Been There Done That...

by D.D.Lobaugh, Jr.

division line

Sometimes I find myself wishing that I could be more active and take trips to some places I have never been. Then I say to myself, "don't be so selfish, you're 85, be content with the past and think of all the places you have already been".

In the United States,

I have been from coast to coast and in 48 of the Continental United States and Hawaii. I have been to sites important to the founding of the United States, e.g., Concord, Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, and Philadelphia where our founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and I gazed at the cracked "Liberty Bell" which rang in that event. 1

I've travelled to

Civil War sites like Fort Sumter, Gettysburg and Vicksburg, Mississippi. Also as I walked the streets of Savannah, Georgia, I wondered where General William T. Sherman was sitting in December, 1864, when he sent his message to President Abraham Lincoln that he was presenting him "Savannah as a Christmas present" as he concluded his "March to the Sea". I have been to more modern sites of those defending the United States; I have been to West Point, Annapolis, the Air Force Academy, and the U. S. Marine base at Parris Island. I have been inspired at each location when I think of all the sacrifices that have been made by the people at all of those locations.

I've worked and played

in all the biggest cities. I've had lobster in Maine, Crawfish in New Orleans, Pine Bark Stew in Savannah and Mahi Mahi in San Francisco. I've looked out over the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, the Painted Desert, Garden of the Gods, Little Big Horn, (Custer's Last Stand) and have seen the swallows in Capistrano. parasailed off Key West, Florida 2and rode in an open cockpit bi-plane on the Washington coast, flew in a glider in Georgia, and drifted over the Arizona desert in a hot air balloon. 3In Tombstone, Arizona I visited the "OK Corral" and "Boot Hill". My family visited Yellowstone National Park and watched the Old Faithful Geyser erupt. 4

I've joined in the nation's

celebrations and enjoyed New York City‟s Macys Thanksgiving Day parade with the giant animal balloons, San Francisco‟s China Town New Year‟s celebration with the big paper dragon weaving down the street, and New Orleans Mardi Gras parade with the float riders throwing beads and other trinkets to the crowd.

I've joined in the nation's

I was in my office in New York on the 43 floor of the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center at 5:30, Nov. 9, in 1965, and I watched all the lights go out in Manhattan. I got soaked riding the "Maid of the Mist" at Niagara Falls, and spent one Christmas in our Winnebago camping at Big Bend, Texas, on the Rio Grande.

In San Francisco

I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, rode the cable cars up to Nob Hill, and stuffed myself with goodies from Fisherman‟s Wharf.

In the Pacific Ocean,

south of Los Angeles, I worked a week on Shell‟s Off-shore rig training Supervisors and was privileged to ride in the company helicopter up and down the west coast and around Los Angeles.

My wife Gloria

and I spent our 25 th wedding anniversary in Hawaii sightseeing in Honolulu and Maui, and watching an erupting volcano (Kilauea Crater) on the big island of Hawaii. We rode in a 30‟ Outrigger canoe. We also visited the important WWII sites of Pearl Harbor and viewed with sadness the submerged Battleship USS Arizona Memorial remembering how WWII started that Sunday morning in 1941. 5Our hearts ached as we thought of the many soldiers and sailors that were preparing to go to church that morning and were interrupted by swarms of Japanese Zeros bent on destroying the Pacific fleet, but they only awakened a sleeping giant that would eventually destroy the imperialistic ambitions of Japan.

I skied

in the Canadian Rockies, the family walked and rode a six-passenger snow mobile 6 on the Columbia Ice Field glacier, and I flew over Canada‟s northern most oil fields in a DeHavelin Otter. I played golf at the awesome Banff resort in the Canadian Rockies after watching the filming of "Shell‟s Wonderful World of Golf" and meeting the past golfing great, Gene Sarazen, the host of the show. 7

The audits of Shell Canada

took me to Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, and Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In addition to going by train from Calgary to Toronto, I had to use some unusual airplanes to get to the northern most oil fields and to offshore facilities. 89

In San Francisco

the family watched a Bull Fight in Juarez and shopped for bargains in Matamoras, Reynosa, and Tijuana, Mexico.10

After retiring to Milledgeville, Georgia,

I was able to experience the ultimate dream of every golfer in the world, to play the course and spend the night at Augusta National Golf Club, the site of "The Masters", the premier professional "Major" of golf. The visit started with lunch in the Men‟s Grill, 18 holes of golf in the afternoon, played the Par 3 course and then had dinner in the main dining room. I spent the night in one of the four suites attached to the Club House. We were served breakfast the next morning in the "Champions Locker Room". (I was seated right in front of Arnold Palmer‟s locker). After breakfast we played another round of golf and had lunch again in the Men‟s Grill. As we drove home that afternoon, I couldn‟t help but wonder if the last two days had really happened or if I had been dreaming all the time.

