Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The East - West Summit of 2016

Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks by Ilya Repin (Source)
Last year Tuna and I met up here in Little Rhody for our first Chant du Départ East - West Summit, well, it happened again this year. (The opening painting is a reasonable facsimile of what these meetings look like. At least that's how they look in my head. Repin has painted in all of the guys we would have liked to have been there but weren't. (As to what goes on in my head, don't ask, it's relatively benign, just "odd." Yeah, that's the ticket, odd.)

For those who simply have to know, that's me in the white hat in the right foreground, belly laughing (I do that a lot). The guy immediately to my right (to the left as you view the painting) with all the hand gestures has to be Juvat (you know how fighter pilots love to talk with their hands), and the light haired fellow to Juvat's right (to the left as you view the painting) with the missing tooth is Tuna. Also waving a hand about, must be an aviation thing. Oh, heck. let me make it easy for you.

Actually, Tuna has all of his teeth and none of us have mustaches. But if we did, they'd look just like that.

They better be at least like this! (Source)


This year The Missus Herself was actually here and not out in California so I invited her along. I'm not good-to-go as far as getting behind the wheel just yet as the structural repairs are not quite ready for an FCF (Functional Check Flight).

We're getting there though, bit by bit. Ran a big experiment at the restaurant wherein I consumed two Sam Adams Octoberfest with no ill effects. (Though at one point The Missus Herself scanned me with her gimlet eye and queried, "Are you drunk?" I assured her that I was not, it's just that when I get together with Tuna I tend to loquaciousness. Yeah, she mentioned that as well, and there I was, thinking myself to be the soul of discretion. Of course, I do get chatty when I'm in my cups, mostly what I say then is "Who's buying?" I read that somewhere, might have been George MacDonald Fraser.)

As to the restaurant, we went to a place I've been meaning to check out, Anthony's Seafood in Middletown, RI. This place -


Full particulars, to include the menu, is at the source of that graphic above. (FWIW, their fried whole belly clams are perhaps the best I've ever had, and I don't say that lightly!)

Inside Anthony's Seafood

Not a fancy place, kind of reminded me of the Blue Water in Sandy Eggo. Yeah, this place -

Just down the street from Shakespeare's...

Both of those fine establishments have been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, a show I rather enjoy, in fact I watched a number of episodes the first night in hospital.

"How can you watch those food shoes when you can't have any solids?" asked Danielle, sweet nurse o' mine.

"Easy, it's what I'm gonna do as soon as I can!"

Food was good, company was superb, and the conversation was sublime. (No, I'm not drunk!) We'll do it again next year, someday maybe we'll even plan things and not be so damned spontaneous. Then Juvat can be there as well, I know he wants to.

Après le diner.
Okay, I do look a bit buzzed.

No retired military were harmed in the making of this post. No really, damn it, I only had two! So did Tuna, he doesn't look buzzed, does he? (Note the obligatory Lex coin.)

Seriously though, I had a blast.


Juvat actually does have facial hair, I was looking at an old picture of him when I wrote this. Juvat suggested in the comments that I was in error. Revisiting the archives I must confess my error.


  1. "and none of us have mustaches"


    1. Granted, it's not Robin Olds quality, or even in the same universe as Skip's, but it's mine!

    2. Do you still have the chin whiskers?

    3. Why yes, yes I do! Truly, I don't care one way or the other about either, but the Wife likes them. The things I do to insure marital bliss!

    4. I had a beard once. Shortly after I retired. The Missus Herself consented as long as I kept it trimmed. Out the window went my "I'm never shaving again" bliss. (Never getting a haircut again was DOA. The Missus Herself's answer was not just no, but Hell no.)

      The beard, while it was a bit of a maintenance nightmare, was okay for a while. Until I saw my reflection in a shop window downtown where I was taking my ease after Sunday services. There I was (SJC applies), wearing a nice sport coat, a fedora at a rakish angle, all bearded and what not, and what did I behold in the reflection? Remember those photos of the guys at the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg? Yup, that's what I saw. Beard came off that afternoon.

