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okinawa scrap book

Mail Bag
Page Four

Visitor: Dan Pinkerton
Location: Tennessee
Date: Fri, Aug 20, 1999 at 13:36:04 (EDT)
Comments: I was stationed with the 418th AGS on the Reccees from 84-88, interested to talk with anyone there in this time frame. Looking for old buddies. Like your website!
Here ya go gang! Does anyone know Dan? Were you with the 418th? Contact him!

Visitor: Linda Brownfield-Perry
Reference: Followed some Links from Kubasaki H.S. Alum.
Location: Military brats are from everywhere! Jersey at present. My 39th home!
Date: Thurs, Aug 12, 1999 at 06:16:27 (EDT)
Comments: Thanks for terrific photos in your Okinawa Scrapbook!! I could stay up all night and nearly have, just, going through them and the Links to the castles and gardens and the Nakamura house, which made me nearly cry for joy, as they tapped into old memories! I lived on the island from 1953-56, KHS Class of '59, nearly half a century ago!!. [My dad was an Army Officer there, head of the 110 Chem. Btn., if I recall.] I attended KHS in its quonset hut days and was a cheerleader for our basketball team, which played against the Marines in those days. One year I also served as an occasional tourguide for the rare arrival of ships from Cooks Tours there, so I got to see quite a few of the ancient places and came to love them dearly. I am a retired college counselor/psychology professor, now, starting a new life in art and collecting French antiques, a passion picked up in my years in Bonn, Germany in the late 60's. But, some of my favorite things are from my parents' and my collections of art, laquer, pottery, textiles, etc. from Okinawa. They bring back so many fond memories of the mysterious, thick warrens of the old bazaars in Naha and villages all over the island back then. My mother was a Buyer for and ran the US giftshop, which sold Okinawan crafts and gave the profits to the local orphanages around the island. So, we spent a lot of time in the real world of the island. We had most of our clothes made in the villages too. I still have my collection of obies, getas, kimonos and Happy Coats, which I wore often back them. As the song goes, These are a few of my favorite things! And now, I have bookmarked your website as another. As an aside, I used to teach psych. to nursing students, among others, some of whom went on to become PA's. Smart, determined kids! Judging from this website of yours, you were one too! Found you in the midst of my search for familiar 50's folk from KHS. I have always yearned to return to Okinawa, but was afraid the traditional architecture and the beautiful people and their old traditions had all disappeared. So, I was thrilled to see from your scrapbook, that they have been kept alive and even expanded upon for posterity's sake! I was also pleased to read in the Guestbook, that so many share my love of the island and its people and carry the lasting mystique that it leaves on so many of us. Maybe, I'll make a serious effort to get back there, after the inspiration of your website! I'd love nothing better than to share the experience with my husband and kids [now in their 30's, one with an adoreable, Japanese-American girlfriend]. At least, I can lead them to your site now! Thanks again! Will keep coming back till I have finally seen all your photos of Okinawa and etched them on my brain forever! I'll also be ordering some of your Okinawa videos. We old folks are really lucky to have you preserving so many, wonderful memories for us! Not quite as fuzzy as the Brownie camera snapshots in my own Okinawa Scrapbook! You really did a great job. Ari gato gozymus!! [I never learned to spell the language! But, some of it did stay with me all these 45 years.]
Sayonara, LBP
Hello, Linda!
Thank you so very kindly for taking time to peruse one of my sites! Another “doomo arigato gozaimasu” for taking time, after staying up most of the night, to sign in on my guestbook! I am, of course, delighted that you find the “Welcome to Okinawa” a fun stop along the Information SuperHighway! Comments such as yours, Linda, always convince me that it’s worth every bit of the time and energy that goes into creating the site. It’s heartening to know that there are folks out there on the Web who hold Okinawa in high esteem as I do.
As you probably know, I lived on the main Island from 1972-75 and again from 1986-90. I’ve lived in many, many places in the United States and in Europe as I grew up in an Air Force family - my dad was in the Navy and Air Force; retired in 1969 and I joined in 1970. I retired from the AF in 1990, moved back to my chosen home - Montana - and have thought at least once a week since then of returning to Okinawa. Since I am not truly retired - I’m now 6 years into my second career with the Air Force as a Dept of Defense civilian and often consider how great it would be to stumble across an opening on Okinawa for a civil service PA! On the other hand, I’m not sure it would be a wise family move. Debb, my wife, half-jokingly (but I believe sincerely) admonished me one day when I expressed favor with the notion of getting a job on Okinawa to, “be sure it pays enough to cover all those long-distance phone calls!” {grin} Somehow I believe she means it!
Linda, you pay me the highest compliment when you say that the images of the Nakamura House, the gardens and castle sites nearly brought you to happy tears. Knowing that then assures me that I have accomplished my goal! Thank you for letting me know that! I know that envy isn’t a strong or useful trait but I must say that I envy your having lived among the Okinawans in the 1950s. I can only imagine how rich and colorful the people were during those years. As much as I enjoyed the Okinawan people, their music and their festivals in the 1970s and 80s I often wondered what it would have been like in the years following the war. I learned very soon after I began to venture out that the Northern part of the island is where I preferred to go when looking for the “way it used to be.” When I returned to Okinawa in the 80s it was essential, of course, to go back to those places I’d been a decade earlier and to check out all the tourist-oriented sights. It didn’t take long however for me to realize that the real Okinawa was in the little villages away from the beaten path. I used to jump in my van on weekends and drive to the middle of nowhere, park and walk through the villages - videocamera at the ready! I derived most pleasure from stopping to chat (with what little Okinawan dialect I could muster) with the people of the village. I stopped and asked an old man who was tilling his garden plot, “What do you have in your village that gives you the most pride?” With that he set down his impliment, gestured for me to follow and spoke endlessly of the coming attraction. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand much of what he was telling me, but for the most part I didn’t have to understand the words. The gestures and the emotions were plentiful. We walked through one end of the village and into a grove of trees. Soon we came upon a small shrine. I was able to determine from his commentary that this was the resting place of his kin. We then went to another small, not at all glamorous shrine in the community commons area where he explained that it was there to honor the children of the village who were killed during the Battle for Okinawa. We walked back through the village and stopped at a sidewalk vending machine containing cans of cold Seven Mountain coffee. I bought a couple of those and we enjoyed a drink and more strained conversation. Oh, how I wish that I spoke the language fluently! From that day forward I made it a point to PARK and WALK, TALK and LEARN! I admire the old men and women of Okinawa. Such a graceful and charitable people they are!
I can remember the quonset huts! During my first visit to Okinawa I was a corpsman and I recall a party given by the chief nurse of our clinic. She lived in “sub-standard” base housing, on Kadena - a quonset hut! Actually, except for the goofy curved sloping walls, it was really a normal looking place! I remember pictures she had hanging on her wall… firm to the wall at the top and hanging an inch or two from the wall at the bottom! Kind of a gravity defying thing! HehHehHeh!! Funny the silly things a person remembers! I can’t remember any particular details regarding the party itself! Go figure!
Our boys, now 26 and 24, were born at the Army hospital at Camp Kuwae (Kue, we called it) which was then Camp Lester Naval Hospital when we went back in the 80s. The Army substantially reduced a presence on Okinawa in the late 70s and early 80s. The Marine Corps steadily grew!
French antiques! Kool! When I read that it reminded me of some pieces of stained glass I have from the early 1960s. We were visiting Chartres and my brother (2 years older) and I were standing, fascinated as we watched workmen/artisans repairing and replacing pieces of glass from a very large stained glass window. To this day I don’t know if it was the Rose window or one of the petty windows, but we were transfixed as pieces of old glass fell to the ground. We were invited to take some of the broken pieces so, of course, we DID! I came across those a couple of years ago and was thoroughly disappointed when I saw what I had done. Being a kid and having no idea of their potential value, I had etched my initials and “1961” into the glass. Geeeze! What a twit! My dad used to take us to what we Americans called “The Junkyards.” Was like a big flea market (or a small one) and just about all the little towns and villages around our area had one. Most of it was indeed junk, as I recall, but there were also treasures which could be had for a few francs. Dad loved Napolean clocks! He’d buy those, bring ‘em home, soak the clock workings in something to free up the movements, clean and polish them and then restore the wooden pillars and shine the marble (or wood) base. Now Dad isn’t a clock-maker but somehow he was able to take those things apart and get them back together again. What a shame - he has three of those and they’re chucked into a shed gathering dust! I can’t even remember all the other stuff they got from those “junk yards!” I have a couple of copies of “L’illustration,” a magazine from the 1910s decade. Once again, being a kid, I had to write my name, in ink!, at the top of the magazine and then ran a bunch of staples down the spine so it wouldn’t come apart! Dang! I wanna smack myself! One of the issues has beautiful photos and paintings of action and major French players of World War I.
I admire your mom for the work she did on behalf of the orphans on Island. My wife and another adoptive mom, a Marine Corps friend started OASIS, an adoptive support group, when we were back in the 80s. One of our most useful (I think) and most fun activities was a monthly trip down island to an orphanage near Itoman. I can’t remember the name of the place although I have a lot of videotape of one of our visits. We used to load up our cars and vans and caravan it down there for a day of picnicking and baseball! The kids, the residents and our own kids, loved it! We’d grill burgers, chicken, whatever! The kids would eat like galley slaves and then we’d play baseball! Those kids LOVE baseball and invariably would whip us soundly! Interestingly and admirably, before a game, the residential director would assemble the kids who would ceremoniously line up all the bats, balls and gloves then have some kind of prayer/meditation as we “America-no gin” would stand around wondering, “What the heck?” By about our third trip we would at LEAST assemble peacefully and quietly observe their ceremony. Then they’d whip the snot out of us! HehHehHeh!!!!
I’ve been corresponding with so very many people who’ve been on Okinawa, some from the very early days of our occupation and one, a man, Ray, in Ohio, who was one of the marines who landed on the Yomitan Peninsula on April 1st, 1945. Many of us have bantered about one day chartering a flight and just have a whole bunch of us return for a visit. There is nowhere near a firm plan in place but it’s something that we are at least formulatively contemplating. Wouldn’t it be fun!?
Well, I fear that I have rambled on far too long and have probably bored you to tears. It’s so very nice of you to have written and I enjoy every new friendship that is developed. Isn’t the Internet a truly awesome thing? I don’t apply “awesome” to very manya things in this life - the SR-71, a newborn or a moon landing perhaps…. But I absolutely love the Internet - a means by which people can correspond, wander and “meet” other people in ways that could never before have been possible.
I hope to see you again on the big screen!
Mata ne!

