My favorite episode in my life came in 1970, while I was in the Air Force and stationed in Taiwan.
My job didn’t really include breaking down radar sites, but when I was assigned to do so, I was very happy. It would be a day on the road, outside and enjoying the beautiful weather.
We were ordered to travel south of Tainan to a radar site the Air Force had maintained for many years. The political situation was changing and they were shutting it down. They wanted us to dismantle it and bring back the equipment. So we put together a team of five GIs and two Taiwanese and headed out on a delightful trip.
We were given a pretty big truck with an open back, which gave us all the chance to enjoy a long trip and able to watch the wonderful landscape and beautiful people. Since, we were outside during the trip we could pass several joints among us (with no smell) of some of the best weed at that time.
I was at the front of the truck, just above the Taiwanese driver. He handed me a bag of peppered beef jerky. It was the best I ever had. If you haven’t tried Taiwanese beef jerky, you haven’t lived. I passed it around to the other guys and they all thought it was the best (of course they had the munchies).
When we got to the site we were in a good mood and went about our jobs. Two guys were mechanics and they disassembled everything and the rest of us were there to carry it to the truck. But, we didn’t mind; it was a beautiful day and we were felling good.
After finishing our task, we drove down from the mountain to the town. We realized we were on a beach with fishermen having nets out in the Taiwan Strait. We all ran over to help the fishermen pull in their nets and they loved it. It was very rare for an American being in their neighborhood, let alone helping them fish.
To this day that is one of my fondest memories.
Bake My Fish