Archive for January 20th, 2012

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – Look Out Japan, Here We Come

Look Out Japan, Here We Come

In June 1945, the Navy had big plans for Clarence and I. After our very successful ordeal in France, we thought that it would be the last Big Harrah. Little did we realize we would be going to Japan and soon. We hardly had time to rest after France.

No one really knew that the war with Japan would be over in late August. One day, Lt. Commander Les Warwick celled Clarence and I into his office. This was the same officer that sent us to France, he was a brilliant officer. At one tIme, he had been a fighter pilot, he told me he had shot down 16 Japanese planes. He walked with a bad limp, one of his legs had been broken bad, and he could no longer fly for the Navy. The Navy told him he could leave the Navy if he wanted to but he choose to stay in. The Navy needed good Officers and he was one of the best.

The Lt. Came right to the point with us, he told us again that we had done a good job in France. This next assignment would be even more important and much harder to pull off. He also said, if anyone can do it, it’s you two. He said, Tom I want you to head up the team, you will have 4 L.C.M.s. At this time I did not know the other 2 Coxswains. He told us there is no need at this time to meet your gunners. The L.C.M.s have two 50-mm. guns, they are 50 feet long, all steel, they use 2 gray Marine engines. 1 had been using these crafts since coming overseas.

The next day we were on our way to Okinawa, in 3 days we would be going to Japan, everything was moving along fast. We left with a large convoy, our L.C.M.s were aboard a L.C.T. I noticed 4 Destroyers, two heavy Cruisers, 2 Aircraft Carriers and other ships.
Lt. Warwick came down to our compartment, he cam right to the point. He told all 4 of the Coxswains we would get our orders the day we arrived in Okinawa. Our convoy arrived in Okinawa that night, he gave us our sealed orders. Our L.C.M.s were afready aboard the L.C.T.s the next morning we left, headed to Japan, we would be going to southern Japan.

Our orders told us we were to go ashore, hit the beach, unload, back off and get back to the L.C.T. as fast as we could. The Navy had prepared a good meal for us, we had steak and eggs the last good meal for us. This could have been a last good meal for some of us. We met with Lt. Warwick on more time, he told us there are not suppose to be any Japs in this area. We had not seen any Japanese ships since leaving.

The Japanese never dreamed the U.S. would be coming in the south, 12 to 15 miles north were good beaches, they figured we would land there. As to where we were landing, it was full of rocks, no beaches of any size. We had special trained Navy and Marines on our L.C.M.s and a jeep on each craft. We got within 3 miles of the shore, The L.C.T.’s unloaded our L.C.M., I led the way. We headed toward the shore, we got within I mile of the shore, the sun was just coming up, I could see the shoreline. The waters were really rough, large rocks everywhere. We all tried to avoid the large rocks, bouncing off the smaller ones. As we got closer to the shore I had a funny feeling something was wrong, but we had our orders, get at least one craft ashore. It was starting to get fight out and 1 noticed the shore, it looked like all big rocks. All of a sudden, shells started going off. I thought to myself, the Japs had found out of our landing. How I don’t know. Our large ships were firing toward shore, all hell was breaking out, I kept going toward the shore, trying to find a place to unload. Lucky no one hit any mines. I figured the Japs hadn’t had time to mine the waters here, as only a nut would try to land here! I looked to my tight, one L.C. M. had taken a direct hit, then another got hit, now there were only 2 of us, one of us had to make it ashore. I just wanted to get close as possible to unload then to get out of there fast. I hit the shore about 20 ft. out, I could get no closer, and the rocks were just too large. I dropped the ramp, the men all got out helping the jeep as best they could. All this time our gunners were shooting towards the shore. I looked for our other L.C.M., I could not see it. I noticed a man in the water, he had on a life jacket, I got as close as I could. One of our gunners took a boat hook and pulled the man to our craft, the other gunner helped the man aboard. Little did I know this was 01 Clarence. I looked for others in the water but could se none. I had my orders to get back to the L.C.T. as fast as I could. I headed out to sea, my L.C.M. had been hit, but was not taking on much water. I knew if 1 did not take any more hits 1 could make it back to it. I was praying all the time, also for god to watch over all the men. I thought to myself, I had lost a good buddy, little did I know the man we had pulled from the water was Clarence. My thoughts were of all the men, little did I know that many of the men did make it ashore, how many I never found out. I had done my job.

