Saturday, September 12, 2009

Guest Blog Part 1 - My dad, Wayne Bullard

So, my mom and dad are on vacation to DC. Actually, greater DC. My dad was a sailor on a ship called the USS Johnny Hudgens back in the day. And the surviving midshipmen are having a reunion. And, as he did 2 years ago with the USS Lexington, my dad made a showing. I may add his first email later, as it is as hilarious as this, depending on demand.

The following is his second email to me detailing his trip. (Actually addressed to all 4 of us children)

Well, we made our cruise on the river OK.  It was a dinner cruise and the food was OK.    Some  kind of unidentified bits and pieces of meat in some sort of  sauce....I mean if you care for stuff like that-- we floated about and passed some of the old parts of town and watched the scenery from a window-- through the misty rain.   Lots of old sailors here.  Tonight we    had a meal of "potato crusted Halibut" just for the heck of it and it was OK.  Hope they didn't catch it in any of the muddy polluted waters we spent 3 hours on.
    Tomorrow they will "haul" us down to the Mall and I don't know where else yet. 
We are going to decide that tonight-in a few minutes I think.
Sunday is a free day.  There is a  big march tomorrow on the capitol called the 9/12 thing and I will see it I guess, whether I want to or not.  I believe it is another tea party.  Glen Beck is to speak.  I don't know what is left to see after tomorrow, but that's what Sunday is for.  We will probably just drive around, out to Mount Vernon and places like that.  I want to spend a little time in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.  I may go back to the Holocaust museum too, it's very interesting.
    Anyway, we are doing OK.  Except for the fire.
Last night the fire alarm went off.   At 1:35AM it did.  Very loud horn (brand new) and a white flashing light woke up our tired old bodies.  I peeked out and told Pat..."don't worry about a thing...I'm pretty sure it's a false alarm as I put on my pants."  I walked down to the desk and there about 55 people were on their way out.  Outside.  A fire truck  could be heard zonking his way toward the hotel.  Another one was coming too.  The Pakistani clerk was answering two phones a time saying..."Fire on floor 3, get out now!!!"    
    I went back to 131 and told your yawning mom, "just a false alarm but let's get dressed."  She is a gentle soul and I sure didn't want to alarm her.  "You might want your purse, your car keys, your cell phone, and anything else you would want to save in case the fire is real and we can't come back in," I said, calmly. 
     With that, and a backward glance at my laptop I went back to the hall.  By this time the loud fire alarm had about ruined my hearing but I could see a new and alarmed group in the main lobby which is where we went.  I went on outside to look for smoke.  Harry said, "it's up on 3rd floor" as I noticed he was in undershirt, PJ bottoms and one sock on his right foot and a bare foot on the other.  I stared at the foot and he said, couldn't find my other sock and didn't look for the shoe.  My room is on the 3rd.  "Did you see any fire?" I asked Harry, but he said, "no, just smells like the place is burning down and it's smokey."
    That was enough for me.  I didn't know which to do first, move my DeVille further off from the hotel and then go back inside and encourage my frightened wife to come on and say to her   "Let's  go to Oklahoma."  I decided my car was far enough away as the firetrucks continued to arrive along with police cars.  I scanned the parking area for TV vans to see if any of them wanted to see how I was taking all this, but saw none.
     I went back in the lobby from the chill night and my wife was doing an excellent job concealing her fears and concerns.  In fact she was trying to cheer up some of my old shipmates and showed no signs of the fear I knew was bound to be enveloping her very being.  I let her be....ready to make a break for it by way of my soon to be afire room if I had to.  Two more firemen, carrying axes, followed closely by two wearing OBAs**  made-their way to the stairs as a cop warned people not to go back upstairs nor use the elevators.  I hadn't seen such pessimism since Bill Cathey had delivered his prognosis on main street Allen one night about a car wreck out on 48 which had "killed" Glenn Hunnicutt...or so he mistakenly thought.  **Oxygen Breathing Apparatus
     My friend, Happy John and his live in Church of God of Prophesy girl friend had yet to show up and I was concerned but I didn't know what room he was in.  I should not have worried.  I couldn't have awaken him or her if I had  wanted to.  The next day John said he and Margaret had gone to their  room and gone to bed after taking out their hearing aids, their teeth and unscrewing their fake appendages and ingesting a few sleeping pills.  They heard nothing and were quite bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning--in stark contrast to the Jap across the hall who fled wearing only his T Shirt.  I didn't look back at him to be sure if he had any shorts on or not but I know your mom did.  Had my name been Lot, she would be a pillar of NaCl.
     I was more than a little bit let down when the firemen starting coming down on elevators, as spic and spiffy looking as they had looked going up...the fireman, the one who stopped and explained it to us,  said it was a bag of microwave popcorn mis-programmed on a microwave and while there had been no actual blaze, had there been one, he would have put it out along with the other dozens of dedicated ax swingers in attendance. 
     Tired and disappointed we all went back to our chambers where we tossed and turned for more than a few minutes before drifting off to sleep. 
     I will now take your mom down the hall, where a rousing party is underway in one of the meeting rooms and continued this blessed meeting.  Have a good night, Love,
Wayne Bullard
601 E Lee Street
Allen, Ok.74825-0517


Steve Bullard said...

missed this one, from the day before:

We are safe in our hotel. With the help of a few thousand driving suggestions from your mom we made it safely into our hotel here in Chantilly. Had our first gathering and so forth with old shipmates. We let the lying commence.

We go on a three hour cruise tomorrow on the "Dandy" and they say they go Day or night, rain or shine, year round. Which refunds. They promise gourmet dining, dancing and an unparalleled view of the Nations majestic Monuments.

There will be a sumptuous lunch tomorrow. Even now, as I type, the porters and stewards are probably out gathering food leftovers from garbage cans and the alleys of Washington DC for our culinary pleasures tomorrow. They promise us many years (rhymes with tears) of treasured and cherished memories. This little Paris on the Potomac is designed to cruise under the dramatic low arched bridges of Washington, (means it's actually very low) as we dine viewing the Washington Monument, Jefferson and Lincoln Memorial and the Kennedy Center, Watergate, Rosalyn, (Rosalyn? Will Ms Carter be standing out there someplace?) the Harbour, Georgetown, beautiful Old Town Alexandria and the cornerstone of National Harbor, the magnificent Gaylord National Resort and the Nationals Ballpark...all while cruising on the historic Potomac river. It had better be good. Lunch is $45 each. And may be payable in Euros.

Our hotel is real nice and I will keep you up to date. I think.
Love, Dad.
I suppose your mom sends her love. But who can say. She is over on her bed reading some dirty book, a smelly ashtray on the floor beside her and a haze of smoke caused by a cigarette and the holes burned in the beautiful high thread count sheet on her bed. Empty beer bottles tucked around the edge of the bed completes the scene. The smoke odor is bad and I hope the fire alarm doesn't go off. You know how she is.

I attached a few pictures I snapped on the way up. Perhaps I'll make you a slide show later on. Who can know.?

I will start back next Monday. After stops in and near Birmingham and my tours of historic Alabama cemetery's is complete I will visit Don. Then I will attempt to schedule a football game into my life next week in Texas. I think it's Tyler-Alec Consolidated versus Lallygag, Texas. Again, we will just have to await timely updates.

Have a good day. Love, Dad and of course, Mom

Steve Bullard said...

oh why's the first:

Every thing went OK this morning. We were a little slow getting off but every bag was packed, lists check 2 then 3 times and toilet articles and numerous medications for each of us carefully placed aboard the Deville. We decided to head for Hot Springs, Arkansas as our first leg of travel. All was going pretty well as we cruised down US-270 just East of Hartshorn when Pat sat erect with the same gusto I had once observed in a man fatally stricken with a heart seizure. "Oh My Gosh," she said, I forgot the mustard!" I glanced in my rear view mirror at the smoking black marks I had left to see also if anyone was about to rear-end me. My speed had plummeted from 72 to 21 MPH in 3 seconds. Some of the stuff I had put in my back seat was now on top of the dash. "what do we need with mustard?" I managed to croak. "To go on our sandwiches I'm going to make down here someplace so we don't have to stop and eat."
For the next 100 miles I Pursued mustard in a part of Arkansas that exists only to make Oklahomans feel better about their own state and themselves. All business such as little grocery stores were closed down due to the Walmart induced recession. Finally I came to a little town of about 500 that had 2 gas stations, a large super mkt on it's street and a dollar store and a dollar general. All appeared to be very busy. We went in and blew a dollar on a jar of mustard.

We drove on as I wasn't going to stop and eat in the car or by the side of the road. I finally made it to Hot Springs and there, as if by magic set a Red Lobster, A chillys, an Applebees and a host of other watering holes. I pulled into Applebees. I set the sack with the mustard back on top of unused camera and we went in and ate. "We'll eat sandwiches in the hotel tonight," she said--not giving up.

One reason we went to Hot Springs was to visit the birthplace of Hank (Taby) and several other odds and ends of family from Hot Springs. We drove aimlessly about town gawking at the defunct old hotels that once housed profitable and busy bath tubs filled with fat tourists in hot and healing mineral waters. I drove abou 5 miles up a 15 MPH road to the top of some mountain there downtown with a comanding view of the aforementioned bath hotels plus a tower with a $6.00 per each elevator atop to haul you for yet an even more breathtaking view of what I mentioned earlier in this paragraph..

We gave it the old Clark Griswald quick look and went on, tired but happy --- toward Little Rock and Memphis and no telling where else. Now we are in a little town in Arkansas called Forrest Hill at a Hampton Inn, complete with her bonus numbers. Some day those will pay off big I'll bet.

Tomorrow we will go further. And the next day even further, perhaps getting to Chantilly, our destination. I'll keep you posted.
Pat is making me a sandwich. With mustard on it.

danielle said...

these are funny! i just read them to craig. they didnt sound too impressed with hot springs... they could have bought a house. ha!