Howdy! I have a Johnny Cash Album more than 45 years old called, Ride This Train. On it he ties the ballads he sings together with commentary about different parts of the history of this land. So this is my invitation for you to grab a seat and ride along with me on my 67 year journey through life. See the things I have seen, meet the people I have met, and do the things I have done, misspelling and all. I've lived the life of a small town hick as a child, served this country in the US Marines (you know once one always one). Did damn near fifty years hard labor in a factory, while trying to raise a family, done 1840 Mountain Man, Civil war, reenacting, and played Cowboy all my life. Somewhere along the line I'll stumble through all of this. This is my first shot at this so it may seem clumsy, but at the urging of my Daughter I'm sure gonna give it a try.
How about I skip being born a second floor apt. and jump forward 18 years. I was in my second year of service in the Marines Corps. I was a shop Marine a small arms repairman. I volunteered for everything to get into the field and out or the shops. Most of the guys thought I was crazy, but I hated being cooped up in a shop all day long. One day the company First Sargent walked in and said "I need five volunteers, Put your hand down (last name which will never mentioned in this mess) I've already got you on the list". Next thing I knew I was being interviewed and checked out by the FBI. Two weeks later I was sitting in the middle of the Las Vegas desert waiting for them to put an Atomic Bomb off over my head. After roasting my butt off in the daylight hours for two weeks I found my self freezing my tail of at 3:00Am riding in the back of a cattle truck to go squat in a six foot trench. We were in the trenches for over a hour when we were told to kneel and cover our eyes with our arms. The count down began from ten to one. After zero was announced nothing happened. After 10 minutes they announced "misfired hold your positions" – they could not have dragged us out with tractors. Thirty minutes later they told us to leave the trenches and board the trucks. What we did not know was a truck had ran over the detonation wires and cut them. While we were boarding the trucks a scientest was climbing the tower to disarm the device. A week and a half later we were in a different area with a bomb hanging from a balloon five hundred feet in the air. This time every thing went as planed, we were kneeling in a six foot trench, Two miles from ground zero. We were on our knees with our regulation Field clothes on, plus a sweat shirt, field coat with liner, a gas mask over cheap dark glasses, and a towel over our head under our helmets. As I said we were kneeling with our forearm across our eyes and resting on our knee. My eyes were closed in the bottom of that trench, but people, when that damn bomb went off I and two hundred other Marines all swore we saw red and the bone in our forearm. They later took us down into the area of devastation to show us the results, but I now know they wanted to test us for radiation fall out residue, cause they kept checking us with Geiger counters. The devastation was terrible but I will not go into details cause I do not know how much is still classified. I worried for years about the radiation but my Dr. told me he gets more fallout reading X-rays every year than I got, so I have laid it to rest. This was in the late 50's, and what we have today is so much more power-full, it's scary. Well thanks for rambling with me tonight, will try to get a little more interesting at a later date. ramblingbob