Places I have Been

Here is a list of places I have been in my life and just a few short words about those places:

  • 544 Byrd, Wichita, KS.  This was my home of record for the first 20 years of my life.
  • Susank, KS.  Where Erma and Curly Fruitts lived north of Hoisington, KS.  Like a lot of you, we went to Grandmother's house for a lot of our vacations.  Just so you will know, this is in the middle of no and damned where.
  • I have absolutely no memory of going to Michigan but mom told the story that about the time I started to cut teeth they were on a trip to Michigan.  On the way home I had fussed for hours. Finally mom but beer in my bottle and she said I slept from Chicago to St Louis.  She said I was so hung over that I hardly whimpered the rest of the way back to Wichita.
  • Central Ave, Eldorado, KS.  My father's mother lived there and it was a fairly regular Sunday visit. 
  • Brownsville, TX.  On this list you can include all the towns in between.  The only place I remember was Enid, OK where there was a tornado and a flood.
  • Pruitt, AR.  Erma and Curly bought their retirement home there and we visited it a lot.  Swimming in the Buffalo river and cold Green Diamond watermelon are some of my favorite memories.
  • Leon, KS.  My cousins lived there and we loved to visit them on the farm 
  • Arvada, Colorado.  My uncle and hos family moved to Colorado in the late 50's and we would visit them there.  We made one trip up to a cabin on Mount Evans and I had a full blown case of altitude sickness.  Lasted all the way back to Kansas.
  • Eldorado, KS.  Worked on the rebuild or "Turn-around." of the Skelly refinery.  Just prior to going into the Army.
  • Little towns all over the State of Kansas.
  • Topeka, KS.  My mother's brother lived there and we went to visit a couple of time.  I remember seeing the devastation of the tornado in 1966.  Clear path from I-470 to the Capitol building. 
  • Kansas City.  Armed Forces Entrance and Examining Station or now known as the Military Examination and Processing Center.  Twice in 1966.  Second time on to the Army early Sep 66.
  • Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.  Perhaps this is why I am still not too fond of Missouri.  A-4-2, "We can Do"  (A Company, 4th Battalion, 2nd Brigade) * weeks in the fall of 1966.
  • Fort Sill, OK.   You can draw a straight line from Fort Leonard Wood to Fort Sill and know where we went but we didn't stop anywhere that I remember.  There from Nov 66 to 3 July 1967.  Advanced Individual training and Officer Candidate School.
  • US 54 and US 66 enroute to Fort Irwin, CA. Listen to the song about Route 66 and you will know where I went after picking up Route 66 in Tucumcari.  I think I spent the first night is Albuquerque (Thank god for spell checker on this one) enroute to that wonderful place.  Remember what I said about Susank?  Susank was a metropolis compared to Fort Irwin.  The joke was you if God was going to give the world an enema, he would not insert it in Fort Irwin but you could see the insertion point from there.  B Battery, 6th Battalion, 84th Artillery 155mm Towed.
  •  Las Vegan, NV enroute to the Jungle Warfare School in Panama. I think there were airport visits to Atlanta and Columbia, SC and an overnight stay a night or two on the way.
  • Fort Clayton, the Canal Zone.  2 weeks to learn everything about fighting and surviving in the jungle.  I remember cheap drinks and mosquitoes.  Came home from there with Dengue Fever. Not a good thing to have.
  • Yermo, California.  Where I met the love of my life, Barbara.  Best deal I ever made. 
  • Disneyland, CA.  Made a trip there with Barb right after I got out of the hospital with Dengue Fever.  Did not ride on anything that went fast, in circles or up and down real quick. 
  • The week after Christmas we made a road trip to Wichita to have Barbara meet my parents.  Made a side trip to the lake by Roger's Arkansas to see Erma and Curley.  Flew back to Las Vegas and got Married.  11 Feb 1968...
  • Barstow California. we lived in a small rental apartment for a couple of weeks as the unit got ready to go to Vietnam.  Not near enough time to get to know each other.
  • Long Beach, California.  19 glorious days on the USNS Geiger enroute to Vietnam.  Made a short stay in at Subic Bay in the Philippines.  No big deal for me.
  • Camron Bay, RVN.  Stopping off point to get on a truck.  End location was Ahn Khe.  Spent a couple of weeks here in base camp getting ready to go to the field. 
  • Vietnam - Some of the places there are and this is not in any order - Qui Nhon, Saigon, Pleiku, Dak To, Kontum, Cam Rahn Bay, Phan Thiet, Buon Ma Thout,  An Khe, Quang Ngai,  Dak Pec.  You could add a lot of firebases to this list but those names don't mean much anymore. I would have to give you grid coordinates for the jungle locations.
  • From Vietnam, I got to fly to Hawaii to meet Barbara on R&R.  Stopped at Guam but not for long.
  • On the way Home, they tell me we stopped in Japan.  Not sure I even got off the plane.
The rest of my life next time....


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