Kinki Plastics

Kinki Plastics

By Steve Hayes

 

Image may contain: car and outdoor

In 1981, shortly after Sterett had shifted homeport to Subic, I contacted a shipmate up in Yokosuka about used Japanese car sales.

Used cars in Japan were pretty cheap and, at the time, Com7thFlt had not raised any objections to free Op lifts from Yoko to Subic so the whole evolution was easy.

These cars were purchased sight unseen by us but we had the assurances from my friend that they were good.

After a couple of months, Blue Ridge ties up at Alava Wharf and starts to offload six or seven cars for Sterett crew members.

All I knew was mine was a 1977 Toyota Corona (like the picture). What I didn’t know was the car, apparently, a business car in Japan had “Kinki Plastics” proudly painted in large letters on each rear quarter panel.

I was never sure what type of business Kinki Plastics was in Japan but my Westpac’er tainted mind had some ideas.

The car was a hatchback. Had a section in the back for storage of things. This area could be viewed through the back windows.

Soooooooo, on a trip to Singapore, I did a little shopping and, when back in Subic, I decorated the rear section with a few Kinki Plastics toys!

As a barrio runner working out of the Irish Rose, the Kinki Plastics I had were an item of discussion. It didn’t take too long for a couple of these products to get some use among the ladies of the evening. Not to get graphic but none of these women had ever experienced the height of enjoyment a Kinky plastic could provide so Kinki Plastics, the products, and the car became well known!

I don’t believe I ever did thank that shipmate for this part of owning Kinki Plastics.

Eventually, I decided to settle down and get started on a family. Old Kinki Plastics got a paint job and the items from the rear area were gifted to some of my favorite Barrio “friends”.

(batteries included)!

Standard

A SAILOR DIED TODAY

A SAILOR DIED TODAY

Papers tell their life stories

When politicians leave this earth,

Their bodies lie in state,

While thousands note their passing,

And proclaim that they were great.

From the time that they were young,

But the passing of a Sailor

Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution

To the welfare of our land,

Some jerk who breaks his promise

And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow

Who in times of war and strife,

Goes off to serve his country

And offers up his life?

The politician’s stipend

And the style in which he lives,

Are often disproportionate,

To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Sailor,

Who offered up his all,

Is paid off with a medal

And perhaps a pension, small.

It is not the politicians

With their compromise and ploys,

Who won for us the freedom

That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,

With your enemies at hand,

Would you really want some cop-out,

With his ever waffling stand?

Or would you want a Sailor

His home, his country, his kin,

Just a common Sailor,

Who would fight until the end.

He was just a common Sailor,

And his ranks are growing thin,

But his presence should remind us

We may need his likes again.

For when countries are in conflict,

We find the Sailor’s part,

Is to clean up all the troubles

That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor

While he’s here to hear the praise,

Then, at least, let’s give him homage

At the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple headline

In the paper that might say:

“OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,

A SAILOR, Pat Dingle DIED TODAY.”

Standard

The Guam Bomb(s)

The Guam Bomb(s)

By John Petersen

Image may contain: car

Having heroically graduated from basic training at RTC San Diego, my first set of official orders sent me to MM ‘A’ school in Great Lakes. I eagerly (and, having a good amount of mechanical skills already under my belt) took in the wonders of cutting flange gaskets out of kraft paper and fitting pre-cut 1/4″ graphite packing into an obviously well used and aged valve. (I.E., I found all the bars within a 30-mile radius of the base). About halfway through this rigorous course of instruction, I found myself facing a rather rotund, Aunty Mae type female at the personnel office, who was issuing my next set of orders. I read with anticipation where I would spend the next chapter of my (then) young life. Now, I joined the Navy as an avenue to get away from the dreary life I had been living, and I will attest that with these orders, Uncle Sam served up! I was to report to USS Proteus AS-19, home port Apra Harbor, Guam, M.I. (If one looks at a world map on a wall in any given building, the island of Guam looks like something a fly dropped in the middle of the Pacific). But I digress…

One of the first things I became aware of upon my arrival on this island paradise was the need for transportation. Now, once the Chief (or the LPO, or ALPO, or whoever the level of authority was bestowed upon for that day), gave the all clear for us to hit the beach, the scramble to hit the shower, douse oneself in anything Old Spice or Aqua Velva related, and ensconce ourselves in our best ‘whatever’ civvies we could squeeze into the sacred storage spaces that we were graciously afforded held, was akin to a Chinese fire drill. We did everything we had to do to get to that liberty bus, the white, late 50’s era school bus that was the portal to a life beyond movie call at 1900. This scramble lasted about two days for me. I wanted my own wheels.

Around my second week on island, I found myself at a used car lot in Agana. Drooled over the finer selections, all shiny and loaded with options and whatever; I headed for the bargain basement area. After some time, this still wet behind the ears sailor signed his life away for a 76 Mazda Cosmo, yellow on brown, with the wonder Wankel straight six and a four-speed. The yellow of the paint scheme was rapidly being consumed by the brown (which was more of a ruddy hue, read: rust). What held the chrome window trim in place while the car was not moving was anybody’s guess, let alone while it was moving (I’m guessing the set speed limit anywhere on island was 35 mph may have helped..). All the glass was, surprisingly, intact, and even better, both windows on either side actually worked, and, also surprisingly, so did the AC, at least up to the 1/3 mark. The hood never popped up on its own, even if the lever was pulled. Had to do a Fonzerreli on it . The only way to open the passenger side door was to reach between the door panel and the frame of the door and pull up on the wire within. But, all the dash lights worked, the Clarion stereo and cassette and all the speakers were top notch, and that fuckin’ Wonder Wankel rotary engine and 4-speed was a combo to be reckoned with! I could not kill that engine, no matter how hard I tried. The thing was bulletproof, and lasted the three years I drove it. The first of (at that time unknowingly) my two and sorta 1/2 rust bucket Guam Bombs. I left Guam for the first time in late 84…

Fast forward to 1988. New orders, USS San Jose AFS-7, Apra Harbor, Guam M.I. (yes, I actually asked for the orders, I fell in love with Guam first time around. The detailer thought I was off whatever meds I may have been on). This segment holds two parts.

