Posts Tagged With: movies


The USS Lexington is fondly called Lady Lex around Corpus Christi, Texas. She served valiantly in WWII and served a total of 48 years. The Japanese kept broadcasting her sinking, never true. She became known as the ghost ship that came back to life.

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Here she sits in the harbor.

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She was attacked by two kamikazes. One was shot down, the other hit her island, did huge damage, killed 47 and wounded 123 men. The kamikazes were a desperate measure by the Japanese. They recruited young men do die for their country and offered the great honor of wearing a head band (hackamachi)  used by respected feudal samurai. Kamikaze means Divine Wind, a wind god said to have repelled a Mongol fleet heading toward Japan in 1281.

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The Japanese distributed these flyers to demoralize the men. You can barely read at the top, The bearer is entitled to honorable treatment as prescribed by the Geneva Convention.

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This is a very personal museum. Many letters described the attack and the subsequent sadness of burying their friends at sea.

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One survivor sent in his dog tags and a piece of shrapnel from the “Zeke” they shot down.

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The four self guided tours take you all over the ship and while I walked I had this sense of deja vu as though I’d seen this ship before. I could see men running through the hatch doors;

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water oozing up though the hatches as the ship flounders in flood mode.DSC00659 (Copy)

I see the men running, as the horrible piercing sirens go off and some sailor struggles to turn off these valves. I was running all of those WWII movies through my brain only to learn later that indeed, the Lex had been used in several movies.

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Sailors slept in hammocks like this, only 18 inches from each other.

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A later refurbishment gave much improved sleeping arrangements, but the men who used them referred to them as coffins.

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An old swabbie looked like this.

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And a modern swabbie we recognize.

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If you like models, there were rooms full of them, every size, every ship and plane.

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I preferred pictures and paintings of ships.

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Here is the Lex going through the Panama Canal with planes like toys littering her deck.DSC00705 (Copy)

As you walk into a room, a sensor starts a recording and in this spot I heard Roosevelt sadly delineate the number of ships wounded and sunk at Pearl Harbor. The casualties in men. It was about 300 men and 316 ships, if memory serves me.

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You can see the fear and dread in these young faces as they prepare for battle.

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And, the wonderful moments of relief and joy at liberty.

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Other duties than war.

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It was cold and windy and we viewed the deck last. Three football teams could play on this deck at the same time. DSC00777 (Copy)

The island, the control tower, is the highest part of the ship which from bottom to top is 19 stories high.DSC00763 (Copy)

I climbed into this wheel well and Jim took my picture.

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I liked the painted personality of the Skyhawk, the plane I crawled into. DSC00772 (Copy)

The navigation room, again gave me that deja vu. The compass on the right, with the huge compensating  ball-magnets keep the compass functioning. So, I got to massage the navigator’s balls, as they are called.

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The life rafts are now reversible, so no matter what side they fall on you can get in. But, it isn’t water proof. Brr, that’s cold.

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There was so much to see here. We spent four and one-half hours on the ship. Pricey, we thought, at $11.95 each, senior price, plus $3.50 for parking.  We also ate a delicious cafeteria style lunch on board. But, they also show two major movies wearing 3-D glasses that were absolutely stupendous and worth the price of the ticket on their own. So,  go see the Lex if it is the only thing you have time for.

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Taos, New Mexico – Day 10

The motorhome is currently parked at the Fraternal Order Of Eagles Airee #3489. My visit to Taos is now completed and I plan to depart today for a new destination.

For today’s Blog, I’ve got some odds and ends items for you…

One thing that pops ups early on searching the Internet about Taos is that portions of the 60’s movie Easy Rider were filmed here and the Director/Co-Star Dennis Hopper lived here for a number of years and, for a celebrity, was quite visible in the  community.

If you do not know who Dennis Hopper was, by clicking this Wikipedia informational link you’ll soon know a lot about him…

If you are not familiar with the movie Easy Rider, clicking this Wikipedia link will take care of that…

Here are a couple of photos from Easy Rider…

First a close-up of Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda riding their motorcycles…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

Here they are riding though the Taos Pueblo on which I did a Blog entry two days ago…

The jail scenes from Easy Rider were filmed at the Old County Courthouse which today houses artists co-ops. I went there the other day and took this photo….

