Saturday, October 23, 2010

Food

 Someone had to explain to me what the hell has happened to food in this country! We went from the food groups of my childhood to the food nazis of today who want to ban everything that we were told was good for us when I was a kid. NO STARCH! NO SUGAR! NO SALT! NO RED MEAT! NO DAIRY!. it just get's crazier by the day.
  OK, so I decide that I am going to eat more vegetables and much less red meat. I start eating a lot of broccoli. The next thing I know, I'm reading that broccoli is not good for me. It hinders the breakdown of uric acid, which causes people who already have a problem to get gout and kidney stones! Uh-oh... gotta stop eating broccoli. Next is spinach, which I love. I read that the iron in spinach can be harmful to many people. Should I stop eating this, also? Then, I read corn is no good for you... as a matter of fact, corn is a grain, and no grains are good for you, so just strike them right out of your diet! What about whole grains? Well, they are better, but still not good. Eat more beans. Good idea, that would solve the gas problem in the world figure out how to harness all of the natural gas we will be generating and, energy problem solved.
 But some people cannot eat beans! What are they supposed to do? Hmmmm ... didn't think of that!  Let's let the 'Nutritionists' and health 'Experts' ponder this for a while, as I go on to more pet peeves with food.
 I swear that there is something that is being added to our food supply that is making everyone fat. It's the same stuff that we ate when we were kids, and that our parents and grandparents ate, and there were fewer overweight people then. Figure out what's been added and you solve the problem. I will not stop eating everything that I grew up eating just because some anorexic looking pain in the behind tells me that it's no good for me. We have people actually making a living getting on TV telling us that we must stop eating anything that we like. These pinch-faced, unhappy looking fools have the title of 'Expert' bestowed on them by the talking heads on the morning shows. Madelyn Fernstrom and Joy Bauer come to mind, along with this guy who writes the 'Eat This, Not That' books. Now there's an unhappy looking guy if I ever saw one. This clown tells us all the food in the restaurants that we go to will kill us because they have thousands of calories per serving. HEY! YOU UNHAPPY LOOKING PAIN IN THE ASS! IF  I AM GOING OUT TO EAT, ONCE IN A BLUE MOON, I REALLY DON'T GIVE A DAMN WHAT THE CALORIC INTAKE FOR THAT NIGHT IS! IT IS A NIGHT TO ENJOY MYSELF, NOT TO SIT AND WORRY ABOUT THE DAMNED CALORIES.  DO US A FAVOR; GO BE UNHAPPY IN PRIVATE, WILL  YOU? AND LEAVE US ALONE!!
  Now, my last pet peeve. The word 'Organic'. They tell us that we should eat organic foods whenever possible. Pray tell, what the hell does that mean? Food is, by definition, organic. It is made from living plants and animals. We are not eating rocks and metals (that we know of)... these would be inorganic materials. It drives me crazy. Do me a favor, leave me the hell alone and get a real job that requires real labor, then you won't have to worry about what the hell you eat, you will work it off..
 Listen, I agree that we shouldn't be eating a lot of sweets. They are not great for you and don't have a lot of nutritional value.... but everything in moderation. If someone would just look into what they are adding to the everyday food that we eat that is making us fat, there would be no need for all of this nonsense that passes for nutritional information today.
 If people would just get out and get moderate exercise, like we used to 30 years ago, instead of sitting in front of a computer, like my fat behind is doing right now, there would be no obesity crisis in this country.

Friday, October 15, 2010

This Jarhead's Viewpoint: When I'm 64!

This Jarhead's Viewpoint: When I'm 64!: "So the big day has come and gone. I turned 64 on Wednesday, October 13 2010. This age has been looming large on my date horizon for a couple..."

When I'm 64!

