Category Archives: Halls of History

History Through Philately–Happy birthday to the ASPCA!

History Through Philately stamp

With my WordPress problems of these past three months now firmly in the past (see WordPress problems resolved!), I seem to have more time to do the things I like to do, such as blog camping (see May I camp out in your blog?) and blogging.

Long-time readers know that I am a big fan of serial blogging, too, but serial blogging takes a lot more effort than just putting up a pretty picture every day, or a cute quote.

Scott #776, Texas centennialSome of my blog series include

I have always had a love of history, with war history being at the top of my list. I find it amazing that humans can be so cruel to other humans, usually under the guise of religion. Right now I’m reading The Crusades by  Zoé Oldenbourg. Just a sampling of how cruel the crusades were: “The Aemenian nobles of Edessa who were plotting to overthrow their new lord were punished in the Byzantine fashion by mutilation–having their eyes put out and their feet, hands, or noses cut off.” The Crusades were in the Eleventh Century, yet killing in the name of religions continues to the present.Scott #993 Railroad Engineers of America

Philately, or stamp collecting, by its very nature encourages the study of history, so it was only natural that I became a philatelist, or stamp collector. At one time I had a huge stamp collection, include Railroad Postal History (RPO), but it was sold when I evacuated Texas in April 1993 and wound up here in San Diego.

I still collect stamps, virtually (much less financial investment), and subscribe to daily emails from history.com. Coupled with Wikipedia’s On this day section on their front page, I get my fill of history each day.

So without further adoo (that’s Texan for adieux), on this day in 1866….

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was founded in New York City. It is entirely separate from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), which was founded in England in 1824 to prevent cruelty to carriage horses. The ASCPA’s mission is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.” It’s motto is, “We are their voice.”

One might wonder why anyone would be cruel to a defenseless animal, and perhaps even if their mission might be outdated. All one has to do is pay attention to the news, and it’s easy to see that their mission is not outdated, and that if humans can be cruel to other humans, they certainly can be cruel to defenseless animals. Examples include dogfighting and cockfighting, not feeding an animal enough (often happens to dogs and horses), not giving them clean water, keeping them outside in very hot or very cold weather, hitting an animal (another way to “train” an animal). Some that were recently in the news include setting cats on fire, shooting cats and dogs with arrows, drowning newborn dogs by throwing them into fast-moving rivers, abandoning newborn cats by “throwing them away” in a dumpster.

In celebration of the founding of the ASPCA, here are some United States postage stamps featuring cats, dogs, and horses, the three most commonly abused animals:

Scott #2372, issued February 5, 1988Scott #2372

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Scott #2373, issued February 5, 1988Scott #2373

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Scott #2374, issued February 5, 1988Scott #2374

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Scott #2375, issued February 5, 1988Scott #2375

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Scott #3232, issued August 20, 1998Scott #3232

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Scott #3670, issued September 20, 2002Scott #3670

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Scott #2098, issued September 7, 1984Scott #2098

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Scott #2099, issued September 7, 1984Scott #2099

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Scott #2100, issued September 7, 1984Scott #2100

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Scott #2101, issued September 7, 1984Scott #2101

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Scott #3230, issued August 20, 1998Scott #3230

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Scott #3671, issued September 20, 2002Scott #3671

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Scott #4451-4460, issued April 30, 2010Scott #4451-4460

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Scott #2155, issued September 25, 1985Scott #2155

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Scott #2156, issued September 25, 1985Scott #2156

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Scott #2157, issued September 25, 1985Scott #2157

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Scott #2158, issued September 25, 1985Scott #2158

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San Diego Historical Landmarks: #1–El Prado Area Designation, part 7

San Diego Historical Landmarks

For the introductory blog post to San Diego’s historical landmarks, click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.

#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 1

#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 2

#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 3

#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 4

#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 5

#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 6

El Prado Area Designation

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Continuing from west to east on El Prado, we’re about halfway finished with our El Prado Area Designation tour. Next up is the Mingei International Museum.

