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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Saying Good-bye to an old “Buddy”L

January 21, 2014

During the night, we heard a loud speaker a couple times. We couldn’t figure out exactly what was said. We both got up early as usual and showered at the club house. It was around 6:45 am, when I heard the loud speaker again. It was coming from one of the Navy ships. 
Cruiser or Destroyer?
They were getting ready for a voyage out to sea. I quickly grabbed my Nikon and was able to catch the cruiser, at least I think it was a Navy cruiser heading out. Maybe some of you Navy guys can tell me the difference. I know the cruiser is bigger, but this ship was definitely bigger than those WWII tin can destroyers.

St Augustine
Our departure from Navy Station Mayport was around 9:30. A stop at the Post Office, the propane refilling station and our first re-supply of food at the commissary actually made our departure around 11:30 am. Instead of heading down I-95, we drove one of America’s Scenic Byways along route A1A towards St Augustine. This route brought us to secluded high end residential homes with manicured lawns, live oak trees that have survived years of weather from the Atlantic. Further down, the road was straight as an arrow with tall grass on one side with, I believe, man made barrier on the other. We pulled into St Augustine around 1 pm. We had been here before and knew exactly where the free RV/Bus parking was located. It sure is nice to be able to park and take a fifteen minute nap in the camper.

Lucien, Elsie, Helen and
Peanut on the table
St Augustine is geared to the tourists, but it’s still fun to walk St George Street (closed to vehicles) and checkout the artists and their clever ideas on crafts. We also took a minute to go into the Minor Catholic Basilica. For a building that was originally built in 1575, it is in remarkable condition. We lost track of  time and it was getting late for one last destination. 
One of my former National Guard buddies, whom I had gone to Alaska with, passed away last November here in Florida. I wanted to touch  basses with his wife. Elsie lives in Deltona. We made it to her house in early evening and she graciously talked to us about Roland (Peanut) Dresser’s life as it drew to an end. Peanut was a small guy in size, but a giant of a man. He always was there for the National Guard Ammo section, of which he was a part of. We thanked Elsie for meeting with us and soon we were rolling down the road. We hoped to make it to my cousin’s home in Winter Springs, but we figured it would be too late and decided to camp for the night at our favorite Crackle Barrel Campground Restaurant.

That is what we did and saw.

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