Thursday, May 05, 2011

Spring!... etc

I love this time of the year!

I'm sure my love affair with spring can be traced back to a number of causes, but without a doubt, the annual end of those 12 school years has to be at the top of the list.

(And, of course, the couple of years of "Spring Break" in Myrtle Beach!!)

   A "last day of the school year" ritual at Elizabeth was tearing up our workbooks (into little pieces) and throwing them up in the air like confetti as we walked home. No one ever said anything to us, so I guess it was considered part of the price the homeowners had to pay for living near a school yard.
   I understand that Mr. Gault, our old principal at Piedmont, is not doing well. Apparently he'll be in assisted living at Wilora Lake.....for the duration.
   Speaking of Wilora Lake, Mr. Gil Balance, our old English and Radio teacher is 91 this year...and still driving....and just about as active as ever!

Mr. Balance
He has a novel that will be published the latter part of June.....called, Leah's Journey Home.

He says it's fiction, but, he adds,  it's hard to know where the fiction leaves off and the biography begins.

Did you know that his father (not his grandfather) fought in the Civil War?

It will be available from Amazon dot com. 

I'll remind you.
Amelia Earhart


As I gradually slide into the retirement phase of my life, I'm getting more active in my hobbies...which, guess what.....  Surprise, surprise!......are mostly radio and TV related.

Once a month, I produce and host a TV show on Fairfax County Cable TV..........called OUT OF THE PAST.

Tom King
In a few weeks, I'll have finished editing a show I recorded last Saturday with Tom King, a well known archaeologist.   He  is working with a team of professionals who are very close to solving the mystery of what happened to Amelia Earhart.  The group is called TIGHAR and their hypothesis is that she overshot the south Pacific island of Howland (where the ship Itasca was waiting to help her re-fuel) and landed on an uninhabited island called Gardner (later re-named Nikumororo) where she and her co-pilot Fred Noonan eventually died.

In the approximately 10 times they've searched the island, Tom and the TIGHAR team have unearthed an abundance of evidence, but so far no "smoking gun."

When they'll be hearing a lot about them!

Nikumuroro is not an island paradise; to put it mildly.

One of its main features is its wildlife.....including poisonous fish coconut crabs!

I'm very grateful that Tom didn't bring one along to the studio with him.

Coconut Crab


The TIGHAR team will leave tomorrow (Saturday May 7th) for Fiji.


The British infused nearby islanders into the heretofore uninhabited island of Nikumaroro in 1939 in order to plant coconut crops. They gave up after a couple of years, but while there, the natives found human bones. The Briton in charge of the island thought they might be those of Amelia and her co-pilot, Fred Noonan. He sent them to the hospital in Fiji to be examined.

There, TIGHAR believes, they were mis-identified as coming from an Asian male.  That was the last known location of the bones. TIGHAR wants to examine  them again

Central Medical School, Suva, Fiji
The partial skeleton found on Nikumaroro in 1940 was last known to be at the Central Medical School in Suva, Fiji in April, 1941. In the official file the High Commissioner instructs the head of the school to “retain the remains until further notice” but the file ends in August 1941 with no further mention of the bones.

Research trips to Suva by TIGHAR teams in 1999 and 2003 were not able to pick up the trail. Tomorrow's third trip is being organized by TIGHAR Team Physician Dr. Jon Overholt, who will lead a search of likely locations to which TIGHAR has only recently obtained access.  -Ed