Friday, March 9, 2012

Full moon, reader responses

Last night we enjoyed a beautiful full-moon rise from Battery Crockett. On the far left just below the horizon is the tail of Corregidor, while on the right is Caballo Island in the picture. The moon was very bright overnight, and lit up our bedroom from midnight on. This morning we went to see the moon setting from Battery Grubbs. In that picture, La Monja Island is to the left and the southern tip of the Bataan peninsula is to the right.

We received a number of responses after the lost eyeglasses escapade.

Steve and Marcia.

Your eyeglasses story reads like a great mystery novel!

For a while, I thought the monkeys snatched them. I always wondered why the Corregidor monkeys seem to be docile. In Indonesia there is a temple with super aggressive monkeys. The tour guides warn everyone not to have anything loose, especially glasses. One grabbed my friend's glasses and crushed them in the one minute we chased it.

Could it have been a docile monkey hanging from a tree playing a trick on Steve? Haha. Take care. - D

Yes, D, we have lots of monkey here, as you well know, but they are wary of humans so we don’t think that’s what happened. Maybe Bob has it right when he writes:

I know from personal experience that each pair of glasses has a protective "gremlin" that hides it from time to time just to see if we're paying attention. Said gremlin will snatch a pair of glasses off your face and hide them. If we show proper contrition and diligence in searching for them, he will eventually return them to the last place they were supposedly seen, and allow you to find them in "a place you've already looked." Trust me -- I know that's the case. - Bob

That has to be it. Yes, it must have been a gremlin… But Eli is not so sure:

Hi Marcia & Steve,

I too have experienced many times not finding my glasses where I thought I left them, but only because of the usual senior moments. Worst were the times when I was doing something downstairs and had to go up to get something but could not remember what it was when arriving upstairs. – Eli

Certainly Steve (who will turn 60 in a couple of months) could not be experiencing senior moments already as Eli suggests, could he?

Dear Steve and Marcia,
Good morning. Enjoyed reading your 200th newsletter. I didn’t know, but re-reading the "Lost Glasses" you can very well excel as short story mystery writers! Cheers! The article also refreshes our fading memory about the deeds of the great general who immortalized that "Old soldiers never die, they only fade away..." Best regards and God bless. - Fred

Look out, O. Henry, here come Steve and Marcia! Tom appears to like our writing as well:

Marcia and Steve,

Congratulations on your having provided all of us now with 200 newsletters; how much so many different people with different interests in Corregidor must appreciate your writing about your always interesting adventures living there. Salamat [thanks], and, as they say, keep up the good work. - Tom M

We also got a couple letters from other experienced “butt pullers.” Our former neighbor in Lansing, Michigan, writes:

At that time 300 yds was the standard. Rifles were zeroed for 300 yds. Springfields and Enfields...also, the new at that time M1 Garand. If it was Army run, it would have been no more than 300 yds. The rifles could hit and kill out further but the ability of the average soldier wasn’t that good. John B. gave me a real secret...if aiming an old rifle..M1 or Springfield or Enfield.. if you look through rear site and cover the enemy with the front leaf sight completely...he's dead at 300 of mass...not a lot of aiming needed. Sure ’ works...targets are like small specks. My combat shooting improved immensely...not a lot of skill, just look and if your target is covered by front sight your gonna kill something. Today most ranges are at 100 yds. Different rifles and for sure today’s troopies can’t shoot like they used to. Ed

And, last but not least, from a female U.S. Marine veteran who lives in the Subic Bay area:

BTW Steve, being a butt puller sucks and makes the upper body so tired that sometimes you can’t hold your rifle. I laughed at the description below. The only picture I have of me in the butts is with my M-16 and an unhappy face. Brought back such memories to read your story. My unhappy face was due to the fact that the CR was being used by 200 people who were also in a hurry. It was a hot summer in Cherry Point. Have you ever tried to balance on a toilet where you don’t want to touch anything and hold an M-16 at the same time? Thanks for the memories!

My husband, also a veteran has never been to Corregidor. One of my squadron mates will be visiting in September. I just got an e-mail from the AWA group in Hong Kong that they will be visiting. Well done. Good day. - Trish

No, neither of has “ever tried to balance on a toilet where you don’t want to touch anything and hold an M-16 at the same time.” Next time we have an M-16 and we have nothing better to do...

Seventieth anniversaries of the fall of Bataan and Corregidor are just around the corner, and as a result we are going to be busier than usual before we head back to the States on July 1. That means we will be away from Corregidor for extended periods of time. For those who may be visiting Corregidor soon and might want to see us, or if you are still contemplating joining one of the Valor Tours groups we will accompany, keep the following dates in mind. The dates include our travel dates to and from Manila.

March 17-23: Private tour co-arranged by Hugh Ambrose Tours and Valor Tours.

April 4-17: 70th Anniversary Fall of Bataan Tour, Valor Tours. We are expecting a U.S. veteran who was captured on Davao to join us, and we will accompany him to the site of the Davao Penal Colony at the end of the tour.

April 28-May 9: 70th Anniversary of the Fall of Corregidor and the Philippines, Valor Tours. We are hoping to host an American ex-POW who was captured on Corregidor on May 6, 1942.

May 25-June 5: Tour for AWON (American War Orphans Network), Valor Tours.

We’ve included a few pictures from past Valor Tours. Ogee, the photographer from Rajah Tours (the Philippine tour company that works with Valor Tours of San Francisco) and who accompanies us on the larger excursions, took all of these photos.

Steve and Marcia on the Rock

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