Visitor: Zac
Reference: Asked you for the address
Location: Born in Okinawa
Date: Sat, Aug 07, 1999 at 23:00:47 (EDT)
Comments: Hey Pop, I browsed through your site at work-it's really slow. I really appreciate the work you put into this. It was kinda like a trip down memory lane, the only thing is I don't remember over half this stuff, but I really enjoyed the family pics-I set one as wallpaper. I didn't see any Stearly Heights housing fotos. Did I just miss 'em? Well, I really enjoyed clicking through the photos, figured I'd write and someday you'll see this note. Thanks for the memories!
Yup! That's m'boy!

Visitor: Kenneth A. Rode
Reference: I don't know
Location: Princeton,WV
WebSite: Looking for snoopy's poopers
Date: Fri, Aug 06, 1999 at 17:12:20 (EDT)
Comments: I'm trying to get in contact with some ole Jarheads I served with in Nam I was with the 3rd Bn 4th Marines Mike co. from 1967-68
Anyone who can help this man?

Visitor: Kenneth Robert Lockridge
Reference: I'm considering enlisting Army for Torii Station
Location: Ft. Defiance, Virginia
Date: Sun, Jul 25, 1999 at 04:08:09 (EDT)
Comments: this was truly fabulous. Not only the nice photograpy, but the music is cool too. And I can tell we have a lot in common in terms of interests. My time in Camp Casey, Tongduchon, South Korea (16 months) generated 3 HUGE scrapbooks, but I'm no web master. More's the pity. You'd like some of what I got on film! Take care--and I try not to leave out that Jesus is the reason for my life and happiness.

Visitor: Kathy S.
Reference: From a link thru the KHS Alumni Page
Location: Chicago area
Date: Thurs, Jul 22, 1999 at 13:32:23 (EDT)
Comments: Your website is wonderful! You conjured up a lot of memories from when my family lived on the Rock from '76-80. My dad is retired from the Navy MSC. When the Army Hospital at Kuwae was turned over to the Navy in 1976, my dad was one of the first officers assigned.Thus, I could really appreciate your stories as a medic at the Kadena Clinic. I have some outrageous tales I could tell about goings-on at the hospital (personnel and patients alike), but I'd probably get thrown in the slammer for publishing them on the Web! I was just a high school girl then; somehow, it's funnier to remember these times as an adult. I really enjoyed visiting your site. You must have a lot of inspiration from the clean, Montana air and scenery! Take care.

