock celebration in our honor whereas we had been within the Far East on a USO-sponsored tour of navy hospitals, entertaining wounded veterans of the Vietnam battle. Surprisingly, we had heard nothing about these plans. Nobody had ‘spilled the beans’ nor ‘let the cat out of the bag.’
“Though we didn’t receives a commission, we had a beautiful night spent with fantastic pals. And we didn’t even should pay for dinner.”
Our birds, ourselves
DORIS G. of Randolph, Minnesota: “The indigo bunting stopped at our feeders right this moment.”
Not precisely what he had in thoughts
Or: The imaginative and prescient factor (Juvenile Division)
THE GRAM WITH A THOUSAND RULES: “Topic: Inquiries to ponder.
“Memorial Day all the time brings the photographers to Fort Snelling Nationwide Cemetery, outdoing themselves with inventive images of the tombstones adorned with American flags. I all the time try to learn the inscription, questioning if by likelihood the photographer might need stopped by the burial spot of one in every of my family members. I’ve numerous them resting there, from World Struggle I (twin uncles and an aunt) and the veterans from World Struggle II (a brother, three brothers-in-law and a sister), however I’ve to confess that the one reminiscence that all the time comes again has nothing to do with patriotism or disappointment.
“It’s a reminiscence of my 78-year-old nephew when he was 3 years previous. He was all the time fascinated by Fort Snelling. Each time they drove by there, he would press his face towards the automobile window, straining to see these tombstones. Sooner or later, my sister discovered why he had such an obsession about them when he mentioned: ‘I simply can’t work out how they handle to suit all these BIG troopers into these skinny stones.’”
Not precisely what he had in thoughts
Resulting in: The Nice Comebacks
BIG EEK of Southeast Minneapolis: “Years in the past, I used to be touring east by bus to go to some household. Once I received on the bus, a fellow within the seat in entrance of me was coming east from Los Angeles. He was carrying a Dodgers baseball cap.
“We fell into dialog. Crossing Indiana, he didn’t assume a lot of South Bend, however he thought Elkhart was prospering. We found that we had been each followers of the brief tales of Sherwood Anderson.
“We mentioned this one and that. My favourite was on the tip of my tongue, however I couldn’t bear in mind its identify. He couldn’t consider it, both.
“Later, because the passengers dimmed their seat-lights, it got here to me. It was ‘I’m a Idiot,’ a narrative instructed by a teenage harness-racing groom. He places on airs and claims to come back from a rich household, thereby dropping his likelihood with the attractive daughter of a household he meets on the racetrack.
“Within the semi-darkness, I leaned ahead and poked my buddy within the shoulder and in a hoarse whisper mentioned: ‘ “I’m a Idiot.” ‘
“The Dodger man replied: ‘You might very effectively be, however there’s no level in saying it to the world.’
“I’m (was) a idiot.”
Not precisely what he had in thoughts
Or: Measure twice, restore as soon as?
THE DORYMAN of Prescott, Wisconsin: “Topic: Two wrongs made a BB write.
“I used to be having a nasty day within the woodworking store, and a router mishap solely added to my woes. I used to be on the final of many steps (rounding-over the sides) of a fancy drawer entrance after I received off observe and gouged a deep pothole within the piece. Provided that it was my third try to get it good, I made a decision to restore as an alternative of repeat the prolonged course of. After a few hours of making use of make-up, it appeared invisible after numerous shaping and marking. So now, after its plastic-surgery restoration, I positioned it in place previous to fastening, solely to find it was a half-inch too large, due to yet one more error of mismeasurement. My best-ever restore job was quickly minimize off, and all of the ends that ended effectively that day had been . . . effectively, fortunately ended.”
What’s in a (place) identify?
ELVIS: “Topic: Place names.
“ELVIS spent a number of months down south. ELVIS has determined he won’t ever need to personal a home anyplace named Chigger Hill, Rattlesnake Ridge, or Copperhead Lane.”
This ’n’ that ’n’ the opposite
AL B of Hartland Division
AL B of Hartland experiences: (1) “You’re getting older if:
“That which doesn’t kill you solely makes your knees harm.
“Your thought of exercising is placing in your socks.
“The humorous noises your automobile makes drown out the humorous noises you make.”
(2) “A grackle loved the peanuts within the shell I put out for the blue jays and red-bellied woodpeckers. He grabbed one, flew to the bottom and pecked the shell open to search out the prize inside.
“How did the grackle repay me? It did a drive-by dropping of droppings that hit the tip of my sandal, lacking my toe by the width of a pencil stroke. That’s what occurs if you put your finest foot ahead. (Bulletin Board muses: Good, higher, finest — what number of toes is one imagined to have?) Then the fowl went off to chase a squirrel.”
(3) “My spouse and I had been grocery purchasing. My job when purchasing with my bride is to remain by the purchasing cart. I’m good at that. Sometimes, I gave the cart a lightweight push and mentioned: ‘Vroom! Vroom!’ I loitered within the health-food aisle in case I ought to tip over after a protracted and brave battle with a nasty hangnail. That will make me look good. ‘He was involved about his well being till the very finish,’ a mourner would possibly say.
“Multi-colored Asian girl beetles had stuffed our storage. They weren’t fairly all over the place. They missed one spot. It was unimaginable to get in or out of my automobile with out inviting beetles in.
“There I used to be within the health-food part, staying close to the cart. I used to be content material. Proper about then, I felt one thing crawling the place issues shouldn’t be crawling. It was on my south finish. When my spouse returned from some mysterious aisle the place I’d by no means been, I instructed her I wanted to go to the little boys’ room. As soon as there, I did what I may to search out the reason for the crawling sensation. It was a multi-colored Asian girl beetle. I used to be comfortable to see it and to see it go. It fell to the ground and crawled away to search out one other rear finish to torment. I didn’t step on it as a result of I figured it had suffered sufficient. I rejoined my spouse. I smiled and hoped she thought that the one purpose was that I used to be comfortable to see her once more.”
The signal on the highway to the cemetery mentioned “Lifeless Finish”
Digital Board of the Church on Lexington in Shoreview Division
Our Official Digital Board of the Church on Lexington in Shoreview Monitor — RED’S OFFSPRING, north of St. Paul — experiences: “Topic: The downs and ups.
“The newest message on the digital board of the church on Lexington in Shoreview reads:
“‘PEOPLE ARE DOWN ON WHAT
“‘THEY AREN’T UP ON’”
Band Identify of the Day: The Humorous Noises
Your tales and pictures are welcome right here: firstname.lastname@example.org