All of our big ships were tiring toward shore and there was aircraft flying over all the time. I asked my gunner if the man we had pulled from the water if he could talk. All of a sudden, a man stood up, I almost passed out, it was 01 Clarence he said nothing, he just looked at me. I did not have time to look for any others, I had my orders to get back as fast as I could. My craft was loaded aboard as soon as I got back.

Lt. Warwick was waiting for us and asked if we were the only ones left, as far as I know yes, I said. I looked for others but could not find any. He asked me to come to his quarters at once. They took 01 Clarence to sick bay fast. I was questioned by Lt. Warwick and the captain of the ship. I told them all I knew. All this time I could hear airplanes above, it was our own bombers out of Okinawa, they had left at the correct time all hell was breaking out, our Navy was really shelling the shore. If there was any Japs alive, I didn’t know how. I was wondering how many of our men made it ashore. I was dismissed and told to go dean up and get something to eat. I asked if I could go see Clarence first and was told yes. Just before I was dismissed, Lt. Warwick said to remember no on is to know of this mission for 55 years. So that’s what I did, I told no one.

I saw Clarence, he was in bed, he looked bad, he could say very little. He looked shell shocked to me, the Dr.s told me to leave and come back tomorrow to see him. I knew if I could be around 01 Clarence for a few days or months I could bring him out of the way he was, get him back to the real world.
We stayed around the shores of Japan for 3 more days, all the shelling had stopped. All the large ships had pulled out and headed for someplace else, where I did not know. Our small ship made it back to Okinawa, along with many others. We stayed there only a few days then we were put aboard a large ship. We used to call these ships Kaiser coffins, they were large cargo ships, build for the war. Built by Henry Kaiser, the same man who built the Kaiser cars. I owned 2 of these in the early 1950s.

Our ship made it back to the Philippians in what seemed like weeks. It was so long ago I can’t remember. Before going back to my unit, I was again told to say nothing of this mission for 55 years. I asked if any of the men made it to wherever they were headed and they told me nothing but did say, if our craft had not made it ashore, this war would have lasted much longer than it did. I head no more of the missing men, Clarence was sent back to the U.S., I never saw U. Warwick again. In September our unit was split up, some of us went to Japan, Korea and China, I got to go to China. The war ended in late August, we were all happy it was over. In China I had a good assignment, still running L.C.M.s. I kept busy hauling sailors and others ashore. Big ships were coming into China each day, many of the docks were badly damaged from the war and many of the ships could not tie up, they had to sit out in the river.

I stayed in China until spring of 1946 when I was sent to California and then to Minnesota where I was discharged. I never saw Clarence again until late 1978 or 1979. One spring day this rider road into my store, Old Tom’s cycle, I started this company in 1958. This rider parked his motorcycle in the drive way and took off his helmet. I was outside talking to some other riders, at first he said nothing, then I looked at the rider real close. I almost fainted, it was my old buddy Clarence! We talked for what seem like hours and before he left he told me he had moved to Seattle and would be back in a few days. In a few days he rode back to my store, we went out for lunch, we must have of talked for hours. He told me he had been a Police Officer in Tennessee and rode motorcycles. He had gone back to school and taught at a big Texas college. He had worked for the FB.I., the A.T.F. office, and had been an income tax inspector. He flew helicopters and did work in Alaska and many other places. I learned later what a good pilot he was. I was told he was one of the best, We did I know that someday I would be flying with him. We renewed our friendship, he stayed in Seattle and is still here. We rode to Sturgis, S.D. to the big rally a number of times and many other places. Clarence still rides, I see him quite often, he’s not in the best of shape but he still gets around pretty good and still rides. He has been hurt by many car accidents and was hit on his motorcycle a few times. One time he was hurt in Montana, his daughter had to get him. When I did see him, he really looked beat up, he hurls a lot but never complains.

