Sunday, February 21, 2010

escape to alcatr(AZ)

It was funny to read Lizzylou's post about visiting Phoenix last weekend. I was there too, but I didn't see her. I escaped from winter for a week and joined several family members in visiting my nephew and his wife, and my oldest brother, who all live in Phoenix.

A few years ago we were there in March, and drove out to Bouse, AZ to see if we could find out anything more about the training area where my Dad spent some time before going to Europe in WWII. General Patton had created a desert training center in parts of CA, NV, and AZ in anticipation of joining the fighting against Rommel in Africa. By the time they were ready to go, fighting in Africa was over and Dad's battalion found themselves on the way to Normandy for D-Day.
We found out that they held a ceremony each February to honor and remember those who trained at Camp Bouse and fought for our freedom. They invited my Dad to come the following year, and he's been there for the ceremony the last three years. Better late than never, the 748th tank battalion is found! It's emotional and uplifting to accompany Dad to this place that represents a big part of his life. That night we raised our glasses to his buddies, Barney, Crist, and Red who were fast friends through the war, and for the rest of their lives.
We spent most of the rest of the week enjoying the weather and my nephew's backyard. And on Monday we got together with some close friends and their beautiful girls. We spent several hours in the sun eating pizza, chips and pico, and hot salsa. But mostly laughing and catching up. I didn't even get on a bike, though Chuck lives close to some great trails in South Mountain Park. So, it's back to the trainer while winter hangs on to the bitter end. I hope it makes spring that much sweeter.

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