In my lifetime

I have been fortunate enough to take several tours to various parts of the world and enjoyed nine cruises to various parts of the oceans. A summary of them is provided below:

In London,

we rode the Underground, visited Piccadilly Circus, Toured Westminster Abby, and watched the "Changing of the Guard" at Buckingham Palace, 11took a boat ride down the Thames, and visited the Tower of London. We toured The British Museum and looked in awe at the Rosetta Stone and read the original handwritten manuscript of Shakespeare‟s Hamlet. We checked the time on "Big Ben", 12viewed the Houses of Parliament, and shopped at Harrods.

West of London, we viewed Windsor Castle, we wondered at the sculpted boulders of Stonehenge, 13visited the Roman Baths, and toured the wonderful Salisbury Cathedral. We rode a "Hovercraft" (it speeds along 2 -3 feet above the water) across the English Channel to France. 14

In Paris,

we visited the Notre Dame Cathedral, climbed the Eiffel Tower, toured the Louvre museum and admired De Vinci‟s Mona Lisa and Venus Di Milo. We visited Versailles and viewed all the paintings of Napoleon and looked at ourselves in the Hall of Mirrors.

In Lucerne, Switzerland,

we visited the Alps in a Cable car.

In Italy,

we visited Venice, Florence, Rome and Pisa

In Venice we enjoyed a nighttime ride in a decorated gondola and were serenaded by musicians in other gondolas. We visited St. Mark‟s Square and the Basilica and checked our watches as the two life sized male bronze figures came out of the top of the clock tower to ring the bell with their large hammers, and signal the hour as they have done since 1497.

In Florence we stared in silence Michelangelo‟s statue of "David" and his "Madonna and Child".

In Pisa, we climbed the tilted Leaning Tower.

Rome was the climax of our visit to Italy. Famous places we visited included: In the center of Rome is the immense Victor Emmanuel II monument, beyond it is the Roman Forum where we walked the ground trod by many of the Roman Emperors. Beyond that a mile or so is the unrivaled Coliseum where gladiators fought to their death. After we tossed a coin in Trivia Fountain, (superstition has it if you do, you will return) we proceeded to the Vatican and the unbelievable Sistine Chapel to view the masterful works of Michelangelo on the ceiling and walls. Below is the Roman Forum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and Trivia Fountain.

One tour/cruise was to Greece,

the Greek Islands, Turkey, Egypt and the Holy Lands.

In Athens, Greece, we walked the grounds of the Acropolis, the Parthenon, The Agora, where learned Greeks lectured and taught, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Homer, etc. We visited the Greek Island of Patmos, where the Apostle John was exiled and the grotto where he recorded the book of Revelations. I rode a donkey to the top of the Island of Santorini. Below is the Parthenon . . . . . . . . . . . . and part of The Agora.

Below is a picture of the grotto where John wrote the book of Revelations while he was in exile on Patmos.

We visited Egyptian port city of Giza and I rode a camel up to the Great Pyramids. I also took close up pictures of the Sphinx.

In Jerusalem we visited the "Wailing Wall", saw the Church of the Nativity, and followed several "Stations of the Cross" and from the hills we could see the Garden of Gethsemane and The Mount of Olives.

In Bethlehem we visited the Church of the Nativity and the birthplace of the Christ. While standing in these sacred places we wondered about the events and changes that have taken place in this region since the days of "the star", the shepherds and the manger in the lowly stable.

We landed for a day in Ephesus, Turkey, and walked the same streets that the Apostle Paul walked as he spread the gospel to the Gentiles and subsequently wrote his letter to the Ephesians.

Other trips and events included:

A part of the often overlooked naval side of the Civil War, was the story of the south‟s S. S. Hundley, the first submarine to sink a naval warship in any conflict. We visited the recently recovered S. S. Hundley from Charleston Bay,, S. C. where it was being preserved as a significant artifact of the Civil War.

My intense interest in aviation was whetted by visits to the site of Orville and Wilbur Wright‟s exploits at Kitty Hawk on North Carolina‟s Outer Banks, and visits to NASA‟s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and NASA‟s Mission Control south of Houston, Texas, and to the final displays of all such adventures at the Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

While in Washington, D.C., we were inspired when we viewed the original documents involved in the founding and the development of our nation, e.g., The Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution in our National Archives.