We are both hoping to ride to Sturgis this year, it’s 2004 as I write this. I’m not in good shape myself, I walk Ike a drunk, but still ride just not as much as I would like to. But I did get over 12,000 miles in 2003. For 2004, I don’t know, I’m riding a big motor scooter as I can’t throw my leg over a motorcycle but with God’s help, I will be on a motorcycle again soon. If not the scooter is just fine.

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – Halloween of 1938, The Biggest Prank

Halloween of 1938
The Biggest Prank

It was the fall of 1938. I was 12 years old. It is real cold this time of year, and this was HALLOWEEN. We had been looking forward to this night for at least six or seven months. I had secretly been planning a real trick. Today they call it “Trick or Treat.” But back in the thirties it was a big thing to look forward to. All the kids and big kids would really pull some doozies; tipping out-houses was the number one on their list. I and Virgil had all we needed up on the water tower. We and our friend Victor had been planning this big prank. All three of us had saved as much money as we could all year. Come the 4th of July, fire works was the big thing in those days. We bought all the fire works we had money for. We didn’t fire any off on the 4th; we saved them for the big night coming up on October 31st. We had our masks to hide our identity. We had flash lights, real heavy jackets, gloves; all we needed. So I said “Virgil, let’s do it.”

BrittonOur plan was to climb up the city water tower to the top rail which went all the way around the tower. It also had a ladder which went to the very top. If one was really brave, which most , we would climb to the very top and yell down to our friends below. Some kids thought it totally crazy. We had planned on making a dummy to take to the top of the tower. At the night time we would drop him down on the crowd below. We figured this would really drive the cops and crowd below nuts. Our little town of Britton, 1500 people, had one old cop, my uncle Bill Stadler. Also, a county sheriff and one deputy. The sheriff and deputy had at least 8 towns to watch over. So they were busy most of the time. It was around 9:30 on the eve of the 31st. We climbed to the top of the tower. We had our dummy, eggs, flash lights, water and food; and all we needed. We had planned on spending a few hours up on the tower. Around 10 o’clock we flashed our lights at the ground below. I threw an egg at one old lady and Virgil threw one at an old man. We both missed. By this time there was a good crowd below. They were all talking and one man called up “you kids come down at once.” At that moment I threw an egg at him and hit him. He became very angry. All the people started yelling, “You crazy kids, come down.” Remember, no one knew who was up on the tower. Pretty soon Bill Stadler, the cop, showed up and yelled for us to come down. We threw eggs at him and I poured a gallon of water on him. That really got him mad. This is just what we wanted. We plastered him with eggs. He said he was coming up to throw us down. We said, come on you old devil. If you come any further, we will throw down our pal Fred. At this time they thought there were only two of us. I held the dummy up. He looked real from 30 ft. in the air, let alone 120 ft. The cop yelled up, “What’s your last name so we can go tell your parents. We made up the last name of “Price.”

Pals foreverThere was a family named Price who lived up in the hills East of Britton who had lots of boys, so they really didn’t know who Fred was. In fact, the Prices lived 18-20 miles out of town: no phone, no lights, real poor people. Their youngest son was a good friend of mine. We called him “Cuffy.” I remember a year before he bought an old Model T Ford for $15.00 from OLD SAM’S Used Cars. Sam sold cars, farm machinery, etc.; for $50.00 or less you could buy a good used car. My mother bought a used car (our first car), a 1929 Chev. for $65.00 from Thorpe Auto. She saved years to buy this car. Old Cuffy let me drive his car. All of us kids would save our money until we had 30 to 40 cents for gas (18 cents a gallon). You didn’t need a drivers license. You could drive at any age. I remember one time my mother had to haul something and we had no car. She asked me to go to Herman Johnson and ask if we could use his truck for an hour. Herman had a grocery store and they delivered groceries to your home. Almost everyone in town owed him money. He was a wonderful, kindhearted man. I used the truck and I told him thanks and that I would help unload the big grocery truck when it came in once a week. His truck was a 3-speed. I really loved to drive that truck. Old Herman would always give us kids candy bars when we helped him.

