The December to Remember: WWII veteran receives nation’s top civilian honor

Credit: Napa Valley Register

As I mentioned in the post published on December 1st, I will be posting articles that are related to WWII and or Pearl Harbor that are of current events. Today’s news article is one that I found on napavalleyregister.comwhich is a local news paper from Napa, California. I actually watched a segment on my local news TV channel about this gentleman. His story is one of intrigue and courage. But first here is a little background on how the Japanese American Citizens were treated shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack.

Being a Japanese American shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, was not easy. They were treated as possible threats to National Security. Many Japanese Americans were treated unfairly as the non-Asian citizens did not trust anyone resembling Japanese descent. The country went into a sort of campaign to motivate the young and eager willing male public 16-24 years of age to join in to fight the Japanese to obtain Justice against the attack on Pearl Harbor. Some citizens took the distrust too far by hanging racist signs and writing horrible messages on or near the Japanese American houses and businesses such as these:

Racist Sign hung in San Francisco Advertising the Sutro Baths

A Japanese family returns home to find their garage vandalized with graffiti and broken windows in Seattle, on May 10, 1945. AP Photo

We had Japanese Internment camps right here in California. Japanese-American internment was the relocation and internment by the United States government in 1942 of approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese who lived along the Pacific coast of the United States to camps called “War Relocation Camps,” in the wake of Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. The internment of Japanese Americans was applied unequally throughout the United States. Japanese Americans who lived on the West Coast of the United States were all interned, while in Hawaii, where more than 150,000 Japanese Americans composed over one-third of the territory’s population, 1,200 to 1,800 Japanese Americans were interned. Of those interned, 62% were American citizens.

Japanese Internment Camp in California

So now you may know why this article is so significant. Now without further adieu here is the News article.

credit:Napa Valley Register

Takuma Tanada, a 92-year-old resident of west Napa, makes no claims for heroic service in World War II in the fight against Japan. “Others are the real heroes,” he said.

While vast numbers of American soldiers, sailors and pilot lost their lives or endured miserable conditions in the Pacific, Tanada was on General Douglas MacArthur’s staff as an agricultural advisor in the Military Intelligence Service.

Yet his contribution was not without significance. When the war ended and American forces ran Japan, Tanada said he was in charge of the importation and manufacture of fertilizer. This humanitarian effort, combined with American food aid, prevented millions of Japanese from starving to death after the war, he said.

Credit: Napa Valley Register

Three weeks ago, Tanada stood before the top leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate in Washington, D.C. to accept the Congressional Gold Medal for his war service.

The medal — one of the two highest civilian awards in the United States — went to Tanada and 99 other WWII veterans not only for their individual actions during the war, but to recognize the patriotism of Japanese Americans at a time of rabid prejudice at home.

The Congressional Gold Medal is part of America’s ongoing effort to atone for injustices done to Japanese Americans during WWII, said Tanada, who professes to holding no personal bitterness.

At the time of the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, Tanada, the son of Japanese who immigrated to Hawaii two decades earlier, was a biology student at the University of Hawaii.

Pearl Harbor triggered a wave of public hostility against Japanese Americans whose loyalty to America was questioned, Tanada said. “We were considered spies, a Fifth Column and so forth,” he said in an interview.

On the West Coast, the U.S. government rounded up more than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry, including entire families, after Pearl Harbor and moved them to guarded camps.

In Hawaii, Japanese Americans, who constituted a much higher percentage of the population, were not sent to internment camps. “The authorities in Hawaii recognized our loyalty,” Tanada said.

Tanada and his brother both volunteered for the Army. His brother, Shigeo Tanada, was accepted and fought against Germany in an all-Japanese American unit that was highly decorated after the war.

Tanada said he was first rejected by the military, then drafted later. Because of his ethnicity and bilingual capabilities, he was assigned to the Military Intelligence Service where 5,000 Japanese Americans did top-secret work translating Japanese communications. He reached the rank of technical sergeant.

Credit: Napa Valley Register

Holding a master’s in biology, Tanada was assigned to MacArthur’s staff to work on agriculture and food issues.

Presiding over the award ceremony in the Capitol on Nov. 2 were Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader; Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader; House Speaker John Boehner and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

“He was all smiles. I think this energized him,” said Juliet Tanada, his daughter who is a retired Army lieutenant colonel.

