EPISODE 1,O72: WALKER HANDICAP — A FEEL GOOD STORY

EPISODE 1,O72:   WALKER HANDICAP — A FEEL GOOD STORY


aln skeoch
July 10m 2024

EPISODE 1,O72:   WALKER HANDICAP — A FEEL GOOD STORY



I was pushing my walker through the crowd at the food booth at Cosco.
Big crowd .  Noon on Friday July 5,   I had ordered hot dog, fries and a Pepsi
…all of which were difficult to push and carry to the table area.  I circled the
tables once….all taken.   Stand up tbale was vacant but awkward for a man with a walkier
and Pesi/

Then  a surprise:

A short man about 60 years old…husky…perhaps Middle Eastern

“I do not speak English well”
And he handed me his cell phone 
“Follow me, we have a table for you.”
I followed Ih’m to a table where his wife was sitting.
“There, the table just for you:
And they disappeared in the crowd.

Marjorie arrived and we split the hot dog and chips.

Made me feel good….hope it does the same for you

EPISODE 1070: JOHNSTONE ISLAND…TINY ATOLL IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN…YOU CANNOT GO THERE…agent orange storage cite




EPISODE   1070:    JOHNSTON ISLAND…TINY ATOLL IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN…YOU CANNOT GO THERE…AGENT ORANGE STORAGE SITE

alaln skeoch
July 6,   2024

Thousands of leaky drums of Agent Orange were stored on johnston island

Johnston Island is so tiny that it is almost invisible,  
few people are aware of the existence of the island.  Visitors are forbidden by the United 
States Air Force who has bulldosed coral from the lagoon to make an airstrip and a dock for freighters.
Most days the base is inactive,

But in the 1970’s Johnston Island was very busy receiving thousands of 45 gallon drums of a defoliant
called  Agent Orange. a Million of gallons shipped from USAF bases such as Da Nang in Vietnam..42,000 gallons    
from USA

some of the drums leaked chemical into ground water in Laos and Vietnam.    
The results?  birth defects and  cancers even now 50 years after the war.. 
600,000 gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed on the jungle of Laos in an 
attempt to expose the Ho Chi Minh Trail which delivered supplies and  
 soldiers to the battlefronts.








“Tell me a bit about Agent Orange.”

“ Chemical companies like Dow, Monsanto and many others were contracted
to make a more  lethal defoliant from common herbicides used by gardeners.’The
result was Agent Orange.’
‘If it made people sick why not find a less lethal defoliant”
“The danger was not known immediately and the chemical was terrific defoliant.”
“How terrific?”
“Plants sprayed with Agent Orange died immediately.”
No one knew the long  term effects … 
agent Orange could live 100 years in soil and 14 years in the human body.”
”No alternative?”
“None,   The  closest defoliant took a month to kill jungle plants…Agent Orange was immediate.
The long term effects.”
“By the end of the war great swaths of jungle had been defoliated and villages saturated.”
“Howmuch Agent Orange remained?”
“millions of gallons were stored in USAF air bases like Da Nang.”
“So Johnston Island was chosen as a storage site. “
“Out of sight out of mind….is it still there?
“No.  Special incinerator ships destroyed what could be incinerated.  
some remains in the ground wherever 
Agent Orange was stored “
         



437114732060673@1481227681264/The-At-Sea-Incineration-of-Agent-Orange-Near-Johnston-Island-in-the-Central-Pacific-Ocean.png” alt=”3 The At-Sea Incineration of Agent Orange Near Johnston Island in the Central Pacific Ocean by the M/T Vulcanus During Operation PACER HO in August 1977 (Photograph courtesy of USAF OEHL, Brooks AFB, Texas)  ” itemprop=”contentUrl” class=”figure-details-image__main-image”>

EPISODE 1069, PASONG BANJONGPANITH……OUR LAOTION REFUGEE 1976



EPISODE 1069

RIGHT TO LEFT:  PASONG BANJONGPANITH, KEVIN SKEOCH,
ANDREW SKEOCH, ALAN SKEOCH,  CIRCA 1976



EPISODE  1069:   WHAT IS A FUCKING IMMIGRANT, MR SKEOCH?

SO IN 1976 OUR CHURCH HAD  four teen agers.


‘’That requires a little more organizing, so let’s get at it right away…

we will  need specialized help”, said Walter Irwin to our committeeS.

“Like?”
“First we need  someone to find the kids a home..an apartment in Port Credit…a housing committee…then beds, furniture, dishes,
food, clothing, employment… committees that can act fast.”

Note:  Our church had  a lot of veterans…active people.  Big congregation with every pew filled.
Money was not  a problem.  
 
