DAYS OF OUR LIVES #63
Fri, 12 Apr 2002 09:33:43 -0500
so many new ASA Turkey Veterans that I thought it would
only be fair to share with them highlights from the past
newsletters. So, I'm bringing back what I consider the best of
I'll start with .....which was a favorite..... Also I've grouped truly unique items for those..... So now, settle back and enjoy this opportunity to review these great memories of others and now I'm expecting y'all to PITCH IN and add your 2 cents. There are many more and to read about them, then request a copy of the 2001 - 85 page Memory Book.
Mike Fisher, SP5, 98C2L76 (Turkish linguist), Det 27 and 4-4 Day Lady, 66-69, 2 Townsend St., 3-307, San Francisco, CA. 94107, 415-495-5227, firstname.lastname@example.org, retired, wrote in August 2001: "It's amazing how a little history can jog one's constipated memory. You guys have yet to mention another of the Det 27 and 4-4 traditons. But, first let me digress. I have a confession to make, after 34 years. Guys, I never worked a day of shift work at either location nor did I ever poke a MATSUM. For some reason, only known to the Green Hornet, when I showed up for work in January 1967, one of the day ladies was rotating from Site 23, and SFC Green assigned me to work with Andy PATE and Dennis FRANSTED. I worked that problem at Site 23 and Det 4-4. I think the Green Hornet knew I could play some softball -- I was able to throw the ball from shortstop without it bouncing four times--all while holding a beer in one hand. However, I did participate in the "grate rub" and "red belly" traditions that only a few of us would understand or even appreciate. Give us a "A" for effort in finding uses for stamp pad ink. I have included my top ten Det 27 rememberances:
10. Bill Baker (Trash Can) head first in a garbage can following Thanksgiving Dinner.
9. (Related) The Viking Thanksgiving Dinner 1967--eating without utensils.
8. NCO Club Friday nites with the Turkish group Rhythmi Dort (Rhythm Four)
7. The "Fock Rock", of course.
6. Ralph Neu, Mr. Cub, who later was profiled in SI, as the founder of the Bleacher Bums.
5. The two Det 27 anthems: "We Gotta Get Out of this Place" and "I Can't Get No Satisfaction"
4. Cheap beer and cigarettes
3. Softball games, where no one cared who won.
2. Buying a bottle of Seagram's Crown Royal--for the ribbon.
Ronnie Deese, SP5, 98C, Det 27 and 4-4, 15NO66-20DE68, 7520 W. Henry Ave., Tampa, FL 33615, 8-3-884-8556, email@example.com wrote: "I remember a planned trip we took to Izmir in Gary Stolp's VW bus in 1967. It included the usual, all the beer the [snub nose] van could hold. We departed Manzarali, Gary Stolp behind the wheel, and drank our way to Izmir. I recall the cat-calls at the Turks as we drove and a bus load of us acting like ugly Americans usually do (or drunk 19 year olds). I also remember someone opening the side windows and "Shooting the Moon" to various Turks as we proceeded to our destination. At the World's Fair, I remember most of all the farm equipment but that is about all. I am not sure whether the flat tire happened on our way to the fair or if we discovered it when we returned to the VW. However, the decision was [reluctantly] made we could not return to the Det 27 without a spare tire. The decision was if we had another flat on the way back, we wud all be AWOL. Therefore, since it was the middle of the night, there was no way to purchase another tire, but another tire was needed. I claim I was against this; however, peer pressure, and I went along and must claim my guilt also. The streets were narrow, cars were parked along both sides, and apartments lined the paved roads around the Fair grounds. A VW bug was spotted, and the decision was made to requisition a tire. Most of us were assigned to watch for people or trouble while two people removed the tire. The VW bug was jacked-up, and the process started. A Turkish policeman came along and offered help, but was told his assistance was not needed. The tire was removed, the jack left under the bug (to my recollection), and the new tire, the VW Van, and all the guys headed back to Det 27. Now I learn from Frank Sedzielarz that a Turk in Izmir is still looking for his tire and some former Turkish Policeman is still lookin for a VW Van full of young drunk Americans who rejected his help.
