Saturday, April 30, 2016

Saturday: Mixed

Scorpions in an unusually early season invasion of yards and homes in Arizona. There are tarantulas too, I know, horror of my existence. What nightmare or wicked touch of mischief made God create eight-leggeddies. 

In this blog I’ve reported that after we moved from our SanDiego home to Columbus, Ohio in 1971, a neighbor wrote that the new owners of our house had found a tarantula in the garage. OMG …

Saturday morning on fogged-in StAndrewsBay, a happy hour in another world researching a Packard that son Joe texted me on April 3rd and I held off checking it out until time to thoroughly enjoy. It’s a coupe from the second half of the 1930s, a five-year era when Packard capitalized on a beautifully designed front end, fenders, headlights, hood, vents, and especially the tall, thin radiator shell of the front grill with classic Packard shape, curves, style, design. 

No cars in American history have been more perfect to gaze on and love. This morning I studied Packards from 1935 through 1941 and narrowed it down to a 1939 Packard 120 club coupe, telling Joe I could be off a year either way but I don’t think so. He and a neighbor have breakfast out every Saturday morning, and he often runs across an old car and snaps pics for me to enjoy and to identify. This one gave me the most work and therefore the most enjoyment.

Sad this morning to let NYT stir anger, but exercising the right and province of a grouchy old man. Happy to withdraw into a world of Packards. Ask the man who owns one.


Friday, April 29, 2016


First off this morning, preparing our handout for next Tuesday morning’s Bible Seminar. Revelation, ἀποκάλυψις, the Apocalypse, we’ll read and get some shivers over the Second Cycle in this late first century equivalent of StarWars. So far, seven churches have been sent scary letters; seven seals have been opened, six meant to stir fear of the wrath of God, the seventh, silence in heaven for about half an hour to let folks go to the restroom and buy popcorn before returning to our seats. Next: seven angels with seven trumpets, buckle your seatbelt.

Last evening we watched Lauritzen Line’s ship Interlink Activity (whoever dreamed up that name needs to be taught respect for ships) sail by close, make the hairpin turn and head out to sea, underway for Tyne, UK with a cargo of wood pellets. 

Commercial vessels may not be as exciting as warships coming and going, but Sea Fighter doesn’t stir the blood like watching destroyers, carriers and cruisers in the old days. Newport, Norfolk, Mayport and SanDiego.

As FuroForty strikes with a vengeance, incoming: container vessel and a shrimpboat.


Thursday, April 28, 2016


Mind in the MineField 
μὴ γένοιτο

Dawns the Thursday. Bit later there goes the Navy out for another hard day’s work at sea. Two craft, I might say too small to be ships, too large to be boats. Don’t know about now but nearly sixty years ago when I started in the Navy a boat was defined as small enough to be lifted aboard a ship. Except ein Unterseeboot. A wistfulness attaches to watching them come and go everyday, life here in 7H all the more special. Would I go back, go there? But yes. I would if I could but I can’t so I won’t. Truth, turn that around, I could if I would but I won’t so I can’t. Except for what the mind does to me in spite of myself.

Same with looking straight across: Annie & Jennie disappearing round Davis Point, Alfred aboard, every single time I glance there. Seldom I’m aboard to make it right, mostly watching from here. The vision goes with the life, take it or leave it, and I’ll take it, the only life gifted me. “… the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul,” and here I am, grateful for the Having Been and for the Here and Now. 

How could I be so blessed, fortunate, why me, an American living through and beyond a golden age, why me. Though not so sure about this popping out on the far side of the golden age —

The mind is a stranger, mine has a mind and will of its own separate from my own mind and will. Not the conscience, maybe it’s the subconscious or even the soul, a beastly being. I’m thinking of Paul to the Romans, chapter 7, from verse 13 and following, lamenting his failure of control over his acts, mine is all inside this bone head where the storms rage. Paul laments his body, I lament my mind. Or my soul.

I would if I could and I can so I will. Life begins. Early fall 1957, I just turned 22. Saturday morning on the Jamestown ferry gliding across Narragansett Bay.

