Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
$250.00 for the pair. He had the original owners manuals, titles and keys. The tool sets were complete and never appeared to be used.
carb. cleaning. Had the original white wall tires. I think it had around 8000 miles on it. Was a great running little bike.
pristine. The original owner had chromed the side covers. I spent a few hours to get it running. The tires were original and had flat spots from sitting all those years. They even held air. Of all the bikes I've had this is the one I wish I'd kept. It only needed tires, seat cover, fork boots, and tank emblems to be complete. I now see them going for thousands on E-Bay. I sold it for $650.00 to a fellow Airhead in Sacramento.
mileage. 5000 miles I believe. Was missing original mufflers, and carb. cover. It drove like new. I did a partial trade for a M.C. paint job with this one. The blue w/red seat was a rare original color scheme. I always ran newspaper ads in Yuma looking for old non-running bikes. maybe I'll run another ad this winter, you never know what might still surface.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Crew #555 taken in Late 1944, Attlebridge England. Planes flown, Damifino, Dixie!, Times-a-Wastin. Crew members as follows: Standing Left to Right: Pilot-Paul Bridgman, Radio Operator-Elijah J. Porter, Waist/Top Gunner-Corodon Norton, Nose Gunner-Wm. E. Gilbert, Co-Pilot- Wesley R. Vawter, Navigator- John Wm. Smith, Seated Left to Right: Tail Gunner-R.E. Weckerly, Bombadier-Tom Hallet, Engineer-Allen D. Miller, Ball Turret Gunner- James R. Attenholt.
My Father, J. Wm. Smith, has kept in touch with Co-Pilot Wes Vawter since the war. They lost track of all the other crewmen over the years. I imagine after surviving the war most of the veterans were happy to forget the things they witnessed , ready to put it behind them and go about their lives. My father never talked about his War experiences as long as I can remember while growing up. Upon gaining computer literacy (to a point) a few years ago I discovered some 8th Air Force Web sites which spurred me to begin asking Dad, then in his late 80's , questions about those experiences so many years ago. He opened up and told me many stories of those months in England. I was fascinated and was able to post a few photos and some of his experiences on a Web site. I later started my own Web Blog and had a couple of posts about the 466th Bomb Group. Finding these photos posted here, I was able to get Wesley Vawter to name all the guys in the photo. Dad had forgotten a few of the names but Wes had them written down.
Low and behold the son of one of Dads' Crew Mates saw my site and contacted me to let me know that another Crewman, Corodon (Buzz) Norton was alive and well and living in Florida at age 82. I excitedly contacted Dad (now 92) and gave him the news. I then called Mr. Norton and visited with him for 15 minutes or so. He was happy to find that Dad and Wes Vawter were still alive and kicking. Dad and Buzz will be talking soon. I am so happy that this series of events has occurred. Comrades from so many years ago will be reunited, at least over the phone. I hope that this event will not open old wounds. These men relied upon each other to get through those times and were closer than family, in a way. I am sincerely grateful that Mr. Nortons son, Greg, contacted me and helped connect the old pals after all these years. Thanks again Greg.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Hebgan Lake and Quake Lake. Approaching Hebgan we could see that rain was imminent so we stopped long enough to put on more layers and some rain gear. As we hit the Quake lake the rain got heavier and then turned to snow. These photos don't do justice to the snowfall. I had to pull over as I lost visibility and between the fogging face shield and the wind blown snow I was blinded. I took a quick pair of photos' and we headed out and made it about a mile to the Visitor Center.
faired well except for my frozen hands and feet. I could not unlatch my helmet as my fingers were useless. Darian finally got my helmet untied and we sat for a bit and regrouped. From there on out the weather was on and off rain which was not bad at all compared to the Sept. 1st. blizzard. It was nice to get home safe and sound. Definitely one of the longest hour or so rides of my life!
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
young families were camped in front of us and we had to ride between their tents to get to our site. We ran into Jackson for a quick bite to eat and then back to the campground. Tourists were thick in Jackson. A lot of bikes on the street. Saw a couple more sidecars around town. We went to bed early to watch a DVDmovie and at about 10:30 pm 5 motorcyclists (at least three with straight pipes) roared into the site above us. They also had to ride within a foot of the other tents. Each of the young families had babies and they immediately began squalling after the bikes roared in. They kept us awake for a while until they set up. Then it was Snore and Fart time for them for the rest of the night. A real nice lullaby to fall asleep to.
Farters next door high tailed it out of there while the rain was falling. I heard one of them yell "Pardon Me" as his bike roared to life and he pulled out within the foot of the now unsleeping babies in the tents. With that, the kids began to cry again and I had to get up. The clouds broke so Darian and I quickly tore down the camp and hit the road by 9:00 am. We entered Grand Teton Park and took a leisurely ride around the base of the mountains. Beautiful views and clouds rolling in and out of the peaks. The temperatures were now in the 50's and 60's. Perfect cool riding weather. We toured the park and then headed towards Yellowstone from the south. Darian took some movies while riding in the sidecar in Yellowstone but I haven't figured out how to post them yet. I'll work on that....................to be continued