      Once (while on leave far, far from my NCOs) I grew a rather impressive Fu Manchu. Prior to my flight back to Kadena I trimmed that 'stache down to within USAF 35-10 standards. When I walked into the shop on my first morning back, one of my squadron mates flung his hand out in the old Roman salute and barked out, "Sieg Heil!" Mustache came off that afternoon.

  2. You had to mention fried clams and Blue Water. It's gonna take a lot of work to get the saliva out of my keyboard now.

    That's the one thing I seriously miss from my time alongside the oceans -- seafood! The damme home-raised t-bones and prime rib and juicy burgers get old after a while.

    I find it amusing and just a little bit sad that a lot of locals, having never been anywhere or done anything, flock to the red lobster in Cheyenne and rave about the scrumptious seafood there.

    Fun post and it looks like you fellows had a fine time. Good to see you vertical Sarge! I'm sure you could pass a field sobriety test.

    1. While, prior to Hawaii, I was never very fond of sea food, that has changed. Not living particularly close to a coast I have to admit I use Red Lobster craving as an indicator of when I need to visit one. "Yuck, Red Lobster"="I'm good for a while." "What about Red Lobster?"="Better start planning" "Red Lobster seafood platter, that'd be nice"="Martha! Hop in the truck we're headed to the coast!"
      No, Mrs Juvat does not go by Martha.

    2. We went to a Red Lobster once, it might have been in Nebraska. I was having some serious seafood cravings. It was okay. I had the same reaction I guess an Italian would have after visiting Olive Garden.

      I need to be near the coast, I need the seafood, I need the salt air, I need to be able to hear the roar of the surf. (Though that last bit takes a drive down to Newport, specifically Brenton Point. A drive I don't mind at all.)

      Two beers? No problem on the FST. Almost blew the MHFST (Missus Herself Field Sobriety Test), borderline she said, let me off with a warning she did. :)

    3. So Juvat, what's the seafood like down on the Texas coast? Looks like a short drive, in Texas terms. (In Rhode Island they'd consider that a drive requiring emergency supplies, survival gear, freeze dried rations, etc.)

    4. Corpus Christi is about 5 hours south-ish. The Shrimp is very good and some of the fish is quite tasty. Not Hawaii standards, mind you, but not bad (not bad being light years better than Red Lobster). The mark of a Seafood restaurant down here is whether they have lobster on the menu. If they do, walk out. They're supplied by Sysco and not by the local fishermen

    5. Fish caught locally are always best. Both the Blue Water and Anthony's catch their own. Makes a big difference.

      Now I have a hankering to go to Hawaii for to sample the seafood there.

    6. I guess I'm kinda snobsterish... :)

      Have many great memories of sitting in the raw bars of many great local fish shacks, wearing flight suits (etwas verboten), drinking beer in long neck bottles, and eating oysters that were still putting up a fight.

    7. But NOT in July! just sayin'

    8. Damn Shaun, makes me want to be young again. And this time join the Navy.

    9. Heh. Juvat remembers the old sayings!

  3. Nice job on the post mission report.

  4. I have to agree with Juvat about the seafood in Hawaii.
    It is one of the redeeming qualities of Honolulu.
    I feel blessed to live close by (within 30 minutes) a well stocked fresh seafood shop.
    There is also the option to drive over the mountains to the coast, at Eureka, if I wish someone else to prepare it.
    It is also much cooler there this time of year.

    1. Eureka (via Google Earth) looks kinda of cool. Is it worth the drive?

  5. Sounds as though y'all had fun, thanks for the post.

    Paul L. Quandt

  6. BTW, what's a whole belly cLam?

    1. Fried clams are prepared one of two ways, with the stomach (whole belly clams), or without (clam strips). A true devotee of clams will never, ever, ever order clam strips. Folks like me will do that if whole belly clams are simply unobtainable (any Howard Johnson's restaurant back in the day as I recall). The WSO can't tolerate the bellies, so we're divided on that topic here at the Sarge Tribe. For an amusing take (and more details) check this out.

  7. I have never set foot in a Red Lobster. The Ivar's chain in the Seattle area, ya sure.


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