alan skeoch Dec. 25, 2023
Surgery. What went wrong?
KNEE SURGARY Simply put my body did not like one of the drugs and told me so violently. The result set me back for a few weeks while I expected only a few days. The therapy will continue.
I have stories ready when I feel better.
alan skeoch
P.S. “One of you must plunge this blood thinner into Alan’s stomach each day for ten days … that will reduce the chance of blood clots. Here are ten syringes with the syrum. Who will do the job?” “I will,” said son Andrew.



alan skeoch
Dec. 7,2023

Our love affair …on an “enchanted evening” at a dance “across a crowded room”, I met a “stranger” and 
“never let her go”.

Some enchanted evening
You may see a stranger,
you may see a stranger
Across a crowded room
And somehow you know,
You know even then
That somewhere you’ll see her
Again and again.

Some enchanted evening
Someone may be laughin’,
You may hear her laughin’
Across a crowded room
And night after night,
As strange as it seems
The sound of her laughter
Will sing in your dreams.

Who can explain it?
Who can tell you why?
Fools give you reasons,
Wise men never try.

Some enchanted evening
When you find your true love,
When you feel her call you
Across a crowded room,
Then fly to her side,
And make her your own
For all through your life you
May dream all alone.

Once you have found her,
Never let her go.
Once you have found her,
Never let her go! 

Love at first sight sounds a little over dramatic but elements were true in my case.  Russ, Jim and I Were singles at a
Victoria College,  U. of T. dance.
Sophmores…second  year men …inflated egos  perhaps.  I saw her right away.  “across a crowded room”

“Jim. that girl looks nice.”
“Right,” and Jim darted across the dance floor and danced with her then returned
“Jim, you did not give me a chance. I spotted her.”
“She is nice, Alan, really nice.  Your turn is now.”

And we danced.  The evening suddenly become enchanting.  We danced slow to something like “My Prayer”, cheek to cheek”
and frantic to any lyric by Elvis Pressly”.   And the dance ended.  The crowd dispersed.   She headed for her residence and 
we caught the bus to western edge of Toronto.  I did not even catch her name.  

Latin was not my best subject but one fragment got into te the long term storage compartment of my brain. “Vesper Incantato,
peregrines vides,” … “Some Enchjanted evening, you will meet a stranger”…across a crowded room.  The hit song from
Rodgers and Hamerstein’s South Pacific.   Our Latin teacher loved to sing i to us in Latin.

That is how it happened.  But who was she?

Next afternoon at football practice our team was doing excercises running around the trcak a few times.
Lo snd behold, there she was leaning out a window of her residence.  Fourth floor.  I spotted her.

“Hi, up there, what are you doing tonight?”
“Nothing much”
“Meet you at seven at Wymilwood” (coffee shop for Victoria College students)

Her name is (was) Marjorie Hughes,  freshwoman from North Bay, … a nice person for sure.  We clicked
She became secretary for her 6T2 student executive.  A lot of people thought she was nice.  One boy
even proposed marriage to her unknown to me.  She chose to take a chance on me.  Big risk. 

We all have priorities in our lives.  My priorities changed in 1959 as a result of a speech given to
Humberside graduate by th Dean of Women from University of Guelph. 

 “What is most important to you as graduates?” She paused.  “I suspect you have high goals….high careers in mind.”
Let me give you a word of advice at this fork in the road of your life journey.”

“The most important goal should be finding a person with whom you wish to spend the rest of your life.”
Pause.  “Career is secondary.  Too few people are aware of this.   Your career might last for 30 or so years.  Your marriage, 
should you be so lucky could last twice as long.   Be vigilant.”

Number of my fellow graduate thought that was dumb speech.  They had clear careers in mind…doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, etc. etc.
Personally I thought she was right.  I was looking for a wife.  University was secondary…no university was third .  Football was second.
   Adventure ss a geophysical explorer was new the top as well.  Until a geologist I worked with died and his body was flow from
the bush in Chibougamau.  Suddenly this goal faded.

 But finding a person with whom
to spend my life was the very top of my list.

We soon got around to holding hands.

Marjorie had come through a tough year in her life in 1955 when both her mom and her dad died.  She was
a Grade 10 student at Lawrence Park Collegiate when all meaning her life had was shattered.
‘I went to school that morning dad died.   I was numb…walked back home. No one seemed to care.”