CHUCK BERGMANN (JC), SP4, 05H, Det 27, MY66-DE67, 29813 Foote Rd., Bay Village, OH 44140, 440-871-5346, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: Boy, 35 years ago is a long time to try and think back to those days. I would have to say. I do look back on them with fond memories. I remember that ride from the Ankara airport to Det 27. Since I lived in a big city [Cleveland] all my life, the ride through Ankara was not what I expected. The ride from Ankara to Det 27 sure seemed like a long way. My first day reporting to the operations center I remember talking to a Sergeant (name unk) who decided that my OP SIGN would be JC and it stuck with me ever since as there are people who never knew my real name after that. My wife, Helen, followed me over to Turkey about 3 months after getting there. We lived in Ankara in a duplex apartment, the landlord lived above us. The apartment was not wired for the electric stove we had (it really didnt work very well) and I had to put new fuses in the fuse panel at least twice a week. When I got tired of that, I put some aluminum foil in the fuse so that it wouldnt keep blowing. It worked for about a month. Then one day I smelled rubber burning, and the landlord was outside shouting in Turkish. The power line from the street to the house had melted. I didnt tell him about the aluminum foil. I remember those of us who lived in town had to take big red jugs to work for water, because the city water wasnt fit to drink. I also still remember the Turkish Trots, though not as fondly as the other experiences. We used to take a [Varan] bus out to the Site every day for work. On the way to the bus stop, I used to get cookies from the local bakery. A bag of cookies cost about 25 cents and there was enough cookies for everyone on the trick. The only problem was, all the cookies tasted the same. I also remember a loaf of "ekmek" (bread) cost 7 cents. The local baker would hand me the loaf right out of the oven without a bag or anything. Then I would hear him laugh at me as I tried to juggle the hot bread without dropping it. A ride in a "dolmoush" was always interesting. They would always put about 10 people in a car that was meant to hold 4, and every one of them was smoking Turkish cigarettes. As for the grate rubs, I sure got my fair share of them. And I was always there to help give them out. I still remember the carbon pranks when we put carbon paper on the headsets of a weed (new guy). When he got done for the day, he had carbon all over his ears and cheeks. We worked hard and we played hard. I may have been the only guy at Det 27 who ever got court marshaled. At least I dont know of anyone else. Some how I was accused of black marketing, and since I didnt do it, I figured it would be better to take the court marshal instead of an Article 15. Well that didnt help. I was busted and fined so much money that I didnt get paid for about 4 months. We had those ration cards that were punched when we went to the PX. My card was never used, but the court marshal judge didnt care. Eventually the court marshal was reversed, I got my back pay and rank, and even a promotion to SP5. The CO at that time was Captain Tenney. We did not get along. I remember Sfc. [Don] Carpenter and a Warrant Officer by the name of [Calby] Lanoux. Both were great guys, people that you just cant forget about. There are so many faces that I remember but cant put a name to. I hope to see a lot of those old friends again at the reunion. After leaving Turkey I went to Vint Hill Farms for about 4 months then to Viet Nam (Phu Bai) for the balance of my 4 years. When I was discharged, Helen and I move back to the Cleveland area, and got a job as a foreman at the company I was working at before going into the Army. I have owned my own company, Quality Measurement Center, for about 25 years, and my wife of 35 years, Helen, works with me. We sell and service quality control equipment to the machine tool industry. I agree with Daniel Schoppe (Muff) when he said spending the first few years of your marriage under the conditions we experienced in Turkey can sure solidify that marriage. I still work every day and am having too much fun to retire yet. I have a married son, 31 years old, who owns his own company, Inspection Engineering. I have a daughter, 26 years old, who is a teacher in the Cleveland School system. I look forward to seeing all of you who made those years and travel over seas a fun time that you just dont forget about. I printed out the Memory Book this morning and have looked it over. You did a great job on that. I can tell you put a lot of time into it. It is much appreciated and I salute you for a fine job done.
