Sunset Over USS Ranger #104B

 

March 22, 2017

My home for three and a half years, the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-61). I believe this photograph was shot in Pusan harbor, South Korea during our WestPac of 1979. The first time you hear a twenty ton aircraft land just a few feet above your head, your first thought is oh my gawd, how will I ever be able to sleep through this?

When I first reported for duty aboard the carrier, our berthing compartment was under the third or fourth arresting cable, meaning we heard every plane land. Nothing could be worse, right? Wrong. While in drydock for a year in Bremerton, Washington, OA Division (weather guessers) lost our private berthing compartment, as we were moved up to the bow of the ship, to a much larger compartment. Up front, you heard the catapults building up steam to launch each plane, which left the ship with a very loud thud.

I hated my time in the Navy, especially that year spent in drydock, however looking back now, it was probably the most exciting time of my life. Not to mention the great friendships I developed with my Navy brothers. It also gave me the opportunity to buy my first real camera, a 35mm, fully manual Canon AT-1, various lenses and filters plus a rather huge stereo while overseas.

The Navy was also indirectly responsible for my marriage as well, because after serving I had a year’s worth of free dental and met my future wife who was working at a local dentist office as a chair-side assistant. Though the marriage ended on a very sour note and in divorce, my ex-wife did give me two precious, beautiful babies.

My Naval experience also enabled me to get a free college degree from The Ohio State University via the G.I. Bill. I can honestly say that my four years of service in the mid to late ‘70s changed my life for the better.

Steven H. Spring
Earth

Sunset Over The Pacific #112A, 114A, 115A & 116A

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

July 30, 2016

Sometime around 1981, I went on a “business” trip out west to Los Angeles. Leaving Columbus, Ohio in a thirty-two foot Winnebago, besides myself there were one of my brothers, a cousin and an older gentleman who was a childhood friend of my uncle. Though I had never driven such a vehicle, I drove nearly the entire trip. The only time I did not drive was when passing through Chicago and in LA. Also along for the ride were Mary Jane and Timothy Leary.

We first drove up to Minneapolis, Minnesota where we dropped off my brother who was going to help another cousin move back to Ohio. From there, we headed to the land of enchantment. Arriving in LA, we discovered that the item being purchased would not be ready until the next morning, so we headed down the coast to find a spot along the beach in which to spend the night. It was while parked along the Pacific Ocean that these photographs were taken. Driving back to LA the next morning, we picked up what we were after and headed home. When passing through Oklahoma City, we dropped off my cousin at the airport who caught a plane to Minneapolis to help his brother move back home.

All told, we made the roughly five thousand mile round trip in seven days. Thankfully, the journey was made uneventfully, except for some fog so thick while passing through Missouri you could have cut it with a knife.

Needless to say, it was a wild trip.

Steven H. Spring
Earth