Her mothers’ sister, Phyllis Morgan was a Latin tescher in faraway Norh Bay.  She became Marjorie’s guardian.
A life changing event..  “All I owned was put in my suitcase when I took the bus to North Bay.  What wonderful
years followed.   Chippewa High School.  Dances, Curling Team, Drama Club (I Was a witch), summer cottages, trips,
…life changed.

Also a lot of boyfriends many of whom I met.  Nice guys.    
she chose me

My family was huge.  Marjorie became part of it.  Dad was unpredictable so much so that I never brought a girlfriend to 
meet him until Marjorie. He fell in love with her immediately.  She liked horses and Dad had spent a lifetime at
racetracks looking for the golden ring which  he never grasped.   He loved her so much
that Marjorie could not breast feed our boys because Dad appeared at our house every spare moment.

Marjorie became part of our family.  A big part.  She even spent  several summers as part of a  series
of mining wildernes jobs one of which was at Paradise Lodge on the lonely Algomaa Central Railway stop
72 (?) where she brought our cat, Presque Neige, and her electric machine which amused the crew
as we had wolves howling for the cat at night and no electricity for the sewing machine.

we had a very rich life ahead of us.  



Begin forwarded message:

From: ALAN SKEOCH <alan.skeoch@rogers.com>
Date: December 5, 2023 at 5:09:42 PM EST
To: John Wardle <jwardle@rogers.com>, Marjorie Skeoch <marjorieskeoch@gmail.com>, Pam G <pamlikestokayak@gmail.com>


alan skeoch
dec. 4, 2023

Secrecy was common with most of the mining jobs.  And often controversy.  Mining is a dirty business.

 iStock prices go up and down. Investers in and lose millions.  One of the largest mine proposal in the world today

is the Pebble Mine plan for SW Alaska. Our survey was on the NW flank of the Pebble mine proposal to construct 
a giant open pit one mile square.  Hundreds of millions have been invested but, so far, no mine will be allowed because
enviromentalists believe a mine that large would destroy this pristine wilderness.  
streams would become polluted with mine waste…  Salmon 
couldn’t reproduce.

Was our work in 1959 linked to the Pebble mine controversy?  I have no idea. READ ABOUT THE PEBBLE MINE..SEE POSTSCRIPT.

“Fellows, our contract with  Humble Oil of Texas is to see if this huge iron ore body
has some chalcopyrite (copper) to make mine feasible.  The Japanese are interested.”  Was this a  lie or the truth?

TO START the Alaska job we got instructions from Bill Morrison who would 
be my partner for he summer.   Don and Ian were the other field crew while Mike Chinnery pllotted
and interpreted the data.   Basically we searched for anomalies….blips on our consoles..

TO SET UP the motor generator was the first ask.  More than a mile of single strand shielded copper
wires laid out in a straight line grounded at both ends with heavy grounding rods,  The generator crested an
electro magnet field that coulld be detected by heavy coils of copper wire hung on our belts.  If an ore body existed below 
ground…deep below…we would find unexplained bias…anomalies..  Examining these blips was Mike’s job.  
The diamond drill crews were sent to places we directed.

TO LAUGH every morning when our pilot awakened on loudspeaker wit “Let’s get fucking sir born.”

TO BE OVERWHELMED by the pure untouched wilderness inland from Bristol Bay
and the shallow Bering Sea.   This  became the land bridge to North America during
the ice ages ….. today a vast open expanse of tundra cu by river valleys choked 
with tag alder an Beaver Dams ….cut off from Siberia by the Bering Sea.

TO FLAG DOWN a helicopter among age old stunted spruce .

TO BE DROPPED miles from camp on the open tundra which had been marked with pickets or bright red plastic tape.
 …base line 6,000 feet long  made of grounded single strand
shielded copper wire tethered to our motor generator.

TO SPEND each workday taking readings at 100 foot intervals at right angles to the base line.  The Turam was a Swedish
invention thst coould detetect mineralized rock deep below the overburden.  
(Note: This training in Alaska served me well.  In subsequent summers I was the only one available which led to
fascinating jobs in Southern Ireland and he Yukon Territory.  Lucky…very lucky.

TO CO EXIST with millions…billions?..of blood sucking insects the worst of which were the ‘white socks’ as Alaskans called
the black flies that chewed away at us. They had little white feet hence ‘whitesocks’.   These creatures liked to worm their way
into places where clothing was tight like our waists….or worse, they tried to get in our ears en route to our brains.
We wore loose fitting clothes and mosquito nets.  Blood sucking bugs of all kinds made our lives miserable.