Given all that happened to Japanese Americans during World War II, “this is a kind of closure,” she said.

Tanada’s son-in-law, David Vesely, a retired Army colonel, said the Congressional medal should help to heal old wounds. “I hope when he goes to his grave,” he said of his father-in-law, “he feels there is atonement for what the government did.”

While pleased with the Congressional Gold Medal, Tanada downplays his service. “I never experienced hardship, mentally or physically. It was an easy job for me,” he said.

Japan’s decision to attack the U.S. at Pearl Harbor was a “very stupid” move, Tanada said. Japan is lucky it lost the war, he said.

“It turned out better for them,” he said. Under American leadership and with American aid, Japan was able to create a more civil society and lay the groundwork for future economic prosperity, he said.

Tanada went on to have a distinguished career as a plant researcher for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He was “rumored” to have been nominated for the Nobel Prize, but nothing came of it, he said.

Anyone who searches the Internet for “Tanada effect” will find  entries about an electrical plant phenomenon named for Tanada, the discoverer.

Tanada and his wife moved to Napa 28 years ago to retire near their daughter, Juliet Tanada, who was then teaching optometry at Berkeley.

Widowed in 1986, he tends a one-acre garden in Browns Valley where he grows fruits and vegetables and wages war against marauding deer.

“I like the climate,” he said. “Napa has a small-town atmosphere, which appeals to me. I don’t like big cities. It was the perfect place for me to settle.”

The human rights group Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) hosts a rally at Ground Zero to protest the construction of a mosque at the site of the Islamic terror attack that brought down the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.

America is more tolerant of minorities today than it was in the 1940s, Tanada said. While there was some backlash against American Muslims after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, it was nothing like what happened to Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor, he said.

“I think we are much more open-minded than before,” he said.

You can visit the website by visiting: WWII Veteran Receives Nation’s top civilian Honor

I hope you enjoyed this article. If you know someone of Japanese ethnicity that lived in the United States during WWII, ask them about what it was like to live in a Nation that at first had promise of a better life but then as soon as Pearl Harbor was attacked became a Nation of stripping civil rights from anyone who was Japanese. Even though you were born in the US, you were still Japanese and considered a threat. Times have thankfully changed.

Thanks for reading,

Published in: on December 6, 2011 at 2:15 AM  Comments (1)  
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December 1941: The December to Remember

As we are healing from the over eating and family bickering we enter into December. For myself and many others from my generation (Generation Y) born during the 1980’s, December represents the beginning of the Christmas season, countdown to Christmas gifts, and days off of school for Christmas vacation. But for a few generations before us December means so much more. For some it is a chilling reminder of the attack on Pearl Harbor Hawaii. The attack on Pearl Harbor Hawaii happened on December 7, 1941 in the early morning around 8:00AM. Sailors aboard the various ships docked in the harbor were waking and beginning to start their day in paradise. Their daily duties were abruptly disrupted by the sound of explosions and fire.

The attack was intended as a preventive action in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions the Empire of Japan was planning in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States.

The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. All but two of the eight were raised, repaired and returned to service later in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded. The power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor was captured.

The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day (December 8 ) the United States declared war on Japan.

In the wake of the attack, 15 Medals of Honor, 51 Navy Crosses, 53 Silver Stars, four Navy and Marine Corps Medals, one Distinguished Flying Cross, four Distinguished Service Crosses, one Distinguished Service Medal, and three Bronze Stars were awarded to the American servicemen who distinguished themselves in combat at Pearl Harbor. Additionally, a special military award, the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal, was later authorized for all military veterans of the attack.

The day after the attack, Roosevelt delivered his famous Infamy Speech to a Joint Session of Congress, calling for a formal declaration of war on the Empire of Japan. Congress obliged his request less than an hour later. On December 11 Germany and Italy, honoring their commitments under the Tripartite Pact, declared war on the United States. The Tripartite Pact was an earlier agreement between Germany, Italy and Japan which had the principal objective of limiting U.S. intervention in any conflicts involving the three nations. The United States Congress issued a declaration of war against Germany and Italy later that same day. Britain actually declared war on Japan nine hours before the US did, partially due to Japanese attacks on Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong, and partially due to Winston Churchill’s promise to declare war “within the hour” of a Japanese attack on the United States.

