US Army Retired

US Army Retired

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Temporary Sabbatical

To all of you who have followed this blog, I wish to thank you for doing so.

I am finding myself entirely swamped in researching and writing books about the history of California; along with several others dealing with military matters.

After long long delays caused by earthquakes, drought, heavy rains, and just about everything else, my published in Christ Church, New Zealand, appears to be resuming activity is appears ready to publish Book Two of Father Serra's Lagacy.

I also apologize for not citing this earlier or giving all of you the link to my other blog; Father Serra's Legacy at I sincerely hope all of you will stop by other there to see my comments on the subject.

In addition to four historical novels on the subject - Book Four is giving me fits as it deals with the turbulent peiod of 1813 to 1848 when the USA took control of California - I am working on a novel about an outstanding Mexican soldier, Captain Fernando Rivera who was involved in the original exploration of both Lower and Upper California. There is another that was published by another company but withdrawn as I didn't feel we fit - Sonora Symphony. This is the story of a soldier suffering PTSD who receives healing by an American Indian on the reservation outside Tuscon, Arizona. There is a sequel about how the hero and his American Indian girlfriend/wife search out who killed his parents.

As for the stories making up this blog - I have many, many more but can only concentrate on one at the moment.

As I said, I sincerely hope all of you can drop by on the other and either follow me as you have here or keep abreast of it via RSS feed.

Thanks again - and via con Dios!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Onward – At Last

It's been so long that many of you will have forgotten where I left off with the story. And, I'm catching up as my right hand is in a cast and I can't work on the fourth novel in my Father Serra's Legacy series..

After a year as a civilian, I decided to re-enlist in the army. I signed up for training as a truck driver – semis and heavy rigs. I only planned on doing the three years and get out to live the romantic and exciting life of an over the road driver.

I left Fort Ord and drove south on U.S. 101 – the Interstate hadn't been built yet – and settled back to enjoy the ride.

All these years later, I remember the strong aroma of freshly harvested onions in and around Salinas. It's only recently that I've learned Salinas stems from the Spanish word for salt marshes.

The towns with Spanish names passed and I didn't think twice about and remembered the tunnel

I will always remember the hills with towering Live Oak trees.

I think I stopped in Pismo Beach for a pit stop. I wasn't addicted to coffee then, so I'm certain a bought a snack with a soda. There were very few Mickey D's back then so I guess I either went to a drive in or small supermarket.

Driving along the coast – before it was a big super highway – shows one the strength and beauty of our world. I seem to remember pulling onto the edge, just sitting there to savor the sounds and smells of the ocean.

Jack [the man I thought was my father] and Kit, his wife, knew I was coming and put me up in a small trailer in their back yard. I didn't want to go to my grandmother's house as she was furious vat my re-enlisting and abandoning her.

This was before the Peacenik movement and people showed respect for  those in uniform. I proudly wore mine wherever I went and enjoyed the smiles and greetings.

My first destination was the card rooms of Gardena. Considered to be a Game of skill,” draw poker is legal in California. There were 2 or 3 rooms near Fort Ord but nowhere like the ones in Gardena. I went directly to the Normandie Club for one simple reason – they served the most fantastic and humongous roast beef sandwich in the world. They also came with generous servings of potato salad. Having played lots of barracks poker, I was cocksure I could beat anyone there.


Little did I know. They only made a minor dent in my bankroll but I left having learned about card mechanics and teaming up. I went to a couple of other rooms during my two weeks at home and managed to hold my own. And with thanks to a couple of room bosses he gave me complimentary meals as I was in uniform. They also served huge tureens of soup.

Most people who have not crossed Arizona on I-10 think this is what it looks like:

Here's the truth!

I was young and didn't think anything of driving straight through from Los Angeles to El Paso. The  MP  at the main gate handed me a map and pointed to where I as to report in. The Staff Duty NCO led me ta a barracks and pointed me to a bunk – lower – along with the wall and footlocker I was to use. He even issued bedding. I  seem to be there too late for the mess hall and ended up going to a Big Boy's off base.

I went to sleep thinking about how neat it would be to drive big rigs.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Novel About California History Now On Sale

The Sailor and The Carpenter now available @


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Royalties Check

Totally out of the blue, I received a check from for some of my self-published novels, book,. and short stories.

It's not the first as I received a couple from [USA].

But, it means someone bought a read my works and that's a real ego booster.

Have any of you read any of my stuff?  If so, what did you think of them/it? And don't worry about upsetting me - I have thick skin and welcome criticism. [I criticize myself a lot!]