31 January 2011

John Walters: The Cool Breeze

John Walters in Panama

John Walters in barracks

John Walters in pjs

Bob Claggett, me and John Walters

John Walters was a cool breeze that blew into Ft Bragg from Los Angeles. He was tall, quiet and stoned to the bejesus most every time I saw him. We went to Panama together with the 1/325. He was almost the perfect soldier in that he looked like a soldier was supposed to look -- Except that 'stoned' part.

John and I enlisted about the same time but he went in for three and I did four years for a $2,500 bonus paid after Infantry school. At his ETS (Estimated Termination of Service) party we doused his bus driver hat in lighter fluid and lit it. Six of us stood around a circle and peed on the flames giving real meaning to, "If you were on fire I wouldn't pee on you to put you out."

John bought Bob Claggett's '63 Dodge Dart with push button transmission and that was just as well. John had borrowed my '68 Dodge Charger one afternoon and rear ended a parked army pick up on main post.

He was of course stoned and I learned, at 19, never to loan your car to someone who is stoned. A buddy in JAG made the claim disappear. Anyway, the morning after his ETS party, John loaded up the Dart with everything he owned and left Bragg long before any of us woke up.

Two days later the Texas Highway Patrol found the car abandoned on the side of the highway. They were looking for John and tracked him to us. A couple days later he called from L.A. and explained the engine blew. He crammed a few things in his Alice ruck along with his ETS orders and hitched home.

We never heard from him again. Not that that was unusual. But he was the only guy I ever knew in the army who wore pajamas. That was most unusual.

30 January 2011

Stay Warm

Haven't been out of the Bean Boots all weekend. Wear cotton socks at your own peril. A Cashmere and wool mix keep the feet warm. The Blue Ribbon Bakery does the same for the soul. Despite the weather, or because of it, it's been a beautiful weekend. Inside and out.

28 January 2011

REI & The Eiger

(all images borrowed from internet)

I stumbled across this book, The White Spider, shortly after to moving to Colorado Springs in the '70s. It's been a long time but images from a failed attempt on the north face of the Eiger are still with me.

I finished the book and went straight to a rock formation overlooking Constitution Blvd. Only 40 feet high or so, I didn't waste anytime in falling and luckily landing on a ledge. Flat on my back and with the air knocked out of me, I lifted my head trying to breathe while I stared and swore at my Frye Dingo boots.

One pair of Vasque boots later I headed back. They were chocolate brown with red and black laces and soled in Vibram lugs. I wore them everywhere and in school they separated you from the Goat Ropers in Stetsons with a clipped corner of a hundred dollar bill stuck in the hat band. Or, the Stoners in their herb scented flannel shirts or the John Denver look alike in denim jeans and denim pearl snap shirts. I was a Waffle Stomper.

While my Vasque boots could be categorized as Waffle Stompers I do remember feeling they were more authentic. While certainly no ice climber -- my boots had purpose. Primary being not to fall and have that problem breathing again.

I became a life time member of REI Coop for $5 and obsessed over the catalog where images from White Spider dovetailed with REI equipment creating dreams of my journey to Kleine Scheidegg where I'd eat Toblerone and hit on cute blonde girls from West Germany.

It didn't happen. And that's okay. The north face of the Eiger might be too authentic for me. But some day...before I die...I'm gonna have a drink at this hotel and remember how I was moved by a sport and by the boots it stood on.

27 January 2011

Some Pink...

Some Pink

A Pile

And A Pipik

26 January 2011

The Power of the Armory

Golf Foxtrot snags opening night. I had to wait...

...until last night.

Ball & Claw...

versus Tomato & Claw.

And while it's not opening night -- it sure was a fun night.

There's a 'feel' about this show.

The quality is here.

And so are the red heads.

But while the Delaware Antique Show (seen here) is nothing to be sneezed at...

The NY Winter Antiques Show isn't so much about money...

and Delaware tax free shopping...

as much as it's about power.

and the armory hums with it.

It's clear to me...

that this show is about men.

Men who not only have the knowledge of what they want...

but the ability to secure it.

Cost be damned.

There's wonderful style here.

Not just in the things...

but in the people as well. The cookies were fantastic.