TO SEE one Ameericsn diamond driller flown out to hospital.  His body bloated from bites after an 8 hour shift with
no insect protection.  He never returned.

TO SPEND our leisure time hooking Pacific salmon as they made their way up our river (stream) to nesting grounds.
Huge fish often too heavy to lift and close to 2.5 feet long.  Ugly mouthed creatures that were turning red as they’re
about to die and clog our trees with their bodies  much to the  joy of feasting Kodiak beas. This was one of North Americas’

last stretches of  pristine wilderness.  Shoudl it be turned over to a mining company noted for poisonous wastewater?  That issue

was up for debate by the Alaskan people.

TO ABANDON our 30,06 rifles each day at the S52 drop points.  To stack them on top of the big red blankets laid
out on the tundra spot pilots could find us for return trips.  Canadiansurvey crews did not carry guns “lest we shoot each other” Floyd Faulkner

said on a previous job. “Living together can get tense at times.”

TO JOIN Bill Morrison and take a few practice shots with the rifles which were far too heavy to carry along with our
Turam harness, cable and copper coils.

TO STRAP us together like medievall warriors.   Two man 100’ apart bound together by a 100 foot heavy cable which
was hooked to two heavy copper piled tube and a battery pack.  One man was outfitted with a receiving
console on his chest snd a large battery pack on his harness backside…and a notebook to record the readings

TO KNOW that any contact with a kodiak bear would be bad news because the Tursm Harness was impossible to quickly remove..
“No worries…Kodiak bears think we stink and avoid us unless startled.   They have lots of dead and living Pacific
salmon that must taste better than us,:” said Bill.

See Bill deep down in the river valley near our camp.   Perfect for wanderingg Kodiak bears.

TO MEET one kodiak bear boy accident wile wing upstream when i should have been wading downstream
…Bill was100 feet ahed of me and i interpreted te swiping mud spots in the water as cased by his feet.
Not so.  A kodiak bear appeared in the tag alder brush.  He or she was not interested in me.   I back off
and found Bill.   Sounds moe dramatic than wss the actual case.  he bear was distant and disinterested.

TO PLAY with
Aleut native yo-yo’s at midnight because there was nothing else to
but go fishing if the yo-yos failed to amuse.   Camp life was boring.

Perhaps dangerous as many of the Americans had hand guns for target practice.

One of the crew shot a beaver for no reason.  Camp seemed more dangerous than
the tundra wilderness.

TO EAT on one occasion a piece of moose here with ventricles apparent. Yuck!

TO BE CHASTISED after  foolish decision explore the tundra alone.   We  had finished our survey
and would soon be flying home.  Nothing to do but sit in camp . One of the S52’s was about to pickup 
a drill crew miles from our base.  I hitched a ride and figured  it would take four or five hours to hike 
back to camp.   The land was flat and treeless . Undulating so I could duck out of the wind

and red a few pages of East of Eden by Steinbeck,

As the helicopter
lifted off I thought — “This is not A good idea”  but it ws too late so I walked back to camp.  
 And I Got scared.   I was all alone and the camp 
was distant.  We had never seen a Kodiak up on the tundra  but I begsn to feel uneasy.

Occasionally an S52 flew overhead but could not see me.  A search had been organized.  
 When I reached camp
the reception ws not pleasant.  “That was stupid , Alan” . I agreed…very stupid. 

TO RETURN to Anchorage where Don and Ian got into a spot of trouble.   Could have been
big trouble.  They decided to checkout an American jet fighter parked on the tarmac with no one around
I believe it was an F – 104.  There was a metal ladder for th pilot to access is his seat..   Ian and 
Don wanted to look at those controls.  As they were doing so a military jeep moved in fast.  Two or three
MP”s took the boys away… Sort of arrested ?.  No drawn guns..  drove the boys away.  
  Later they were returned to our hotel after, I believe, a phone call to Toronto but I am not sure.
What did i do?  I walked off the base and home to our hotel.   So much for US security at Elmendorf
air base in 1959.

TO FLY HOME SLOWLY when our regular flight was cancelled due to landing gear problem.
Don, Ian and I were rebooked on a military flight from Japan.   Officers aboard it seemed
Very serious…no smlles…no drinking.  We were the reverse.  We were ready for a good time as were 
the stewardesses who gave us free drinks as we laughed and joked our way down the rocky Mountain
coast to Seatle.  Bit of a blur really.  We booked into a cheap hotel and were a little surprised that 
the three of us were wearing Japanese kimonos.  Mine is still around the house somewhere.
Noody was hurt.  Just silly 20 year old boys.