“Alan. you and Marjorie will be in charge of Pasong, the youngest of the children.  He will have to be enrolled in school.  


—”‘WHAT IS A FUCKING  IMMIGRANT MR. SKEOCH?”

“How do you like school Pasong?”
No response but he looked at me strangely
Then queried, ’What is a ‘fucking immigrant’; Mr. Skeoch?”
That knocked me for  loop,  I thought long and hard to get the right answer and failed,’
“Pasong, you may have to get into a fight,,,sorry to say that,”  And I gestured with my fists,  I had learned
that Pasong was a wrestler in Laos so he could handle himself .  He was short and wirey with muscle.
“No, Mr Skeoch”  and he made a gesture with his hands at hip level.  The kid who ca
Pasong a ‘fucking immigrant  was  in grade 3 or 4…not a fair fight.   I think Pasong grinined
but I am not sure.

There were two courses of action/ …fighting or running.  

Pasong  presented a third possibility.  Just ignore the remark.  Do nothing.  He reinforced his suggestion by
a humorous hand gesture at his waist.  
Just a little kid.  

DO YOU SMOKE , MR. SKEOCH?

Pasong was fun .   One day we were driving down Stavebank, just Pasong and me.
“Do you smoke, Mr. Skeoch.?”
“I did once when I was in Grade Nine/    Long time ago.   I swiped a cigarette….lit it
with friends then thought  ‘Why am I doing this?  One cigarette. 
“Why ask me Pasong?  Have you started to smoke?” 
“I am in Grade Nine.”
I think he grinned.  It took me a few seconds get the joke.  Pasong had started to smoke  He wanted my advice  His answer was funny and flattering.
Pasong wanted my advice. .  He made me feel good,  A surrogate parent 
for a couple of years until his release parent arrived ,

THE STONEBOAT WINTER DAY

“Pasong,  do you want to come with me to a farm auction?”
“What is an auction?”
“You will see
“OK,”

It was a bitterly cold winter day ..mid January January 1978 or thereabouts.   The auction sale 
was a mile or so from our farm,,,not far away. 

“Look around Pasong while I get a bidding number.”









Pasong was interested in the piles of tools and other 19th century things the farmer had saved.
The small crowd was interested in Pasong ..
never seen a Laotian.  I bought a clutch of hand  drills used to make holes in barn beams for wooden trunnels 
(tree nails) and some spear tipped wrenches but my big purchase was the stoneboat — a flat sheet 
of steel tipped up a bit at the front for hauling behind a team of horses,  Heavy brute of a thing for moving
stones from field to fencerow in early springtime.

“How can I get this stone boat to our farm Pasong?
’Stoneboat?”
“When snow is gone I need you to help get stones off our field.   OUR  best crop is stones left
here by ice 10,000 years ago.  

 How do we goet the stone boat to our farm..too heavy to lift.
Only way I can see is pulling the stone boat …a chain hooked to the truck and the stoneboat.”
“what’s my job?
“Make sure we do not go too fast,  Danger that the stoneboat  will bash into the truck like a flying saucer…
You watch… danger if’ if the stoneboat slides faster than the truck.”
I Figured any Person who had crossed the Mekong River in 1976 would like a bit of danger,
Only a mile or so of ice road  on top of the gravel roadbed and no traffic on side road five.
Small adventure.  Stupid adventure.  
Why remember it?

THE HUMAN BRAIN IS A WONDROUS THING —MEMORY

I am not sure we were the best family to put in charge of Pasong but
it seemed a good fit to us.  

PASONG VISITS US 20 YEARS LATER

Pasong arrived at our farm 20 years after the Vietnam/Laotian war.He was married with children
and a house north of Toronto,  He was no longer that 12 year old immigrant or that 14 year old 
cigarette  smoker (and may never have been such   He parked his Cadillac in our lane…
the first person to do so.  

Now, nearly 50 years after the fall of Saigon  Pasong may be in his fifties.  No longer a “F- word immigrant”.
A Canadian optometrist in Brampton.

I still need him to pick stones.











episode 1067 –results OF WAR IN VIETNAM .. IMPACTS OUR FAMILY

HOW THE WAR IN VIETNAM IMPACTED OUR FAMILY



SOUTH VIETNAM AND LAOS 1975 — CHAOS






Alan Skeoch
June 14, 2024
   


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Credits: warhistoryonline

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‘USA’s defeat in Vietnam war was rounded off with  shocking events as the entire war itself. The final evacuation by the US forces in 1975 saw a number of Huey helicopters, which were considered to be the workhorses during the Vietnam War, tipped over the U.S. Navy aircraft carriers into the South China Sea.

