Dear Skipper Sandy,
I fear that I have once again reached beyond my bounds by at least twofold. After having given the most Herculean of hints (which I hoped would require little cranium activity on your part to read between the lines) soliciting and petitioning your encouragement for the after work, 9-is-Fine Westbanker's to attack and defeat, or at least with certainty circumvent, any and all obstacles associated with I-10, and then probe northbound for a links weekend, I remain disappointed (though not disgruntled) with the anticipated encouragement (of which there was some, not at all). Seemingly, it appears just as well. For in actuality, I fear that 3 humble folks such as myself and the abler duo could not handle two Yankees, such as you and your compadre in arms, as you both abide in an area named affectionately in honor of a tea concern.
Notwithstanding, Sir Sandy, I did not conceive that you would have the continuance, nor did I contemplate you could marshal the stamina, considering your new career (observing your toenails greaten) to issue a formal (albeit electronic) invite with certain and unchangeable August dates apparent. I assume, and I did imagine that possibly, Chile would adamantly counter my forward proposition & effectively & purposely assure our knowledge of such opposition. In a retrospective moment of perceptiveness I recalled that, though Chile could interpret the written word, he could not formulate the written word, and alas and most sadly, though he can perceive rhetoric, he cannot verbalize it.
Rather than face the expected odious appetizer and subsequent indigestion I shall surely savor by disappointing the expectant and worthy Groton pair, I intend, without so much as a fabrication, to lead them northward towards an area of grass, but one that lacks the customary color affiliated with chlorophyll. Once we trek far enough northward that the green turns majestically to the sapphire of the rainbow, I intend to proclaim the lack of existing & expected hospitality. Then, to ease their anguish, I intend to treat them to a day or more searching within a Mammoth declination in the off colored apron state.
My one and only fear, and I am fairly fearless, is that of the Wild Cave Tour.
WILD CAVE TOUR 6 to 61/2 hours, 51/2 miles (extremely strenuous) Must be 16 years or older to participate. (Be prepared to show proof of age.) Must have a chest size of no larger than 42 inches - anyone larger will not fit through the tight spaces. Crawl, climb, and squeeze through small passages off traditional tour routes. Helmets and lights provided. Kneepads available, but you may bring your own - rollerblade-type or hard plastic kneepads not allowed. High-top (over-the-ankle) lace-up boots, with lug or deeply-treaded soles, required. Gloves and long pants strongly recommended. Visitors should bring a lunch and a small water bottle in a small "fanny" pack. Restrooms available. Tickets being held at "Will Call" must check in 30 minutes prior to departure or the tickets will be released. Limit: 14 $35 Mammoth Passage Tour 11/4 hours, 3/4 mile (moderate) Visit the large passage referred to by early cave explorers as "Main Cave," whose high vaulted ceilings and broad avenues gave birth to the cave called "Mammoth." Park Rangers discuss the cave's creation by water, the absence of what many people refer to as "typical" cave formations, the cave's cultural history and contemporary environmental concerns. Visitors must descend and climb more than 60 stairs. Must walk up a steep hill to return to the Visitor Center. Limit: 100 $5
I must profess that in a year far past, due to the breadth of my shoulders, I insisted that my feet accompany my head through the Mole Hole, and only convinced them to do so by divesting myself of my upper clothing and beseeching my compatriots, both above and below the Hole, to collaborate in pushing and pulling at the identical time -- that was it, or of course it may have been the propulsive explanation from the pathfinder that if I did not make it through the Hole, I must necessarily return the way I had come, including unwinding the previous 2 hour trip through the tunnel with the dome so low that one could neither crawl comfortably on one's knees nor could one belly slither and keep one's nose far enough above the liquid to inhale needed oxygen. Ahh, due the passage of time and the associated corporal mutations, I now question the ability of that part of me above the belt line and on the opposite side of the vertebrae to attack that very same and formerly vanquished Hole.
Captain, Oh Captain,
I fear the ring for which I have reached remains far above and beyond my grasp. Likely, more that not, because you have taken the possibly appropriate road of "if they are not within my vision, they are beyond my concern". (Out of Sight - Out of Mind.)
We miss you (or at least we miss somebody). Hopefully your new companions will give you more Mulligans per round then we were capable of giving (is that possible?). If not, Joann probably remembers where we are -- query her.
A voice from the past
Date: 7/11/99 8:10:04 PM Central Daylight Time
Is this an e-mail from Jim Wilson or Winston S. Churchill? Sure sounds like Winston talks!!
When you get through Mammoth Cave, we will be waiting for you at the Upton Teabag exit!!!! Actually, if you guys go through Mammoth Cove, we may come by just to watch you!!!
Are you serious about coming up to Nolin Lake? HOOTY HOO!!!! We will keep a light on for you!!!
Date: 7/13/99 8:28:32 PM Central Daylight Time
From: The Academy Commander
To: The Direct Commission Lieutenant Commander
At least I had, perchance, a moment to digest and reflect upon your humble prose. My most humble complements, not that I have any other sort I am sure you would surmise, to your literary tribute to Sir Winston.
Date: 7/19/99 8:39:11 PM Central Daylight Time
To: Skipper Sandy
Looks like we are good to go to leave after work on Thurs Aug 12. Do we need to bring anything besides golf clubs & extra balls for Rod?