We were reminded of events involved in "winning the west" by visiting the battle site of Little Big Horn where Custer and his troop met their fate at the hands of Sitting Bull and his tribe of American Indians, and the famous western towns of Dodge City, Kansas, and Tombstone, Arizona, with the OK Corral, and "Boot Hill" in both Dodge City and Tombstone.

One highlight of my lifelong golfing activities was my participation with the Houston Golf Assn., which in the late "70s sponsored the Houston Open. As a result of my hard work selling sponsorships to local businesses and my selection of the "Rookie of the Year" award, I was assigned as the personal Marshall for Arnold Palmer in the Wednesday Pro-Am one year. So I escorted "Arnie" and his foursome the 18 holes of that special day. Part of the highlight was that his foursome included Bob Hope, Jackie Gleason and the host pro, Doug Sanders. Hope and Gleason had custom golf carts with Rolls Royce grills and loud speakers to harass each other during the round.

We came to appreciate how Texas became part of the United States with visits to the Alamo in San Antonio and to the site of the Battle of San Jacinto where the heavily outnumbered Sam Houston surprised and captured the Mexican General Santa Anna. To commemorate this victory, a Washington Monument like obelisk was erected on the site of the battle, and in true Texas style it was said to be "a few feet taller than the Washington Monument".

8/78 Cruise (1) with Laurance & Sarah – NCL Southward - Cozumel, Mexico, Mayan ruins, Grand Cayman Isl., Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Berry Isl.

Trip in Winnebago motor home w/ Laurence & Sarah to Bar Harbor, Maine – Whale sightings, Boston, Concord. Old Ironsides.

Trip to Jamaica – 1985 - Ocho Rios, Ruby Falls

Cruise (2) w/Children & Grandchildren - Aug. ‟85 –Premier Cruise Lines - Star Ship Royale – Freeport, Nassau, Salt Cay

London w/ Laurie –Mar. ‟90 – Visited the same places as our previous visit, but added the play "Me & My Girl", toured Covent Garden, and the Museum of Moving Images.

Cruise (3) on Carnival Fantasy, Bahamas, Freeport

Cruise (4) on 50th Wedding Anniv. w/ Children & Spouses. 1/95 - Regency Rainbow - Cozumel, (Snorkel, Mayan Ruins,) Key West – 30‟ Catamaran,

Cruise (5) with Mystery Club Jan. '96 - Carnival Fantasy – Nassau, Freeport

London w/ Grandchildren Amy & Steve 6/96 – Bath, Stonehenge, British Museum, Big Ben, Westminster Abby, Salisbury Cathedral, Tower of London, Covent Garden, Buckingham Palace, Changing of the Guard, London Underground Tube and the play "Blood Brothers".

Cruise (6) to Greek Islands , May '96 - Stella Oceanic-Athens, (Acropolis, Parthenon, Agora), Cairo, ( Sphinx-camel ride to the Pyramids) Jerusalem, (Wailing wall, Stations of the Cross), Bethlehem, (Christ‟s birth place), Ephesus, Turkey, Santorini (donkey ride to top), Patmos, (Apostle John‟s Grotto where he wrote Revelations).

Cruise (7) with Grandchildren Loni & Ben (& Bob & Deb)-RC Majesty of the Sea - Nassau, Coco Cay, Bahamas Key West, (Parasail -snorkel) (3/01)

Cruise (8) for 60 th Anniv. – w/ Laurie - Golden Princess – San Juan, Porte Rico, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Grenada, Carcass , Venezuela, Aruba, Netherlands Antilles (1/05)

Cruise (9) - RC Voyager of the Seas (4/08) with Laurie, out of Galveston, to Cozumel, Progresso, Yucatan and Rotan, Honduras.

So, after reflecting on the above events, I can see that my outlook has been entirely selfish and that God has blessed me and my family more than we could possibly deserve. I will give him thanks for those blessings and be completely satisfied with the memories I have already accumulated, and not be worried because I can‟t acquire a bunch more. I now realize how blessed I have been with a magnificent wife of 66 years, three fantastic children, many beautiful Grandchildren and a wonderful group of Great Grandchildren. Who could ask for anything more?

Respectfully submitted by Dave Lobaugh

Mom standing in front of the Liberty Bell
1photo by DDLobaugh,JR 0000
Dad way up parasailing
2photo by ? Lobaugh, 0000
Dad way up parasailing
3photo by DDLobaugh,JR 0000
Dad way up parasailing
4photo by DDLobaugh,JR 0000