The jail cells used in the movie are now part of an art gallery…

In 1975 Dennis Hopper was arrested and put in this cell…

You can read about that incident by clicking this link…

Here’s a link about Dennis Hopper being made Honorary Mayor of Taos…

He was also a prolific photographer, painter and sculptor. He exhibited at the Harwood Museum of Art on which I did a Blog entry yesterday. Here’s a link describing that event…

Dennis Hopper died in 2010. The service was held at San Francisco de Asis Church on which I did a Blog entry about one week ago. This link describes that event…

If you’ve forgotten or have never seen the movie Easy Rider, you can view the entire film by clicking this link…

Dennis Hopper died when he was 73…and I’ll be 72 in December…Hmmmmm!

Moving on to another Taos celebrity…It’s reported Julia Roberts and her family live on a ranch about five miles north of town. Here’s a link about Julia…

A number of movies have been made in Taos. To view the list, click this link…

Taos is such an artsy town…they even decorate their trucks…

Taos is an interesting town. Other than a disappointing non-historic central plaza, I’ve enjoyed my visit here.

Enjoying unique towns is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

If you have not checked out my new Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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Unfortunately The Simpson’s Did Not RV For Very Long…

In yesterday’s entry I showed you a video of the Simpson’s buying an RV. It was a short-lived experience. Here’s what happened…

In other news…

Yesterday was a cloudy, cool and rainy kind of day. Spent a couple of hours more working in getting Mary’s printer to work. Once she brings new ink cartridges from Costco…all should be well. Since it was also Veteran’s Day I plunked down on the couch and watched The Longest Day and Tora! Tora! Tora! movies. Both good world War II movies.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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I Just Did Something I Very Rarely Do…

I started full-time RVing in 1995…16 years ago. In that time I’ll guarantee that I have not gone and seen a movie in a theater more than three times in all that time because I consider modern-day movies junk (just like TV) and not worth my time. I’d rather read a book or go for a walk. Well, I went and did just that yesterday…I went and saw a movie in a theater!

Here’s how it all came about. A couple of weeks ago I stopped at a Salvation Army Store in Gilroy, California looking for used books. I have been an avid reader all of my life and read on average 2-3 books a week when not on the road. So, I’m constantly looking to resupply my stash of waiting-to-be-read books in order that I do not run out of books to read. I’m certain I’ve read over 2,000 books since I started RVing full-time.

Back to my story…I bought three books that day. One was by an author I did not recognize. I need to interject that since I stumbled upon John Grisham’s book…A Time to Kill about five years ago and I’ve been hooked on courtroom drama books ever since and have read all the courtroom classics books.

Anyways, the name of the book is The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly and it  turned out to be a great story!

Here’s a synopsis of the plot from Michael Connelly’s website…


The Lincoln Lawyer (2005)

Mickey Haller has spent all his professional life afraid that he wouldn’t recognize innocence if it stood right in front of him. But what he should have been on the watch for was evil.

Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense attorney who operates out of the back seat of his Lincoln Town Car, traveling between the far-flung courthouses of Los Angeles to defend clients of every kind. Bikers, con artists, drunk drivers, drug dealers — they’re all on Mickey Haller’s client list. For him, the law is rarely about guilt or innocence — it’s about negotiation and manipulation. Sometimes it’s even about justice.

A Beverly Hills playboy arrested for attacking a woman he picked up in a bar chooses Haller to defend him, and Mickey has his first high-paying client in years. It is a defense attorney’s dream, what they call a franchise case. And as the evidence stacks up, Haller comes to believe this may be the easiest case of his career.

Then someone close to him is murdered and Haller discovers that his search for innocence has brought him face-to-face with evil as pure as a flame. To escape without being burned, he must deploy every tactic, feint, and instinct in his arsenal — this time to save his own life.


