Thursday, May 30, 2013

Where Has Time Gone

As I sit here and reminisce about the eighteen years I have spent here in Bayview, something came home to me with a thud. I had just finished talking to a friend of all of those eighteen years, Larry Justus.

When I first arrived here, I was, like most outsiders, treated somewhat roughly by the long time residents. The question often arose, "So how long have you lived here?" Or, "where you from, anyway?" Back then, then the population was very stable. Many families could count several generations of residency in and around Bayview, Athol and even little enclaves nearby that don't exist anymore.

Several years after settling here in Bayview I had the opportunity to write an area column on people, places and events of the past for the Idaho edition of the Spokesman-Review.  I learned more about my neighbors, their families, and the early days of this quaint unincorporated town.

I gained from this, a great appreciation for those who preceded me, and through my studies and writing gradually became accepted as a seasoned resident.

Several people who I first met and then became friends with had a great impact on me. With my infamous memory for names I won't attempt to name most of them, but wherever they are, they know who I'm talking about.

Probably the first were Jim and Jean Campbell, soon to be owners of the Captain's wheel Restaurant, which I had a hand in naming. The next were coincidentally, fellow officers of the then appropriately named the Bayview Chamber of commerce. Lorraine Landwher, and last but certainly not least, Liz and Larry Justus.  Larry, a builder and Liz the longtime beauty shop owner, and a beauty herself.

Since then, Jim &and Jean Campbell sold out and moved into the mobile living lifestyle of snowbirds. Larry retired from building and Liz sold her salon which is now the Idaho Fish and game offices. Liz and Larry developed a beautiful medium sized RV park built around Bayview Creek, which they named Lakeland RV Park.though has been hacked at many times, the creek still exists, the water burbling by the camp sites on it's way sometimes above ground, sometimes underground, to it's exit at Lake Pend Oreille. Liz & Larry traditionally have a happy hour every Friday at 3:00 pm for their tenants and friends.

Now comes why I chose to write this tonight. Larry has a lung disease I can't pronounce, but has been debilitating for a while now. Actually, Larry is in hospice care which he cheerfully explained to me was the end of the line. He said he was dying. I asked what can I do for you? Can I help?  He chuckled and said, Herb, nobody can help me now, but you know, I would sure like to see all my friends again. He then went on to say, happy hour, as always, starts at 3:00. All I want now is to see my friends and bullshit with them until I'm gone. Larry, I'll be there, right on time. Y'all come, too.

Your friends will be with you, either present or in their thoughts all the way Larry. You will not be alone during your final journey.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Post War Hydro Power

With the end of World War Two, thousands of tons of surplus went on the market at pennies on the dollar. Fighter aircraft such as the P-40, P-51 Mustang and the British Hurricane and spitfire all used liquid cooled engines. This led to the unlimitred Hydroplane owners of the late forties to power their boats with Allisons and Rolls-Merlins, most of which were manufactured under license by the Packard Motor Company.

The early efforts were in the Detroit and Ohio River areas in the upper Mid-West. The hull designs were what was called stepped hulls. About half way up the bottom and step up made it easier to plane on the surface, much like the float planes we see on our lakes.

The climax of every race year is the Gold Cup which is held at the last winner's designated course. The 1950 Gold Cup Regatta in Detroit had some surprises in store that shook up the entire industry. Stan Sayres, a car dealer in Seattle, Washington hired a marine designer, Ted Jones. He wanted a high powered boat with less drag than the prevailing boats.

Prior to that race, boats like Such Crust, Tempo, My Sweetie (Bill Cantrell, driver) Miss Pepsi and others dominated the sport with stepped hydros. Jones designed a boat the touched the water at three points. an area of about two inches at the rear of each sponson and the bottom half of the ;propeller. Sponsons were a little like twin hulls, but racier. From a TV rear view you can see all the way through to the bow. The boats were not any longer in the water, they were essentially flying.