Ian and I  then flew to Vancouver where a relative had arranged a tour of old mines
in British Columbia.  I was included in the tour but felt a little embarrassed.   Freeloading. The result 
of the later  flight meant I was a little late starting my new life st  the University of Toronto, Vctoria
College.  Did I know where my life was heading?  I had no idea.

I suppose someone  had to hold up the Golden Gate Bridge to Vancouver Island.



The choice is simple:  Pacific Slmon or copper and gold


alan skeoch
may 9, 2022

It seems strange to have the largest gold and copper discovery in the world named after a golf course.

The Pebble mine site in south west Alaska (Bristol Bay drainage basin) contains 57 billion pounds of copper,
71 million pounds of gold, 2.2 billion pounds of molybdenum, 170 million ounces of silver, 4.2 million kilograms of rhenium
then palladium and 31 other minerals.

Price 2022
(),$3 per lb. Copper, 
$17.5 per ounce Silver,
$1450 per ounce Gold)

Uses of palladium What are 5 uses of palladium?  electronics, dentistry, medicine, groundwater treatment, chemical applications and 
jewelry, fuel cells. catalytic converter,
“); display: inline-block; height: 24px; width: 24px; margin-top: -1px; transform: rotateZ(-180deg);”>
So many minerlals that the Pebble Minesite has been declared ‘essential to the security and prosperity of the Unired States’ *
(*US Department of the Interior, 1918)

Pebble is a ‘mine site’…not a mine.  It may never become a mine.  Even  If Pebble Minesite would be the largest open 
pit mine in the world.  But it looks like it will never become a mine.  As of 2022 the Pebble Mine project 
has been cancelled by the American EPA.

How unusual?  

Pebble Mine is the common name of a proposed copper-gold-molybdenum mining project in the Bristol Bayregion of Southwest Alaska, near Lake Iliamna and Lake Clark.[1] Discovered in 1987, optioned by Northern Dynasty Minerals in 2001, explored in 2002, drilled from 2002-2013 with discovery in 2005. Preparing for the permitting process began and administrative review lasted over 13 years.

As of November 2020 the mine developer, Northern Dynasty Minerals, still sought federal permits from the United States Coast Guard[2] and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. State permitting would then follow, which the developer expected to take up to three years.[3] In November 2020, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) denied a permit for the proposed mine discharge plan.[4][5]

On September 9, 2021, it was reported that the United States Environmental Protection Agency had “asked a federal court to allow for Clean Water Act protections for parts of the bay.”[6] On January 31, 2023, the EPA effectively vetoed the project, using a rarely invoked power to restrict development to protect watersheds.[7]



The Pebble prospect is in a remote, wild, and generally uninhabited part of the Bristol Bay watershed in Southwest Alaska. The nearest communities, about 20 miles (32 km) distant, are the villages of NondaltonNewhalen, and Iliamna. The site is 200 miles (320 km) southwest of Anchorage, Alaska.[8]

Pebble is approximately 15 miles (24 km) north of, and upstream of, Lake Iliamna, and near Lake Clark. The deposit area is characterized by relatively flat land dotted by glacial ponds, interspersed with isolated mountains or ranges of hills rising one or two thousand feet above the flats. Pebble is under a broad flat valley at about 1,000 feet (300 m) above sea level dividing the drainages of Upper Talarik Creek and the Koktuli River.[9]


NOTE;  So many things happened so fast in sumer of 1959 that it was a blur….Alaska in 1959.  I have tried seversl times to
write in such a way as to hold the story together.  Very difficult.  Like the spinning images of a slot machine…all dissimilar.
I was 20 yers old…on edge of manhood but not there yet.  Growing up fast.


alan skeoch
Dec. 4, 2923

DON VANEVERY, IAN RUTHERFORD, MIKE CHINERY….stopover at Saskatoon airport…centrast with the airport at Dillnghm, Alaska which was a shack


ALEUT fishing base near Dilllingham.  Notice salmon drying in open air helped to dry by

a thousand  flies of all kinds many of which liked to feast on human blood as we discovered.


