What's It All About, eh?

Cape Breton evokes deep memories and strong emotions for me as well as a deep appreciation for the beauty of my adopted island. My hopes are that you too might find the photos evocative - maybe a view you've not enjoyed before, or an 'Oh I've been there', or if from away that you may be encouraged to visit this fair isle so that you might come to love and breathe Cape Breton as I do. One word about place names that I use - some are completely local usage while others are from maps of Cape Breton that I've purchased over the years. I frequently post travel and other photos that are of interest to me - and hopefully you.

On the right hand side bar find my take on Single Malt whiskey - from how to best enjoy this noble drink to reviews (in a most non-professional manner) of ones that I have tried and liked - or not. Also musings, mine and others, on life in general.

Photographs are roughly 98%+ my own and copy-righted. For the occasional photo that is borrowed, credit is given where possible - recently I have started posting unusual net photographs that seem unique. Feel free to borrow any of my photos for non-commercial use, otherwise contact me. Starting late in 2013 I have tried to be consistent in identifying my photographs using ©smck on all out of camera photos I personally captured - (I often do very minor computer changes such as 'crop' or 'shadow' etc but usually nothing major), and using
©norvellhimself on all photos that I have played around with in case it might not be obvious.

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The Non-existent U.S. army base of 01 August 1957



I was selected "by friends and neighbors" to be drafted into the United States Army in 1957.  After doing some number of weeks in boot camp learning to love my rifle and not my gun I was sent off to an unusual training of another six weeks or so at Fort Gordon learning lots of information about things that were kept unknown to the public at large while also surviving my propensity to being a civilian smart-ass kid in a military training center where smart-ass kids were fodder for breaking (I survived intact only one step away from being court martialed for some of my childish pranks but with some unusual clearances I'd never heard of before).  The group I graduated with along with myself were all flown to Fort Dix in New Jersey and there awaited shipment - by boat - to Germany where we were going to be living in tents etc and within a few days all were shipped out except yours truly who received orders for London, England AND  I was to fly over rather than boat over.  At the time I was a 'stripeless' Pf-1 or what ever the designation was and all my clothing was shapeless fatigues with a shapeless hat in which I was dressed as I walked out to the impressive plane shown above.  The plane was completely filled with officers of all ranks, mostly Captains, Majors and a few light Colonels and needless to say they all gave me the 'glad-eye' as I climbed aboard and claimed my window seat.  They were sure I was a 'spook' but all I was, was spooked - what in the hell was I doing with these regular army men of rank as a skinny, shaved-head non-com of the lowest possible rank and looking worse than Beetle Baily of WWII fame looked on his funkiest day.  We landed some long time later at RAF Bovingdon near Hetfordshire, England and there my orders told me to get a bus into Hemel Hempsted and there to call my assigned duty station at a base whose name I no longer remember and tell them to send a car to pick me up for my assigned barracking.  Some half hour later I arrive at Hemel Hempsted and use the public call box to dial the base.  A laconic British bloke answers the phone and I convey my message.  You're an American he says - and yes says I - and we are to send an automobile for you, a private you said - and again yes says I - lots of laughter on his end  - well Yank I hate to tell you this but this has not been an American base since the end of the war some years back but best of luck on getting to where you should go and he hung up!

I am in England with only three American dollars to my name and orders cut for a none-existent base and it is getting dark and I haven't the slightest idea of what to do.

True story - more later


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