Now, back to my story:

The big bully kept coming up the ladder. He was wet and covered with eggs. He said how are you kids? We said nothing. I had saved the big surprise for this moment. I had hauled 3 big bags of cow manure up the tower days before. This was wet and runny stuff. The guy kept on coming. I thought, this is it and I poured a sack of the goop on him. I did this just as he looked up. That did it: he couldn’t get down fast enough. He was yelling that he was going to get his gun and kill us. The cop said you can’t do that; I’ll get them down. He had one last big bully from town, Lou. He was real big and he thought he was someone special. He started up the ladder and it was covered with eggs and water and manure. He had on a nice jacket and pants and gloves and shoes. I told Virgil we will let him get 70 to 80 ft. up then give him the works. We had one big bag of manure left and just as he looked up we poured a gallon of water on him, and 10 eggs, and the manure. He almost lost his footing. This scared him.

He kept on yelling, you boys are going to jail for this trick. We said you have to catch us first. He looked up and said Who the hell are you kids? I know every kid in town. We said we are not from Britton, you big dummy. He looked up again and I threw the last bag of manure on him. It hit him right in the face and neck. Then Virgil poured 2 gallons of water on him and we plastered him with some more eggs. That did it. He started down and Stadler knew he could not climb the ladder. He kept yelling for us to come down. We were getting low on our supply of water and eggs, so I told Virgil it is time we drop the dummy down. I started playing with the dummy; he looked as real as could be. The crowd kept yelling to come down.

By this time it was getting cold. We had had enough fun, so I pushed the dummy. He fell right into the crowd below. As he was falling, we could hear the people crying and saying, the poor kid, I wonder who he was? We had hooked the two bags of blood in the dummy (old cow blood). When the dummy hit the ground, blood spattered all over. People screamed and began to leave. They couldn’t take any more. The cop yelled again for us to come down.

It took about ten minutes before someone had the nerve to look at the dummy. The crowd was getting smaller. When Stadler saw it was a dummy he really got mad. He said he was coming up himself to get us kids. He started up the ladder and I told Virgil this is our last chance and we will give all we’ve got left. We plastered him with eggs, water and our last bag of manure. He could take no more. He climbed down as fast as he could without slipping. We could hear him say he was going home to clean up. He was freezing. Only a few were left.

About this time Virgil hollered “FIRE” in town. Looks like the theater. We could see real good as we were 120 ft. up. Old Victor had done his job. He had rigged the fire works to go off at just the right time. Smoke bombs and all. It looked and sounded bad. The crowd all left and started running to their homes and to the town two blocks away. We waited until they were all gone. We climbed down faster than any fireman could have. We were on the ground before you could say “Jack Robinson.” We ran down by the elevators, took off our masks and hid them; brushed ourselves off and just walked away. Remember, it was now late, 12 or 12:30 AM and really cold. We thought we would really have some fun and we drifted down town into the crowd. The people started saying there is no fire, let’s go back to the water tower. When they got back there was no one there. They all started blaming on another. Said someone should have stayed and watched those kids; but being so cold they all left for their homes. And, we went home, too.

This trick was the talk of the town for months and years to come. They all wondered who those kids were. We went right along with them. They all said some day they will find out. You know what? They never did. Well, it’s 62 years later. Both Virgil and Victor died several years ago. I’ve been gone from Bntton for over 57 years, but I go back at least once a year. My parents are both gone, but I have brothers and sisters there and many friends. I am sure most of those that were in that crowd that Halloween night are dead. Old Uncle Bill died years and years ago.