“Don Vanevery, Ian Rutherford, Mike Chinnery ,  you, Alan, will be flyling to Alaska immediately,…
Get packed…
.one rucsack for the summer.   Bill Morrison will meet you in Anchrage and join you in flight to Dillinghan…South West Alaska, near 
the Aleutian Chain.  Bill knows how to run  the Turam .. .  He wil instruct you.  We have American visas and work permits for each of you.  Best you keep your
mouths shut until you are familiar with the Tram system of magnetic mineral detection.
“Leaving when?”
“Tomorrow.  You will be living in a tent camp with a 25 man drilling crew.  Secret location. 
 The Humble Oil people from Texas insists you 
carry 30.06 rifles in case of trouble with kodiak beers.  Big calibre rifles.  
Another surprise…”there will be two S52. Sikorsky helicopters, to lift you from one site to another.  Our contract covers  a lot of ground.  Tundra…treeless.”

The day after or last exam we were airborne to Sskatoon
 via Air Canada then a connecting flight with Northwest 
Orient Airline to Ancorage then a propellor driven Fokker F27 to the tiny Aleut aboriginal  community of Dilllingham 
which sat on the edge go the Bering Sea 100 or so miles from Russian hostile shores.

How do Communicate the adventures this job entailed?  Pure adventure…true no fiction.   perhaps stress of 

TO FOLLOW the spoor, the Con trail, of the B52 Nuclear bomber that overflew our house each day in 1959.  So high as to be
barely visible.  Unannounced.  Lethal if angered.  Heding North west perps to Minot, North 
dakota or possibly to Anchorsge like would.

TO KNOW that nuclear anihilation wa a possiibility if the Cold War became a Hot War.  In 1934, long long ago, the general in charge of the fledgling
USAir Force said “the nation that controls Alaska controls the world”…an 8 hour flight range to most of word’s populations.

TO KNOW that our Northwest Orient plane was heading to Elmendorf air base where some of the 102 B52 Superfortresses were based.

TO SEE the vally of 10,000 smokes where the molten guts of planet earth are exposed….Part of the Ring of Fire that circles the Pacific Ocean.

TO LAND in ‘Dillingham on the edge of the Berng Sea about 100 miles from Russian missile bases.
…a gravel lamding strip.  picture of Fker F27 prop driven.

TO WALK where once so long ago the hairy mammoths munched their way across the 
bering lsnd bridge to north ameerics followed by Asian people in fits snd start.

TO THINK that another ice age could reopen that land bridge….the reverse of current climate change,

TO BE AWARE that this job in SW Alaskan not far from te Aleution Chain of Islands largely empty,  
stepping stones used by Japanese troops in World war II as a feint to draw US forces away from the
real goal of the Malayan rubber plantations.

Thee ALEUT people were super friendly.  I expected to meet many of these native
people but never met any others which seemed strange to me.  Our base camp in the vast tundra
was never visited by anyone.  We were strangers in s strange and empty land.

TO PAUSE a moment to help an aged Aleut to his feet and realize it was  not age that toppled him but alcohol

TO KNOW that this vast open highland of tundra was cut by deep river valleys where Atlantic Sallmon made their deadly
pilgrimage to the headwaters of these virgin streams to ly their eggs for future generations. 

and then die….their bodies feeding Kodiak bears.

TO HAVE all these thoughts tumbling in my mind Like the rolling wheels of a slot machine.   Like lemons, oranges

and bananas…all different and tumbling in my mind.

TO STAND resplendid in my University of Toronto crested jacket knowing full well I was not even  a student yet.. A fake.


TO BOARD the two Sikorsky S52 helicopters whose throaty ‘Varrom, Varoom’  eclipsed the’ slap slap’ semi silence of an
Aleut fising fsmily hanging split corpses of almond ring racks beside the sea.

TO LIFT off and ascend 2,000 feet with all our gear endangered by the button that allowed the pilot to drop
the load hanging in a net below us. “We had to drop a drilling rig one time,  sudden down draft, It fell like a giant spear.  We never went
down to see it impaled  in the tundra..  A stiletto gravestone.

TO KNOW there is no button  that could drop us.  If the S52 goes down , we all go together.  No parachute in a helicopter.
This is my partner Bill Morrison sitting on the helicopter floor with his feet in open air at 2000 feet up.  

TO SIT on the copters’ floor with feet extended through the open in the sure and certain knowledge of our immortality.

TO HOVERt then set softly down.  A neat two rows of tents …  specially darkened canvas  to 
simulate nightfall in the land the Minot Sun. our new home.  Remote, isolated, secret.