The Jones designed and driven boat in 1950 was misleading. It was called Slo-Mo-Shun 1V. It wiped out the field even lapping several boats. The Gold Cup was coming to Seattle. During that winter, another boat was built. Slo-Mo-Shun V. At that point, Ted Jones separated from the Sayres camp and started building boats for other owners, mostly in Seattle.

I mentioned Bill Cantrell in the previous paragraph because he was a power to be reckoned with once he had a competitive boat. He later piloted the Gale boats, the camp that Seattleites loved to hate. Lee Schoenith, owner and Bill Cantrell driver would be the only eastern boat to contest the Seattle boats of the fifties.

New craft showed up named Wahoo, Miss Bardahl, Thriftway, the beer boats, with Budweiser and Miller slugging it out, Rebel Suh, Shanty, Hawaii Kai and Oh Boy Oberto. Drivers were Bill Muncie, Chip Hanauer, Jack Regis, Mira Slovak, Rex Manchester, all legends of their time, but their time was coming to a close. Too many drivers killed, three in one season spelled the end of the open rear cockpit boats. One, Thriftway too was a front cab over, but was designed for two engines but only ran with one. It was un-competitive.

Now a days, we call these boats "Vintage." They will be present at Diamond Cup 2013 along with a new class called H1, Turbine powered. All enclosed cabs with escape features that were faster, but without the Rolls-Merlin roar that we all loved. The H53 turbine powered Helicopter that did yeoman service in Viet Nam had a jet engine that was adaptable to the unlimited Hydroplanes. A new generation of boats were born. Hey, without war surplus we wouldn't have a sport.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Birth Of The Hydroplanes

Without a doubt, with World War two not occurring, hydroplanes wouldn't have been invented. The first and foremost requirement of the early hydros is that they be liquid cooled. Only the first generations of fighter planes used liquid cooling. The P-40 Warhawk was one of the first.

The Warhawk was primarily used for ground attack but was a formidable dog fighter as well. The Canadians primarily flew them during the war. Powered by Allison 12 cylinder engines, they cranked jp about 1100 horsepower. The more famous of these planes though were the ones flew in the Burma-China theater. They were referred to by the Chinese as Flying Tigers. The Japanese having a different perspective, called them devil planes and other names unfit for print.

Though the Japanese had superior planes, the Flying Tigers had Superior training. All of the pilots were given discharges from the US Navy and Army Air forces for the purpose of enlisting in the Chinese Air Force. These were top of the line pilots, instructors and other experienced people including of course enlisted mechanics, armorers and such. 

The U.S Army Air Force chose te slightly faster and more maneuverable P-51 Mustang. The P-51 early models used the V12 Allison as well. They were some of the first supercharged engines ever used. Later P-51's switched to Packard built Rolls-Merlin engines. These were british planes built in the USA.

The British Spitfire, also using Rolls-Merlins were the follow on fighter that stole most of the glory from the Hurricane, which was the plane that won the Battle of Britain. Early in the war, much like the United States, the UK was not prepared to go to war. The brits dusted off some plans for a low wing fighter, added a better engine and took to the sky driving back the German ME-109's and others including the Heinkel bomber that indiscriminately bombed London. That prompted the British  to return the favor, obliterating German cites.

The end of the war in 1945 created a huge surplus of these planes. Canada sold over 100 of them at $50 per plane. With all of these high performance liquid cooled engines available, there were a few racing enthusiasts with a need for speed. Thus the birth of modern era hydroplane racing. More to follow in a series following the history of the Unlimited Hydros, or as they were known, Thunder boats.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tough Family

Thursday was a day of excitement and some pain, too. It seems my Grandson, Dean was playing baseball during P.E. when he slid hard into second base after a hit. School officials immediately reacted, as it was obvious that Dean was hurt. After a quick check they called 911. He was transported to the local hospital with which turned out to be a broken arm. Both bones.

My son, Herb Jr was phoned by the school. Dean, having some tough times growing up had experienced some disciplinary problems in the past. Fearing the worst, Herb Jr was relieved that it was only an injury and not an expulsion call. He rushed to the hospital sped by fear.

