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Thursday, July 7, 2011


IPlease say HELLO to Harry Cooney.

At 84 years, Harry is an active farmer on a small piece of land a couple miles South East of the town of STARKE, FLORIDA, on US 100. Harry is also an ex Marine, having served in World War II. When the Atom Bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Harry was poised to join in the invasion of the Japan Homeland from one of over 700 ships gathered off Okinawa. (I visited Nagasaki in 1953)

What caught my eye WAS a full scale model of the Flag Raising On Mount Surabachi, Iwo Jima Island displayed by Harry's Driveway next to US 100. Other WWII memorabilia accompany the Flag, making quite an impressive display.

It was raining quite hard as I walked past Mt. Surabachi, when this little elf of a man drives up to me in a golf cart. "Hi" led to a full afternoon and evening visiting, munching sweets and sipping coffee with Harry and his wife. SPIA also wrangled a spot complete with electricity for the night.

Harry's Son, Michael & family live in COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA, which is the entrance to CAPE CANAVERAL, from where the Space Shuttles are launched...and where I worked for a few years until 1962. I hope to meet up with Michael and try out his new sail boat on the Atlantic Ocean.

Hope also, to visit the Cape, looking for my old stomping grounds...the Minuteman Missile Test Silos of 50 years ago.

This morning, I drove SPIA to the West side of STARKE, FLORIDA, parked and walked back to LAKE BUTLER, FLORIDA, a distance of 14 miles Then moved SPIA to the East side of STARKE, did a short walk into town, and then 7 miles out and back in a pouring rain. It felt good walking in the rain...even the 18-wheeler created tornadoes were welcome.

Half way back to SPIA, came across Harry's display and the rest of the day was spent with Harry.

This is Harry's private lake, taken just at dark. SPIA is parked next to the lake from which is coming a melody of croaking frogs.

During my morning walk, was treated to some fly-overs by a Jet-prop Crop Duster...a video clip:

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