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Thursday, August 25, 2011

DAY 221: CLINTON - EDWARDS - ASKEW LANDING, MISSISSIPPI

Please say HELLO to Linda. Linda and I had a close encounter this morning during my one and only walk of the day.

Linda gave me a haircut...after first washing a few days' grime out of my scalp.

Later in the morning I returned to the shop where I enjoyed a lengthy chat with the shop owner.

The town of CLINTON, MISSISSIPPI, Water Tower.

SPIA stayed overnight at Firestone Northwest Auto ...thank you Jacob.

Jacob completed the engine work at noon. SPIA's motor now purrs like a new motor...thank you again, Jacob.

Did manage to walk through CLINTON enough miles to reach the town of BOLTON, MISSISSIPPI, 6 miles West on US 80...which shares the roadway with I-20. Drove SPIA all the way to EDWARDS, MISSISSIPPI...this time on old US 80. another 6 miles further West.

A down town CLINTON, MISSISSIPPI boulevard.

A bloom on a flowering shrub outside Linda's Hair Solon.

In the town of BOLTON, MISSISSIPPI, stopped at the local Chevron Gas Station for directions...as there were no signs for US 80.

Please say HELLO to my new friend Mr. Johnny.

Johnny is 80 years old in a day or two. He and I share an important moment in early 1953. Mr. Johnny was stationed in the Port City of INCHON - at the mouth of the Han River, West of SEOUL, KOREA. Johnny was in Supply, trucking supplies to the United Nations Forces North of SEOUL.

INCHON, KOREA was the site of a large fuel oil depot. It was also a favorite target for the North Korean "Bed Check Charlie" - a Biplane which flew at night to harass the enemy by keeping us awake all night running for fox holes and trenches. Every once in awhile, Bed Check Charlie dropped a bomb or two to liven things up.

On the night in question, our Wing, the 8th Fighter Bomber Wing at SUWON, KOREA, scrambled a F-94 Night Fighter to intercept the incoming Bed Check Charlie. F-94 is a large fighter/bomber...this one equipped with Radar and a second Pilot...a GIB as known in Viet Nam (Guy In Back).

When Bed Check Charlie arrived over INCHON. Mr. Johnny was in INCHON...I was at SUWON -some 25 miles away when a bomb was dropped, hitting one of the gas storage tanks.

Mr Johnny witnessed the event - a massive explosion - up close and personal. I saw and heard the same event from SUWON.

Our F-94 attempted to shoot down the offending slow / low flying two-wing North Korean airplane. Diving on the enemy, our F-94 failed to pull out of his dive and crashed into the Bay of INCHON. Both pilots died in the crash.

A singular moment like the one above, happening nearly 60 years ago is recalled by two old men in a Chevron Gas Station in BOLTON, MISSISSIPPI. Complete strangers instantly became like Brothers.

I am so very proud to stand beside Mr. Johnny...take good care, my friend...and happy 80th Birthday.
Arriving in EDWARDS, MISSISSIPPI, I intended to park SPIA for the night and take another walk...this time back East on US 80 toward BOLTON.

I opted for a large parking area under an old Water Tower...a good spot as it was in the middle of the two-block long business district and already had a 18-wheeler tanker truck parked there.

To avoid any later-on problems, I walked over to City Hall, a block away, to get permission to park overnight.

City Hall, EDWARDS, MISSISSIPPI, is housed at the East end of a long line of old brick buildings...the only building on the block being occupied.

Someone has done a meticulous job in restoring / maintaining City Hall inside and out.


Please say HLLO to Nancy Duren, Deputy Clerk for the City of EDWARDS, MISSISSIPPI.

This young lady, Miss Nancy, as she wants to be addressed, met me as I walked across the polished floor to her high counter...also highly polished. Presenting my SAM & ME card, Miss Nancy referred me to another lady in an office, the City Clerk...who immediately telephoned an "Alderman", who happened to out driving someplace.

A few minutes later, Alderman Green, a friendly and yet serious man, took my hand and devoted the next half hour arranging for SPIA, SAM & ME safe and comfortable accommodations for the night.

...no, we cannot allow you to park overnight on City Property...liability you know ! But, we have another option for you. Our three town Churches have a fund for just such a situation...we would be pleased (meaning the three Churches) to arrange for your overnight stay in our local ASKEW'S LANDING CAMPGROUND....but, I have no funds for an overnight stay...we have arranged to have payment for you from our town Church fund...as Miss Nancy hands me a twenty and a five dollar bill.

And, Alderman Green says to me..to show how much we look after visitors to EDWARDS, here is another twenty - as he pulls a twenty dollar bill from his wallet and hands it to me.

I am speechless. Miss Nancy says to me that this is the way EDWARDS folks are...we take care of each other.

Alderman Green excuses himself with...take good care Mr. Maynard; and say something nice about EDWARDS, please...as he walks out of building.

Miss Nancy and I sit and chat for another few minutes before I,too, excuse myself...thanking Nancy again and again - to her wide smile...I walk out with - yes - with a tear rising in my eye.
Miss Nancy's plant.

City Hall stands behind the RED car parked by this extraordinary scene of a much used railroad track passing under the gracefully arched bridge reminding me very much of a similar bridge I once long ago walked over the Grand Canal in VENICE, ITALY...while being accompanied by 13 delightful and beautiful Can Can Dancers on tour (with me as their M.C.) from PARIS' Moulin Rouge. ***When Love Walks In And Takes You For A Spin...OOH LA LA LA, c'est magnifique...***

Ok, so I'm lousy at French...but the girls did throw an all night party for us - all 13 & me - in our hotel room in TURINO, ITALY on the final night of our 3-week tour together. I was an emotional wreck for a few days after...and still cherish the photographs I have managed to hang on to of some of our performances.



EDWARDS' Old Water Tower.

EDWARDS' New Water Tower.

The road leading into ASKEW'S LANDING CAMPGROUND about 3 miles from EDWARDS.

My Welcoming Committee... at the Campground Office / Store.

Please say HELLO to Tamara (a.k.a. Tammy), Store Manager of ASKEW'S.

Tammy says she came up from GULFPORT a few years ago to visit a friend living at ASKEW'S, was offered the job of Store Manager, accepted, and has not looked back.

ASKEW'S is an historic spot..battleground for Civil War Blue /vs/ Gray.

The Community Center.

A Mural depicting the Yankees blowing up ASKEW Ferry Boat on a river a short distance from the Campground. Be sure to click click photographs...detail is often spectacular.

The Campground Swimming Pool.

The Confederate Flag included in the MISSISSIPPI STATE FLAG still causes some friction..so says Tammy.

A local Goose with no fear.

SPIA resting for the night in Space # 72...the first space developed at the beginning of the Campground development...which now has 92 Spaces.



A 32 acre lake graces the Campground...this is the view from SPIA's Space 72.

Without blog comment, we offer more views of this exquisite lake.








My only regret is that I must endure some of America's most desirable places...what I mean to say is that in addition to sharing all these beautiful people and places with you, my friends and blog followers, I miss not having someone standing by my side while doing so...

Tomorrow is another day..Gone With The Wind.

Tomorrow we shall walk.

1 comment:

Mike said...

What a wonderful thing the nice folks at Edwards did for you. The Askew Landing looks like a great place to visit.