Upon reaching said institution, as Dean was wheeled into surgery, he asked just one question. "Were you safe,? " he asked. He was.

The following day, after an all night vigil, my son called the boy's Grandmother, my former wife. Her first question was, "Why didn't he score?"

Changing the subject, I have decided, along with my partner to sell our cute little sail boat. We are both to old and to decrepit to crawl around on the decks tangling shrouds.It's a bargain. A 21 foot Macgregor with a  lift hatch that allows passengers to stand up while under way. The main sail needs replacing, but the boat itself and the remaining jibs are in excellent shape. The boat comes with a trailer, but with no motor. This boat is priced at $800.00. No other offers will be accepted unless they are higher.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Donald "Skip" Wilcox

Memorial Service
Friday, May 31st at 7:00 P.M.
Ceremonial boat ride will take place in the Peaceful Warrior with Kevin Elmore at the helm.  This will start when the Peaceful Warrior comes out of its slip at MacDonald’s with family on board.  For those that would like to follow the Peaceful Warrior on Friday evening, please plan on being on your boats in the bay close to MacDonald’s by 7:00 p.m.  Skip’s boat will be leaving MacDonald’s between 7:00 and 7:30 once everyone is on board.  Please do not pull into MacDonald’s marina as not to interrupt any business taking place with customers and marina staff.
Venue - Indoor / Outdoor Memorial Service – Bayview Community Center  
Saturday, June 1st at 1:00 P.M. 
  • Kathy Wilcox will open the ceremony with the raising of the flag, Pledge of Allegiance and / or the National Anthem and a speech.
  • Each one of Skip’s girls will speak after their mother.
  • Prayer
  • The floor will then be opened for those who wish to speak.
  • Mingle time for family and friends with finger foods, coffee and punch. A slide show will be playing inside the Community Center throughout this celebration of an incredible man that touched so many lives.
  • Closing with the lowering of the flag and Taps.

For those of you that wish to do something in honor of Skip, the family has requested that non-perishable food or cash donations be brought to the Community Center for the local food bank at the time of the memorial.  Containers will be available to accept donations.  

The family has also requested that if anyone would like to help with the service, it would be greatly appreciated if folks could bring finger food type items to share at the service on Saturday.  Please bring your snack to the Community Center prior to the beginning of the service.  Ideas are cookies, vegetable trays, fruit trays, meat and or cheese trays, and crackers to name a few.  No hot dishes or salads, please.

God has truly blessed us by having Skip touch our lives, so in his honor, be sure and give someone a hug every day and tell them to “Have a Beautiful Day”. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Diamond Cup 2013

I have been asked repeatedly several questions about the unlimited hydroplane races scheduled for the Labor Day week-end. The first and most asked is, "will there be a race this year or not?" The answer is absolutely yes.

This year's regatta will be full of surprises that I am not authorized to discuss quite yet. While I will be writing much between now and August 30, where I will trade my computer for a microphone, I am not the official spokesperson for the committee. The Chairperson, Doug Miller is in charge of that sort of thing. If he asks me, I will certainly make periodic announcements, but it will kick off in a week or two, with a press conference.

With last year falling short, the committee feels conservative and want's every I dotted and T crossed before doing that. We are only days away from that happening. The information that I now possess is proprietary and I cannot comment.

I can tell you that there will be surprises galore. Plan on spending all three days here in Coeur d'Alene. Tickets are available through Don't be square, See you there. August 30, September 1-2.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Seattle PD Get Down

In reading Briefs in this morning's Spokesman-Review, I spit out my coffee as I read where Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is lowering standards for new police hires. It seems the mayor doesn't feel his officers adequately represent the average Seattle citizen. Now that Pot is legal, he is going to allow his recruits to more accurately reflect the community standards.

Vissible tattoos on the face and neck along with a history of pot smoking no longer will disqualify a police recruit. Several images popped into my head at that point.