I went to his website at to investigate what other books he has written and was immediately surprised to see that The Lincoln Lawyer was recently released as a movie and is currently being shown in theaters every where. Here’s the poster image…

Quite a coincidence that Matthew McConaughey plays the lead role as the attorney as he played the lead role as the attorney in the film adaptation of John Grisham’s A Time To Kill. It proved to be a very interesting and well-done movie closely following the book. That’s my compliant with most movies…once you’ve read the book…the movies are usually disappointing.

When I went to Michael Connelly’s website

I found he has written a number of other books and now I have a new problem. Since I’m an ex-engineer I like to read books in the order they were written so I can follow the character’s growth. Now I’ve got to go out and find all of his books. Oh well, if that’s the biggest problem I’ve got…so be it!

Go see the movie, you’ll enjoy it!

Why is a good book like an RV???? Because both can take you to wonderful places!!!!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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Mystic Seaport has a mysterious name. It conjures up the movie, Mystic Pizza, a romantic comedy filmed partly in Mystic Seaport and nearby Groton, Connecticut. There is an element of mystery as the pizza continues to become well known. Ah, so much for the movies. It did put Mystic Seaport on the map for those of us who didn’t know about its other qualities, such as a whaling and fishing history.  Jim and I  spent quite a bit of time there since Jim’s daughter-in-law lived most of her life in Mystic Seaport. Jim and Wendy Jaillet were married there as well. On our first visit we simply walked the town and looked around. Following is some of those photos. 

Rolling into town from Newport, R.I.

A beautiful lighthouse-still in use.

Swans are not U.S. natives. They were put here to eat up troublesome algae. Notice the darker, young swan. The Ugly Duckling story.

New England has many, many bridges. This draw bridge is tough to photograph, the heavy concrete counterweights lift that bridge.

The boats pass through, and down they come.

This picture of a picture gives a better perspective of the bridge. Walking under those huge counterweights takes an element of faith. I guess its always that way when crossing a bridge with huge trucks rumbling next to you, as well.

In many communities public benches are chained to prevent theft. In Mystic, they simply make them heavier.

I enjoyed unique and different art work. Different, that is, in topics. Much ado about whaling, boats, sailing and fishing, obviously. The wood cut below is an antique we saw in a museum.

Conclusion: Mystic is the perfect place for a fish-loving, bridge building, romantic, movie-loving artist. And we tourists, too.

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Ivoryton, CT, where we are staying, was familiar territory for Katharine Hepburn. She began her acting career at the Ivoryton Playhouse with her first major performance. Born in Hartford, her  family owned a summer place in  nearby Fenwick.  Fenwick fittingly named their Cultural Arts Center for their  most famous and favorite resident. It contains a small museum, free to the public,  housed in the old Fenwick City Hall.

Her place  fronted on the sound with a spacious surround, a large pond and golf course behind, and only 40 neighbors when the place was first built. Above is a rear view of the house.
She had a brownstone in New York, but Fenwick was her favorite place to be. She shared this  “cottage” with her brother and could be seen shopping, sailing, golfing or working around the yard by locals who gallantly respected her privacy.

Here she is doing some pruning on a pine tree with a fashionable scarf around her neck.

She left no doubt about her desire to be left undisturbed. She died at the Fenwick cottage in 2003 at age 96.
My youngest daughter was an avid fan of Hepburn during her high school years, and had collected nearly every movie Hepburn made. I believe I’ve seen most of them.

Classic Hepburn, this is my favorite photo of her from the museum, although the painting below has more character and catches a glimpse of her personality. I met her on the streets of San Francisco once. She was wearing a cast on her foot and acknowledged my recognition with a slight smile and nod of her head but held a hand up to let you know not to engage her. It was done so smoothly and respectfully that one could not even think to intrude. It made me smile and continue walking.

I didn’t know that she  loved  painting, nor that she was a credible artist. She didn’t sell them, nor give many of them to friends. It was a her own private joy. There are several of her paintings in the museum.

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