The attack was an initial shock to all the Allies in the Pacific Theater. Further losses compounded the alarming setback. Japan attacked the Philippines hours later (because of the time difference, it was December 8 in the Philippines). Only three days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Prince of Wales and Repulse were sunk off the coast of Malaya, causing British Prime Minister Winston Churchill later to recollect “In all the war I never received a more direct shock. As I turned and twisted in bed the full horror of the news sank in upon me. There were no British or American capital ships in the Indian Ocean or the Pacific except the American survivors of Pearl Harbor who were hastening back to California. Over this vast expanse of waters Japan was supreme and we everywhere were weak and naked”.

Throughout the war, Pearl Harbor was frequently used in American propaganda.

One further consequence of the attacks on Pearl Harbor and its aftermath (notably the Niihau Incident) was that Japanese American residents and citizens were relocated to nearby Japanese-American internment camps. Within hours of the attack, hundreds of Japanese American leaders were rounded up and brought to high-security camps such as Sand Island at the mouth of Honolulu harbor and Kilauea Military Camp on the island of Hawaii. Later, over 110,000 Japanese Americans, including United States citizens, were removed from their homes and transferred to internment camps in California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, and Arkansas. The Japanese planners had determined that some means of rescuing fliers whose aircraft were too badly damaged to return to the carriers was required. The island of Niihau, only 30 minutes flying time from Pearl Harbor, was designated as the rescue point.

The Zero flown by Petty Officer Saikaijo of Hiryu was damaged in the attack on Wheeler, and he flew to the rescue point on Niihau. The aircraft was further damaged on landing, and Saikaijo was helped from the wreckage by one of the native Hawaiian inhabitants. The island’s residents had no telephones or radio and were completely unaware of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The pilot’s maps and other documents had been retained by his local rescuers, and when Saikaijo realized this he enlisted the support of the only two Japanese residents of the island in an attempt to recover them. During the ensuing struggles, Saikaijo was killed, one of the Japanese residents committed suicide and the other disappeared.

The ease with which the local Japanese residents apparently went to the assistance of Saikaijo was a source of concern for many, and tended to support those who believed that local Japanese could not be trusted.

Today, the USS Arizona Memorial on the island of Oahu honors the lives lost on the day of the attack. Visitors to the memorial access it via boats from the naval base at Pearl Harbor. Alfred Preis is the architect responsible for the memorial’s design. The structure has a sagging center and its ends strong and vigorous. It commemorates “initial defeat and ultimate victory” of all lives lost on December 7, 1941. Although December 7 is known as Pearl Harbor Day, it is not considered a federal holiday in the United States. The nation does however, continue to pay homage remembering the thousands injured and killed when attacked by the Japanese in 1941. Schools and other establishments across the country respectfully lower the American flag to half-staff.

Pearl Harbor was that generations 9/11. We look at 9/11 in the same way that the Americans of that era looked at Pearl Harbor. I am a huge history buff, and I can swear that I am reincarnated from someone who lived during the 30’s, 40’s, or 50’s. So on every December 7th I  will always remember and honor those who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor. I have been on the USS Arizona’s monument and that visit only solidified my overwhelming feelings towards the sad event in history. Aboard the monument it is deafening quiet. It is so amazingly quiet that it feels like another world. You are overcome with such a feeling of loss partly because the of the large list of names chiseled into the marble wall as well as the fact that there still are the remains of sailors locked inside the vessel. It is speculated that the small oily substance seeping from the wreckage is the remains of the sailors who were untimely entombed inside the Arizona during that fateful day.

As we enter December and head towards the day that will live in infamy, I have stories and articles of current events that are related to WWII and the Attack on Pearl Harbor. So as we learn together how WWII and Pearl Harbor is still affecting and touching aspects of our time, please help us keep the memory alive by doing a little research of your own to learn something new about that fateful day. Stay tuned as more articles are to come leading up to December 7th, 70 years after December 1941, The December to Remember.