Mingei International Museum

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Mingei International Museum in San Diego's Balboa Park

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Mingei International Museum was founded in 1978 by Martha Longenecker, a professor of art at San Diego State University. She had studied pottery-making in Japan and became acquainted with the founders and leaders of the Mingei Association of Japan, inspiring her to carry the vision of mingei to the America. According to Wikipedia, “The philosophical pillar of mingei is ‘hand-crafted art of ordinary people.’” Therein lies the goal of the Mingei International Museum, to collect, conserve, and exhibit arts of daily use, from unknown craftsmen of ancient times to present-day craftsmen.

Before you ever walk through the doors of the museum, the children want to stop and play on this:

Mingei International Museum in San Diego's Balboa Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That is a big alligator. It belongs to the Museum, and the Museum’s web site tells you not to leave Balboa Park “until you’ve climbed it, touched it, walked under it, and posed for a photo.”

The inaugural exhibition of Mingei International Museum was Dolls and Folk Toys of the World. Throughout the ensuring years, Mingei has shared hundreds of exhibitions featuring a wide range of cultures, themes, and media.

Two of my favorite exhibitions were the Bold Expressions exhibit in 2011, and the Maneki Neko exhibit in 2011-2012.

Bold Expressions was an exhibit of African American Quilts from the Collection of Corrine Riley, showcasing quilts from the American South made between 1910 and the 1970s:

Quilt from the American South

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Maneki Neko exhibit didn’t appeal to me initially when I saw it on the 2010 list of upcoming exhibitions. However, after I read about maneki neko, I realized that I had one! Yes! Maneki neko means “beckoning cat,” but I always thought they were waving cats.

Beckoning cats

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Beckoning cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Read more about maneki neko at Wikipedia.

Zoey the Cool Cat encouraged me to go see her Japanese cousins, so I did, of course.

The other cool thing about the Museum’s exhibit of maneki neko is that the collection was donated to the Museum by Billie Moffitt of Long Beach, California. True tennis fans recognize the name as none other than the great and incomparable Billie Jean King, winner of 39 Grand Slam tennis titles. Moffitt was her maiden name.

Current exhibitions:

  • Function and Fantasy (through May 26, 2014)—Steven and William Ladd are brothers working with beads, fabric, and boxes to express their shared memories of family life in Missouri.
  • Log Cabin Quilts (through July 3, 2014)—Features Log Cabin quilts from a collection of 350 quilts given to the Museum in 2012 by local collectors Pat and Tom Nickols. A Log Cabin quilt is formed in squares known as blocks, each with a central small square surrounded by bars or logs.
  • Huyler’s Pure Delicious Chocolate, 1874-1925 (through August 17, 2014)—Explores the 50-year advertising and marketing history of one of the nation’s earliest, largest, and most prominent chocolate manufacturers.

Mingei International Museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays and “most national holidays,” which, I guess, means to check their web site for closings.

Cost is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors age 62 and over, $5 for youth age 6-17, $5 for students with ID and military with ID. Members and children under age 6 get in free!

Also, on the third Tuesday of each month, free admission is given to all San Diego County residents, students at local colleges and universities (ID required), active duty military with ID, and, quoting from the web site, “part-time residents/vacation home owners (except time share owners).” Now how in the world do they determine that you’re a time share owner?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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The Atlas ICBM

How I Did It

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Occasionally I create something that actually speaks to me.

Usually it’s by accident.

Such is the case with this Photographic Art creation:

Atlas Missile

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That is an Atlas missile located at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, Gillespie Field Annex. No one ever goes out there because it’s not located anywhere remotely near a tourist trap.

According to Wikipedia:

The Atlas was the first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) developed and deployed by the United States. It was built for the U.S. Air Force by the Convair Division of General Dynamics at the Kearny Mesa assembly plant right here in San Diego. Atlas became operational as an ICBM in October 1959 and was used as a first stage for satellite launch vehicles for half a century. The Atlas missile’s warhead was over 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped over Nagasaki in 1945.

My picture had a bunch of crud in it–utility poles, light poles, vehicles, dumpsters, buildings–that really made the picture look, well, cruddy. I took all of that crud out so that just the missile was left standing there. Then I went to Photoshop’s filters and applied some to it to see what I might get.

The filter that gave me the above picture is the Artistic Neon Glow filter. I set the glow to red, which gave me the red lines, provoking an imagery of bloody death resulting from these missiles.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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and I approve this post.Zoey the Cool Cat

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I learned something today…. How about you?

