Pattaya Time Warp – Photos from 1969

Sam Royalle emailed this photo.

Paradise 1969 although Hell was only a few hundred miles away in Vietnam.

Click on this URL

These photos were taken by a GI on holiday. Amazing. No Big-C. No traffic. No plastic bags in the water. No Russians, lager louts, or bikers. There is no trick photography. That’s how it was. Not that I knew. I was a draft dodger and I’m still trying to get my anti-war pension from the Pentagon. Maybe I’ll have more luck now that Obama is in office.

“Hey Ho We Won’t Go.”

But I would have gone to Pattaya in a heartbeat.

How could I have known?

We were so much younger then.

Pattaya Tai

The future site of Bali Hai

Pattaya Beach.

The old pier.

The beach.

From the admiral’s hill.

Tarzan Jesus On VDO

A religious festival in Guatemala featured a Jesus on a very high pole. The spectacle turned bad when ‘Jesus’ fell from his crucifixion perch, but luckily caught hold of a wire to break his fall.

A miracle for Tarzan Jesus.

His father was part god/ part ape.

To watch Tarzan Jesus fall, please go to the following URL

Tarzan Jesus

Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote TARZAN in 1912. The story of a British orphan raised by apes in Africa captivated American readers. The former businessman became wealthy off these tales of Dark Continent and the legend of Tarzan remains a money-maker for Hollywood.

While other actors brought the Lord Of The Apes to the silver screen, Johnny Weissmuller animated Tarzan for the cinematic audiences around the world. The Olympic champion embodied the character with his swimming, fighting, and famous cry swinging through the jungles.

“Me Tarzan. You Jane.”

In my childhood Johnny Weissmuller was Tarzan.

Since his retirement Hollywood has drafted numerous actors to play the Lord of the Apes.

Lex Barker, Gordon Scott, Jock Mahoney, Ron Ely, Miles O’Keeffe, Christopher Lambert, Casper Van Dien, and now Alexander Skarsgård in a 3D version.

Personally I’m waited for TARZAN JESU.

A tale for the ages.

Aurora Borealis Maine July 4, 1971

On the 4th of July in 1971 my friends John Gilmore, Mark McLaughlin, and Tommie Jordan and I left from the South Shore of Boston for holiday in Maine. We stopped at my grandmother’s cabin on Watchic Pond for a swim and Italian sandwiches. After watching fireworks over the Presumpscot River we headed north for Bar Harbor in my 1968 VW Beetle.

By the Turnpike the trip was about two hours, but we chose the scenic coastal road. I-95 was boring from Presque Isle to Miami, while US 1 wandered through sleeping towns and harbors. That route was better suited for hippies and we listened to the Jefferson Airplane through Brunswick, Bath, and Wicassett.

Someplace outside of Camden John pointed to the sky.

“Check that out.”

“What is that?” Tommie asked from the rear seat and the cranked open the sunroof.

The sky shimmered with an unearthly light and John said, “I knew that weed was strong, but not this strong.”

“That’s not a hallucination. It’s the Aurora Borealis.” Mark declared with debatable authority. He worked as a mechanic at a Wollaston garage. His universe was bigger than I had imagined for a high school drop-out.

“How would you know?” John demanded before puffing on the bong. He was attending Quincy Community College to be a paramedic.

“Because I have a Boy Scout merit badge in astronomy.” His statement had no boast to it.

“Well, la-dee-dah.” John and Mark were childhood friends. Sometimes they were rivals.

“The aurora occur over the poles after a charged particles from the sun collide with atoms in the upper atmosphere riding the Earth magnetic fields.”

“They taught you that in Boy Scouts?” I was a Star Scout with merit badges in marksmanship and canoeing.

“No, I was into the Space Race. I read everything about the stars. I went to the planetarium at the Museum or Science and watched every launch from Cape Canaveral. The Algonquins called the northern lights the ‘dance of the spirits’.”

“Damn, you are an expert.” John passed the bong to his longtime friend and I pulled over to the side of the road.

“I saw them once as a child.” They had lit up the night sky above the Blue Hills.

“I’ve never seen them.” Mark’s eyes were spellbound by the spectacle overhead.

The four of us got out of the VW and lay on the dewy grass.

The celestial phenomena sashayed across the sky as iridescent curtains blowing in the wind. The light show lasted about twenty minutes and disappeared like a mirage into the cosmos.

“The Aurora Borealis,” John remarked in awe.

“Aurora was the goddess of dawn.” I had read Bullfinch’s Mythology in high school.

“I was sort of like dawn at night.” Tommy spoke for the first time that evening. He was a hockey player for a Maine prep school. Last season a college scout recruited him to play at an Ivy League college. His grades were horrible, but his scoring led the league.

“That blew my mind.” John stood up and wiped the damp grass from his clothing.

“More than Jimi Hendrix’s at the Garden?” It had been one of his last shows. We had seen him together.

“Not better. Different.” Tommie looked us in the eyes. “But better the same way Jimi was the best.”

“Excuse while I touch the sky.” John grasped the air with his hands.

We returned to the car and continued north. Few cars were on US 1. Most tourists were in bed at the numerous motels along the road. John put ARE YOU EXPERIENCED on the tape player and Mark stuck his head out the sunroof hoping for another sign from the heavens, because with a vision like that once was not enough.

Polar Flight Seat #60A

Seat 60A in a window.

I slept most of the journey over the pole, waking occasionally to peer out the 777′s porthole.

Below was the long Arctic night and overhead five stars were visible through the pitted flexi-glass.

Virgin was offering a real Space voyage to intrepid ‘astronauts’.

$200,000 to ride Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Enterprise 250,000 feet to the very edge of Space. A porthole vista of the cosmos and 5 minutes of freedom from gravity. The space terminal will be in New Mexico. Not far from Roswell.

There have been no shortage of prospective passengers opting to witness the miracle of the universe such as the strange swirling Aurora Borealis seen over the Norway several years ago.

I have only seen the Northern Lights twice in my life.

Neither was on this last trip over the pole.

The sky was as black as night.

As far as the eye could see above and below.

Unless you counted the old Chinese woman asleep next to me.

She was so celestial.