The Year of 1951 (I was 24 years old)
What was happening in the world:
- North Korea, with the help from Red China, re-invades South Korea.
- Truman removes MacArthur from command and replaces him with General Ridgeway.
- U.N. forces push North Korea back across the 38th Parallel, and the USAF begins heavy bombing of North Korean cities.
- Russia terminates all payment for US aid in WWII.
- Egypt attacks British forces still holding the Suez Canal.
- Army takeover in Argentina deposes Juan Peron.
What was happening in the USA:
- Congress limits the presidency to two terms.
- Ethel and Julius Rosenheim are found guilty of treason and are sentenced to death.
- The world's first H Bomb is tested at Eniwetok.
What was happening in California:
- General MacArthur returns to a hero's welcome at San Francisco.
What was happening in sports:
- In the Rose Bowl, it was Michigan 14 - Cal 6.
- In the World Series, it was the Yankees over the NY Giants 4 games to 2.
- In the NFL championship game it was LA Rams 24 - Cleveland 17.
- The Heisman Trophy went to Dick Kazmaier of Princeton.
- The national champion of College Football was Tennessee.
- The national champion of College Basketball was Kentucky.
- The NBA champion was Rochester. Joe Walcott KOs Ezzard Charles to win the heavyweight title.
What was happening at the movies:
- Best movie was An American in Paris
- Best actor was Humphrey Boqart in African Queen.
- Best actress was Vivian Leigh in Streetcar Named Desire.
Other great movies were:
- David and Bathsheba(Gregory Peck)
- Desert Fox (James Mason)
- Quo Vadis (Robert Taylor)
Memorable songs were:
- Old Cape Cod (I visited it 32 yrs later)
- Wheel of Fortune (Kay Starr)
- Galveston (Glenn Campbell)
What was happening in my life:
- Authorities needed someone with art and drafting experience in the Comptroller's Office and I was offered the job – I took it. It definitely changed my career in the USAF. I was assigned to the wing Commander's Special Staff and given considerable freedom to develop my illustrative potential. I took full advantage of the opportunity. After a bad start at Keesler AFB, my future at Travis AFB was looking up.
- I developed a cartoon-style for illustrating statistical data that made it much more interesting and presentable. My superiors were impressed, and I was soon promoted to Airman 2nd Class and then Airman 1st Class.
- In my free evening hours, I got permission to work at my office desk so I could enroll in an ICS (International Correspondence School) course to further develop my illustrative skills. I was enjoying the USAF for the first time in my enlistment. One of my immediate supervisors (Lt. Ray Seal) went out of his way to help me get backing and promotions.
- I was now assigned to the HDQ Squadron and I became buddies with a guy named John Kalousdian from Pennsylvania. I was closer to him than anyone else I met in the USAF. On weekends, we would take trips into Vallejo and Benicia to find some of the places where the "action" was. Kalousdian liked women and drinking—and that is what we were after.
- I remember one Sunday night in the Greyhound Depot in Vallejo. Kalousdian and I had just finished a "full" weekend in the city and we were waiting for the bus back to the base. Somebody was playing the jukebox, and the song was Patti Page's recording of TENNESSEE WALTZ - it was another memorable moment.
- On one of my summer trips to Oakland, we had a family picnic in Golden Gate Park - just like we use to do back in the old days. Denage was there in a baby buggy - she was 6 months old.
- Greyhound Stations Became a Familiar Place - As an Airman without a car, I became an avid Greyhound bus rider.
<---- What was happening in 1950
What was happening in 1952 ---->
Travis AFB at Dusk
A familiar cluster of lights after a weekend of "tom-catting" in Vallejo. These were the wine, women, and song days of my youth.
Golden Gate Park in San Francisco
My older sister Eleanor looks after her daughter Denage (6 months-old) and Dad relaxes on the grass.
Where the action was in the early 1950s. Vallejo is on top and Mare Island is at the lower left.
The main street in Fairfield, California
A city close to Travis AFB
Greyhound Station in Fairfield
At the time, this was the closest station to Travis AFB.
Greyhound Station on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland
I would use the place for the next 30 years of my life.
Greyhound Depot in Sacramento
A city I soon became “intimately” familiar with. Little did I realize that I would eventually live most of my life in Sacramento and start and end many trips around the world at this little station.
An extraordinary collection of photographs
Fishing Baja 2000
Fishing the Sea of Cortez off Cerralvo Island
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