St. Paul’s Inner Conflict
13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? μὴ γένοιτο By no means! It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17 So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, 23 but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I of myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. (Romans 7:13-25 RSV)

Paul’s enemy the body, mine the mind. Or even the soul. Soul in a minefield somewhere off 7H rounding the Point. God forbid. MindField.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Just about dark last evening, as light was fading over StAndrewsBay, the U.S.Navy ship FSF-1 arrived through the pass and I thought to get a picture. But she steamed down to the hairpin turn (that’s not the right word anymore, she’s not steam driven), turned around, and headed back out to sea. We watched this morning as she arrived again, and this time I did get a shot. 

FSF is “Fast Sea Frame” and her name is Sea Fighter, and my thought is OMG what a homely beast and in my Navy days and years we had beautiful, sleek warships, mostly left over from WW2, including my first ship, a WW2 destroyer. My all time favorite: battleships. Everybody thinks their old ways and old days were best, including me, not only about warships, culture, music, films, cars, clothes, the world, but even BCPs. Maybe especially BCPs.

When I was a new Navy ensign, my petty officers used to grouse about how much better Navy life was “under the old Rocks and Shoals” and how this new UCMJ pampered the sailors. Whereas in the old days, a sailor misbehaved you took him out back and beat the hell out of him and by J he straightened out. I don’t know, I never knew that Navy. The only thing I know is that Life Is Good, better, best. 

Sundays 10:30 as soon as the opening hymn is sung everybody sits down and whoever is preaching the sermon that day has the kids come up front for “Children’s Time,” with a chat usually something related to one of the day’s lessons. As the gospel was Jesus saying, “A new commandment I give you: that you ἀγάπη one another” I had a shortie on ἀγάπη which is love, lovingkindness, benevolence, goodwill, the KJV says “charity.” There’s a couple dozen little kids, say under about four I reckon, and Linda had bought sugar cookies and decorated each one with an ἀγάπη letter alpha. Most of the characters were longer than squatty and the kids thought it was a fish, so we worked that too, an early Xn symbol, but  for agape. Anyway, I had the last one for breakfast dessert this morning, two bites missing.

Hoping you are the same.

DThos+ still muddling along

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Warm and Humid

Warm and Humid

Our spectator sport from 7H is the Port of Panama City, spotting larger ships out in the Gulf beyond Shell Island, sometimes anchored out several days before entering port, anticipating and watching ships come and go by our porch. Some ships are regulars back and forth between PC and Progresso weekly or so, some long distance. Smaller vessels seldom have a tug on arrival, largers generally have two tugs standing off at the turn in the channel just to the west of us, sometimes three tugs. 

We especially enjoy the big ships, yesterday Lauritzen’s oddly named “Interlink Activity” arrived from New Orleans to load wood pellets and off to Tyne. IA is 587’ LOA x 105’ beam, arriving empty or nearly, she was sitting high and I suppose drawing 23 feet of water; may draw 32 feet on departure in a day or so. iPhone camera does satisfactorily for most things, but cropping a ship photo in lieu of a zoom lens yields pretty fuzzy. That's Shell Island in the background. 

The top pic shows her arriving just as a Coast Guard cutter heads out to sea, about to meet and pass her. Port of Tyne, UK appears to be a busy activity, accommodating large cruise ships and with a sizable dry dock. 

Shell Island, as someone recently pointed out in PCNH Squall Line, that's just the name anymore, it's not been an island since the Old Pass was bulldozed in and closed when the BP oil spill endangered StAndrewsBay. To open the Old Pass probably would add a circulation factor to the Bay's health.

68F here, 68F and 92%. Zero wind, zero precip. Life has nothing sweeter than its springtime, as Mario Lanza sang, and I remember. 


Monday, April 25, 2016

Football, Straight 8s, & Shrimpfoots

Saddened this morning to see Johnny Manziel headlined in the sports section of an NYT article. For one, it moves the mind ahead to the mid- and late-summer build up to football season, I’m not ready to go there yet, anticipating excitement for Jim Harbaugh at Michigan and the Gators back in the game. For two, although I was happy to see Manziel leave TexA&M to get him out of the SEC and an ongoing threat to the teams I love which TexA&M is not one, it was clear when he declared for the draft that he was too immature to take on life as an adult, needed to stay in college and get it out of his system, finish his boyhood. Even an obnoxious spoiled brat needs a chance at life. Hope he hasn’t totally doomed his talent and promise, misdemeanor assault indictment for hitting his girlfriend, alcohol abuse and rehab, ruined, spoiled wasted opportunity with the Browns. What a shame. Pray he can pull life out of the hat after all. 