Not entirely my ride, but that of a close friend of mine, a 78 white 4 door Datsun B-210. Yet another run of the mill, white over ruddy brown, bulletproof 4 banger/ 4-speed rust bucket. This vehicle, affectionately dubbed the USS Enterpoop, took us everywhere never failed us. Lead driver (he fronted $300 of the total $500 of the cost of the car, I coughed up the other $200), was MM3 CJ Porting. This fella was as big as the car itself. The only person he allowed to pilot this vessel other than himself was yours truly, but with some resilience, as he knew I had a penchant for speed shifting. An 88 Datsun B-210 4 door sedan was not, obviously, meant for showing off. A months leave, and March 89 is upon us…

Newly married. Blushing bride and 18-month-old step-daughter are now on the island, the Joser is back from deployment. Now, the wife and just-add-ring family landed on Guam a week before the ship deployed, they stayed with some close friends, and she set forth to procure housing, boonie furniture, cable, etc., while I was dutifully performing seemingly endless UNREPS. One other item my bride took upon herself while I was away was to acquire a mode of transportation. (As a side note, she was left in charge of the aforementioned USS Enterpoop. She did not know how to drive a vehicle with a manual transmission. This car suffered…). Where she found it, I do not know, but somewhere on the island of Guam was a 1977 Ford LTD 4-door for sale. Primer gray, with what was left of a maroon vinyl top and that awful blood red interior. Trans slipped, needed a timig chain, left rear window precisely cut from plex-i-glass (yet, strangely, rolled up and down electrically). She even had an aftermarket stereo installed, with extra multiple speakers. Picture a 5’2″ woman behind the wheel of a late 70’s land yacht, with a toddler standing on the seat next to her, stereo blasting some Bee Gee’s tune, on Guam. Yep, that was my bride!

Guam Bombs were (or maybe, still are?) the saviors of the transportation needy on that idyllic island. When the liberty bus that unceremoniously dumped one off at the GovGuam building across from McDonalds on Marine Drive just didn’t cut it…

Standard

Bottle in the Sea

Bottle in the Sea

By Garland

When you are a bottle.

40 years flies quickly past.

Not necessarily true.

For the sailor who emptied you.

 

Through tropical typhoons.

The whipping wind.

The crashing rain.

The stones you missed.

 

You, you survived intact

to tell the young sailor’s tale

as he and the girl walked

hand in hand along the beach

 

On that leisurely island weekend

40 years ago, and placed a note

with their names and the date

deep inside of you

 

Before hurling you into

the deep western sea.

 

For he was the writer

of his note, the paper now

slightly stained, the names now.

Somewhat smudged.

 

And you were the holder

of the song they sang,

You, now covered with

the trappings of the great sea:

 

Shelled sea creatures

cling tightly to your surface.

Green plants that grow

only in the sea.

 

The sailor, having long since

sailed on to other beaches

and other girls has long since

forgotten about you.

Standard

Two Times

Two Times

BY Hambone

Two times in my Navy Career I was told I was the only enlisted man who had the Qualifications to do something. One was bad and one was good.

First one Bad:

In NAS Kingsville, Texas I got drivers license for damn near everything rolling. Time passes.

The Horne was in Pearl on a Midshipman Cruise. We had a ton of those dudes on board.

I am getting ready to leave the ship and join my friends for a beer or 14.

Word was passed for me to lay to the Quarterdeck. So I carry my dumb ass up there.

I discover I am the only person on the ship that has a license to drive one of them long ass busses. I had to drive them dudes around all afternoon. I finished at 1800.

Next day with the assistance of the Chief PN, it left my record.

Second one Good:

I was on Recruiting Duty in Seattle 1979.

St Patrick’s Day was upon us. Someone decided to invite a member of each branch of the service to this big do in a super duper private club in Seattle.

A YN2 remembered I had been in the PEP Program. So the Chief Recruiter calls me. Jim do you possess that Mess Dress Uniform. I said yes before thinking.

So I carry my dumb ass home and get it and carry it to the cleaners. Find my miniature medals and my bow tie.

The next day I go and get my invitation. I am warned to be on my good behavior. The Chief Recruiter told me not to Fart.

So at 1900, I show up in my Navy Car. Private parking etc, etc.

I give my Card to the dude at the entrance. He announces me, Senior Chief James Hampton United States Navy. I am escorted to my table.

Two couples and me.

I am not Catholic. But they had about ten Priests there including the Archbishop.

Every person running for Governor that year was there.

Every one of the Priests got shit faced including the politicians.

Good food tho.

I had fun. It was back in my hard drinking days.

Hambone is done now

Standard

Birds Above the Mast

Birds Above the Mast

By Garland Davis

in the Western Pacific clouds

above the mast

two, no three, albatross circle

one behind the other

aimed at something promised

by the wisdom of their hollow bones

their eyes searching the sea

 

they sweep above our decks

all the places where we live our lives

in whatever moments we find

as we move through the calm seas

driven by some covenant

like the wind that moves their wings against the clouds

Standard