Visitor: Shelly
Reference: I did a search on Okinawa
Location: From California but we are stationed in Okinawa.
Date: Wed, Jun 23, 1999 at 05:45:03 (EDT)
Comments: I really loved your site. I really enjoyed reading your stories about Okinawa. Loved the pics. We are stationed here for 4 years. My husband is AirForce. I have just been trying to get all information that I can about this beautiful place. Truly is paradise!! I will be back to finish going through your site. Thank you for putting this site on the net. It truly is fantastic.

Visitor: Wayne Johnson
Reference: Browsing the web
Location: Minneapolis MN
Contact: Wayne.johnson@Deluxe.Com
Date: Fri, Jun 18, 1999 at 20:52:13 (EDT)
Comments: Great site.I was stationed there from Mar 1967 to Sept 1971. I was at YozaDake Air station on the southern tip of the island. The USA was just about to return much of the island to Japan about the time I left the Island. It was one of the greaT MEMORIES OMY LIFE.

Visitor: Spiro N Mason,DMD
Reference: Surfing the net
Location: Hermitage,Pa
WebSite: Sprue
Web Info: Hobby
Date: Sun, Jun 13, 1999 at 23:30:35 (EDT)
Comments: By happenstance I luckily wandered onto your wonderful site and explored it thoroughly.I served as an oral & maxilliofacial surgeon on highway one at the then US ARmy Medical Center where I treated hundreds of cases of facial fractures and gunshot wounds occuring on island between marines of the 3rd division and the 173rd airborne brigade.The gunshot wounds were of course sent to me from down southNAM._ was fresh out of surgical training then and it the experience certainly honed my surgical skills required for privare practice that I entered into in 1967.Really enjoyed the Nakamura House.One of my most interesting cases involved one,Harue Nakamura, speared through the face at Chuo Senior High School in then Koza on Nov. 15,1964 I've tried to get in touch with this young lady withou success. It was an accident at a track and field event.Most of all I treasure my memories of the Okinawans. l facility but in the two years I was there I t hundreds of facial fractures especially on payday because of altercations between the Third Marine Divis
Unfortunately, the rest of what Dr. Mason entered in my guestbook didn't appear

Reference: SEARCHING
Web Info:
Contact: goshen@coquinet
Date: Sun, Sep 13, 1998 at 13:59:03 (EDT)
Hi, Nivea!!
Thank you very much for coming to visit "Welcome to Okinawa!"
If you read any of the "My Story" pages, you might be interested to know that I just added one more tonight, entitled "Shinjyo-san's Goats and our First Visit."
Thank you also for taking the time to mail me with your kind words. It has given me great pleasure to share Okinawa with the rest of the world!!
I raise a toast to you for having been a nurse at such a great hospital! Both of my sons were born at Kue (now US Naval Hospital, Camp Lester) in 1973 and 1975.
I hope you will come back often to visit, to see the sights and hear the sounds of Okinawa!
Mick McClary
Capt, USAF, Ret

Visitor: Marv Gilbert
Reference: Searching the web for pictures of Okinawa
Location: Maryland
Web Info:
Date: Mon, Aug 24, 1998 at 08:06:39 (EDT)
Comments: Thank you so much for the great pictures. Some of them remind me of the fifthteen years a spent on Okinawa. I spent three tours of duty on Okinawa ((1964 - 1969; 1970 - 1975; 1980 - 1985.) There were a lot of changes both during and between my tours. It appears that a lot of positive changes have taken place since I was last stationed there. Thank you again.
Hi ya, Marv!! *hearty handshake*
So nice to hear from you!! Sounds like you should be just a tad familiar with the island, huh? Fifteen years... I envy you the experiences you've had.
I'm very happy that you enjoyed the pictures and, despite all the growth that's occurred on island, (especially the real estate!) I hope you were able to see some of those "good ol' days" through them all!
I plan to be putting a couple more pages of photos up, probably next week... so please come back from time to time!!
I was just getting there for my second tour right after you left the last time. I got back in '86 and stayed 4 1/2 years. One day I WILL (or is that I SHALL!? *grin*) go back again one day!!
Take care, Marv, and again, Doomo arigato gozaimasu!!