A pro-football fan or enthusiast I am not in the least, but favorites from CFB keep popping up here and there, and he was one.

Up at four-thirty, shrimp boat plying StAndrewsBay for the squiggly things, often reminds me of the dawn knock at the rectory door in the nineteen eighties and nineties, a parishioner’s son who was a shrimper not an oysterman offering me the chance to buy some of his overnight catch, ice chests of delectable creatures with their feet still running along the bottom of Apalachicola Bay. It don’t git no fresher, that and mullet still flopping.

So what then. A 1931 Chrysler sedan and a 1933 Buick victoria coupe. What do they have to do with anything? Depends on where the heart is, I reckon. 


Sunday, April 24, 2016

The ἀγάπη of God

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. 

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; when I became a man, I put away childish things. 

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know fully, even as also I am known. 

And now abideth faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (I Corinthians 13)


A dearly-beloved passage of Christian scripture is First Corinthians 13, the “love chapter” of Saint Paul’s writings often read and heard at weddings. It is lovely, beautiful, perfect, perfectly beautiful, especially in some English translations from St. Paul’s Greek. Nothing in the Bible, except erotic passages of the Song of Solomon, seem so loving and tender and passionate, personal, romantic.
But it is not, you see, not romantic. And if instead of English you’d read the original, you would be perfectly clear this is not the romantic prose that guests and wedding couples hear and assume. Paul’s Greek is perfectly clear; and what Paul writes in 1st Corinthians 13 is perfectly, totally, completely consonant with today’s gospel words of Jesus in John chapter 13: “A new commandment I give you: that you love one another. As I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know you are my disciples, that you love one another.”

I do not mean to be clever with you, coyly working round to an astonishing revelation that this is not at all what you always assumed. Nor will I do the cute proverb that to “assume” is to make an ass of you and me, that’s not where I am this morning, I shall go with my agenda straight to my point. Maybe you’ll “get it,” more likely not.

A generation ago in the hands-in-the air renewal music of the Church, we had a praise song, maybe still sung, “They will know we are Christians by our love.” Written by the late Peter Scholtes when he was working with young people as a parish priest, the song’s name is “We are one in the Spirit” and it captures Jesus’ New Commandment. We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord. We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand, and they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, they will know we are Christians by our love. Love is the Word and the Word is Love. The only word, the Logos is Agape.

Translated into the English language, and apparently we are not alone, also in German as I check Luther’s Bible online, it becomes unclear just what is meant when the Greek evangelist has Jesus give a New Commandment, “that you love one another.” And translated out of its tongue and setting, Paul’s message at 1st Corinthians 13 is compromised. So I recall the chat we had here last Wednesday evening, our group discussion of this gospel:

“A new commandment I give you,” Jesus says, “that you love one another.” In English we may have just one word for love. But the New Testament is Greek not English and from reading the New Testament, I learned four Greek words for love: agape, eros, phileos, and storge — and Jesus’ Love Commandment is not phileos about brotherly love, and it is not storge about love around the family supper table. And it is not eros romantic love.

Likewise, Saint Paul did not mean 1st Corinthians 13 to be read at weddings where guests are chortling about the bride and groom leering at each other and this custom of slipping off the bride’s garter. Quite the contrary, at 1st Corinthians 13, Paul is chiding Christians who are greedy, selfish, mean, haughty, arrogant, unkind, thoughtless, cruel, and rude to each other. And as for you, you likely have not known what Jesus means in this New Love Commandment that sounds so warm and cuddly but is rather (what?) I’ll coin a Yiddish word: Yesusische, “Jesusish.” The ἀγάπη of God is Yesusische. The ἀγάπη of God is not warm and fuzzy, and is not romantic. The ἀγάπη of God is quite sternly about how you treat other people [and by the way, Christian, in this quadrennial time of bitter national divisiveness, how do you treat those who despise you, or who disagree with your politics, or who are in the welfare line and you are not, or on the other side of Immigration or Obamacare from you? You see, Jesus’ Love Commandment hangs your certitudes up for target practice ].

