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Author: Subject: RAF pilot, The Striper, & The Canadian Marine
Baja Bernie
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[*] posted on 3-30-2007 at 07:28 PM
RAF pilot, The Striper, & The Canadian Marine


Across the Pond


Peter and Mim, they were our English couple. They settled fairly early on in the history of our camp. At one time we had an English couple, a pair of Canadians, and two Australians. In addition to that we had a doctor, a policeman, a baker; but no; we never did have, a candlestick maker. We did have a lawyer, a priest, and another cop. We could birth you, marry you, divorce you, and if you were bad, arrest you. Oh! Yes, we could bury you too for we also had a mortician in camp. Well, I got a little off track on that, but to me it fit!

Peter had a shock of pure white hair and very bright blue eyes. He was always going a hundred miles an hour and never really getting anywhere. He had been a Royal Air Force flyer and flew in defense of England during the “Battle of Britain.” That, alone, made him a very special guy in my books. Mim, his wife, was short, at the most 4'11", and weighed a good deal more than she did when she worked in the Burlesque Shows during the “The War to End All Wars.” As was to be expected, Mim was a wonderful dancer, she always wore colorful Moo Moo’s, and after she had a few she would really start to move. It didn’t pay to get in her way when they started to play “The Stripper.” Peter was not much of a dancer but when Mim started to go crazy with the music he just got a happy, slack jawed, look on his face. Guess he realized that one thing would lead to another. Oh! Yeah, she was a wonderful cook who made the greatest ‘kidney’ pie around. The people in camp enjoyed her pie almost as much a Peter enjoyed her strip tease.

They owned the lot, on the ocean, at the north end of camp. Yes, after Heine and Dottie and before Jo and Alan Hicks. Unfortunately, Peter developed a very rare disease and they decided to move back to good Old England so that the socialized medicine system would pay for the expensive treatment. After waiting for two years for their number to come up in the lottery the English called medical care they moved back to Long Beach. They were great people and we were sorry to see them leave our camp!

Walt and Evanne were our Australian couple even though Evanne was born in Missouri. As with all Australians Walt was a hundred times larger than life and would laugh and greet everyone he met with a cheerful, ‘ga day mate!’ Following War II he returned to Australia and became a bush pilot. Later he took up professional motorcycle racing and made a good deal of money.

Walt was having a ‘look see’ around the United States when he met Evanne, they got married and he became an American citizen. He had been trained as a machinist so he opened his own shop to support his new wife. He became so successful that at one point he was making parts for the Apollo Space program and other programs that followed. Evanne seemed to be a typical happy go lucky blonde. It didn’t take long to realize that while she could almost be as crazy as Walt—she was the real brains behind their success in life.

They never really settled down in camp but they did build a house and would drop in out of the blue every now and then. Suddenly they would stroll into the Cantina all dressed up like a couple of Texas Cow folk. Decked out from the white Stetsons on their heads to double stitched black pants tucked into their Tony Lama boots. When they walked into a room the energy level was multiplied ten fold. Walt loved to drink and visit with all of his friends until the bar closed. Whoever was left would continue to party at his house until early morning.

Walt would be up, after a couple of hours sleep, full of energy and ready to cook a complete ‘Australian’ breakfast. It was always great; his specialty was deep fried mashed potatoes. They were fantastic. Like nothing you have ever eaten.

Remember I told you that Walt had been a motorcycle and a racecar driver; well you took your life in your hands if you got in a vehicle with him. He never just drove—he raced—with one arm thrown over the back of the seat. He never seemed to watch the road as he was forever looking at and talking to the folks sitting in the back. You had to have several drinks under your belt before you felt even a little comfortable with him driving. Very few people ever ‘raced’ with him more than once.

Bill and Early Merrilees were our third overseas couple. Bill was a Canadian ands a partner of Walt’s in his machine shop. Evanne told me that Bill had gone to the same café for 12 years and that he always ordered the same roast beef sandwich each and every day for lunch. Apparently not a guy to try anything new. And yet, he married a bilingual lady from the Philippines and moved to Baja for most of the later part of their lives.

Bill had been a Canadian Marine in WWII and had apparently been parachuted into France to assassinate a few people who were working for the German’s. He was a very quiet man whose idea of a conversation was “Yep” and “OK.” One day I noticed him sitting in his garage stropping a large knife. Looking closer I noticed that it was not just a knife—it was a dirk. When I asked him about it he suddenly reverted from character and told me the story of his exploits during the war. He showed me the calf-sheath where he had carried the dirk since 1942 when he graduated from Canadian commando school. He told me that he had sharpened and oiled it every day since the war. You should know that a dirk has only one function and that is to kill people! He was a really great, quiet, guy, who knew what the world was all about.

Early was a wonderful lady who spoke English and Spanish better than most. Her ability in Spanish made her our unofficial interpreter in matters small and large. You needed to get the gardener to do something special, see Early. If you needed someone to read a legal document find Early. Always smiling and happy to help. A really strong couple and a positive addition to camp life.

If there were a problem with rowdy visitors in camp—look around—Bill would be standing behind you ready and ‘able’ to help.

A real comfort!!




My smidgen of a claim to fame is that I have had so many really good friends. By Bernie Swaim December 2007
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Lee
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[*] posted on 3-31-2007 at 10:14 AM


Quote:
Originally posted by Baja Bernie
Across the Pond

Peter had a shock of pure white hair and very bright blue eyes. He was always going a hundred miles an hour and never really getting anywhere. He had been a Royal Air Force flyer and flew in defense of England during the “Battle of Britain.” That, alone, made him a very special guy in my books. A real comfort!!


Nice description of a special person, Bernie. Your first sentence nails it. You have a real gift. Keep it coming.

:cool:
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FARASHA
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[*] posted on 3-31-2007 at 02:15 PM


as usual - Bernie, Thank you for my weekly fix. This was first time you introduced "foreigners". I too - like the way you picture the characters. Must have been interesting personalities.
Have nice week end >f<
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Baja Bernie
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[*] posted on 4-1-2007 at 08:49 AM
Lee & the Foreign Lady


Thanks for the nice words..............Farasha I just may go out of order and post a story by a English Lady that I put in my second book............I first read it in an Arab paper and got her permission to print it because it presented quite a different view of 'our' Baja.



My smidgen of a claim to fame is that I have had so many really good friends. By Bernie Swaim December 2007
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FARASHA
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[*] posted on 4-1-2007 at 11:25 AM


GO AHEAD - and if not here, then either mail it to me or maybe in OT ( :biggrin:) forum? waiting 4it >F<
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Baja Bernie
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Posts: 2962
Registered: 8-31-2003
Location: Sunset Beach
Member Is Offline

Mood: Just dancing through life

[*] posted on 4-1-2007 at 08:35 PM
Done, as you can see






My smidgen of a claim to fame is that I have had so many really good friends. By Bernie Swaim December 2007
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