clear sky


Laguna Beach

Dennis’ Tidbits


Path to paradise 

Dennis 5Here on Wednesday, our sunrise was a minute earlier at 6:57 a.m. and sunset was at 5:03 p.m. Each passing day will see the sun rise about a minute earlier and, with a few exceptions, the sun will set around a minute later. 

The same day, with only our third Santa Ana wind event of the season upon us, temps here at the beach into the low 70s with light offshore winds. 

Thanks to fairly recent rains, we don’t have to worry much about any wildfires for now. There’s also a nice little WNW swell in the water for a change and conditions are great! The Queen of the Coast is reporting overhead sets with glassy conditions. Down south, La Jolla Blacks also has overhead sets with clean conditions. It’s about time! What school, what work?! I’m playing hooky today!

Tidbits’ atmospheric path continued: After a 17-month waiting period to enter the U.S. Air Force, I was finally admitted on January 13, 1967 and began basic training at Amarillo AFB, Texas for the next six weeks. After that, I attended Weather School from Feb. 28 until May 23 at the same location. My permanent duties would be weather related, as I finished first in my class by a longshot. 

About two weeks before completion of Weather School, I received the wonderful news that they were shipping me off to Hawaii for permanent duty at a place called Hickam AFB, which is sandwiched in between Honolulu Airport and Pearl Harbor Naval Base on the south shore of Oahu. I was assigned to work on a team called Weather ReCon as a meteorologist. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I wasn’t going to SE Asia and I got assigned the job I dreamed about! 

I immediately called Mom and Pop and gave them the wonderful news. For the next three years, I would be a meteorologist in paradise and serving my country. I was already a complete waterman, having been an avid surfer, bodysurfer, paddler and Junior Lifeguard. I spent more time in the water than on land since the ripe old age of three, plus the water temp in Hawaii was 75-78 the year round. Talk about being blessed. I thanked my Pop for the great advice he gave me that day on my 18th birthday. I couldn’t thank him enough. 

Being such a humble man, he thanked me for making the right decision, taking little credit. “I handed you the ball, son, and you ran with it,” was his reply. He was so relieved that I didn’t have to go to Vietnam. At that moment, I must have repeated it a dozen times, “I’m gonna be a weatherman in Hawaii, compliments of Uncle Sam.”

After Amarillo, Texas I flew home on May 24 for a 30-day furlough before shipping off to Hawaii. You can probably guess what I did first thing on my return to the beach after having spent nearly four and a half months being landlocked in a hellhole called the Texas Panhandle. Of course I jumped in the ocean and kissed the sand.

More on that next Tuesday, ALOHA!


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