Jeese, GH! That Chuck Bergmann guy is a man with a plan! We coulda used him in the Prague Summer. Weed Tilney
Gary Dunnam, Victoria, TX., SP5, 98C, Det 27 & 4-4, 66-68, wrote...... ""At [Karamursel] Det 4-4 there was a small stream behind the barracks. There were many frogs in the creek. They croaked and ribbeted all through the night. This kept Ralph Tilney awake. My recollection is seeing Tilney running down the hall with his entrenching tool at the ready. From inside the barracks we heard:
An eerie calm spread over the night as Tilney came back in, a smirk on his face, and disappeared into his room."" Ted Midtaune, SP4, 05H, Det 27, 24OC62-64, 3859 Santa Clara Way, Livermore, CA 94550, email@example.com: Here's a very interesting and straight forward sober account of Ted Midtaune's Tour of Duty at Manzarali Station and his shared knowledge and remembrance of an old friend, Calvin Pope, who cautiously expressed an intimate knowledge of the events and gloomy troubles of James Calvin Pope, who was a player (#25) and coach of the Manzarali Maulers MSC Championship Flag Football team in 1964......[edited]...... Made E-4 there, then E-3 compliments of Calvin Pope, then E-4 again! Remember the movie Midnight Express? Poor Calvin. "A fine guy, a good friend, and a rounder. He and I lived next to each other in Ankara. We both rented places on Tunalahilmi (sp?) Street before the wives came over. (and after, of course). You can imagine that the places were busy on the weekends and between the shifts! That was when the bathtub was full of Eskegee (sp.?) ice and .07 cent Heineken beer from the Ankara PX. However, it seemed like everyone from the site enjoyed our apartment in Ankara! We were too cheap to have the electricity hooked up, so we played cards with candles for lighting. (Had to save the money for beer). Other than my first 1/2 years, I missed all the action out at Site 23 during the off-hours. I do recall the time Elliot Potter, myself, Pat Patterson and one or two others got hold of a 1/2 ton (someone owes somebody big time), and went off site on a fishing trip into the desert south of Manzarali. I remember a garbage can (maybe two) full of beer, finding worms at a village well where the women were washing clothes (and they couldn't understand what we wanted with worms - ever try explaining using worms for bait?), and after a day of driving found a brown stream (with trees!) where we caught a bunch of carp or sucker-like fish. The kids from the nearest village (a mile?) came out and had battles over who got each fish. A terrific weekend. Anyone remember swimming with the cows and boating/water skiing at Lake Golbasi - nasty water! I do. How about 50 cent steaks downtown Ankara, 25 cent haircuts, and the Mini-Roof atop one of the higher buildings, where they only served vodka and lemon juice, but what a tremendous view at nite. Anyone remember Ted Nelson? Some kind of track champion in civvy life, playing wide-out in flag football, and Jay Hunter and myself would heave the ball down field as far as we could and he would run under it. Trick 3 was BOSS! Top quality Varan buses to and from the Site. Stars & Stripes for news. Midnight chow served by some excellent German cooks. Or were we just that hungry? Met some fine people, and would not give the experience up for anything! Then the wives came over and that changed things substantially. My wife, Merry, came over for the last year in Turkey and she worked for Chaplain DeVanney at DET 27. I remember waking up early one morning in May of 1963 to a plane flying over the apartment building, strafing the streets. Tanks, etc. firing on the military buildings - the War College Building took a beating. We stayed home and drank beer for 3 days as I recall. It was a coup d'etat. I remember the Turkish people crying in the streets when President Kennedy was shot. I loved my time there. The duty was so great that I still have not seen the weapon that was assigned to me when I first arrived! It was a time when people served with honor and I am very proud of the time that I put in. To pass a level in Morse Code at Ft. Devens, we would go out the nite before for a bout of drinking. We didn't share that secret with everyone, but it was a pretty good guarantee of passing that level the next day. Anyway, back to Calvin Pope. Calvin found a way to make a lot more money than what he could make in the Army. It involved some major purchases at the PX, and other places, and then a quick turn-around to the local economy. The problem was that he became too big a player and the Turkish police became aware of him and apprehended him. This was a major problem, and they threw him into the Turkish jail. Chaplain Devanney , Hubert Humphrey, and several other notable political figures became involved, but to no avail. He went through several trials, his wife Diane went back to the States, and there he stayed. Hence my reference to the movie Midnight Express. He said it was all too true to life! I believe it was several years before Diane could "buy back" his sentence for $X/day. I don't know how much she eventually paid out to the Turkish government. He eventually got out and went home to Diane in Summerdale, AL. I made E-5 at Ft Benning just in time for the free moving van home to MN. We visited them once for a week and had a great time shrimping, dove hunting, fishing, beering, dog races, etc. However, they had a falling out, and divorced, And that's what I know about my friend Cal Pope" What a wonderful job U have done! The roster is mind-boggling! I cannot imagine the work that went into it. How can this not be a success!
Its stories like this that I appreciate and makes my efforts less of a chore and a bore. Perhaps it is unfair to pick on Calvin Pope, but such stories, to be sure, leave us all with a satisfied feeling of wanting to know the rest of the story or should we pretend that it never happened? All clear, everyone? [I did find Calvin Pope in Alabama and he did make a success of his life after his TOUR of DUTY at Manzarali!]
THE ABOVE ARE A FEW OF MANY TURKEY RELATED STORIES THAT ARE IN THE MEMORY BOOK AND I'M SURE THAT THERE ARE MANY MORE THAT HAVE NOT BEEN TOLD. IF U ENJOYED THE ABOVE, THEN SIT RIGHT DOWN AND DRAFT YOUR INTERESTING STORIES SO THAT I CAN SHARE THEM WITH OTHERS IN THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES NEWSLETTERS AND EVENTUALLY IN THE MEMORY BOOK. THE 2001 85 PAGE MEMORY BOOK IS NOW OVER 250 PAGES AND WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE 13-15 SEPTEMBER 2002 HERSHEY REUNION COURTESY OF CHUCK BERGMANN.