I wondered for years if I should ever tell this story. I’ve argued both ways; should I or shouldn’t I; but, what the HELL. If there are any of you who remember the “Biggest Prank” of Halloween 1938 — it was I and Virgil and Victor.

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – My Oh My How Times Have Changed

My Oh My How Times Have Changed

How many of you can remember buying a double dip ice cream cone for 5 cents? I can, and I remember when they went to 10 cents, people said no one will buy an ice- cream cone for 10 cents. But they did, just like when a glass of beer was 5 cents back in 1946. It went to 10 cents, people again said that they would not pay 10 cents for a glass of beer, but they did. I will go back sixty years, I could go back farther but how many of you would remember that? I must be getting old. I keep thinking of the old days, the Big Depression. They think unemployment is high today at 6%, in the 1930s it was 25 to 30%, now that is high. We had about seven years of drought from Canada to Texas. In the summer there were big dust storms day after day, no wonder so many people left the mid-west in the thirties. It was almost impossible to make a living.

In 1940 one could buy a new Ford or Chevrolet for under $600, today you pay anywhere from $15,000 to $26,000, of course they are built much better, and have lots of accessories, but if you bought a stripped down model it would still cost you over $15,000. Gas was 60 cents a gallon for many years. What is it today as of 4/20/03, I just filled my Toyota. I paid $1.98 a gallon. It will come down again but not much below $1.50 a gallon. Why have prices gone up so much? Stop and think, every time we have a war, prices go up. Who pays for war? We the working people! Wars, they should outlaw them, but they won’t, too many big corporations get rich during war times, its big business.

We spent lots of time in taverns as kids growing up in old South Dakota. In the winter there and the pool halls and bowling alleys were the only place to get warm. Let’s talk about taverns, the small town of Briton S.Dak. had three taverns and a pool hall, and a bowling alley. Briton today has no taverns, no pool hall, if you want a beer you go to the bowling alley or VFW I asked my older brother, who still lives in Briton, where are all the city drunks, all the big beer drinkers. He said come and I will show you. We went two miles west of town, the cemetery. He started pointing out various graves, there’s old Ted Larson and there’s Hersal Morris, and so on. Most small towns are the same, things are changing fast. Even in the big cities there are very few taverns left. One thing that really, hurts is the strict driving laws. Most people are afraid to drink over I or 2 beers, because if you get pulled over you get your license taken away, a big fine, it is just not worth it. Another reason small towns are dying all over the U.S. is because of the way we farm today. Forty to fifty years ago it took at least 2-3 weeks to do harvest, and it took a lot of help. Today harvest is over in a few days and it only takes a few men. Most farms today are large, the day of the small farm is gone. Also the day of the large farm is on its way out. When I was a kid all the families had 7 to 10 kids, today it’s two or three. So, gone are the large families in the U.S., although in some parts of the U.S. there are large families, mostly single parents who are on welfare or some kind of unemployment. Most responsible families know that they can only afford 2 or 3 kids. The cost to raise and educated them is just too much.

Let’s talk about dance halls, where are they? We came to Seattle in 1951 .We used to look forward to Friday and Saturday nights, so many of us would go to the Brown Derby, White Spot or the Civil tavern, the valley was full of dance halls. We really had a good time in all of them. It was back in the 40’s to 60’s and most of them would close at midnight, after closing we would all head to the big steak houses. Remember the Kansas City Steak House, everyone loved going there. Well, it has been gone many years, just like the dance halls, gone forever. We really had fun dancing to that old country music. I have a good friend who had a country band, Donna and I would go dance to his music every Friday or Saturday night. I asked him where he plays today and he said, I don’t, there is no where to play. The F. F W. Eagles and Elks may put on a dance a few times a year. Only the older people come, and not many of them.

What happened to all those girlie shows? Man we used to have fun in those places. I remember some of the guys in there would yell at the girls, take it all off baby. All that fun gone forever. Things have really changed the last few years.

