TV and Music

Tuesday Tunes

Joe climbed into a B-17 flying fortress. He moved to the bombardiers position and went through his part of preflight.

The signal is given and the airplane starts to taxi. Soon it is in position for roll out and take off. Joe tenses as he starts another flight over enemy territory.

His air craft joins up with others and soon the sky is filled with 100s of aircraft. Soon they are over the channel and shortly thereafter they pass over the coast heading towards Germany. Huge contrails tell the enemy exactly where they are. 88mm AA open up and soon have the altitude. Bombers are flying into flack and flack is hitting different bombers.

Planes are exploding or damaged to the point they can no longer fly.

JOe clutches his hands tightly, wishing he could wipe the sweat from his palms. His gear stops him. It is cold at altitude and yet he sweats and wishes he was as brave as the other men in the plane with him

The flack comes closer, but they push on. They have over an hour to go before they reach the target yet the Germans are throwing everything at them. He prays that they will make it home again.

There is a sound of a huge explosion and the plane seems to stop for a second in midair. Joe feels something hit him on the back and turns to see what is left of his friend sitting in the navigators position, his chest missing, splattered over Joe and the cabin.

The left engine is out. The co-pilot orders everybody to bail out. Joe can’t get to his exit without pushing his friends body out first. He watches it tumble downwards, he counts chutes, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7… His friend makes eight and he is about to go up when he sees a body falling, no chute. That’s 9. Joe forces himself out of the dying aircraft.

The wind whips past, tearing at him. He opens his chute and floats towards the ground. It is quiet while above him the ugly black explosions continues. More of his friends dying. More aircraft falling from the sky.

The ground rushes up to meet him and he lands. There is a terrible pain as he hits. His right hip is shattered. He passes out.

He wakes as he is carried into the hospital. Not a POW camp or a POW hospital. The faces looking down at him speak in German.

Joe is one of the lucky ones. He lives. A German found him and instead of turning him in to the army, he got Joe to the hospital. WHere the POW camp would have cut his leg off and Joe would have likely died, the doctors operate and save the leg. They have to fuse the hip.

At the end of the war, Joe is returned to America. He becomes a high school teacher and coach. He gets into local politics and is elected to mayor. He writes a book.

He interviewed ever survivor that he could find. His book is full of the heroes of that day. And he names them. All of them did so much more than Joe.

Joe was a hero. He was my great uncle. He never considered himself a hero. Heroes were what those other people did. He spoke to me only once of that day. And when his tears filled his eyes his sister in law stopped him. My mother stopped me for asking and listening.

Joe, the hero, never finished his own story. Another veteran that knew that the horrors of war were not for the gentle folk that stayed behind.

I grieved for my uncle Joe that day. I grieve for him today as I write this.

This song is for him.

Killing the Drama Llama: Conceal + Carry = Survive

If Top Shots is too “Reality TV looks at Big Brother significant Other Survivor married to Real Housewife of East LA who thinks She Can Dance”, you have an alternative on Spike TV. It is called Conceal + Carry = Survive.

According to what I read, it takes several people with little or no experience in firearms and trains them in their defensive use. Some are just people who want to avoid trouble and some were victimized and want to be ready if crap ever happens again.

The show is to air on July 17 on Spike TV. Set your DVRs.

And now back to my self imposed rest… I know, I keep breaking it but I think this is worth watching.

Top Shot = Yawn Fest.

You know it is not going to be a good show when you are sipping your morning caffeine intake while watching the DVR play and you fall asleep before the second set of commercials.  This is a version of Survivor with guns, and equally boring. About the only saving grace is that the range is in a beautiful country, you have some great practitioners of the Arms and there seems to be a variety of weapons to shoot with all the ammo you want… which came handy for one of the teams.

I do not know any of the shooters personally, but I am sure they are better persons than portrayed. The Survivor-Type format is designed to show the worst in people and I am damn sure none of them are like that. We Are Shooters, we are not whinny little idiots who scheme and plot to kick the “dangerous” one off the island. They should get rid of those stupid team blue versus team red rules and just have everybody against everybody using a bunch of weapons from all ages and let them rip. Whomever wins, gets more points that the others and the one who gets the most points, wins! So frigging simple.

And for the “human” side, get out some good chili, some beers and let them talk after the match is over. Let them jokes, tell stories, get serious, get silly and share experiences.  You have done it, I have done it and it is sometimes the best part of a shooting day. Regular people WILL GET IT. That will make for great TV even though it may end up rated TV-M.