This wasn’t the only incident of the frenzy and chaos at the time, but arguably the sight of throwing valuable helicopters over the deck of the USS Midway was certainly the most astonishing one. The helicopters were thrown into the ocean to make room for a lightweight Cessna O-1 Bird Dog that was carrying a South Vietnamese officer and his family.”


WHAT WAS HAPPENING ON THE MEKONG RIVER BORDER?


 The wide Mekong River marked the border between Laos and Thailand,,,the second largest river in the world…
  It is estimated that 360,00o LaotIans fled
Laos in 1975.   Flight was dangerous as Laotian pro communist border guards
were ordered to shoot escaping asylum seekers… . 
another danger was the river pirates who offered to take fleeing families across the Mekong then killed them 
and steal their money.

A  QUOTE

Last week, the Thai Foreign Ministry issued an unusual sixpage statement observing that “Thailand always wants to be a good neighbor of Laos and support Laos’ aspirations.
But a Pathet Lao broadcast rejected the statement and restated Laotian demands. If the two countries are to remain on speaking terms, it said, all Laotian right‐wing refugees and Meo tribesmen who fled to Thailand must be returned to Laos together with “planes and other war materiel “that have found their way across the border.
The New York Times/Oct. 30, 1975


TO FLEE OR NOT FLEE?

Being killedf and stripped was always a possibility.   It was 
much safer to have a contact person on the Thailand side of the border.
The  contact person would pay the river pirate.
 




When the US military pushed helicopters overboard to make room for the ...


American sailors were pushjng 10 million dollars worth of helicopters from a carrier flight deck into the
South Chin Sea.  perfectly good choppers.   It had to be done to make room for other helicopters
carrying refugees from Saigon.  The Viet Nam War did not end smoothly,  No war ever does.
so , if you need spare parts for s helicopter there are m[any in the bottom of f the 
sea.

PASA BANJONGPANITH SWIMS THE MEKONG RIVER…BECMES A LAOTIAN REFUGEE


Meanwhile on the MEKONG RIVER side of Viet Nam, on the border of Laos and Thailand an event happened
that would eventually impact our concerned family in the sleepy Port Credti, Ontario … thousands of miles from the Mekong River.

Pasa was the oldest son of the Banjongpanith family.  His father was a successful businessman

iin Laos.  A  target for communist insurgents who were sweeping across Laos in 1975.  LaotiAn 
 children made flight difficult.  Pasa was concerned and along with
his sisters planned to escape in spite of their father.  They would take
one of the youngest children with them.  His name is Pason Banjongpanith.  He was around 13 years
old at the time.

Pasa announced quietly to his sisters and Pason (Pasong?)


“I will swim across the Mekong at nightfall with the money to pay a boat pirate for your

crossing… much safer for us.”


He did not tell his parents,  .

  • Note:  Between 1975 and 1995, the number of Laotians refugees, including both Hmong and lowland Lao, totalled 360,000. Most of the lowland Lao fleeing their country were urbanized and educated; many were former employees of the U.S. government. They were housed mostly at Nong Khai Refugee Camp just across the river from Laos.


MEANWHILE BACK IN CANADA  — FIRST UNITED CHURCH, PORT CREDIT,  DECIDES TO GETINVOLVED


Our church congregation was concerned as  Thousands of  refugees were pictured fleeing the triumphant communist  
viet Cong victors.

Note:  My memory could be faulty in places, These  events are as accurate as I can recall (50 years ago)









FIRST UNITED CHURCH, PORT CREDIT, ONTARIO DECIDES TO HELP

“Can we do anything to help?”  urged many of us.
:We could sponsor a famiiy?”
“Better to give money to the Red Cross,” suggested our minister.
“We could do both,”. said Walter IIrwin, our top elder.
“Money is best.” said the minister but we wanted to sponsor a family, so
we proceded.
“Our church has been accepted as a sponsor” announced Walter.
“What now?”
“We wait until a suitable family is found.”
:When will that be?”
“I have no idea.”

So we waited all through the remainder of 1975.  No family.   Then on a brutal day in March 1976 our family
arrived.  No preparations.  We had given up.  Dark day with sleet and rain.

