A Super Dooper Day

Discussion in 'Vietnam Memories Forum' started by Admin, Mar 15, 2003.

  1. Admin

    Admin Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Feb 9, 2001
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 365
    (6/30/02 4:31:40 pm)
    A Super Dooper Day
    I was sittin' here at the kitchen table and thinkin' to myself about what I was gonna do round here when the phone rings. Having caller ID ... I scoped it out and low and behold the call is coming from the pay phone at the little gas stop which is located approximately 40 yards from my residence.

    Well now I just gotta find out who this could be so I pick up the phone and low and behold ..... Barney Barnes.

    Back in Hue City thirty some years ago it was Cpl. Barney Barnes and you have heard me mention his name here and there in some of my posts here.

    "Brother Mack" he yells out ..... "Not quite sure where ya camp at but I know I'm close" .....

    "Hang up Bro ... I'll be right there" I tell him. Stepped out the door and popped around the corner with one of the loud "Yo"s and the next thing I know were givin' each other a big hug on the front porch.

    DAMN! That felt good ..... What a Brotherhood!

    Stayed about three hours or so and we sat here reminising about the good ole' days and whatnot. Our units annual reunion is coming up this September and we chewed the fat about that and talked about some of the gang and what we had experienced during our youthful days in combat. He looks great for his 56 years and we talked about Nam ... Life in general ... our families ... and how time has been slowly passing us by. Barn lives just outside Tulsa, Oklahoma which is only about 100 miles from here and we do (on occassion) get together when time permits which I might add is no wheres near as often as we would like it to be.

    Though he has a computer (which is temporarily on the fritz) he does not spend too much time on it and I was telling him about this board and all the great people here and how I have been runnin' my jaws all the time about some of our experiences in Hue City and the Arizona Territory. Hes one of them kind that does'nt mind talkin' about Nam and the various experiences we went through and when he gets back up and running I am gonna try and get him over here.

    Whats really "special" about conversing with him is the fact that we each "jog" the memories of each other which helps us to remember certain things back then. He mentioned things about me that I'd be damned if I could ever remember and vica versa .....

    Hes only been gone now a short while and I miss the guy already but I have to thank the Man upstairs for giving us the opportunity to even be able to get together "one more time" and I can only hope that we have many many more times to meet and share some quality time together.

    After a big ole' Brotherly bear hug once again I watched as he drove off and my eyes began to water somewhat.....

    We "NEVER" left each other on the battlefields of Vietnam and WE are with each other in our hearts and in our minds .....


    Take care Brother and if you need me ..... I'LL BE THERE FOR YOU ..... ANYTIME ..... ANYWHERE!

    It was indeed for me a Super Dooper Day .....



    *Senior Chief Of Staff*
    Posts: 1102
    (6/30/02 7:06:38 pm)
    Re: A Super Dooper Day
    That felt good or me reading about your renewed times with your friend---yup, it is a feeling that doesn't go away no matter the number of years. thanks for sharing your day with us Gunner. Wilborn

    Posts: 2130
    (6/30/02 9:03:13 pm)

    Re: A Super Dooper Day
    Thumbs Up To You And Your Buddy Six!
    TFF VMBB Email Tac

    *VMBB Staff*
    Posts: 84
    (6/30/02 9:46:45 pm)

    Re: A Super Dooper Day
    My minds eye wanders to a scene of two middle aged geezers whompin an stompin an hollerin "YO" and "Semper Fi"" while slappin each other on the back. A joyous, but too short lived sight, this vision of mine. Happy you shared your experience with us.

    Glad you had a super dooper day, Rick.

    I'm sure Barney did too.


    Edited by: ruffitt at: 6/30/02 10:53:14 pm

    *Senior Chief Of Staff*
    Posts: 1104
    (7/1/02 6:34:12 am)
    Re: A Super Dooper Day
    It has been more than 30 years since I left the Navy. I had retired and lived near our Seabee base in California. I went to work for Sears Roebuck--a big, new store--pride of the small town of Oxnard. Did I miss the Navy you ask? You bet your sweet bippie I missed the Navy. I had been there since my graduation from high school in 1951--since I was seventeen years old. Now at thirty seven, with four children to raise, I had to get on with the matter of scuffling for a buck. A portion of my educational benefit had been used for the Sears Mangerial Training Program. In the home inprovement section of the big retail store I made my mark but wages were meager. I was offered a move to Merced,California but the mental ties with the Seabee base and my old comrads-in--arms was too strong so I declined the offer.
    One day I had a call from Customer Service to report there. Thinking that I had a cantankerous customer to deal with, I hurried to be thrown to the lions. What a joy ---just a pure joy, that day when I arrived at the
    office of the customer service manager. There, resplendant in Navy dress blues, with two and a half gold stripes on the sleeve, a chest full of ribbons, and smile as big and open as the plains of America whence he had come, was Mr. Palmer Sell. The office staff stood around grinning---I recall there were hand shakes, ---those kind of hand clasps where you just can't--don't want to let go. Those were the days before the moods of weeping had entered my life but I just almost wanted to weep with joy. We had been thru so much together. After returning from Vietnam in 1969 where Mr. Sell had been my S-2 officer, I had gone on back to the NBC (nuclear-biological-chemical) training program. Mr. Sell had completed his two year active duty stint and returned to his Civil Engineering job of building bridges. As we stood there in th Customer Service area, more than a few female glances were tossed his way. He sure looked good in those Navy Blues--and he was still single. We went down to the cafeteria and had lunch and of course relived our two tours in-country. His naval reserve unit back in Wisconsin had sent him to the Seabee base for specialized training if there would be a chance of his being deployed to the island of Diego Garcia. The Seabees had been assigned the monumental task of building facilities on that Indian Ocean enclave--a site that would come into world prominence a decade later when the Gulf War was waged. I invited Mr. Sell for dinner at my home that evening but his schedule would not permit the time. He told me that he was engaged to be married--the prospective bride was a theology student and they would be wed the following spring. I didn't mention it but Mr. Sell was a very spiritual person--never swore, smoked, or drank--but he was that kind of person who didn't flaunt it to others--not in your face with the 'THOU MUST NOTS'. We said out goodbys once again --promised to stay in touch (which we never did) but our intentions were honorable none the
    less. I left Sears employment--worked for a while at the Naval Missile Test Center, and then went into the plumbing business for myself. It must have been around August of 72, got a call from Mr. Sell. Again he was there for his Naval training--but this time he had his new bride with him. They had been wed in June and he sounded like a foolish young boy over the phone--he still called me Senior Chief--I couldn't call him anything except Mr. Sell--funny about that--just seemed right is all. Well, as luck would have it, they could accept our invitation to have lunch with us. With Mr. Sell, though he had known me all those years, he had never been to my home--we had a nice home--five bedrooms and my business office. He was very impressed--Mr. Sell had married a lovely girl--her name was Nancy--the two went togther like sugar and spice--both slim and dark complected--elegantly dressed and Mr. Sell this time had three full gold stripe on his blues--and the scrambled eggs on the brim of his hat. Later service whites would be the uniform but the blues in August had been for a photo shoot at the school. What a wonderful and marvelous lunch we had--of course there was some remembrances of the war--the Vietnamese experience--but not much. The ladies got along and chatted endlessly about mindless things--Navy Commander Palmer Sell and I just enjoyed each others company so very much--. But that too would have to end--we separated that summer day and went about the business of life. About Thanksgiving time we got a call from Nancy Sell from Wisconsin. She had asked for Senior Chief Wilborn--I got on the phone thinking what a joy--soon she'd be handing the phone off to my old boss--the man with the funny name--Palmer--funny name--only man I ever knew with that name.
    I sensed almost at once that Nancy was grieving--the dull listless timbre of her tone. Such ovewhelming disbelief I felt when she told me that Mr. Sell had just passed away hours before--that he had asked her to notify me after his death. It seems Mr. Sell had encountered this very virulent, rapid acting cancer of the lungs and lympth system--from the time of it's onslaught to his death was scarce weeks. My God, such a terrible lousy break---and I felt like shouting it to the world that the man--this man--my friend was not deserving of such a horrible break. My wife, relegious person that she is later referred to it as 'FAITH TESTING'. I spoke as well I could to Nancy and then excused myself--she had given the details with pertinent addresses so we could honor his memory with appropriate gestures. I suppose if I were ever to write about THE MOST UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTER I HAVE EVER MET', Mr. Palmer Sell would head the list.
    About three years ago, I was going through a terrible time in my life. My oldest son John had died of AIDS and depressions that one cannot imaigine, settles over one like a black blanket. I started dreaming about Mr. Palmer Sell--sometimes from Vietnam--other times when I had seen him last. I was compelled to do something--I could no longer sleep--Neosho, Wisconsin--I had remembered that had been the family home. I called and asked for any Sells listed--the operator inquired as to names--I tossed out Palmer--"Yes, we have a Palmer Sell listed--I'll connect you". Every note that midwestern twang--that accent--Ronald Reagan type accent--Mr. Sell sounded that way--that midwest twang--Mr. Sell's grand old father sounded just like his son--God I was astounded--overjoyed--emotions without description. Mr. Sell Senior told me that they knew of Senior Chief Wilborn--it seems as if their son had told them of me--he told me that only recently he and his wife, Palmer' mother had been trying to get some photos of their Son Palmer--my friend--my old S-2 boss. Well, I had two year books from Vietnam--one for each time there--Palmer had been very active in the battalion sports activities as well as the Chaplains and other civic action programs. I gleaned a lot of photos for them from my yearbooks. They were overjoyed--Mr. Sell Senior had been a tanker in WWII--still lived on the family farm--his address is even without a house number--just a Rural Route number. I sent him and
    Mrs. Sell a John's Angel that I make in memory of my son--yes, we both wept over the phone--there was tears of sadness but also tears of joy that we had had our sons as long as we did.
    Wilborn sends.

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 838
    (7/6/02 3:13:06 pm)
    Re: A Super Dooper Day
    SIX... What an ABSOLUTELY AWESOME day that must have been!!! I am so glad you guys had, and have, that opportunity!!!! That must have been hysterical.... "I'll be right there".... LITERALLY!!! (LOL)

    The reunion in September is gonna be awesome... for all you guys!!! I think it is just great that you all get together... it must be so many things... exciting, theraputic, interesting, fun...... enjoy it. :)

    Always Faithful

    *VMBB Staff*
    Posts: 1029
    (7/31/02 4:11:50 pm)
    Re: A Super Dooper Day
    Six that sounded like you had finally made your circle complete by meeting with your buddy. Strange how we see what we have done since the time we met our friends over there and till now. Almost like a movie in fast forward motion, all of a sudden you are remembering things that you hadn't before. It is all right there. It is difficult to explain.

    I have talked with a few of my friends on the phone and not seeing them but just by their voice I have found that feeling. I better stop here you all will think I am completely gone.

    Happy for you!! - Hope