Thanks for reading,

Published in: on December 1, 2011 at 3:11 AM  Comments (3)  
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Retro, Vintage, Passe, Nostalgic, items living new lives

We have all seen the shows on TV such as American Pickers, Pawn Stars, Cash and Cari, and Antique Roadshow. All show Retro, Vintage, Passe, Nostalgic, items being bought and sold which I find very interesting.  I record all of these shows with my DVR. We all watch these shows and we find ourselves interested in the history of the items and enjoy learning about the life of the items. What we don’t think about is where it goes after the sale. In shows like American Pickers and Pawn Stars we can often spot items that they have purchased in previous shows in the background on their shelves and display cases. But that doesn’t mean that these items stay on those shelves and collect dust. At some point they will sell and be on their way to a new home. That is what I find interesting. I can spend hours and hours and hours in antique shops, thrift stores, flea markets, and yard sales looking for items that I wish to rescue. I really have a problem haha. I never have collected items to make money. Otherwise it would not be as fun. Most if the items I have were either from my family, or things that I purchased to use or display. Rarely to I buy an Item that I do not plan to use. For example I own a ton of old vinyl records and even though they are really old and fragile, I still play them as they were originally intended to be. I take care of each of my items and I would never compromise the condition, but I do use my items. I have old cameras and I do use them from time to time. I used most of them during my time in my photography class in High School. On these shows each one has a different items that they buy and sell, but they have one thing in common, they all save Retro, Vintage, Passe, Nostalgic items and allow them to live another life, instead of being thrown away after not being noticed at an estate sale, or someone not knowing the value of that item. Everything has a value to someone. I have seen collections that range from simple common PEZ Dispensers to Maytag washing machines. So before you throw out anything, please check ebay to see if they have the item listed so you can see the demand, and also the cost of the item. Although even though there is only one listed on ebay this may not mean that there is a demand for it. As well as if there is a few of the item listed and one is selling for $1000 and the others are selling for $20 this does not reflect a true value. Just like auto auctions that are televised their prices are inflated. For example, I have seen a 1976 Ford Pinto sell on the Barrett Jackson Auto Auction on the Speed Channel for a jaw dropping $12,650. Which is outrageous. Especially for a car that sold new for just under $2000 and was meant to be a fix to the gas crisis, just like Toyota Prius’s are today. You can view the Pinto here “The 12,000 Pinto”

If you don’t have cable or have not see either of these shows, I will explain what each show is about.

Pawn Stars: (synopsis from Wikipedia) An American reality television series on the History Channel, produced in Manhattan by Leftfield Pictures. The series is filmed in Las Vegas, Nevada, where it chronicles the daily activities at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, a 24-hour family business operated by patriarch Richard Harrison, his son Rick Harrison (who opened the shop with his father in 1988), and Rick’s son Corey, who has worked there since childhood, and who is being groomed to one day take over the shop. The show debuted on July 26, 2009, and it usually airs on Mondays at 10pm Eastern Time. Two new episodes usually premiere in an hour block on Mondays. Reruns can be seen on History as well as Lifetime, which added the show in December 2010.

The series depicts the staff’s interactions with customers, who bring in a variety of artifacts to sell or pawn and who are shown haggling over the price and discussing its historical background, with narration provided by Rick, Corey, and Richard, who is known as “The Old Man”. The series also follows the interpersonal conflicts between Richard, Rick, Corey, and Corey’s friend Austin “Chumlee” Russell, another employee of the shop. One reviewer referencing these conflicts described the show as a version of Antiques Roadshow “hijacked by American Chopper’s” Teutul family. TV Guide has offered a similar description, calling the show “one part Antiques Roadshow, a pinch of LA Ink and a dash of COPS“.

Numerous local experts in a variety of areas also regularly appear to appraise the items being sold or pawned, one of whom, Rick Dale of Rick’s Restorations, is the star of the series’ first spin-off, American Restoration, which premiered in October 2010

American Pickers: (synopsis from Wikipedia) The show follows Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, who have known each other since junior high school as they travel around the greater Midwestern United States as well as the eastern and southern U.S. in a Mercedes Sprinter, buying antiques and collectibles. They work with Danielle Colby-Cushman, who runs the office of their business, Antique Archaeology, from their home base in Le Claire, Iowa and attempts to track down potential sellers.

Wolfe and Fritz explore people’s homes, barns, sheds, and other outbuildings, and other places where they have collected antiques and collectibles. They call upon casual collectors, hoarders and, occasionally, people who have inherited overwhelming collections of apparent junk. Wolfe, who has been “picking” since age four,  has a particular interest in antique motorcycles, old bicycles and penny-farthings, while Fritz has a fondness for antique toys, antique oil cans, and old Hondas. They have purchased old advertisements and commercial signage, film posters, a rare 15-gallon visible gasoline pump, and a Piaggio Ape (similar to a Vespa Motor Scooter) that one of their friends told them is probably the only one of its kind in North America.

