Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lorsque le Digue se Brise

A clue to the title of today's post:

Blog buddy Buck got me going with the French thing over at his place today. (Not casting blame here, just pointing out that it was Buck and his je ne sais quoi that got me started.) And the music? I just enjoy this tune. A lot.

Back in my "young and dumb" days, while stationed at Kadena Air Base, Japan, my buddies and I would listen to this song (and others like it) on stereo systems that would've cost an arm and a leg back here in the States. But over there, pretty doggone cheap.

So every self-respecting airman had a stereo system which could almost drown out an F-4 Phantom during it's take off roll. And folks, that's an F-4 with a full bomb load and a full load of jet fuel. That is, throttles pushed up all the way past the detent, in full afterburner. And that my friends, was LOUD.

It became a ritual of sorts that every Friday night we would gather at Airman First Class Jasbo's room, loaded down with a case of beer (or two) and with a pinochle deck close at hand.

Seats would be taken, that first beer opened and Jasbo would hit the music. Volume all the way up. And to that opening drum beat we'd have our first sip of the weekend.

Now it's not like we just played loud music all night and drank ourselves silly. No, we were not nose pickers (aka crew chiefs - plane captains for you Naval-types). We were not BB stackers (munitions/ordnance loaders). And we were most certainly NOT admin pukes (which needs no translation).

No sir, we were avionics maintenance troops. And not just any old avionics maintenance troops, we were WEAPON CONTROL SYSTEMS! (And yes, we were awfully full of ourselves back in those days.)

So after a couple of iterations of this tune and a couple of cans of beer, we would settle down and break out the cards. Pinochle and beer, that was our Friday night on Okinawa.

Ah, good times.


  1. Ah... pinochle, the quintessential AF game. I haven't played any pinochle since the maid quit. But I taught her the game VERY soon after making her acquaintance back in '75 and she became quite good at it. We used to play every Saturday night with the couple that introduced us (at Yokota AB) and continued playing for as long as we were married, teaching the game to numerous friends.

    Ya fired off some powerful but long dormant synapses here, Sarge. I don't know whether to thank ya, or not. ;-)

    But I will thank ya for the link. And the music. Led Zep is a big fave o' mine, too.

    1. I hear ya Buck. Felt the need for some Zeppelin last night, so I went to YouTube and fired that sucker up. For some reasons it triggered those Okinawa memories. Yes, the "powerful but long dormant synapes" reared up and this post was the result. Sometimes I just write whatever comes to mind. And this was it.

      And in the interests of full disclosure: I really sucked at pinochle. But with everyone drinking, it leveled the playing field, so my partner and I often won. Whereas had we all been sober, I probably wouldn't have played as much as I did.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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