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

One of the most unique places in all of San Diego County is the Cedros Avenue Design District in Solana Beach.

Cedros Avenue Design District in Encinitas, California

Cedros Avenue Design District in Solana Beach, California

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The Los Angeles Times called the Cedros Avenue Design District “a stroll down a charming European side street.” It’s 2½ blocks comprising around 85 unique shops, boutiques, galleries, home & garden stores, and dining and entertainment. Find original jewelry and fashions, home décor, furniture, art, collectibles, antiques, tapestries, and more. The North County home of the world-famous Belly Up Tavern makes its home on Cedros Avenue, as do many renowned architects, designers, builders, and interior decorators.

One of my favorite stores is the David Alan Collection of unique wood décor at 241 S. Cedros Avenue.

David Alan Collection

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Take a look at these offerings:

Wagon WheelsDavid Alan Collection

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Trees etched into wood planks (my kind of art!)David Alan Collection

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David Alan Collection

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David Alan Collection

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Uh, nice kitty?………………..David Alan Collection

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Reclaimed boat wood and boat lettersDavid Alan Collection

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David Alan Collection

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Who knew that you could actually buy reclaimed boat wood and boat letters? I can think of things to do with the reclaimed boat letters but my creativity is lost on the reclaimed boat wood. Nonetheless, I love the reclaimed part. Remember, don’t throw things away….. there is no away!

Lastly,

if

you

have

young

children

in

the

room

who

are

easily

frightened,

let

them

watch

television

before

looking

at

the

final

picture.

Ready?

Look…………………….

David Alan Collection

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Those are from a set of 95 Wayang Golek puppets, all from a single theatre troop and handcrafted in the 1930s. Wayang is Java for theater. Scholars believe that Wayang Golek puppetry originated in China and arrived in Java in the 17th century. The oldest known traditions of Wayang Golek are from the north coast of Java in the Pasisir region.

The doll puppets are carved from wood and operated by control rods connected to the hands, body, and head. They are manipulated by the dulang, the puppet master, who also spoke their parts and coordinated their movements to music from an orchestra.

Wayang Golek thrives today, and Indonesian children often recognize the characters and know the stories well by the time they reach adulthood.

So……. I learned something today. How about you?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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1894 Wonder Bread brick building in San Diego's East Village

Out & About—East Village in downtown San Diego

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When I came to San Diego in April 1993, the East Village in downtown San Diego was a nightmare—crime, drugs, prostitution. It was an area that was dangerous for anyone to go into, even if they were part of the crime, drugs, homeless, gangs, prostitution…. Murders seemed to be a daily occurrence, day or night.

Then someone had the bright idea of building a professional baseball park in the East Village. The premise was that sports stadiums in downtown areas of other cities had helped revive downtown areas and resolve the urban blight and mass exodus that was occurring.

I was living in the San Diego city limits at the time, so I got to vote on the proposals. Although I always hesitate to use public funds to help rich, private sports team owners, I voted yes. My vote was based solely on what Camden Yards had done for downtown Baltimore. I thought San Diego could do the same.

Petco Park, opened in 2004, is the result of my vote:

Petco Park in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

More than that, though, is that with the building of Petco Park, the East Village was completely renovated and revitalized. Crime, drugs, homeless, gangs, and prostitution in the East Village are virtually non-existent.

The East Village revitalization was so successful that in September 2013 the City of San Diego opened its new Central Library in the East Village, just across the street from Petco Park.

San Diego Central Library

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The dome on the new Central Library is one of the largest domes in the world.

Downtown San Diego is alive with people, sights, sounds, entertainment—day and night—and it’s all good. Rarely is there a news story about crime and drugs and such in the East Village. Condominium towers have been built, and people are actually living in downtown San Diego again! Grocery stores and pharmacies have been built to serve the thriving downtown community.

Recently I was walking around the East Village looking for photographic opportunities of the new Central Library when I found a brick building built in 1894.

wonder bread pano b-2

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Brick buildings, especially old ones, are extraordinarily rare in San Diego. Even though San Diego was discovered in 1542, and the City founded in 1769, finding a building that was built before 1880 or so is almost impossible. Those that still exist usually were saved and moved from their original locations into Heritage Park and Old Town San Diego.