Photo Copyright:

Cash and Cari: A new reality series Cash & Cari, featuring antiques and collectibles enthusiast Cari Cucksey. For those of you who love potentially valuable old things, Cash & Cari is probably the show for you. The series, which premiered on January 2nd on HGTV, follows Cari Cucksey as she digs through her client’s basements and attics in the hopes of finding items of value. The episodes will follow her search for treasure and her attempts to sell the things she does come across at estate sales.

There is so many shows that I really get into but these are the main shows that I watch regularly. Some of the items that drop into their hands are amazing. Items that range from a book from Sir Isaac newton’s personal library, rare toys, antique firearms, and vintage collectibles. I am very happy that they have shows like this that help engage the younger generations into items that are Retro, Vintage, Passe, and Nostalgic. Older items are now considered “cool” to the younger crowds to where typically these items would be considered old junk. Although on the flip side of that, just like the auto auctions, it drives the prices up as people think that because they have an item that is similar to an item shown on either one of these shows that its worth a million dollars. So it does make things a little harder to afford, although again on the flip side of that, it does make my items worth more too. So if you get the chance to see these shows you can catch these shows at the following times and channels:

(Click on a show below to view their website for more info)

American Pickers: History Channel – On Mondays @ 6:00 PM

Pawn Stars: History Channel – On Mondays @ 7:00 PM & 7:30PM

Cash andCari: HGTV (Home and Garden TV) – On Monday’s (check HGTV for times)

I hope you all enjoy these shows while they are on. As we all know that the interest with Retro, Vintage, Passe, and Nostalgic items does come and go just as these shows will eventually be out of the spotlight of the public’s interest.

Thanks for reading,

Published in: on February 1, 2011 at 12:59 AM  Comments (1)  
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The date which will live in infamy

Today, December 7th, 2010 is declared Pearl Harbor Day. Pearl Harbor Day commemorates the unprovoked attack in 1941 of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii by Japanese forces. The attack marked the US entry into World War II. The attack took place on Sunday morning at 7:55 AM. It lasted just over an hour. The harbor was the homeport for the US Pacific fleet. Most of the ships in the harbor were damaged or destroyed. 2,400 Americans were killed and nearly 1,200 wounded. The greatest tragedy was the loss of the Battleship USS Arizona with its crew of nearly 1,200 men.

At the dawn on Sunday, December 7, 1941, the naval aviation forces of the Empire of Japan attacked the United States Pacific Fleet center at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and other military targets. The goal of this attack was to sufficiently cripple the US Fleet so that Japan could then attack and capture the Phillipines and Indo-China and so secure access to the raw materials needed to maintain its position as a global military and economic power.

The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise attack on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor on Oahu, Hawaii on the morning of Sunday, 7 December 1941, which brought the U.S. into World War II. Aircraft from the Imperial Japanese Navy destroyed five U.S. Navy battleships, along with 188 aircraft, one minelayer, and three destroyers and inflicting over 4,000 casualties. The Japanese losses were minimal at 29 aircraft and five midget submarines with 65 Japanese servicemen killed or wounded.

The 7 December 1941 Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor was one of the great defining moments in history. A single carefully-planned and well-executed stroke removed the United States Navy’s battleship force as a possible threat to the Japanese Empire’s southward expansion. America, unprepared and now considerably weakened, was abruptly brought into the Second World War as a full combatant. The intent of the pre-emptive strike was to protect Imperial Japan’s advance into Malaya and the Dutch East Indies — for their natural resources such as oil and rubber — by neutralizing the U.S. Pacific Fleet (in the fashion of War Plan Orange as practiced by both sides).

This would enable Japan to further extend the empire to include Australia, New Zealand, and India (the ultimate boundaries planned for the so-called “Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere”). The prevailing belief within the Japanese military and political establishment was that eventually, with the then expected German defeat of Great Britain and Soviet Russia, the United States’ non-involvement in the European war, and Japan’s control of the Pacific, that the world power structure would stabilize into three major spheres of influence:

1.) The Empire of Japan controlling East, Southeast, and South Asia and the entire Pacific Ocean.

2.) The combined powers of Germany and Italy controlling Great Britain, all of Europe, Western and central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

3.) The United States, controlling North and South America.