We arrived in our camp in mid June…lots of snow in river valley was used as a refrigersterfor our moose meat diet which I hated to eat.
Our camp is that patch of brown.  thirty of us…25 americsndrillers, 5 Canadians to spot drill sites…a vast and semi-secret ore body benesth the tundra.

Midnight and all asleep.  We had to build a wood sidewalk as the tundra ben  to thaw out from foot traffic.
Garbage set out in garbage pail.    The garbage truck never came (a joke)





(WIKIPEDIA)  Following World War II, Elmendorf assumed an increasing role in the defense of North America as the uncertain wartime relations between the United States and the Soviet Union deteriorated into the Cold War. The Eleventh Air Force was redesignated as the Alaskan Air Command (AAC) on 18 December 1945. The Alaskan Command, established 1 January 1947, also headquartered at Elmendorf, was a unified command under the Joint Chiefs of Staff based on lessons learned during World War II when a lack of unity of command hampered operations to drive the Japanese from the western Aleutian Islands of Attu and Kiska.

The uncertain world situation in late 1940s and early 1950s caused a major buildup of air defense forces in Alaska. The propeller-driven P-51s were replaced with F-80 jets, which in turn were replaced in succession by F-94sF-89s, and F-102s interceptor aircraft for defense of North America. The Air Force built an extensive aircraft control and warning radar system with sites located throughout Alaska’s interior and coastal regions. Additionally, the USAF of necessity built the White Alice Communications System (with numerous support facilities around the state) to provide reliable communications to these far-flung, isolated, and often rugged locales. The Alaskan NORAD Regional Operations Control Center (ROCC) at Elmendorf served as the nerve center for all air defense operations in Alaska.

The U.S. Air Force Security Service (USAFSS) activated the 6981st Security Group tasked with monitoring, collecting and interpreting signals intelligenceof concern to the region, including installation of an AN/FLR-9 antenna array as part of a worldwide network known collectively as “Iron Horse”.

Air defense forces reached their zenith in 1957 with almost 200 fighter aircraft assigned to six fighter interceptor squadrons located at Elmendorf AFB and Ladd AFB. Eighteen aircraft control and warning radar sites controlled their operations. Elmendorf earned the motto “Top Cover for North America”. AAC adopted the motto as its own in 1969.


B52’s first came off assembly line in 1955.  By 1962 there were 104 B52’s flying.
During the Cold War there were always some B52’s in the skies each armed with nuclear weapons.  The B52 was expectedto have a lifetime of 20 years.  Today 76 of the original 104 remain
in service. constantly upgraded.  In he 1959 we could look up in the sky each afternoon and see the con trail of a B52 en route to Minot , North Dakota.  perhaps even continuing north west 
to Elmendorf Strategic Air Command base near Anchorafe, Alaska. 

When we landed at Ancorage in June 1959, I do not remember seeing B52 on the ground.

In seven years or so, if everything goes according to plan, the U.S. Air Force should get what looks like a new bomber. A Boeing B-52 with new engines, new radios, new jammers, a new radar and fresh structural components. Even its profile might be new if the Air Force opts to remove redundant sensor pods.

The youngest B-52 left Boeing’s Wichita factory in 1962, meaning the 76 B-52Hs that remain in service are, technically, at least 59 years old. They’ll be at least 66 years old in 2028, the year Boeing and engine-maker Rolls-Royce plan to redeliver the first bomber with new F130 engines replacing the 1960s-vintage TF33s.

The Air Force finally announced the long-expected engine contract last week. Once the F130s are underwing, very little of a B-52 will be in i

Strategic Air Command (SAC) was a United States Department of Defense Specified Command and a United States Air Force (USAF) Major Command responsible for command and control of the strategic bomber and intercontinental ballistic missile components of the United States military’s strategic nuclear forces from 1946 to 1992. SAC was also responsible for the operation of strategic reconnaissance aircraft and airborne command post aircraft as well as most of the USAF’s aerial refueling fleet, including aircraft from the Air Force Reserve (AFRES) and Air National Guard(ANG).


EPISODE 921 :  PRT 2   BEST YEAR IN MY LIFE   1958 – 1959  

alan skeoch
DEC 1, 2023

nov. 27,023


I Have always liked girls.  They looked better, smelled better, behaved better, worked harder,

.   The 1950’s were dancing years.  Some of it quite frantic such as Bill Haley and the Comets version of 
Rock Around the Clock which

   Norm Semra and his band on stage to promote the school yearbook which was in trouble.  . 
There was no HCI yearbook for 1958=59.  So this is a fragment of events that year.



