This took place about the first month I was on Taiwan, so the date had to be late May – July. My first room mate was a guy by the name of Joe Prisk from Alpha section. He took me downtown about the 1st day I was there. He brought me up to the San Francisco Club and introduced me to Peanuts. It seems this was quite a tradition when I got there. And as most of us did, I fell in love at first site.
Peanuts – Photo by Steve Callis.
Peanuts was quite a gal, that really liked us Linkou Navy guys a lot. In latter months this was not available for us to do, since Delta section was kicked out of the San Francisco club for good around the end of 1971.
Earl Axe has updated us with that story. The San Francisco Club was located on the second floor of No. 1 Min Chuan West Road.
Business Card Scan courtesy of Larry Johnson, Bravo Beggar 1970-71.
The story behind the reason for Delta section being banned from the club is that someone from Delta Section, possibly ‘Skinny’ Dan Norvell pushed the ABC Club’s juke box down the stairs. Those that knew Dan would find that out of character for Dan, a normally quiet and reserved young man (totally out of character with the rest of Delta Section). Is it possible that the juke box pushed Dan down?
Well the time has come to tell the story of the guy who for 13 months had to run, hide and hold his bowels in check by holding back the need to take a shit. In case you have never experienced what it feels like to be seating down with your favorite reading material and start taking a dump, only to have some asshole throw a cup of water over the stall onto you. Don’t know where it started, but for the next 13 months it was an all out war to any and every one of us. No place was safe. We tried to learn to shit while having our legs straight out in front of us so they couldn’t look under the stalls and see your feet. We tried RUNNING 2 miles to the NCO club while on watch only to have someone get you 2 seconds into your shit. Day or night, while in the spaces, barracks, NCO club, OR downtown. No place was safe. The ONLY place I found was the shiiter in the Imperial club, because it had no windows AND a good lock on the door so no one could get to you. NOW as bad as that all sounds (I still have nightmares!), it gets even worse. Remember what we would do toward the end of pay period when we didn’t have money? That’s right we went to drinking Umajoe because you could get a whole bottle for about 35 cents and could sneak it into the clubs. Well now you have the picture, drinking plum wine and not being able to take a dry shit. Not once but EVERYTIME you had to take a shit. It was down right cruel. Don’t think we’ll ever have anyone fess up to being the originator of this practice, but they hopefully have never taken a solid shit the rest of their life!!
One mid watch while seating around with little to do, but cause havoc, someone came up with an idea to lock our seats together and become a rowing team that rowed around the spaces as if we were going down a river. I remember Harry Hobbs was the guy with his hat on backgrounds and a drinking cup with the bottom out of it so that he could yell STROKE, STROKE over and over again. We started in the NSA area rowing around and you just knew we had to share this with our Zoomie friends. Well a couple of minutes later we took off to their area and proceeded to row up and down all of their stations a couple of times. Then it was off to the army and do the same thing to them. Then back to our area. I would think all total we were rowing for well over 30 minutes around the whole building. But it doesn’t end there. Because of the success of this activity several months later the “Rowing Team” was altered to include Chuck Fredricks as Santa and the rest of us as elves and we starting throwing Christmas packages (bags of shredding) to all of zoomies on the way by. The thing I remember the most about both of these incidents are the fact that we never even got talked to from someone. It just goes to show you the great group we had on the Rock including most of the officers, etc.
When Joe Prisk was getting ready to leave Taiwan (late June) he wanted to go out big. So one day he and I went into the city (Where it was off limits) and he went about buying a bomb. Now this “Bomb” came in a large box about the size of 5 pizza boxes stacked on top of each other. The plan was to go back to the Kings club and set this bomb off. We got to the Kings club and Joe found a ladder. We went outside to the Sign that hung on the building. Joe took the bomb, which was a smaller box inside the big box and tied it to the sign. Coming out from the bomb were rows and rows of firecrackers. Each firecracker was about the size of an M-80. There were 2 streamers of these firecrackers coming out of the bomb. So Joe took one end and I took the other and we walked away from each other until they were totally spread out. Now you have to picture this. Here is Joe about 30-40 feet away from me and between us is this streamer of firecrackers going up into this bomb hanging from the sign. At the same time we each lit our ends and these firecrackers start exploding. There is paper everywhere as they start moving up the streamer on their way to the bomb. By the time the firecrackers have been exploding for about 5 minutes we have a total crowd around us on the side walk. Everyone came out of the clubs as well since the noise was unbelievable. I swear it took almost 10 minutes of exploding before each end went up into the “bomb”. As they both went into it, it took about 30-45 seconds and then the bomb exploded. It had to have been about a stick of dynamite. The sign on the Kings club started swaying back and forth, but it ended up staying on the building. I know that Joe was a little disappointed that it didn’t get blown off the building. Paper was EVERYWHERE. We had to have had 200 people watching us blow this thing off. Cars were stopping in the street and if you remember the Kings club it was right at the main intersection of the main drag of Taipei. The time was about dusk, so it wasn’t dark yet. It was great. I will never forget that experience. Here I was less than a month on the rock and damn near blew a sign off a building. We didn’t get in any trouble and even the cops were there watching it. I knew then that I was in a place that we could party hardy and not worry to much about it. Thanks Joe for the memories. Hopefully he reads this sometime.