The Japanese high command was (mistakenly) certain any attack on Britain’s colonies would inevitably thrust the U.S. into the war. By contrast, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had moved the fleet to Hawaii, and ordered a buildup in the Philippines, to deter Japanese aggression against China, or European colonies in Asia.

The attack was one of the most important engagements of World War II. Occurring before a formal declaration of war, it spurred the U.S. into World War Two against Japan and then Germany which declared war on the U.S. a few days later, creating a conflict that encircled the world. Roosevelt called December 7, 1941 “a date which will live in infamy”. And that it has…

To all of you that have perished under this surprise attack, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. When I visited the memorial just the sight of seeing so many names on that wall, just is jaw dropping.  It is really amazing that you can hear the distant noises from shore during the boat ride over, but once you are upon the memorial, it is so soothingly quiet. It is deafening quiet. If you ever visit Hawaii, you must stop by and visit the memorial. It is so amazing. Thank you to all who have protected our freedom both past and present. It is because of you that I get the freedom to write this blog.

Thanks for reading,

Published in: on December 7, 2010 at 1:57 PM  Comments (2)  
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WWII Themed New Years Party upon the USS Hornet

Last year we went to a new years party upon the USS Hornet aircraft carrier located at the former Alameda Naval/Air base in Alameda, California.  You can view my recap of what happened that night here: New Years 2010 Recap. Here are a few photos from last year’s event:

If you are looking for a safe, fun, unique, jumpin thing to do on new years, this is the place to be. We will be there. Hope to see you there as well!!

Thanks for reading,

Craigslist Find: Playland ticket book

Hey everyone! I am always looking for things to spend the money I don’t have. I love gadgets, disneyana, old cameras, ford pinto related items, wwii items, and much more. Well the other day when I was looking on craigslist, I decided to search for playland. This was my first time searching for anything playland related on craigslist. I have done a few searches on ebay but never on craigslist. Anyways I noticed a listing that said “VINTAGE 1967/68 – Playland At-The-Beach * Ticket Book (MINT) * Unused – $25 (novato)

So I took a look. The ad read:

VINTAGE 1967/68 – Playland At-The-Beach * Ticket Book (MINT) * Unused

I have a full unused ticket book for Whitneys – Playland At-The-Beach, in San Francisco.
It is a MINT CONDITION, complete with all 20 tickets – each for a 10 cent ride.

This is an “original” not a reproduction.
Tickets expire at the end of 1968 so figure these were issued somewhere around 1967/68.

Ticket booklet measures 2” tall x 5 ½” wide (approx)

There are (5) tickets per page – 4 pages = total of 20 tickets.

The ticket booklet is complete, very clean and MINT.
Slight discoloration on back cover (It looks like this might be the way it was printed – see pic)

$25 * Shipping is possible

He had similar photos like this of the ticket book


So I asked him if he would take $20 and he said “that’s a fair price” so we made the arrangements for me to go to Navato to pick them up (about and hour drive from my house)  When I got there and he showed me the tickets I was stunned on how nice condition they were. Not one bend in them! He even was nice enough to put them in a clear plastic cover then into a hard plastic protective sleeve! So I gave him the $20 and took them home. These are really a great piece of playland memorabilia. I am glad I was able to get them. Here are some photos of the actual tickets:

The only visual damage was this price marking that must of came from the garage sale he bought it from

$20 might be steep for a ticket book that originally cost $2.00 but where can you find these? So I really think that I found something fairly rare. When was the last time you seen tickets for playland? Most likely when you last went to playland. These will be in my collection of local americana for a long time. I have NO intention of selling these.  I can now say that I own a piece of Whitney’s Playland at the beach 🙂

For those of you who do not know what playland is please check out my blog entry about playland. Playland was a beach side amusement park located across from Ocean beach in San Francisco. Here are a few photos of Playland.  Playland unfortenatly closed in 1972 and was replaced by condos..

Thanks for reading,

Get In The Mood!

The World Famous


onboard the


July 17, 2010

8:00pm – midnight
Doors open at 7:00pm

The Bay Area’s best place to dance!

Three Dance Floors on the Enclosed, Heated Hangar Deck!
Period Attire Welcome!

Cash Bars & Food Concessions Available!


