Terry day be a soldier i love you betty

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Though my previous blog was much broader in scope, I occasionally wrote on depression. Use these links to access two of them.

Sadly, Sam Ballard Sr. died in the fall of 2012 at the age of 91. We have created a web page to celebrate his life if you'd like to know more about the man behind the camera - CLICK HERE
"This may not all be true, but it is my story."
Carl Jung Getting there The Philippines changed my life even before I got there (and by a curious coincidence, I was born on the day in August 1946 that the Republic of the Philippines was proclaimed by President Harry Truman). Dad had been sent to Clark in November, 1958. Initially, we were all going to go together, but we got bumped by somebody. The next month, the rest of us had to go to Luke AFB near Phoenix to get shots for tropical diseases. When we got our first typhoid shots, I was the only one in the family that did not have any side effects. A few weeks later, I took the second typhoid shot and did have a side effect - I was in a coma for more than a week. I went to the base hospital just before Christmas, 1958. The next thing I knew, I was watching the Rose Bowl Parade, in a long ward filled with sick airmen. Mom swears that my little brother Sammy got out of shots by running out of the line when nobody was looking - he had the right idea.     We moved out to Clark the following April. We were one of the last families that had to make the trek on propellor-driven airplanes. The trip from San Francisco to Clark lasted 36 hours of almost non-stop flying (due to the earth's rotation, four fifths of the trip was at night). On the way to Hawaii, the crew was nice enough to let me up into the cabin (this was before the days of plane hijackings), where I got a wide-angle look at the ocean ahead. I was impressed that the ocean waves, which look entirely random from sea level looked like a orderly patchwork from the sky. We got box lunches at each of the stops, but the nicest was the one from Hawaii that included pineapple and candy bars. I fell in love with Hawaii then, but it would be 23 years before I really saw it.   At Guam, my brother Sammy went into a gift shop and bought a Major's insignia, which he pinned on to his cap. These lasted until we landed at Clark and my Dad saw it - a serious breach of military protocol. First impressions       We lived off-base in the Mountain View housing area for the first 6 months or so. At night you could look out to Mount Aryat and see guns going off all the time, as the government troops at the base of the mountain held a dialog with the Huks at the top of it. Huks, if I recall correctly was short for Hukbalahap - a tribe that didn't mix well with its peers. They were said to be communists, but considering the times, you had to take that with a grain of salt.       >    
In case you wondered what Mt. Arayat looks like from its base...     We had arrived in the Spring of 1959, right in the middle of the Easter activities. I remember being alone in the house with other kids one night, looking out the window and seeing a large circle of torches. The next time you looked out there were none. Then they were back..pure terror.     In succeeding nights, the torch ceremonies were replaced with parades - each night more elaborate and with more floats. It culminated in the famous Good Friday celebration.   Some Filipino men had their backs cut with razors, and they marched down the streets beating the wounded area with bamboo cords to enhance the bleeding. A smaller number (the ones who really had some repenting to do?) were lashed to crosses.   Looking back on it, it seems pretty disgusting, but the Americans took it with a carnival-like atmosphere, taking lots of pictures. When we got back, our car was blood-spattered.  
    Mountain View     The area around Mountain View was a magical thing for kids who had lived in Arizona their entire lives. Our house was right next to rice paddies, where water buffalo roamed leisurely through the fields looking for grass to munch. More fierce looking were the black and tan brahma bulls. Eventually, we worked up the nerve to ride on the buffalo, at the urging of a Filipino boy named Tony who took care of the animals. Sure enough, the animals were as docile as sheep. Only Tony was bold enough to ride the brahmas.   Just past our street there was, incongruously, an enormous Baptist church.  
  I remember that the preacher would be thundering out the gospel in evening sessions with curious Filipinos hunched over, looking in from the outside at every window. Still, the prevailing religion was a blend of 80% Catholicism and 20% whatever they had before. In contrast to the Baptists off base, the chaplain on base was clearly a Methodist. Reverend Matheson was just too nice to even consider the possibility of hellfire and brimstone.      The dirt roads were full of strange and colorful new vehicles. There were horse drawn carts called Calesas , human-powered pedicabs, and chrome-plated vehicles of all shapes and sizes generally known as jeepneys. It was believed that most of these jeepneys were once . government property and that they were unwittingly surplused to the Filipinos. There was a story going around the base that a band of natives had the audacity to steal a fire truck right out of the station and run it out the gate with lights flashing and sirens blaring. It is said that halfway out, they were spotted by air policemen who gave them a police escort out the gate and into anonymity. This was likely the Clark version of an urban legend, because it was recounted by nearly every Clark veteran I talked to, no matter which decade they lived there.

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