“Your family has arrived. Take it from here.  Their plane has landed and 
they will need housing immediately…and food, and clothes, and language lessons…they spoeak a Laotian dialect…no English.”
“Jist a minute.  Did you say they speak a Laotian dialect.  Like they come from Laos??
“That is correct.”
“But we expected a Vietnamese family”
“All of south east asia has been affected by this war.”
“But…”
“your family came from refugee camp in Thailand where some 360,000 Laotians now live,…fleeing communist insurgents..”
“Who are these people?”
“Most are well educated middle class Laotians,  ..prepared to give up their homeland
rather than face communist  victors or the ghastly results of the defoliant Agent Orange.”
“Agent Orange?
“Yes…tell you about it later.”
“Are we expected to jump right now?”
“Your family awaits you”
“Do they know who we are?’
Highly unlikely…they are just four people among hundreds of thousands seeking a new life.”
“..do they have winter clothing?”
“:they have never seen snow,  They are lowland Laotians.”
“We will get them right away”
“You wil be surprised.”
“How?”
“You expect a family, right?”
“Right.”
“Well you are getting four teen agers.”
“No parents?”
“Hurry, they are waiting for you.”
“Four kids….alone?”
FOUR TEEN AGERS!!   

HOW CAN WE LOOK AFTER FOUR TEEN AGERS?

“WHERE IS LAOS ANYWAY,,,NEVER HEARD OF THE COUNTRY”?

END PART OME…NEXT PART YOU WILL MEET THE BANJONGPANITH KIDS






EPISODE 1066,,,A MOSCOW PAINTING — SOCIAL COMMENT

JUST FOR INTERESTS SAKE HERE IS A PAINTING DONE IN MOSCOW SHOWING

AN UNRULY CROWD TRYING TO BREAK INTO A WINE STORE THAT HAS RUN OUT OF WINE.


What else do you see?  A drunk flat out on the road, a one legged man (war veteran?), a cat on the roof, a dancing drunk who has lost his cane and his shoe, a man breaking
into a  police car,  a man taking a  leak, a man selling something in a laneway, a man sitting on a case of wine with a empty bottle….a line up. ..
 Something being pushed from a second floor widow  All done in the style of Bruegal.
A child who has dropped her doll and is being dragged away…

MUCH MORE…I.E. IN THE DISTANCE A DRAG LINE DEMOLISHIING SOMETHING…AND A RUSSIAN SIGN LAUDING THE SOVIET UNION NOW LONG GONE
courtesy of Quora

EPOSPDE 1064 DUMPSTER DIVING WITH CLARENCE BRADLEY SCHNELLER — REMEMBERING THE GOOD TIMES


DUMPSTER diving with Brad

Note:  Brad has experienced some hard times lately…very hard.  I have written this
short story to bring a little cheer to his life.  Good times are stored In our memory cells
to help in bad times





ALn skeoch
June 13, 2024

        b

“AL, GET UP HERE FAST.”
“WHERE?”
“Treasure Island…you know where…too busy to talk…bring your van…now!

Clarence Bradley Schnellar was a Dumpster Diver….a treasure hunter.
I think dumpster diving is illegal but that did not  stop Brad. 

Sometimes the treasures were too big for his car and when that happened he called me. I had a truck.

“What have you found?”
“No more talk…get up here!”

A whole nest of dumpsters were were dumped at the edge of the old brick factory on Mississauga 
Road where a Loblaw mega store now  stands.

I got there pronto but no sign of Brad.  Some other divers were present sifting through the dumpsters

“Clarence, where the hell are you? “  His mother named him Clarence.  He did not like the  name  so I called him
Clarence just to irritate in friendly way.  “Clarence!”  I yelled.  

Several long cardbosrd boxes flew over my head from a dumpster.   Clarence was in so deep he could not be  seen.  
“Al, gather up these boxes….get your truck rear doors open.”  Boxes rained down like air defence misilles. Several
dozen,

“What’s inside?”
“Carnations…lots of  them…must have just arrived from South America.”
“The boxes are cool…direct  from cargo jet liner.”
“Why are they dumped?”
“Maybe drug dealers hid cocaine or heroin in the boxes of carnations..red and white long stemmed carnations.Lots of room.”

I looked around.  Maybe we were being watched by members of a drug cartel with big knives or guns.
Who else would throw out   shipment of carnations.

‘What will we do with them, Al?”
“Kevin and Andrew have a paper route.  Carnations delivered with the Toronto Star/”


Note:   our motorcade — a beaten up Ford cargo van and a  spiffy 
Ford station wagon— were unremarkable….but were we being
tailed by Drug dealers!?

No one following.   Imagination gone wacko?

How could the carnation bonanza be explained?

Brad did not even  try as he distributed carnations to his neighbours in Erindale.

Note:  That happened in the 1970’s
alan



EPISODE 1061 ACUPUNCTURE

EPISODE 1061    ACUPUNCTURE


alan skeoch
june 2m 2024

I Never thought my new knee would come to this…acupuncture. But it has and
the leg is not straight… never be perfect.   
who among us 80 year olds is perfect?Few if any  so i am in good company,

I closed my eyes as she opened the packages of sterilized needles.