Free Dance Lessons by
Jim Truesdale, former Fred Astaire dance instructor
7:30pm – 7:55pm

8:00pm – midnight
Dancers and spectators alike can enjoy the many hits that made it to the Billboard chart including:
“American Patrol”
“In The Mood”
“Sing Sing Sing”
“Under The Apple Tree”

Singing Blue Stars of the USS HORNET
perform a “Tribute to the Andrews Sisters” during intermission

Admirals’ Premium Reserved Seating – $98
Best View of Stage; Great Access to the Dance Floors

Captains’ Reserved Seating – $68
Limited View of Stage

General Admission – $45
($50 at the Door if Event is not sold out)
First-Come Seating Behind All Reserved Seating

View our Seating Chart

Group Rates Available
Museum Members receive $5 OFF Each Reserved or Cabaret Seat (limit 4)
Your ticket stub is good for free museum admission through September 30, 2009.

To Purchase Tickets Call:

510-521-8448 x282 (weekdays, 9am-4pm)
510-521-8448 x245 (weekends, 11am-3pm)

Or Online:

Proceeds to benefit USS Hornet Museum, a 501(c)3 Nonprofit Organization

Food Concessions
Englund’s Café & Catering will have their famous
“Hot Sandwich Plates” available for purchase on the night of the dance.
Choice of: Barbecue Tri-Tip or Smoked Turkey, includes two side salads

Keepsake Photos
Doorstep Photography will be offering keepsake photos from your memorable night on the USS Hornet.
Photos are printed during the event so that you can take the photo home with you.


Monster Bash featuring The Cocktail Monkeys — Saturday, October 30, 2010
New Years’ Eve Ball — Friday, December 31, 2010

See our Events Calendar for upcoming entertainment aboard the Hornet

Information and Reservations: (510) 521-8448 x 282.


We had a blast at the new years party they held. It was a top notch event. The only gripe that I had was the food. But they have hired a new caterer. We had so much fun, and it was an amazing feeling being dressed in period attire and dancing the night away on a ship that survived during the period these styles of clothing and music were at their peak.

I really got to thinking that if a ghost was to materialize no one would ever know..  lol.  If you enjoy old music, great dancing, and a great atmosphere you have to make it to this event! I am going for sure!!! I will dress in my grandfather’s WWII Army uniform again. I often wonder how many times he danced in his uniform. I have a photo of him from when he was at  a club near by Fort Bragg in North Carolina wearing the uniform.

My Grampa Johnson

Unfortunately I didn’t get the honor to meet him before he passed. When I wear his uniform I feel so proud. It is an honor to wear his uniform. Its the only thing that I really have from him. So this is my way of paying tribute to him and remembering him. I never met him but I am damn proud to be his grandson.

If you are interested in going to the event you must purchase tickets via their website: USS Hornet Big Band Dance

Hope to see you there!

Thanks for reading,

Published in: on June 24, 2010 at 12:40 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Trees of Mystery

My third post about the road trip that my family and I took last weekend. The furthest North we went in California was to Klamath California. This town has the best of every aspect of California. They have access to the wonderful national redwood forest, and also access to the pacific coast. The beach that we stopped by was so perfect in so many ways (other than being cold). When we were there it had just rained a few hours before arrived at the beach, it was a clearing before the next storm. Beach is completely vacant. You can see the thunderhead clouds rolling in and shadows along the waves and little sunlight rays peeking through the holes in the clouds and touching the wave tips.  Here are a few shots of what I could capture, although the photos do not do it justice.

Along our journey we stopped at the Trees of Mystery. Trees of Mystery is a roadside attraction in Klamath, California. It is alongside US Highway 101 in the Redwood National and State Parks. The property contains a number of unique tree formations, hence its name. It includes a 15 meter tall statue of Paul Bunyan and a 10 meter Babe the Blue Ox. In 2001 an aerial tramway was installed called the Sky Trail. It takes visitors to an observation deck where they can enjoy a view of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding forest.

Here are a few examples of the odd trees we seen:

There are more photos of these odd trees and more in the gallery below. Click on one to view:

The trees of mystery tour is awesome. You must stop by and take the tour. It is a little bit of a hike but nothing that you can’t handle..  Take the drive, see the trees and then go chill at the beach.