MR. HAISTE, our science teacher,

“Class. pay close attention, what I am about to demonstrate is worth remembering.”  And he held a small empty plastic dish.
“Now I will break this egg into the egg into the dish…
“Next I will pour this alcohol over the dish contents…
“You will note the egg immediately coagulated…turned gelatinous…rubbery….””
“That is what happens to your brain when you drink alcohol…your brain is
“the effect is non reversible.’

WOW!  Did that ever scare me. Convinced me to never drink alcohol.
And for a year or two I tried to scare my friends… I became insufferable…a zealot.  


I gave Mr Wisner a pile o fossilize corals that the excavatora scooped up in swamp.
Proof of plate tectonics.  Millionsof yearsago /Cochrane must have been on
the equator.   Cochrane now is  nearer to the Arcitic Circle.   Mr. Wisner seems impressed and added my fossils to
his collection.  I should have kept a couple.

Most of Ontario’s fossil record is found in the Paleozoic rocks that cover much of southern Ontario and the James Bay Lowlands. These rocks were deposited during the Ordovician, Silurian, and Devonian periods (450-350 million years ago) when Ontario was repeatedly covered by warm, shallow inland seas. The seas were fed by rivers draining from the bordering highlands of the Canadian Shield and acted as settling basins for thousands of meters of sand, mud, and clay. Eastern and northern boundaries of Paleozoic outcrop run roughly through the southern borders of Muskoka and Haliburton just east of Kingston (where Ordovician rocks lap onto Precambrian rocks). Ordovician rocks here abound with fossil snails, clams, squid-like nautiloids, trilobites, starfish, and sea lilies.


Second only to football was dancing..  The 1950’s were great dining years as Rok snd roll eclipsed the big band music of the 1940’s
The lyics were something to behold

“Skinny Minnie’s not skinny
she’s tall that’s all…”


“Long tall Sally’s got a lot on the ball
Nobody cres if she’s long and tall.”

I do not remember who wrote those memorable lyrics.  would he or she rank with Woodsworth or T.S, Eliot?  Perhaps.
We danced our school years away.  For $25 we hired Gord Sta[ple sand the Swing Kings    Big 
band sounds of Glen Miller.   And then got Norm Semra and his rock and Roll buddies .

NoTE: Major edit here.  Cut out all the dating  and broken hearts…that part seemed important but was silly.
Lots of relationships that fizzled.  


To do do, down dooby doo down down
Comma comma, down dooby doo down down
Comma comma, down dooby doo down down
Breaking up is hard to do

[Verse 1]
Don’t take your love away from me!
Don’t you leave my heart in misery?
If you go, then I’ll be blue!
‘Cuz breaking up is hard to do

[Verse 2]
Remember when you held me tight
And you kissed me all through the night
Think of all that we’ve been through
And breaking up is hard to do
(Neal Sadaka)

I noticed Marjorie nosing though her old photo album and pulling out pics of her many boyfriends.
Some were semi-serious business like John who asked her to marry him and Larry Keiler from Ohio who
she liked when his family spent  summers fishing in Northern OntARIO lakes,  He was a real contender.  Distance
kept them apartt thankfully,



Top 25 Songs 1955 – 1959

1. Don’t Be Cruel/ Hound Dog – Elvis Presley
2. Singing The Blues – Guy Mitchell
3. Mack The Knife – Bobby Darin
4. All Shock Up – Elvis Presley
5. Rock Around The Clock – Bill Haley & His Comets
6. The Wayward Wind – Gogi Grant
7. Sixteen Tons – “Tennesse” Ernie Ford
8. Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley
9. Love Letters In The Sand – Pat Boone
10. Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley
11. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear – Elvis Presley
12. At The Hop – Danny & The Juniors
13. Love Is A Many – Splendored Thing – Four Aces
14. Rock And Roll Waltz – Kay Starr
15. The Poor People of Paris- Les Baxter
16. The Yellow Rose Of Texas – Mitch Miller
17. Memories Are Made Of This – Dean Martin
18. April Love – Pat Boone
19. The Battle of New Orleans – Johnny Horton
20. Young Love – Tab Hunter
21. It’s All In The Game – Tommy Edwards
22. The Purple People Eater – Sheb Wooley
23. Tammy – Debbie Reynolds
24. Love Me Tender – Elvis Presley
#25. My Prayer- The Platters

that is the top 25 pop hits 1955 to 1959.   Know them all .  I am other surprised that “Skinny Minnie”
and “Long Tell Sally” are not here.   But I’m glad see Elvis Pressley’s many top hits… the best of which was Hound dog.