Have you been to a drive in movie lately? They are all but gone. We really had fun going to the drive-in movies.

Have you been to a drive-in restaurant lately? I can’t find any in Seattle, there could be a few but I can’t find them.

It seems Ike fast food places helped to kill the drive-ins. All that junk food and people eat it every day. What happened to home made french fries? Al the cafes used to make them, not today they take the easy way, they sell frozen fries. Even most of the big restaurants sell frozen fries. There are a few areas in the Seattle area that one n get homemade fries, but they are few and tar between. I’m sure my brother Ruben would Ike some Spud’s fish and chips- They sill make their own fries. you stand in long knee to get into those places. Then there are service stations, have you been to one lately? They are also far and few between. I know of none in Seattle. Sure they all sell gas, but try getting your oil checked, your windshield washed, or your tires checked. All of the stations sell food hot dogs, and all kinds of things, but not service. It looks Ike the old service stations are all gone for good.

Have you noticed any small repair garages? There are few and their days are numbered. The modem cars need We repair. In order to work on newer cars you will need lot of expensive equipment, and all the training that is required to operate it Gone is the day you can just have a Mend fix your car. Very few people even change their own oil anymore, one can no longer just throw the engine oil away. We used to just throw the oil away in the allies- Today you take your used oil to a special place, same with batteries and old tires. Gone is the day you could just take them to the city dump or put them in your alley. I have not seen a new housing development in 40 years that put in ales, so gone too is the alley. Only the old neighborhoods will you find allies. I have a good friend who is in his 80s, he has an alley out behind his house, his house is 100 years old. He has lived in it for 50 years, now he really uses his alley. It is full of old cars, trucks and motorcycles, trailers and old boxes. I don’t know what he would do with all his stuff if he lived in a newer neighborhood, in a newer house. The alley is gone. Churches, boy have they changed in large cities. The small white neighborhood church is all but gone. Its big mega churches n; some have their own schools, which is good. Big huge orchestras, you would think you were in a big nightclub. Talk about singing from books, the words are up on walls now. I listened to many on TV and they are a disgrace to God. Some preach a good sermon but most give you a watered down message, one that will satisfy almost everyone. The small neighborhood church is almost a thing of the past Donna and I are really lucky, we still go to a small old style church, and we still use old small songbooks. Same message they preached 100 years o. How long can this last only God knows.

This old world ischanging fast, hang on oryou could be left behind. ln big cities thesmall stores arealmost gone. Try finding a small hardware store. Lowes, WalMart, Home Depot have all but killed them. It seems kke all businesses have gotten to be big. Even the motorcycle stores, when I started nine in 1955 there were small shops and stores everywhere. Today only the big stores can make it The small repair shop is all but gone. It seem to be the same in auto sales business, the day of the small auto dealer is gone. The other day I ran into an old friend who used to cut my hair. He had a nice small barbershop. I asked him if he was still cutting hair, he said oh no, I had to give that up a few years ago. It got to where I was working three weeks a month just to pay the overhead. One can’t lye on only a weeks pay a month. Seems to be the same for all small businesses. The large corporations are forcing the small man out.

The small shoe repair store, you may And one in a few parts of the city, but their days are numbered. When was the last time you had your shoes resoled? Ever have your heels replaced? I know I haven’t had either in over 40 years. Most shoes today are built to last.

I was in the motorcycle business for 40 years. All through the 1950s and 60’s there were small stores everywhere. Repair shops on almost every block. Look around, have you seen any lately? I really enjoyed being in business those days, I would visit other dealers and tal about the races, trail riding, road runs and we would go out to lunch, that is all history now. When we wanted to buy new motorcycles we would call up the distributor and talk to the owner, unlike today. They are all large corporations, there is just no personal touch. Almost everything today is just Big-Big business. It is the same thing in auto sales. Big-Big dealerships, even the used car business. The day of the small lot is history. Try talking to the owner of any business today, good luck.