I sent this e-mail out 8-24-98, after reading our previous exchange of messages about the Makiminato Housing area. Those messages are on the first page of my MailBag:
Hi, Angie!!
I was just re-reading some of the entries in my MailBag and came across our messages about Machinato (Makiminato).
Just thought I'd say, "Hi!" again and wish you and your family health and happiness!! I posted a plea after our correspondence, asking for anyone who could to go into Maki and see if 1415 was still there. Did you ever hear from anyone?
Geeeze!! I've added a good number of e-mail messages to the MailBag since then, but I remember you and our conversation like it was yesterday!!
Welp... thanks for allowing me to clutter up your mailbox! *grin* Come visit sometime!
Mick McClary
Mick's Big Sky

Visitor: Dan Blades
Reference: Your e-mail link
Location: Fayetteville NC
Web Info:
Date: Sat, Aug 22, 1998 at 22:11:45 (EDT)
Comments: Mick I really enjoyed the web sites. You have done a terific job. The Photos of Okinawa really brought back great memories.
Thank you very kindly, Dan!
It's comments like yours that makes it worth all the time and effort that goes into building a website like this. And it gives me the impetus to keep adding!!
Glad ya like it, friend!! Please come around again from time to time!
See ya!! Mick

Visitor: george slaughter
Reference: came to see what you have here
Location: clayton, delaware
Web Info:
Date: Sat, Aug 22, 1998 at 19:15:35 (EDT)
Comments: nice site , i'll check back now and then to keep up on what done. was on the rock 66-67 with mtm 3rd fsr.
Hi there, George!
Thanks for coming by the site! Please do come back from time to time. I'm always looking for good quality additions to the site - today I added a link to Ray Gillespie's page, for example. Great Stuff!! You should take a look at his page too!
It's linked from:
So, come around once in a while and offer any suggestions that come to mind!

Visitor: Jay Adams
Reference: Your email
Location: Rocksprings, Texas`
Web Info:
Date: Sat, Aug 22, 1998 at 14:48:03 (EDT)
Comments: Mick- Thanks for sending me the additional information. I enjoyed your scrapbook. I didn't have time to view all of your website, but will at a later date. I was on Okinawa with the First Special Forces (1969 - 1971). I married an Okinawan lady (actually girl), from Afuso. She was only 18 years old. We are now going on 28 years of marital bliss with two wonderful children. We returned to Okinawa 1973, 1977 and 1990. We are planning a return trip in the near future. I am new on the internet (2 months), but I am learning my way around. I hope to have a homepage soon. I can't say enough good things about Okinawa. I wish my dream of becoming a rice farmer would have worked out, but Que Sera. Keep up the good work. Jay & Chieko
Jay!! Konichi-wa!!
So good to hear from ya! Wow!! A rice farmer... on Okinawa, I presume! What a great deal that would be. Such a peaceful existence. Now, as I understand it, an awful lot of rice is grown in Texas, along with sugar cane - two things you have very much in common with Okinawa.
Please give my best to Chieko and assure her that - at least in my opinion - she hails from the prettiest place on Earth! Congratulations to you and your bride in your 28th year of matrimonial splendor!!
So, what do you do in Texas? Will you ever go back to "the Rock" for good? I'd love to.... but have too many obligations here in the States first! *sigh*
I appreciate your having come by my site and hope you and your lady - and the children - will return to see the entire site.
Thanks, Jay, for dropping me a few lines!! Mick

More in the bag!

Page 1 of MailBag
Page 2
Page 3

Return to Scrapbook Menu Go to the Naha Harhi Boat Races Go to Nakagusuku Castle
Koza Yaki Pottery Go to Nakamura House Faces of Okinawa
Hands Around Kadena Nago Jyo Southeast Botanical Garden
Peek at the military side Potpourri Odds & Ends

Shuri Castle site Angel of Mori-no Kawa Shi-shi Lion
Downtown, Southern Okinawa More People More Scenes
Return to Okinawa

Return to Mick's Big Sky

® Webmaster: Mick McClary P.O. Box 6245, Great Falls, Montana 59406