Tales …

A story about imaginary events : an exciting or dramatic story

A story about someone’s actual experiences

An exciting story that may not be completely true

A series of events or facts told or presented :  An account

A usually imaginative narrative of an event :  A story

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tale

 

Noun

1. A narrative that relates the details of some real or imaginary event, incident, or case; story: a tale about Lincoln’s dog.

2. A literary composition having the form of such a narrative.

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/tale

 

Prior to my time in the military I’d say I didn’t have too many tales. I’ve had some life experiences. I’ve had some adventures. I’ve had some amazing trips. But tales? I’ve not had any real tales until I became aircrew in the military. Now, I have way too many tales.  Some, so burned in my memory that no matter how had I try to rid them I never will. Unfortunately none of them are tall tales. The interesting thing about tales is that I never set out to create a tale, they just kind of happen. I have tales from all over the World, from places I’d never expect. Most of my tales involve many of the same people. So as more tales are being created the retelling of old tales is happening.

The C-130 is a six person crew, a perfect size for gallivanting around the World. There were many times when I’d be on the road with the same six people for two months or so at a time. During that time we could bounce around the continental US. Or we might find ourselves going to Europe. My favorite trips are to the Caribbean. Talk about tales, the Caribbean is the place of tales.

But there are places that no one would expect a tale to come from. St John’s Newfoundland is one of those places. Most tales from there are not fit for public consumption. First it’s an island. Kind of like St Croix but much farther North and the water is much colder. There are two nursing schools on the island. Most of the men are either commercial fishermen or work on the off shore oil platforms. The ratio of women to men is about ten to one. Not bad odds. To complicate matters every block has at least one adult club, a bar and a church. Talk about confusing choices.

The amazing part of a tale is you never know when or how it’s going to happen. Sure I have many tales from Afghanistan and the Middle East, that’s to be expected. But from places like Fort Huachuca in southeast Arizona? Or the stories that Lil Buddy, the cooler that we took everywhere, could tell. I wish that I had the camera a bit more handy or the pad of paper closer to me for that one moment. The truth is that I never knew it was going to be a tale until time had passed, usually days or months later. I’d walk into the Ready Room at the squadron and I’d hear “Were you there when …”

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