I was thrilled to find an 1894 brick building in the East Village, and that, to me, is one of the great benefits of building Petco Park and revitalizing the area. Many buildings that were being used by the homeless and criminals were saved from the wrecking ball and are now being used for businesses and even private loft residences.

The brick building I found appeared to be a tasting room for the Mission Brewery, one of San Diego’s craft breweries. However, Google search results lead me to believe that the building is an event venue for The Event Hangar. The Event Hangar’s web site has pictures of the interior’s four rooms:

  1. The Silo Room is 10,000 square feet and provides space for up to 450 people. It rents for $5,000, although I don’t know how many hours or days that $5,000 covers.
  2. The Tile Room is 3,500 square feet and accompanies up to 250 people. It also rents for $5,000.
  3. The Upper Gallery is 2,725 square feet and holds up to 170 people. It rents for $2,500.
  4. The Lower Gallery & Bar is also 2,725 square feet and rents for $2,500, but its capacity is 140 people.

Above the front entrance is the date 1894 and Wonder Bread:

1894 Wonder Bread brick building in San Diego's East Village

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Additional Google search results indicate that this was the main Wonder Bread factory in San Diego from 1924 to 2007, and that this brick section is only a small part of the original factory. Other parts of the factory have been renovated into office spaces for Mission Brewery; Interior Solutions; The Honest Kitchen; Financial Additions; and LPA, a sustainable design architectural firm.

I could find nothing about the building going back to it being ESTABLISHED 1894. Maybe a trip to the new San Diego Central Library, and a few hours of research, will shed some light on this beautiful brick building.

Wonder BreadAs an aside, I grew up on Wonder Bread. My wise old grandmother would buy nothing else. I used to come home from school at 3:30, get out the Wonder Bread, make myself a PB&J (Peter Pan peanut butter and strawberry jam, thank you), and go watch television.

Sadly, Wonder Bread is not available in the San Diego area anymore, having left the market in 2007.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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ATSF 3751 at Los Angeles at National Train Day in May 2012

WordPress and Adobe could drive me to drinking…. :(

How I Did It

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Photographic ArtI try to take at least two photographs each day and create Photographic Art images from them. Yesterday, due to WordPress and Adobe snafus which took up over eight hours, and for which none of the snafus have been resolved yet, I only got Photographic Art images from one file. However, it’s a photograph that I’ve been wanting to work on for 1½ years now. Here’s the photograph:

ATSF 3751 at Los Angeles at National Train Day in May 2012

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That’s the historic ATSF 3751 steam locomotive at Union Station in Los Angeles for National Train Day in May 2012. It’s the best picture I got because so many people were always gathered around it. It doesn’t help that in order to get the locomotive, the passenger car is in the picture at the left.

I knew that eventually my Photoshop skills would be such that I could remove the passenger car and the people. Yesterday, I succeeded, but I actually used a combination of that photograph and my second-best photograph of ATSF 3751:

ATSF 3751 at Los Angeles at National Train Day in May 2012

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When I finished my Photoshop work, I had this:

ATSF 3751 at Los Angeles at National Train Day in May 2012

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Then I went to town creating Photographic Art from my final Photoshop image. I actually created 19 Photographic Art images, and while I haven’t decided on my favorite—favorites go into my Photographic Art Catalog—this is in the running:

ATSF 3751 at Los Angeles at National Train Day in May 2012

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Lt. Col. Charles J. Scharf—POW, MIA, or buried with full military honors?

Halls of History

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I have a Bachelor of Science in Forest Management from Texas A&M University, and although I’ve never used the degree other than to proudly occupy a space on a wall, I still have this abiding love for trees. Thus, when I’m out and about, I tend to notice trees. Tall ones, short ones, bushy ones, skinny ones, flowering ones, dying ones….

One of the places that I go walking quite often is the campus of San Diego State University. The walk to the campus is 1.7 miles, which takes me about 30 minutes. An exploratory walk around the campus takes however long I want it to take, depending on opportunities for photography.

Recently I was at the Turtle Pond in Scripps Park, smack dab in the middle of campus:

Turtle Pond location

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I usually don’t walk on the grass (my wise old grandmother taught me to walk on sidewalks), but I saw what looked like a plaque or memorial of some sort under this very tall tree. Tall trees in San Diego usually are eucalyptus trees, but this tall tree was a Western Sycamore (Platanus racemosa; also known as a California Sycamore, California plane tree, and, in Spanish, Aliso).

