In which we honor some veterans, and there is a little milestone

Before Jim became Farmer Jim, he was Computer Geek Jim. But before that, he was Sargeant Jim. 20 years of service in the navy and army.

There's been an interesting discussion on Facebook this week between the members of my family. It all started with this photo of my Uncle Bud Barrett, posted by his daughter Sandi:
As is common on FB, there was a little smattering of comments about the photo and the handsomeness and youth of the sailor in it...and then some stories started to emerge about this young sailor.

Apparently, Bud was too young to join the navy, but my grandmother signed a waiver allowing him to enlist at age 17. Bud's older brother, my Uncle Don, was posted in Hawaii and Bud managed to get a posting there too--they were excited that they'd both be taking it easy in Hawaii for Christmas that year. Unfortunately for the folks in Pearl Harbor in December 1941, they had a very different experience than the beachside holiday they had envisioned.

Bud was on the USS Nevada when it was torpedoed--he swam to safety!

What a story!

I had only known one "family" Pearl Harbor story before Sandi posted this one. My grandfather (not the father of my Uncles Bud and Don--our family is complicated) did not want to be in Hawaii for Christmas. He had a wife and two little sons (my dad and my Uncle Bob) at home in Bremerton, so he traded orders with another guy. That other guy was posted to the USS Arizona.

There, but for the grace.

Does your family have stories like that? I didn't know the story about Uncle Bud until yesterday...maybe, if there are older members of your family who are still around to ask, you could ask them about their lives during WWII. These stories are too good to lose.

On a more contemporary note, I got an envelope in the mail from the AERC yesterday. Inside the envelope:
my 500-mile Limited Distance patch. It's taken me eleven years to get 500 LD miles. (The lower patch in the photo is my endurance patch, for miles accumulated in distances of 50-miles and longer).

I got curious about how I spent those 500 LD miles, so I looked up my record: Story was my mount for 250 of those miles, beginning in 1999. Toad carried me for 3 LD rides; David and Jennifer's kindly horse Laser was loaned to me for a sunny day in 2003, and I borrowed Blaze for a ride in 2007. This year, Fiddle and I completed 5 LD rides, which bumped us over the 500-mile mark.

It's been a long and lovely journey, and we ain't done yet.

Happy Veterans Day, y'all.


  1. Wow! Suddenly the puny little 75 and change hours this year (in my KVTR log book) that Kate and Maddie (and Beth) and I spent on the trail looks pretty insignificant. But you endurance riders are pretty exceptional! For instance, Funder two hour/11+ mile afternoon jaunt! Gaachk!

    wv= rednees --> What I would have if I did 11 miles of trotting in two-point!

  2. You and Fiddle continue to give me "hope" that my Phebes and I will endure...I figure if your moody mare can do it, mine can too. ~E.G.

  3. ES and EG: I recently learned the secret to high-milage riding:

    "Keep Going."

    I'm really missing the longer distance events longest ride in 2010 was 30 miles (not including trail-working weeks), and I took two years off prior to this year getting Fiddle legged up. I am REALLY eager to go back to 50+ milers!

  4. I shot off an email to my Dad, but I think my great-uncle Neal was on one of the battleships in the Pacific. Will update with clarification!

    I hope my horse and I like 50s, I really do. But being a career LD rider wouldn't be that bad, I suppose. Here's to 2011 being a good year, right?

  5. I suppose that the "Keep going" advise might apply to writing a novel in a month as well. ;-P

  6. Ok, my dad says that it was his Uncle Billy who served on the Yorktown in the Pacific. His uncle Neal was in the Korean War, but he was in Germany.


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