Thanks for reading,

Published in: on May 27, 2010 at 8:30 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Nature’s Drive Thru

Sorry for not writing a blog as religiously as I have been, I am wrapping up the final days of this school year, and a lot has been going on that is really kind of interesting. coworkers are retiring who I thought that they would outlast me at the ROP center. Some of the greatest teachers are not given contracts for various reasons. It just has been really crazy. I hope all the best to all of them as they find a better place in this economy. Any who, as I mentioned on Monday, my family and I went to the California Redwood forest of which I decided not to do a typical blog about the trip, I decided to do it in segments and individual posts. Today’s post is about Natures Drive Thru. What is that? In northern California they had a total of four redwood trees that you can drive your vehicle through I have been through three due to the fact that the Wawona tree fell due to its slight lean to the side and a load of snow on it’s crown. People have been driving through trees since 1887 starting with the Wawona Tree in Yosemite National Park. Here are some vintage photos that have been take through out the years of people and their vehicle driving through the trees.

This video was from South40db’s youtube. Clark and Erna Rogers, Dennis and Aggie Bayer took a 702 mile 3 day trip in their 1952 and 1953 Citroen Traction Avant cars. they went from Sausalito, CA to Grass Valley-Auburn-Fort Bragg-Leggett and back down the coast to Sausalito. In Leggett we drove our tractions through the Chandelier Tree.

So now that you have seen the many people and various vehicles that have passed through the drive thru trees, here are the photos we took of us and our red ford focus going through the 3 trees that are located in northern California.

So this concludes the post of the Nature’s Drive Thru. If you have the chance to visit these trees please do so.. It is an experience of a lifetime and it’s really a beautiful drive.

Thanks for reading,

Published in: on May 26, 2010 at 11:31 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Weekend Trip to the Redwoods Recap #1

Last weekend (May 21st – 23rd) My family and I took a trip to the northern California Redwoods National park. Instead of doing a recap of all the events and highlights that we experienced in chronological order, I decided to do posts of points of interest and their history. During our trip we went to Garberville California which is located on the “Avenue of the Giants” which is also known as CA-101. On the Avenue of the Giants route there are so many places to stop with really awesome roadside attractions including 3 giant redwoods that you can drive you vehicles through. One of the attractions that we ran across during our adventure was the “One-Log House”. When we think of a one log house you most likely think of a singular log cabin like the one Abe Lincoln lived in. Well  when they use the term “One log house” They literally mean one log. Not possible you say? Check this out:

Historical Photos from

Crafted in 1946 from a 2100 year old redwood, this section of the tree weighed 42 tons and took 8 months of labor to hollow out a room 7 feet hight and 32 feet long. With wheels attached it toured the United States in its early years, then settled in redwood country, arriving at its current location  (Garberville, California) in 1999. Just like home: the inside is furnished with living, dining, and bedroom areas.

This famous Northern California attraction was the result of a three month search for the perfect specimen Sequoia Sempervirens, which was finally located near the town of Orick, in Humboldt County, California.  After felling this 13 foot diameter forest giant, Art Schmock and a helper needed 8 months of hard labor to hollow out the log into a room 7 ft. high and 32 ft. long, weighing about 42 tons.  His plan was to take it on a cross country tour to promote the redwoods. However its excess size caused highway problems. Its first permanent home was at Hurrin’s Shell Shop at Clam Beach, in Northern Humboldt County.  It then became a redwood knick knack shop at  Leggett, Mendocino County, just off of the Redwood Highway. During a sojourn in Phillipsville, it slid into decay until the current owners bought and lovingly restored it to a new life along the Redwood Highway.

This was a really awesome sight to see and experience. I was surprised because what you see on the outside makes the inside seem small but once you walk inside it really is pretty spacious. I was most surprised when I was able to walk inside and not hit my head on anything. I could totally see myself living in something like this. It was about 50 degrees F’ outside. Inside the temperature was more like 65F or so.  It was a great thing to see. I highly recommend it if you are up that way. Below are some historical photos along with some more photos of the exterior and interior with wonderful girlfriend posing pretending to be a tenant. Click on the photo to enlarge:

If you have the chance you must go take a trip to the redwoods and see all the breath taking views and magnificent trees. It is for sure something you should put on your bucket list. Here is the location of the One Log House:

705 US Highway 101
Garberville, CA 95542-8701
(707) 247-3717

Through the week or so I will be posting more of what we went and seen during our trip to the redwoods.

Thanks for reading,

Published in: on May 24, 2010 at 8:39 PM  Leave a Comment  
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