“Could you take  picture?{
“Sure.  You will have to follow exercises.”
“I have been following exercises since Dec. 12, 2023”
“Religiously”
“Well .. not quite.   I have to take time to breathe and  eat my bran flakes…

the bran flakes cause other things that get in the way of excercises.”

“Do your best”
“It has now been 7 months.  I can hobble.”
“There…needles a re in…now I will hook them up to the power gently”
“What?”

“What?”

That needle some distance up my pant leg is a little discocertrting.

Did you notice the guy in the corner of the room?

– EPISODE 1059: } ESCAPE TO THE THE COTTAGE YOU WILL NEVER OW==ADAMSON HOUSE


EPISODE 1059: }   ESCAPE TO THE THE COTTAGE YOU WILL NEVER OWN (ADAMSON house and wilderness park in Mississauga)

alan skeoch
May 21, 2069

“Alan, get away from thatt computer “
“Why?”
“Join me for a walk around the Adamson House in Mississauga.”
“I am busy.”
“Too busy to smell the flowers….too busy to sit on a bench a
stare across the water of Lake Ontario…too busy to take a break?
“Help me get my socks on.Marjorie … time to stop typing.”


“Let’s pretend that we’re together, all alone”

(remember the  lyrics?)


“Alan, put down your camera>”
“No.  I want my readers to enjoy this touch of wilderness/“
“Alan, there are no readers…entirely imaginary audience…”
“Not so.  But even if you are right these pictures will give me
a rest and remind me of you.”


“Alan, a huge coote just crossed the path…healthy.  No mange.
Took no notice of  us.  You missed it. “


“The coyote is watching us…maybe a whole pack of them.”


“IF WE meet a pack of coyotes we can climb this tree to escape

NOTE TO READERS:  THIIS IS YOUR PARK …. TAKE HALF AN HOUR TO
WALK THESE TRAILS.   ADAMSON HOUSE,  

alan

EPISODE 1005 DANDELIONS —RAW LATEX (RUBBER) AND GERMAN WAR INDUSTRY GERMANY 1941-194

EPISODE 1005   DANDELIONS —RAW LATEX (RUBBER) AND GERMAN WAR INDUSTRY

GERMANY 1941-1945

alanskeoch
January 8,, 2024


All dandelions ooze latex when picked,  Latex is rubber and
rubber was needed desperately by German war industry.

Why?

A Tank needs 826 pounds of raw rubber’
A gun carriage needs 409 pounds
A fighter plane needs146 pounds

In 1933 a type of dandelion was discovered in Asia that 
contained more latex than others,  Hitler ordered seed to 
be collected and planted in farm fields taken from Polish 
farmers in the early years of World War 
two. (1941?) This vast planting  was supervised by a jewish botanist whose last name was 
Bloch I seem to remember.

Where were these farms?  Planted in the fields surrounding Auswitz.

The experiment failed because the war outpaced the growing time.

see pictures below

ALAN SKEOCH









The Need:

Natural rubber sourced from the Para rubber tree faces a plethora of challenges including price instability, geopolitical trade complexities, deforestation restrictions, and disease vulnerabilities. A convenient solution lies in the rubber root dandelion which produces natural rubber comparable to that of the Para rubber tree. However, challenges like yield and impurity levels present obstacles to producing rubber at commercial scale.

The Technology

OSU faculty have developed an improved methodology that doubles latex yield and produces a purer rubber product. The extraction is also water based and can readily be incorporated into an industrial-scale latex extraction process, resulting in a highly efficient and sustainable process for obtaining rubber from the rubber dandelion.

Commercial Applications

Producing rubber in this way has wide-ranging commercial applications in various industries, including but not limited to:

  • Automotive: durable tires, gaskets, and seals in the automotive sector.
  • Medical: gloves, tubing, and medical devices.
  • Industrial: components like belts, hoses, and conveyor systems.
  • Consumer Products: From footwear to household items and other consumer goods.


The term latex is often used as a synonym for rubber, but the term actually refers to any liquid medium that holds a suspension of tiny polymer particles. Latex is a natural plant substance, but it can also be manufactured by chemical processes.
Natural latex is a plant material found most famously in the rubber tree—but it is actually found in almost 10 percent of all plants. For example, opium is actually the dried latex from the opium poppy. Latex is not the same as sap but is a separate substance, created by the plant as protection against insects. Latex in plants is a complex mixture of proteins, alkaloids, starches, sugars, oils, tannins, resins, and gums that coagulates when exposed to the air. Plants use latex to seal themselves after injury, thereby protecting themselves against insects.