Freedom Tree on the campus of San Diego State University

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Western Sycamores get to be about 35 feet tall (this one is right there, if not a little taller!), but one of this height in an urban landscape is quite rare since they like a goodly amount of water. However, this one is planted at the bottom of a grassy slope, and to get grass to look nice in a desert environment like San Diego’s, well, you have to water it. Ergo, this tree probably gets more than its share of water.

If you look in the shade on the ground, just to the left of the trunk, you can see a round, dark spot, which is the plaque that caught my attention:

Freedom Tree plaque on the campus of San Diego State University

THE FREEDOM TREE
WITH THE VISION OF UNIVERSAL FREEDOM
FOR ALL MANKIND
THIS TREE IS DEDICATED TO
LT. COL. CHARLES J. SCHARF
AND ALL
PRISONERS OF WAR
AND
MISSING IN ACTION
1979

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This tree probably was about a year old, with a balled root, when it was planted in 1979. Thus, it has grown to its maximum height in just 35 years, one foot for each year. That’s quite a growth rate for a sycamore! Again suggesting that it gets all the water it needs.

Of course, being the history buff that I am, I had to see if I could find out any information about Lt. Col. Charles J. Scharf. A quick Google search took me to Charles Scharf’s entry at the POW Network.

Charles Scharf was born in San Diego on March 20, 1933 (Hey, I’m also a March baby!). According to the entry:

Col Scharf and a fellow crew member took off in their F-4C Phantom IIs from Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand on October 1, 1965. Their mission was to attack an enemy concentration and a major highway in North Vietnam. After the lead aircraft developed problems en route, Scharf assumed the lead of the two other F-4s in the flight. After he completed two bombing runs, Scharf’s aircraft was hit by enemy fire. His radio transmission of “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday” was heard by the other two aircraft. One radioed “Gator 3 (Scharf’s call sign), you’re on fire, you’d better get out! Bail out, Gator 3!” Scharf’s plane began to disintegrate and a parachute was seen leaving the aircraft.

The other two aircraft lost sight of the parachute, and circled the area for about 10 minutes where Scharf’s aircraft had crashed and burned but no radio or visual contact was made then nor in subsequent aerial search and rescue operations.

….

Charles J. Scharf was promoted to the rank of Colonel and Martin J. Massucci to the rank of Major during the period they were maintained missing in action.

A news release from the United States Department of Defense on November 9, 2006:

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. Air Force officer missing in action from the Vietnam War have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

He is Col. Charles J. Scharf of San Diego. His funeral is scheduled for Nov. 30 at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington D.C.

Interestingly, though, there was a later entry for Charles Scharf in the POW Network, dated April 9, 2013, from Steve L:

Col. Charles Scharf has been a prisoner since 1 Oct 1965.  My mother, Barbara Lowerison has fought very hard for 40 yrs to bring him home.  She passed away 8 Jan 2012.  In Oct 2011 a Vietnamese male arrived at her home. He said he had been in prison with Charles Scharf in Hanoi 2 levels below ground. We know this is true because he relayed information only my mother and myself know. He had to see Uncle Chuck in order to say what he said. He also said Col. Scharf has one arm missing which accounts for the bone fragment sent back. Our government has always known where our prisoners are, a fact made clear when they sent someone to kill several prisoners saying they were collaborators. The operative could clearly see they were prisoners and did not take the shot. Col. Scharf was on that list with 4 others. Why are these national heroes still there?

So….

Is Lt. Col. Charles J. Scharf a POW, still MIA, or buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Liberty Station in San Diego, California

Gun Platform No. 1 in San Diego’s Liberty Station

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When I came to San Diego in April 1993, I thought that all the good real estate had been taken by the military. Point Loma was a National Cemetery and various military installations that had been there since the early 1900s. Coronado Island? A Naval Air Station. The harbor front? 32nd Street Naval Station. Much of the Southern California coast? Camp Pendleton. The military was everywhere.

Then came the budget cuts of the mid- to late-1990s. Military bases throughout the nation were combined, closed, or realigned. The Air Force’s famous Top Gun squadron that had been based here for many years moved to Arizona. Naval Air Station Miramar became Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. And so on.