The ἀγάπη of God is quite sternly not a suggestion, it is the will of God the Father and the nonnegotiable commandment of God the Son, which moreover you have covenanted with God time and time again that you will keep the commandment. Will you, Will you, Will you, - - - “Will you seek and serve Christ in ALL persons, “agapeing” your neighbor as yourself?” Climaxing in “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?” To strive is to love and to love is to respect, and you promise that you will do —as we renew our relationship with God, first in words of covenant, and then in  water of Baptism, and then in the Blood of Christ as you come to God’s table to eat and drink. 

I am a religious person, not spiritual, but somewhat religious, and I like to work out the ἀγάπη of God theologically. First of all, it’s set forth [and this is your homework, your reading assignment for this week even though I may be wasting your time and mine by making the assignment because most of you will never pick up your Bible, open it and read this] your homework is to read 1st John 4:7-21,“God is love.” First John Chapter Four, verses seven through twenty-one, read it please, theology of our God who is love, and of what God asks of you as part of God’s Being.

Second, we do not preach hell-fearing, groveling sin and guilt religion of the Middle Ages; we are disciples of Jesus Christ, Christians of the New Testament Age where God is Love. God is not keeping tally of my sins to judge and punish me at the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord. Those baptized this morning will not “be saved” as we pray and pour water. God already loves these children, God already has filled them with his Holy Spirit, God has already saved them into his dominion just like Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” These children, like you and me, were saved on Good Friday afternoon two thousand years ago — or even In the Beginning as the Word of God said let us make little boys and girls in our Image — formed us of dust of the earth and breathed into us his Holy Spirit. Salvation is not an issue, salvation is ours from the ἀγάπη of God. We are, from creation, part of God — living here and now on earth to proclaim along with Jesus the Son of Man, that God is Love, who gives us life, to love. Baptism is our acceptance of the ἀγάπη of God that has loved us since walking with Adam and Eve in the Garden.

And so God commands us — “Love one another. As I have loved you, love one another.” It’s not phileo, or eros, or storge. The ἀγάπη of God is lovingkindness that is not a feeling but how we treat each other. In theological terms, the ἀγάπη of God creates us as fully homoousious* as Jesus himself, one being, one substance with God the Father. 

Already you are one with God. Baptism is your immersion in covenant to Love others as God loves you.


Sermon or homily in Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, Panama City, FL on Easter5C, April 24, 2016. Text: John 13: 31-35. Remember, I post these sermons not in any way pridefully but to keep a promise to a dear friend. TW+

* Preached sans nihil obstat, blogged sans imprimatur. Heresy: stuff it or make the most of it. TW+ Sermon/Homily this morning, Sunday, 20160424

Moon over Courtney Point

Whatever it may be, my talent is not photography, though since ascending to 7H the urge to grab iPhone and snap has been irresistible. Creation is that magnificent a place to live that it’s easy to visualize Elohim looking and seeing how good it was, even very good indeed. 

And after all, Instead of lovable Earthlings, we might have been finished as the reptilians that psychologists say our subconscious innermost brain remains, thriving as coldblooded dwellers of such as the planet I once saw on a StarTrek episode, perpetual driving rain. But here we are, RSF&PTL and can somebody shout Amen.

It’s a beautiful day where "the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee." (fm Ps 139, KJV)

This morning’s early reading, NYT article about Ted and David that surprisingly made the media’s cowboy into a palatable human being. What I didn’t realize until too late was that clicking on it used up one of my ten NYT articles for the month, but April is heading into the shadows, so it was worth it.

TV last evening for one who doesn’t watch television unless there’s either a GOP debate or a hurricane in the Atlantic: Father Brown solving yet another murder, this time double or triple murders of vengeance, villain the constable himself. Seems not to have occurred to the authorities that an awful lot of murders happen in the vicinity very conveniently investigated and solved to the glory of Father’s modesty. Were I the Inspector, I might be inclined to put two and two together. And the 1950s British cars are fantastic, last night I spotted a Bentley.

Early: black, square of 65%, heart pill. Breakfast: pork chop and black.