I tried to call our TV cable company the other day, what I got was a push I for this push 2 for that 3 for something else, and it went on and on, I never could get anyone to help me, so I hung up. Most people I talk to have the same problem. It seems Ike machines have taken over this whole world. Gone is that personal touch. So what are we going to do? Myself, I am just happy to be retired. I got this next article out of a small newspaper.

Changed by the times. I’m always hearing people say things were better when they were young. We must admit that there is a lot of truth in that thinking. We cannot argue with the pillars of the past. Trends that can be documented and compared with the present are realities to be reckoned with.

Statistical studies of behavioral trends in America over the past three decades give us a good indication of how much things have changed. Since 1950, while the gross domestic product has nearly tripled, violent crime has increased at least 60%, divorces have more than doubled, and the percentage of children in single parent homes has tripled. In 1940 teachers identified the top problems in U.S. schools as talking out of turn, chewing gum, making too much noise and running in the hail. In 1990, teachers hated drugs, alcohol, pregnancy, suicide, rape and assault.

Things certainly have changed, we don’t have to look at the statistics and studies, we can see for ourselves. What then is the reason for such a moral decline? The answer is very simple, the turning away from a Holy God. There are 64 books in the bible, written by Jews and two by Luke the Greek. Total-.66.

“Yesterday’s Memories Tomorrow’s Dreams” by Carmen Tom – Jumper—ARI 411

Jumper—ARI 411

Just a brief history of JUMPER, the Missouri Mule: Jumper’s Army number was ARI 411. He was 2 yrs. old when the Anny bought him, along with hundreds more, from a farmer in Missouri who raised mules. He had a great love for mules. During World War lithe Army needed mules for packing supplies up the mountains. The mountains in Italy are very high, and it is impossible for trucks to haul supplies, but not for the mules.

It was 1942 that ARI 411 first saw action while hauling supplies up the mountains. Two farm boys from the Dakotas trained the mules during their basic training in Texas. They were sent to Italy along with thousands of soldiers. The names of the two who trained Jumper were Alfred and Albert. Both men were wounded and also Jumper at three different times. All three received the Purple Heart and other metals.

When the war ended in 1945, Alfred & Albert, along with their buddies, were sent home on troop ships. They were discharged from the Army. All the mules and thousands of trucks were sold at auctions. The boys paid $10.00 for ARI 411 and bought a good 1 1/2 ton Ford truck. All three went back to their fanns in the Dakotas. Alfred and Albert worked their farms, but the mule did very little; just ate and drank the good beer that Alfred and Albert were famous for.

A few years passed and the Korean War broke out. The Army needed experienced men and mules, so all three were called back into the service. After a brief training they were shipped to Korea. They fought in the high mountains for 2 1/2 years. The mules hauled supplies to the front lines. One day while supplies, the mule ARI 411 stepped on a land mine and his left front leg was blown off. After a few days of rest and medical care they were shipped to Australia for a longer rest. It was on a farm in Australia that they saw so many kangaroos and how good they could jump. The mule watched them carefully and then he tried jumping. He fell down quite a few times. But he would get up and try, try again. In no time he could jump almost as good as the kangaroos. This is where he got the name JUMPER.

The war ended while they were in Australia. Soon then were on a troop ship headed for the United States. After the three were discharged, they went back to their fanns in the Dakotas.

Old Jumper started jumping over everything. Soon Alfred and Albert had him jumping over tractors, cars and much more at State fairs. Jumper became very famous throughout the Mid-West.

I hope to have a book with drawings of all three telling the history of Jumper, Alfred and Albert and many more stories. It will tell how they trained Jumper to jump over 50 ft. Also, they many products Alfred and Albert built and how they raced their old motorcycles at the big State fairs and other places and won race after race. Their big dream was to have Jumper jump over 100 Harleys at the 50th yr. anniversary in Sturgis, So. Dakota during the big rally.