One of the military bases here that was closed was the former Naval Training Center (NTC) San Diego, located in a prime waterfront location in Point Loma. When it was announced in 1993 that the NTC would be closing, the City of San Diego created a 27-member commission to determine what to do with the site, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Corky McMillin Company was selected as the master developer and began work when the base closed in 1997.

Now known as Liberty Station, the site comprises 361 acres and includes several distinct districts, including a retail and commercial district, a promenade focused on nonprofit activities, an educational district, a residential district, a hotel district, an office district, and a park/open space area along the boat channel. Many of the individual structures are designated as historic by the city of San Diego. As such, they have been saved from the wrecking ball and were adapted for stores, offices, schools, and other purposes.

Phase Two of the renovation was completed in November 2012 and brought the total number of saved and adapted buildings to fifteen. The nonprofit NTC Foundation oversees the development of the historic and nonprofit area. According to sources, Liberty Station is the largest historical preservation project in San Diego. It also happens to be the city’s largest arts and culture project in terms of size and scope.

There is no way to discuss in words and pictures in one blog post all that Liberty Station has to offer so I’ll be breaking it down into several posts in the future. Today, I’d like to show you Gun Platform No. 1.

Liberty Station in San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

According to that plaque on the ground at the lower right in the above picture:

Gun Platform No, 1, 1945
San Diego Naval Training Center

The two larger mounts [near and far mounts with black tips] are 5-inch, 51-calibre [sic] which were found on older battleships. This gun was designed to engage surface craft, especially with torpedo boats, that were too fast to be tracked and destroyed by a battleship’s large main guns. The large wheels on either side controlled the guns horizontal and vertical direction. The weapon fired a 50-pound, 5-inch diameter shell, and was propelled by a powder charge inside a separate silk bag. It had a range of 8 miles and a speed of more than 3,100 feet per second.

The single weapon with the elaborate mounting [center gun in picture] is a 5-inch, 38-calibre [sic] dual purpose gun. This lighter gun offered handiness in engaging aircraft targets with the same range and hitting power of a surface mount. It was widely used on destroyers, carriers, and later cruiser and battleship designs. The weapon could throw its 55-pound shell nine miles when fired vertically with a velocity of 2,600 feet per second.

Placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of Interior.

The plaque:

Gun Platform No. 1, Liberty Station, San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For a related post on Liberty Station, see North Chapel at Liberty Station in San Diego.

Liberty Station map

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Propeller at United States Coast Guard, Sector San Diego

One result of bike riding

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There are many advantages of bike riding instead of driving the car or taking the train. One important advantage is exercise. By riding, using up calories and fat, I can eat just about anything I want during the day. Of course, I can also refuse to eat those things I don’t want, like sushi, eggplant, and okra gumbo….

A disadvantage of bike riding is that one cannot go very far in the course of a day.

The way to work around the disadvantage is to buy a bike rack for the car, load the bike on the bike rack, drive to places unknown, park, unload the bike from the bike rack, and set off on a biking expedition.

Recently I did that and discovered the United States Coast Guard, Sector San Diego:

United States Coast Guard, San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That is directly across from San Diego International Airport on North Harbor Drive:

Location of United States Coast Guard, Sector San Diego

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Look at the right side of the picture and you see a huge propeller. In order to get a picture—and you know I did!—I had to stop pedaling, apply the brakes, come to a complete stop, get off my bike, lower the kickstand, and walk over to the propeller, all while the Coast Guard security personnel were eyeing me suspiciously. Once I brought my camera up into picture-taking position, they went back to their work.

Propeller looks like this:

Propeller at United States Coast Guard, Sector San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The plaque to the right tells me that this is a tribute to the men and women of the United States Coast Guard on the occasion of the Coast Guard’s bicentennial in 1990.

United States Coast Guard, San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Unfortunately, there was nothing in English to tell me anything about the propeller. There were some indigenous letters and numbers on the propeller….

United States Coast Guard, San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Not much there for the layperson, although I do understand diameter (it’s big!), pitch, weight (it weighs seven times more than I do!), manganese bronze (one of many alloys that are called bronze), and Columbian Bronze Corporation.