Saturday, April 23, 2016


What’s rolling around up there this morning. And do rhetorical questions always need an eroteme, I don’t think so, at least mine don’t, because I say so and I’m the oldest.

Behind clouds, eerie moonrise last evening, eerie as life itself at 86%. A lovely Saturday predawn. Full moon over StAndrewsBay, high in the west, at least one shrimp boat moving slowly back and forth beyond my porch. It’s that green boat with the Vietnamese name. Mornings she arrives escorted by a tornado of seagulls, backs stern-in to her berth. White walking birds, I guess they’re egrets (?) wander around hopefully as the deckhand hoses off her deck. Shrimp, overnight’s catch, are loaded into large cooler chests brought from a red pickup truck. All will happen again this morning, but is yet to do. Why change the liturgy if it works (eroteme)

And so what about life this Saturday morning? Walk? Breakfast? I may cook that piece of lean pork bought at Tyndall. Or that lambchop from supper.

What rolls around rolls around. August 1992. A cottage on StGeorgeIsland. Looking out over the Gulf of Mexico through pine trees, longleaf pines, steady rain. Steady rain but not driving rain. Steady rain as Hurricane Andrew moves off SouthFlorida and across the Gulf south of us toward the Louisiana Mississippi coast. Phone rings: a beloved parishioner just died. Jocelyn, whose life had a lovestory. Why is this one of those memories that rolls around (eroteme) Because next week I drive my girl to Baltimore, another parting. I can't bear it ...

Chocolate this morning: Ghirardelli. 86%. Midnight Reverie says the package. Bittersweet.

Thos+ in +Time+

Friday, April 22, 2016

Frabjous Friday

Generally a headache takes four, but one aspirin will do this morning. Ship sailing by in heavy rain under dark, thick clouds. Looks to be Juan Diego, one of her class anyway.

Obliterated by rain, cannot see her now, even her silhouette, can’t even see Landmark Condos a quarter mile east.

What’s going on. Prince dead at 57. Gwen Graham declares she won’t run. ShrimpBoat in receivership, hope (pray is overdoing it) they succeed, Lo Smith and Son can take pride in helping the resurrection of St. Andrews starting with the old ShrimpBoat. It’s not been resurrection actually, metamorphosis. I knew St. Andrews when and it’s never been like this, in my growing up years dying remnants of a fishing village from my grandfather’s day, dirt roads, ice plant, fishhouses, fishing boats, plenty of mullet, drunken fisherman and Mattie’s Tavern. Now interesting cafes and little shops thank God not clicky enough to be shaded “boutique.” 

From 7H at the moment I can’t even see Davis Point, much less Courtney, startling lightning, and one loud and lingering, deeply rumbling KABOOM.

What else. Just as well for the aspirin this morning, this weather was totally unexpected at seven o’clock, and Robert and I would have got soaked, because by seven-twenty-three a solid white rain drenching downpour, we’d have been caught in it and nothing to do but say bad words. Me the profane one anyway, Robert is the good guy between us.

So instead of eggs over medium and cheese grits at Big Mama’s on the Bayou, pasty duck parts on toast. One of these days again, breakfast at Four Seasons across the street, best grits since eating grits at the breakfast table as a child, watching a red-headed-woodpecker rat-a-tat-tat the little rotting oak tree on the bank just outside the dining room window. Of the five who saw that woodpecker every morning those years, two are dead and my sister and brother may have been too young to remember. So it may be just me. Rule was wash your face, comb your hair, and do not come to the breakfast table late. 

The dining room’s still there, not surprisingly much smaller than it was when I was a boy. The little scrub oak long gone, and the woodpecker.

What else. Frank McKeithen recommends Tommy Ford, that's good enough for me, something most assuring about a county where nobody needs to run against the sheriff. Obits this morning, Betty Ellis. Before we relocated from Central Pennsylvania to Apalachicola, Sid and Betty Ellis lived in Port St. Joe, from whence Father Sid balanced three churches, St. James PSJ, St. John Baptist Wewa, Trinity Apalach and fourteen years later I followed him to Grace PCB. 

Moonrise last evening. One aspirin and the ominously gathering doom of the Day of the Lord this morning. To put a little on top, Anu’s word for today is frabjous. Full moon tonight: mind the shadows. 


It may be Four Winds, not Four Seasons, IDK.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


There went the paper mill whistle, seven o’clock point zero zero sharp, next signal will be twelve noon. What it stirs from dark recesses, releases from behind some rock, is the bosun’s pipe and announcement from the quarterdeck in port, from the bridge at sea, “Now turn to, turn to, all hands commence ship’s work.” What do I miss? never the being there but always the sounds. The sounds and the smells. A Navy ship has (had?) smells and sounds that were unique in my life. Would I go back? You betcha.

HTH did I get there, the mind was on cars, our first cars. My first car was that 1947 Buick Special sedan, bought for $75 co-owned with a friend, $78.80 for assigned-risk insurance from Allstate my junior year at Florida. Our first car was the dark green 1948 Dodge that mama and I chose from the two cars still loaded on the boxcar that day in May 1948, mama’s 36th birthday present, that my parents gave to me as I started my senior year of university and on into the Navy. 

Where is this going — just remembering. Few cars were air-conditioned in those days. But green-tinted windows were being introduced. So in 1955 if you wanted to impress your friends on a hot day, roll up the green side windows and swelter inside, pretending how cool you were, it’s been done. 

Our first brand new car was the blue and white 1958 Ford Custom 300 tudor sedan, a Ford V8 with automatic transmission, and I had the dealer, Cook Ford on Harrison Avenue -- by then they had moved from the old location at Harrison and 4th Street up to the dealership across from Panama Grammar that previously had been the Lincoln-Mercury dealership, and the L-M store had moved out 6th Street to a building on the north side of the street across from where First UMC is today -- so anyway, our 1958 Ford had Ford-o-matic but the dealer had to install power steering on in. But not air conditioned, about as I recall a $300 option for a $2,000 car. 

Driving between Panama City and Norfolk, Virginia where my destroyer was homeported, we soon realized that $300 extra for air conditioning might have been a worthwhile expense. But it was too late, and besides, who had $300. As a new ensign, my Navy pay was $222.30 a month plus $47.88 subsistence allowance; plus I think it was $110 housing allowance, that number may be wrong, it may have been $125 or $150, I don’t remember. 

What to do then, to make the car more comfortable on the highway? 

We had seen cars with this “coolerator” thing hanging on the passenger side window. So we got one

Fill the tank with water, on the road air was forced the wet filter and into the car. We thought to be cool. It may have worked in Arizona, IDK, but driving up and down the stifling hot and humid Atlantic Coast, the device just filled the car with steamy superheat. But we tried it.

Our first air-conditioned car, which this discussion is what enables me to post the picture, we bought from the Nash Rambler dealer in Jacksonville, Florida during our first shore tour, U.S. Naval Station, Mayport, Florida. It was nearly new, had been a dealer’s demo. A two-tone 1961 Rambler Classic station wagon, 

top of the line Custom Series, burgundy and light pink. A pretty car, white tires. Of course, I was a George Romney fan anyway, and it was air-conditioned. We drove it a couple years, including taking it to the University of Michigan for our time in Ann Arbor, where I got the car bug again and, as a research paper project in one of my classes, shopped around for the new 1963 Chevrolet station wagon that I ended up buying from the best offer, Rollie Spaulding at Spaulding Chevrolet in nearby Chelsea, Michigan. That brand new car was about $2500 as I recall, and the dealership installed the under-dash air conditioning unit, which was a huge hit as the only air-conditioned car in our carpool between Yokohama and Yokosuka.

Who was in that carpool. Me, Wayne Hatchett, Ron Murphy, Slug Butts, Bill Velotas, Gary Hahn. Six of us, Navy lieutenants. I think the only one of us who stayed beyond twenty years was Wayne, an OR specialist from the Navy PG School at Monterey, who finished up with four stripes.

In Japan the car bug bit once again, I sold the Chevy station wagon to a PCS-ing air force officer, bought his 1952 Cadillac, and for $100 from a civilian supervisor at the same duty station, that 1952 Chrysler V8 Saratoga club coupe that the original owner had kept together with bond-it, chewing gum, and duct tape, all beautifully painted light blue, an enormous, soft and comfortable rumbling car, and man would it go.