We plan on paying for the trip by selling the crawfish we bring at a fair (fairly large) markup. Will make a little extra by bringing the Video camera & getting pictures of Yankees putting good crawfish on a hook & feeding them to fish. People down here will pay good money to see that & then still not believe it (like an old fashioned freak show).
The only hang-up I see is depending on the Academy guys. They picked the date but, as you recall, they ain't very dependable.
Also, and this is very important, please start convincing the golfers up there that everyone down here yells like the Commander and tries to chase people off the green like Rod -- tell them it is considered polite golf south of I-10. Tell them those two wouldn't do that unless they liked the people they were doing it to (kinda like an Eskimo burping after a meal).
Date: 7/15/99 12:02:50 AM Central Daylight Time
From: Sandy (USCG Retired)
Sounds GREAAAAAT!!!!!! We might golf on Friday and Saturday. Are you going to let Rod keep your score this time??? If you don't like his scorekeeping, we might just play cards and fish for catfish on Saturday.
Do I have to take a day of leave on that Friday? Hmmm.
I believe the Young D8DLO will just be reporting in about that time - are you all going to abandon her??? Cold Hearted!!!
Can't wait to see you all !!!!
<<<< Rod, Lost your e-mail in LaLa Land = think this is what it said, if I am wrong, let me know = by the way Mendy found that score sheet you were looking for = it was upside down on the dash = See Below>>>
Subj: WILD CAVE TOUR
I prefer golfing to the Wild Cave Tour. ONE, as you know, my shoulders are wider than 42". TWO, I am not going into a hole in the ground with one L guy, let alone three. I know you L guys would feel at home down there, but M guys are more comfortable in the sunlight.
For The Record: I am not interested in going into any caves.
Regards as always,
Date: 8/4/99 5:41:37 PM Central Daylight Time
To: Skipper Sandy
We are almost set up. I am following your instructions and here is how it is panning out:
L guys =CDR Baumgartner; LCDR Wilson; Skipper Sandy
M guys = LCDR Walker; CDR Wagner; LCDR Beistle (I know you requested a pure M guy but Tom was the best I could do)
So, as previously discussed, I have lined up free M caddies for each of us L guys. That only leaves Chile = should I belittle him by inviting another M guy as Chile's caddie or does he deserve and O guy?
P.S. = Should us L guys draw straws for the M caddies (I would say short straw gets Rod, only seems fitting) or do you have a better idea?
You all behave next week, OK? I gave Rod a hard time today at the picnic which he responded to very graciously (you decide if that's truth or sarcasm...)
On the behave side, we can all do it but am worried about one thing = do you have any tricks on controlling the CDR's temper on the links?
I doubt that the tricks that I've picked up over the past 12 years to control Bill (on the links or otherwise) would work as well for you... ;-)
Guess you are on your own with this dilemma.
To: CDR Wagner; Rod Walker; Chile; Joann; Sandy; Tom Beistle; CDR Baumgartner; Rhonda Baumgartner
Subject: Tuesday B4 Kentucky
Date: Tuesday, August 10, 1999 8:11 PM
Looks like everyone is ready to roll:
FOR ALL: Suggest you bring your own sleeping bag, blankie, and pillow! Oh yah, and your own Teddy = mine is mine.
For Tom: Mendy is fixing spaghetti Wed nite but we are short of meat = if you see anything along the road on your way here, grab it.
For CDR Wagner: If you would have trained your Prevention people correctly, you wouldn't be dealing with your Response people.
For All: CDR Baumgartner has done the engineering thingy on the trip & figures we may be 1 ounce over the 24' maximum performance weight. So, I am limiting RV to one tooth brush which we will all share.
For Chile: I bought a sign language book & we will practice it on the way up so you don't feel left out.
For Sandy: Okay, since you said we are gonna have a fish fry, we will look for a place to buy fish on the way up there.
For Rhonda: I figure it is not a stick but a carrot you use to keep him in line. Can we borrow that carrot for the trip?
For Tom & Mendy: Sorry = I took Thursday off = Having you 2 on the Westbank while I was on the Eastbank ain't gonna happen!!!!!!
For Joann: Why do you put up with this Sheee Itttt?
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 1999 00:15:33 EDT
Subject: Re: Tuesday B4 Kentucky
To: Jim; CDR Wagner; Rod Walker; Chile; Joann; Sandy; Tom Beistle; CDR Baumgartner; Rhonda Baumgartner
For all - you will not need a teddy - there are lots of raccoons around to keep you company.
For Tom - Mendy cooks spaghetti with crawfish - you will not need to bring any meat.
For CDR Wagner - Waxler Towing is located in the Paducah AOR - they should have trained their prevention people better, then your response people would not be so busy.
For All - CDR Baumgartner is no longer an engineer, he is a lawyer. He probably became a lawyer because he wasn't a very good engineer. I think you will be able to bring 2 tooth brushes. The problem is deciding who has to share with Jim.
For Chile - The only sign these guys understand has to do with one of your fingers pointing in the air in the general direction of .... well, you get the idea.
For me: We will eat our fish - but if you happened to bring along some already cooked crawfish ....
For Rhonda: Don't give Jim that carrot - he will never give it back!!!!
For Tom and Mendy - You should have gone to the East Bank...
For Joann - Because I know you love me:)
Have a great day all,
On to Kentucky
37 Degrees 20 Minutes 74/100 Seconds North
86 Degrees 7 Minutes 48/100 Seconds West