Officer pulls a violator over for speeding. Approaching the car, said officer, sprouting scraggly facial hair, kill the pigs tats and other previously disqualifications ain't the deal anymore. Here's an example.

The past officer: "Sir, do you know why I stopped you?" No sir, I was only going 25 mph." Yes sir, I understand that. are you aware the speed limit here is 70mph?" "Um no sir. Am I in trouble?" Yes sir. Would you please step out of your car? ... If you can?

New officer: Approaching the speeder: Officer: "yo Dude, you cool with me today?" Right on, pal. Wuzzup? Well You looked kind of strange when you drove by so I figured I best check you out." May I see your um ... work permit ... no, receipt from Walmart?... That thingy that they give you so's you be jiggy wit the rules." "Oh, you mean this drivers license?"

Ya man, dat's it. Hey, dude, that be a bunch of cash you got there. Mind me borrowing say $50.00 so's I can score a lid? Driver: No sir. Anything else I can do for you? "Well, now that you mention it, My rent is due too. Can you help out a neighbor? Sure pal, Now I gotta run. Take care sir.

"Right on, dude. "

Seattle just isn't the same as it was when I lived there.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Politics & Sex

Today's post is about two political subjects, that neither should be.

Let's take today's Spokesman-Review editorial page. There were two editorials , one written by a journalism teacher, the other a nationally syndicated columnist.

In the first, written by Jamie Tobias Neely, generally approves of plan B without parental notification. One can only hope her children, if any, are grown up.

Her position which uses a fictitious movie comedy, "Juno," yes essentially, yes, why not, after all they are already screwing like rabbits and at lease the kids won't have unwanted babies.

The Second, is Kathleen Parker, a syndicated columnist who says no. Why make it easier to talk an eleven year old into having sex. (my Quote) I can see it now. The boy. "Hey it's alright and it's fun plus here's a pill that will keep you from getting pregnant." O.K, I used a fictitious conversation too.

There are two obvious conclusions that are not being discussed. First, why can a teen not be able to accept Tylenol at school or have any surgery other than life saving emergency, without parental consent? Why? Because sexual issues, are a defacto exception to the consent rules fostered by the the pro choice movement. Doesn't anyone feel this is strange? You can't have a wart removed, but you can take a sexual permission pill without discussing or even involving a parent or court.

If I'm a fourteen year old boy trying to get sex from a girl on the edge of refusal, I could hand her a vitamin pill and go after it. This is a political decision, period, not a health one. I am now 75 tears old. I can still remember the arguments used to seduce a teen. Sometimes they were successful, sometimes not, and in my day a kid couldn't even buy a condom and birth control wasn't invented yet. With the permissive political interference with parent/child issue, it is even easier.

So OK, Ms Neely, maybe your 13 1/2 percent of sexual activity is valid, but I wish to make two points in rebuttal. One, you made no reference to source of the figure, nor did you specify that the percentage were all girls or included boys who would generally outnumber the girls. Notice I'm using the terms boys and girls. Just passing puberty does not bestow adulthood.

One commentator a liberal, one a conservative. This conversation should be between a doctor, a parent and a girl-child, not political commentators.  Oh, and maybe an attorney since statutory Rape may well be covered up, thus destroying evidence in a potential criminal case. Maybe fourteen year olds cannot afford the $37.00 pill, but I bet an eighteen year old can.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Cancer Strikes My Family

I wasn't too worried back a few years ago when I had Prostate Cancer, 'cause the VA fixed it with very little in the way of side effects.
That was then, this is now.

My daughter has developed female type cancer, stage three and is undergoing both radiation and Chemotherapy which she will receive for three more weeks. She runs a small coffee house in Capitola, California, which is a beautiful little beach town.

Unfortunately, along with the lack of business she lost her roommate, which in Capitola, is a tremendously expense place to live. We are hoping for the best, but having cancer treatments and homeless it ain't  a good scene.

Please sent prayers. If I skip a few days posting new stuff, please understand and come back when I am able to concentrate on local happenings.