19 November 2010

Stupid Things I Bought When I Was 19







That watch has been more trouble. I banged it everywhere including the side of a C130 over Sicily DZ and the Devil's Playground in Spring Lake. Senior noncoms, not to mention officers, did not take kindly to a PFC wearing a Rolex...even if it was a lowly Submariner.

Today, every three to five years, it'll start running fast, then slow and then finally stops resulting in a $600 repair bill and a two to three month wait.

Sharing my enthusiasm of Ultravox! in 1977 with an Army barracks was something of a problem. Stereo wars were endless what with competing blasts of the Commodores, Boston and Thin Lizzy. Still, the Sub and Ultravox have stood the test of time. Better than Seiko and Boston. I just wish the Devil's Playground was still in business.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

on another bender, sunshine?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that you're looking very 'Nam-era in that photo. But that was only 2 years after the fall anyway. BTW, love that stupid-things-at-19 comment.

Are those sideburns regulation, private?

-DB

tintin said...

Sunshine -Worse than buying stupid things when I was 19 is doing stupid things like responding to your comments. Maybe I'll figure it out when I'm 70.

DB- Hair cut regs didn't change much. Sideburns were not allowed to go below the bottom of the ear opening (why do I still remember that?). But once I got to Bragg I learned that the barbers at Womack Army Hospital gave a cut that bordered on reg. All those doctors.

Anonymous said...

Ah, I guess I should stop regretting the purchase of a quartz (gasp!) Seamaster a few years ago then. I bought the quartz to avoid the maintenance and I truly wanted something nice that would keep accurate time. I know, it's still a quartz and I could have gotten that in a $100 Seiko.

Greg D.

Tin-tins phred/dad said...

As I've mentioned before, my Rolex Submariner, purchased in '66, was a piece of crap. Numerous broken crystals when the fat thing got bashed on rocks, aircraft frames, etc. The clasp kept coming loose when firing automatic weapons (very distracting as the watch kept sliding up and down the forearm). I eventually tossed it out in the AZ desert.
Currently, I wear a simple Timex replica of the web-band GI issue watch of which there were plenty in VN.

tintin said...

Dad- You had an Explorer you bought for $255 in 1966. And I wish you never threw it out into the desert. Still, I may throw mine out onto 5th Ave.

Dallas said...

read your stuff a while ago. getting back into it again.

Hemingway fan?

Gerard said...

I have owned two Subs and both were lousy timepieces. Chicks dig them. I remember a great afternoon luxuriating in bed with a girl who had my Rolex on her ankle. Great post.

tintin said...

Dallas - Not sure why but I never really enjoyed his stuff.

tintin said...

Gerard- That's a great comment.

Dallas said...

similar writing style. and outlook.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Big-ass cigar in the shower...you look like the Kingpin! Great photo!
I bought a GMT II "pre-owned" and it has run flawlessly for 4 years...set it to U.S. Atomic Clock time and it is accurate as a Kraut K-90 Sniper rifle.
Give Papa Hemingway another shot..it is worth a try...Nick Adams stories

tintin said...

I read Across the River and into the Trees one summer during college. I struggled. I'm not sure I finished it. Never tried Hemmingway again. Like school, if a subject didn't engage me, I tend to wander off into a land of sexual fantasies with Doris Day.

Andre Dubus and The Lieutenant enaged me. Tobias Wolff, Cormac McCarthy, Thomas Wolfe's The Web and the Rock. William Boyd's, Nate Tate really blew me away.

Based on all that, what would be a good stab at Hemmingway?

Main Line Sportsman said...

Try the big gun: "The Sun Also Rises." I would have suggested it 1st...but did not want to insult as I assumed you would have already read it.

The short stories in "Big Two Hearted River" are very good...ie Nick Adams stories.
"To Have and To Have Not" is another good suggestion in my opinion.

Dallas said...

Any of his short stories.

Start with the short stories to warm up. If they engage you then tackle For Whom the Bell Tolls.

A Movable Feast is a lot of people's favorite as well.

Dallas said...

Main Line, took a look at your blog.

My recruiting trip to Lehigh took place during homecoming weekend. Great atmosphere, greater stairs.

Jeremiah said...

The Sun Also Rises is Hem's best book, Farewell to Arms, arguably as good. Across the River, frankly, sucks. He was a (the) master of the short form.

The Seiko automatic diver's watch with the offset crown was the gold standard in the Ranger Batts in the late 70s, early 90s. I still wear mine on an orange NATO strap--a la Sean Connery's Sub on the grey and black striped band in whichever of the early Bonds.

I've been sporting my 'lowly Sub' for a week or so. Forgot how handsome this watch is. For the past couple years I've been wearing a fat Panerai--once one gets used to the size, the Rolex seems quite small....

That is all. Carry on .

Main Line Sportsman said...

Bug fan of Tobias Wolff. Listened to "In Pharoah's Army" as unabridged book-on tape a while back and read "This Boy's Lfe" after seeing the movie...both great.
I coached Lax with a guy that knew him at his brief Hill School career.

Anonymous said...

Sunshine -Worse than buying stupid things when I was 19 is doing stupid things like responding to your comments. Maybe I'll figure it out when I'm 70.
oh sweetheart don't hit me with those negative waves. WHy don't you say something righteous, and hopeful,for a change, darling?

Anonymous said...

all the other comments aside, this entry is awesome for one reason:

ultravox! (a wink & a nod to all who understand the punctuation)

that (and a 1000 other reasons) is why I love this blog

Ben said...