Columbian Bronze Corporation piqued my interest, but it is not in Wikipedia. Google, however, led me to quite a few entries. One entry is from Google Books: America’s Maritime Progress by George Weiss and J.W. Leonard, published in 1920 by The New York Marine News Company. The second page of the Google Books entry indicates that the book was presented to the New York Public Library by George Weiss on July 12, 1920. Thank you, Mr. Weiss! Page 458 has an entry about the Columbian Bronze Corporation.

There also is a 1941 catalog of Columbian Propellers and Accessories available at Amazon.

Unfortunately, I could not find any current information about Columbian Bronze Corporation, just past catalogs, stories, propellers, and other marine parts, so it appears to me that they now are out of business.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Music on Mondays: Jim Morrison & John Lennon

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This past weekend was a significant one for musicologists. Jim Morrison of The Doors would have been seventy years old had he lived. Morrison had a severe alcohol dependency which many believed led to his death. Others believe he died of a cocaine overdose. Since autopsies were not required in 1971, especially in France where he died. Pursuant to French law at that time, autopsies were only performed if foul play was suspected. Thus the continuing controversy over how he died. Morrison is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, and his gravesite is one of the city’s most visited tourist attractions, although I’m not sure I would call it a “tourist attraction.” Let’s just say it’s well-visited….

I could easily include here any number of famous Doors songs: “Light My Fire,” “L.A. Woman,” “Love Her Madly,” “Hello, I Love You,” “Riders On The Storm,” etc., but those standards have been played billions and billions of times through the years; you’re probably quite familiar with them. Instead, I give you one of my favorite non-standard Doors songs: “The WASP (Texas Radio & The Big Beat)” from their “L.A Woman” album released in 1971, just 2½ months before Morrison’s death.

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The other event that happened this past weekend was the 33rd anniversary of the death of John Lennon. Lennon, of course, was one of the Fab Four from The Beatles. Imagine, so to speak, all of the Lennon standards I could include here: “Imagine,” “Whatever Gets You Through The Night,” “Power To The People,” “Give Peace A Chance,” etc., and that doesn’t even include all the songs he wrote with The Beatles.

Again, though, instead of including those standards here, I give you a “How Do You Sleep?” Lennon and McCartney had quite a cantankerous relationship after The Beatles broke up in 1970, and they attacked each other in their songs. Listen to their albums in order from 1970 to 1974….

“McCartney,” McCartney, April 1970
“Ram,” McCartney, May 1971
“Imagine,” Lennon, September 1971
“Wild Life,” Wings (McCartney), December 1971
“Red Rose Speedway,” Paul McCartney & Wings, April 1973
“Mind Games,” Lennon, November 1973
“Band on the Run,” Paul McCartney & Wings, December 1973
“Walls & Bridges,” Lennon, October 1974

Pay attention to the words and titles of songs. They weren’t happy with each other. Once McCartney dropped his name from “Paul McCartney & Wings” to become simply “Wings,” the personal attacks on Lennon through music pretty much came to an end. Lennon retired from music in 1975, choosing to stay home and raise Julian, not returning to the music studio until 1980 to record “Double Fantasy.”

One of Lennon’s songs that is most critical of McCartney is “How Do You Sleep?” from Lennon’s classic 1971 album “Imagine.” Lennon gives McCartney credit for “Yesterday,” but after that he says that McCartney is just “another day” (a reference to McCartney’s first post-Beatles hit “Another Day”) and sounds like Muzak, possibly the ultimate criticism (smile if you remember Muzak). The lyrics, I thought, were quite clever, in classic Lennon style. I have included the lyrics after the video.

So Sgt. Pepper took you by surprise.
You better see right through that mother’s eyes.
Those freaks was right when they said you was dead.
The one mistake you made was  in your head.

Ah, how do you sleep?
Ah, how do you sleep at night?

You live with straights who tell you, you was king.
Jump when your mama tell  you anything.
The only thing you done was yesterday.
And since you’ve gone you’re just another day.

Ah, how do you sleep?
Ah, how do you sleep at night?
Ah, how do you sleep?
Ah, how do you sleep at night?

A pretty face may last a year or two,
but pretty soon they’ll see what you can do.
The sound you make is Muzak to my ears.
You must have learned something in all those years.

Ah, how do you sleep?
Ah, how do you sleep at night?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos