Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Needlepoint, Cats, Wake Island and all that

An apology for my lack of blog posts as I did not post every other day due to appointments and ill health. The County Fair was what is expected, and like many country fairs. It was not the State Fair but there were the various organizations of the county at booths. We left the annual Demo Derby Sunday Nite, and talking to the organizers, the money taken for attending is what is used for prizes in the various categories. There was animal, art, photography and craft. Cheryl has participated in the past and if possible I will enter some thing next year.

As we spent most of Saturday eve there, I will tell later of winning a prize, and the duel, but leave you with this Needlepoint, which was at least 4 feet by 3 feet. It simply was so far ahead of the other works in difficulty and complexity that I was amazed. Plus: Cats!
Here is an odd fact I learned from the Corrections Booth, which had an officer (in full body armor including bulletproof) there advertising the work done by the prisoners in the chain gang. Yes, Port Angeles has a Chain Gang and they are proud of it. Also the strange and threatening signs on the road: “Litter and it will HURT” (which implies gangs of deputies giving you some beat down) was a bag, and Linda happily got one. The Corrections Officer said that it was an ‘old campaign’. I guess it was the ‘tough face’ while the NEW road signs say: “Please do not do drugs and drive”

PLEASE? I think they might have erred into overly polite when you are asking people to not take mind altering drugs and then operate heavy machinery by saying: “Please?” Since I know one transit driver and one ex transit driver who daily take and drive on heroin, I don’t think that campaign works. (me shaking my head muttering ‘please? Really?’)

The one thing I learned is that conjugal visits are not part of county detention but are part of State corrections detentions, that is for y’all who want a pen pal with benefits. Tip: Try not to think what has been done on that bed or in the sheet when using the decorated trailer.

More interesting: Washington State does not allow conjugal visits either in State or Country. Yes, we are mean. See, the things you learn when you talk to the chain gang.

There were many restored and original auto’s and steam machines on display but this one caught my eye. The 1941 Ford Fergunson 9-N airplane tug. This is the re-conversion that Ford made to the tractor, and were used in the pacific extensively, both on airfields and on the aircraft carriers (you see these in the background of most US war films, though the amount of Ford 9N, or Ford 9-N are few in number today). To give you an idea, these would have been the type on Wake Island (attacked at the same time as Pearl Harbor where 1,200+ civilian contractors were building a defense system. There were also 550 marines and a few wildcats). If this is a 1941, it was pre-attack, and not part of the mass production of these for the war effort from 1942-45.

A recent book on Wake Island is in my mind as there are several interviews with those who survived the camps as the Japanese took the Civilians and Marines as prisoners together. The interviews from the contractors, who were there to make fast money (you get a couple thousand after six months, but if you quit early, you had to pay your way back). One of the big frustrations was that the commander, even after the air attacks and the start of the landings refused to integrate the 1,200+ contractors as THEY were not MARINES and thus not ‘really useful for defence’. Wake fell in record time, to a landing force smaller than those opposing them on the island. So, maybe not the best idea. Except they continued it into concentration camps, the Marines looking out for marines and the civilians left to fend for themselves. The author notes of ALL the nationalities and military: Dutch, New Zealand, Australian, British (from Singapore), Canadian (those two battalions landing in Singapore too late), Philippine military and others plus the Americans – ONLY the Americans, of all those Nationalities who tended to keep to themselves, killed each other, often by spliting into smaller groups (civilian labor v. Marines v. Navy v. Army v. Officers.

I found that fact and it made me sad.

But still interesting to see this bit of aviation and war history at a county fair.

In case you are worried I only talk to chain gangs and morbidly obsess on concentration camps there were kittens and EMT’s and other booths I talk to as well.

Till morrow!


SharonMV said...

I love the kitty embroidery. it certainly deserved a ribbon. I couldn't tell from the picture what stitches were used. The cats were colorful & cute & I liked the overall design. thank you for the interesting info on WA corrections. A chain gang? I had hoped we didn't have those in the northwest or in this century. And I learned more WWII history as well. Did you say something about a duel? I hope no one gave you a sword.

I hope you have a respite from the appointments & more days when you can get out or enjoy some indoor fun.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Sharon: Thank you, I am in desperate need of some outdoor and indoor fun. I saw another entry which was cross stitch and while I knew the 100+ hours it took to do it, it wasn't the fine and close needlepoint work this woman did to make the cats (and it was mounted on the wall - there were also some quilts there which were fantastic).

The chain gangs gave me a start or double take as well. Chain gangs? It seems they build some of the steps and trails for the county parks, but yes, in a chain gang. And these are county prisoners, from murders, rapists, the whole spectrum and I had been going past them unknowning on the way to the post office.

I hope you are able to enjoy the summer, things sprouting and growing. The people on the Coho today say a Humpback whale breach and then do a full tail up dive, AND a group of nine killer whales. On my two trips I saw nothing but the Coho is certainly the way to have a whale watching trip on the cheap. (oh, to see a full breach and the tail come up on a humpback....I long to see that).

Neil said...

I also love (okay, appreciate) the kitty embroidery. I wouldn't be able to tell what the stitches are, but it looks well done to me.

I also appreciate the blog today; it tells me that if you did go on the spinny swings to body-slam innocent bystanders, YOU, at least, survived. :)

Chain gang? Seriously? The still have chain gangs in Washington? Oh, the things one can learn from Beth NDY's blog!

I'm waiting as patiently as possible for the next exciting installment. You won a prize? Hopefully NOT for duelling; I'd hate to see you in a chain gang!

Love and zen hugs to all,

Baba Yaga said...

You got there. Good.

The needlepoint is rather splendid - effective, as well as merely accomplished. The 'corrections' stuff is, as usual, just vaguely perplexing.

Transit drivers on illicit drugs, though, definitely bad. Even on too much coffee, I suspect.

Noisyworld said...

That needlepoint is amazing and such an imaginative design, I can seen why it struck you :)
That airplane tug is so (well, to use a word of the era..) spiffy lol

JaneB said...

What an amazing piece of embroidery!

I just assume you'll find someone interesting and unusual to talk to whereever you are, it seems to be one of your many talents!