Oh since my baby left me I’ve found new place to dwell
Down at the end on lonely street at heartbreak hotel  I get so lonely baby I get so lonely baby I get so lonely I could die  Although it's always crowded you can still find some room  For broken hearted lovers to cry away the gloom  I get so lonely baby I get so lonely baby I get so lonely I could die    Well the bellhop's tears keep flowing the desk clerk's dressed in black  They've been so long on lonely street they'll never never never get back  I get so lonely baby I get so lonely baby I get so lonely I could die  So if your baby leaves you, you got a tale to tell  Just take a walk down lonely street to heartbreak hotel  I get so lonely baby I get so lonely baby I get so lonely I could die    Oh since my baby left me I've found new place to dwell  Down at the end on lonely street at heartbreak hotel  I get so lonely baby I get so lonely baby I get so lonely I could die  I get so lonely I could die


The warden threw a party in the county jail
The prison band was there and they began to wail
The band was jumpin’ and the joint began to swing
You should’ve heard them knocked out jailbirds sing
Let’s rock, everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock
Spider Murphy played the tenor saxophone
Little Joe was blowin’ on the slide trombone
The drummer boy from Illinois went crash, boom, bang
The whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang
Let’s rock, everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock

Number forty-seven said to number three
“You’re the cutest jailbird I ever did see”
“I sure would be delighted with your company”
“Come on and do the Jailhouse Rock with me”
Let’s rock, everybody, let’s rock.
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock.


Not all music was so frantic.   There was always room for a few cheek to cheek dances.
real romantic stuff like “My Prayer” by the Platters.


When the twilight is gone
And no songbirds are singing
When the twilight is gone
You come into my heart
And here in my heart you will stay
While I pray

[Verse 1]
My prayer
Is to linger with you
At the end of the day
In a dream that’s divine

[Verse 2]
My prayer
Is a rapture in blue
With the world far away
And your lips close to mine


Some enchanted evening, you may see a stranger
You may see a stranger across a crowded room
An’ somehow you know, you know even then
That somewhere you’ll see her again and again!

Some enchanted evening, someone may be laughing
You may hear her laughing across a crowded room
An’ night after night as strange as it seems
The sound of her laughter will sing in your dreams!

Who can explain it, who can tell you why
Fools give you reasons, wise men never try!

Some enchanted evening, when you find your true love
When you hear her call you across a crowded room
Then fly to her side and make her your own
Or all thru your life you may dream all alone!

Once you have found her
Never let her go!


I know the lyrics sound goofy.  Most readers will never understand
these songs.  Too bad.   You had to be there.  To skip school to 
see and hear Billl Haley.  Had to see Elvis wiggle his hips. 

END PART TWO  1958-1959




Skinny Minnie” is a 1958 song co-written and recorded by Bill Haley and his Comets. The song was released as a Decca single which became a Top 40 chart hit in the U.S.


“Skinny Minnie” was composed by Bill Haley with Milt Gabler, Rusty Keefer, and Catherine Cafra. The song was released as a Decca single, 9-30592, backed with “Sway With Me”, reaching no. 22 on the Billboard chart and no. 25 on the Cash Box chart.[1] The song was featured on the 1958 Decca album Bill Haley’s Chicks.[2] The song became a rock and roll standard which was covered by scores of bands and singers.

Long Tall Sally“, also known as “Long Tall Sally (The Thing)“,[1][2] is a rock and roll song written by Robert “Bumps” Blackwell, Enotris Johnson, and Little Richard. Richard recorded it for Specialty Records, which released it as a single in March 1956, backed with “Slippin’ and Slidin’.

The single reached number one on the Billboard rhythm and blues chart, staying at the top for six of 19 weeks,[3] while peaking at number six on the pop chart. It received the Cash Box Triple Crown Award in 1956. The song as sung by Little Richard is listed at number 55 on Rolling Stones list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[4] It also ranked at number 45 on Billboardyear-end singles of 1956.[5]

It became one of the singer’s best-known hits and has become a rock and roll standard covered by hundreds of artists,[6] including Elvis PresleyFleetwood Macthe Kinks and the Beatles.

In 1999, the 1956 Little Richard recording of “Long Tall Sally” on Specialty Records was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[7]