Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy Coast Guard Day!

I had to be reminded of this by a former Marine. Sheesh.

That's a photo to commemorate the day. It's of the "Helo Side" night shift at Air Station Kodiak, Alaska (c. 1992). The helicopter (or "helo" (HEE-low) as we called it. Never 'choppers or 'heli') is a Sikorsky HH-3f. It was introduced to the USCG in 1968 and retired in 1993, much to my dismay. The replacement, the HH-60j was smaller and made me airsick. Man, I miss that bird.

I'm not in the photo, but I was stationed there and this was taken in the last week before I rotated to USCGAS Traverse City, MI. I was an Aviation Machinist Mate (fixed engines and rotor systems) and a Flight Mechanic (the guy that works the hoist and directs the pilots over victims). Man, I miss that job. The stories were always more interesting to other people than my graphic designer stories.

The guy on the left on the ICS (the headset attached to the helo), was my best friend "Murray Lopez". He was an Aviation Electronics Technician then and he's the one who invented the name 'Arkonbey' and allowed me to co-opt it. He's still in and is a Chief Petty Officer now and is nearing (or has past and is ignoring) retirement age. We're the same age, btw. All you have to do is your twenty.

The photo was taken by a good friend who, in a poem he wrote for me when I left Kodiak, described himself as 'my elusive friend'. He was a very interesting guy, almost a beat and he seemed out of place as an Aviation Machinist Mate. His name was Ron Klassen and if anybody knows him, please have him shoot me an email. I'd like to buy him a beer and tell him I still have the copy of "The Prophet" that he gave me as a going away gift. I hope you're doing well, Ron.

Now, since I must post some art, here's a piece of fanart I did last year. It's a sappy little thing dedicated to my favorite New Mutant, the much under-used and ill-treated Wolfsbane. She's chilling with her BFF Mirage

listening to while posting: The end credit music to All Creatures Great and Small running through my head.

1 comment:

Don Snabulus said...

It is also my birthday. I am not as good at plucking people out of the ocean though. The coast guard is freaking awesome and the people in it are brave and, so far, cool. Thanks USCG!