Great idea writing about "stupid things I bought ..." I'm sure we can all come up with an entertaining list. I once bought a used cowboy duster in Madrid while I was tight. Trying to re-impress an old GF who was visiting me in London. She thought it good looking. It worked, but after she left, I never put the thing on again. Probably still hanging in that shoddy wardrobe in Clapham.

I was 22.

TRVS said...

One of the most entertaining comment forums in a long time. Rolex on the ankle, I like it...

Brummagem Joe said...

Bought my Rolex with president bracelet thirty years ago when I first made some serious money. Only been in the shop once about 15years ago and still runs just fine. At the time I was advised it was the one watch you could always pawn anywhere. Kiri Te Kanawa can't be all wrong.

Anonymous said...

looks like a shot from a gay porn movie.

Anonymous said...

TinTin,
Old Man and the Sea...I thought we read it in Dillion's class...no? ME

tintin said...

TRVS - Comments have been great. I'll spare you the detailed gay porn movie description that Anon 9:31 followed with although posting a picture of myself in a shower with long sideburns looked a little Midnight Cowboy even to me.

Joe- What model Rolex is that? I think you have the only one ever made that has been overhauled twice in 30 years. That or you're blowing smoke.

Anon 9:31 - Speaking of Blowing Smoke: That might make a great title for a gay porn movie. You're welcome to it.

Ben - I remember buying a pr of jeans with leather sewn down the inseam because the sales girl said they made my ass look cute. She probably became a mortgage broker.

Anon 19:49- I've been listening to the re-release with the 3 live cuts. It really holds up well. I had no idea Brian Eno produced it. Makes a lotta sense though.

Sunshine- "WHy don't you say something righteous, and hopeful,for a change, darling?"

You first.

Jeremiah- There was a SSgt who went to the Ranger Bn at Hunter in '76 or '77. Very gung ho.

We were on a very long run late one afternoon at Bragg when I shouted out to him the mess hall was gonna close in ten minutes. He told me his Seiko indicated we had 20 minutes. I told him my Rolex said we had 10.

There was a roar of laughter from the platoon and he was up my ass (not in a gay porn way) until he left.

Main Line and Dallas- You guys need to get a room but not in a gay porn way.

I'll try the short stories first and see if they connect. Thanks for the rec. Back in 19 and 84, I read in a straight porn magazine that Juliet Anderson (Aunt Peg) was starting her own production company. I mailed her 10 pages of a porn script I wrote. It's harder than it sounds.

It took place in a Brooks Bros dressing room in front of a three way mirror. The sales girl tells her customer the trousers makes his ass look cute. Never heard back from her. Sadly, I hear she passed away this year.

tintin said...

ME- I never took American Lit from Dillon. Only Eng Lit, SP, Milton and Chaucer. An Anglophile even then.

Brummagem Joe said...

"That or you're blowing smoke."

Tintin: I leave blowing smoke to those better equipped to do it. No idea what model since I'm not a watch freak. It's a gold rolex with president bracelet and the real glass face (the plastic "sapphire" ones are cheaper but show unsightly smears scratch easily). The brown leather box is upstairs next to my stud, cufflinks, Cartier tank and pocket watch boxes in case I ever need to visit the pawnbroker. Only ever been serviced once 15 years ago, and apart from losing about two minutes a week works just fine. The only problem I've had in the last 15 years was the clasp unlatching a little too easily so took it to a street corner repair man in the mystic east who gave it few taps with a hammer and screwdriver and bingo problem solved. It it aint broke don't fix it.

Jeff P. said...

I wore a Seiko offset crown dive watch from 85-89 in a line Infantry unit, beat the living shit out of it. A Rolex Sub graces my wrist now as I type... love it!

tibor said...

all rolex are famous fir their reliable movements. there is an endless amount of stories out there how a rolex serviced his owner for decades without a single, well, service.

try the forum timezone.com if you want to get deeper into that topic. they even have a classic rolex-forum there

Anonymous said...

Reading between the lines, Trad, military service was clearly the defining experience of your life. What have you done since?

Mephisto.

tintin said...

Mephisto - I'd say growing up an army brat was my defining experience. And you don't have to read between the lines.

http://bratarmy.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Of course, you're entitled to say that, Tinners, but you haven't really answered the question. And one should always read between the lines. Always.

Mephisto.

tintin said...

If I felt you were entitled to ask the question -- much less serious about the question -- I'd answer your question. Sadly I don't think you're either.

Patsy said...

My husband's 30+ year old sub hasn't been serviced since he's had it.

Now, of course, I have to see if it fits on my ankle.

Brummagem Joe said...

Tintin: why do you waste your time on this anonymous twit who (to paraphrase Disraeli) seems to be exuberated by the power of his own intellectuality.

TRAWETS NILTGEOV said...

Coming late to this, but I'll echo the recs for The Sun Also Rises and "Big Two Hearted River."

For other writers with testicles the size of 1980s handbags, check out Larry Brown, William H. Gass (particularly Omensetter's Luck), and Harry Crews' Feast of Snakes.

Jack said...

Well, if you guys ever want to sell your "old" submariners, I would be more than happy to look at them. Of cos, would love to look at those non-running run down old Rolexes you got too. Send me an email (reficul_x@yahoo.com)
Don't be shy at all. ;-)

tintin said...

Jack- What's a '70s Sub going for nowadays?