So the big day has come and gone. I turned 64 on Wednesday, October 13 2010. This age has been looming large on my date horizon for a couple of years now. It all really started back in 1967, when I first heard When I'm 64  off of the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. An amusing little throw-away ditty by Paul McCartney that was catchy and fun. The tune stuck in my head for a while, then it was filed away with all the rest of my musical memories, to be taken out, dusted  off, and played every so often. I always Loved Sgt . Pepper's, but this was not one of the stand alone songs from that particular album. With A Little Help From My Friends, A Day In The Life, Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds, all more memorable.. or so I thought. 
 In 1968, I shipped off to Vietnam for a tour.  Came back in '69, a little worse for wear, a little more mature, though not enough. I met my first wife, we married in '70. Throughout these years, Sgt. Pepper's would be taken out, dusted off and played. When I'm 64 had become more appealing to me, because now I had a son, though I didn't name him Vera, Chuck, or Dave. Time went on furiously. We loved, we fought, we had another son (Still no Vera, Chuck or Dave). The end of the Vietnam war came and, along with it inflation and the economic crisis of the mid-seventies that eventually extended to the mid eighties. I was laid off from my job with Ma Bell (Western Electric). I desperately searched for another job. I got two, both of them did not equal one half the pay that I was making before. My wife strayed, and kicked me out. Sgt Pepper's Band played on. I was given custody of my boys because my wife wanted to "Find Herself". Sheryl went through similar times. We combined our families, laughed, loved and married in '79. Danielle was born in 1980... one month before John Lennon was murdered. We cried when we heard the news ('Oh Boy'..). John would not live to see 64... he stopped at 40.  My father died in '81 and the age of 58.. another loved one that would not live to see 64. 
 The song resonated more loudly with me now. By the mid '80s, I was silently obsessing on the age, I turned 40 in '86 and went through my own mid-life crisis as quietly as I could. I'm sure my wife was aware, although she never said. I had returned to Ma Bell 'New York Telephone' in 79.  I was now a manager with them and stressed out. Trying to raise 5 children with my wife, who was now working as a manager for the United Artists Theater chain. We both worked furiously, our hours just did not coincide. She worked more nights than days, and I was bogged down with work. Still, we managed to raise five children and maintain some semblance of a home life.  Sgt Pepper's Band still played occasionally, although now on CD. 
 In 1990, I went back to craft, giving up management. I started making more money and was more peaceful. Sgt. Pepper sounded better than ever, and When I'm 64 started to have more meaning to me. The years, I realize had flown by. We had only one child left at home. The others were all gone. I turned 50 in '96. Aside from the occasional minor crisis, typical in any family, life was good. I had a job that I loved, my wife had left the theater, and the economy was booming.  I tore up my shoulder and my back in 2001. I was told I could never work again. And so it has been. 'Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans' as John Lennon wrote in 1979. 
 So, we have drifted along for the last 9 years. Danielle got married. We now have 14 grandchildren, and I have passed the magical number of years, 64.  So, what now? As time speeds up, and it most certainly does as you get older, we head towards eternity accelerating towards the speed of light and -the end of the line, where all time stops. I find myself contemplating the meaning of it all more frequently. I think, and I fear, that there really is no answer that we could ever begin to understand. All I can do is sit back in wonder at what a long, strange trip it's been.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Reunion... Final Chapter

  The day of the reunion finally arrived, and I woke up feeling like hell. My eyes were swollen, I was congested and just did not feel well. Sher said that she would go and get my jacket and pants so that I could rest up and try to feel a bit better.  I spent most of the morning drinking coffee and hoping that this 45th reunion would be at least a little better than the disastrous 37th.
 I told Sher that we would have to be ready to leave by 6 PM in order to get there by the 7PM starting time. Of course, Sher is always fashionably late, so I should have said 5:30. At 6, she was just starting to dry her hair. Not that she was the only one late, I was still charging my cell phone and camera battery, so there was no way we would leave by 6, even if she had been ready. 
 At 6:30, we were on our way. I84 traffic was horrendous. I don't know where the hell everyone was going, but it was like a weekday rush hour. I 684 was much better, and by the time we passed the exit for the Saw Mill, It was clear sailing. Even the Hutch was relatively clear. My GPS counted off the miles in it's Japanese accented voice and mispronounced the streets and the town of Mamaroneck's name, to my amusement. As we approached our destination, the GPS told us to take a left, which we did. Then it said "Arrive at destination in 800 feet......... recalculating. Take left turn...... take left turn..... take right turn.." Now we were headed back out of the first turn it told us to take. "Take left turn, take left turn. Arrive at destination in 800 feet". It had told us to take the wrong turn and then corrected itself. We pulled up to a group of buildings, and there were no lights on and only one other car with a very worried looking couple inside of it. I looked at the sign on the largest building and it read 'Westchester Hebrew Nursery School'...... something told me that this was not the Orienta Beach Club. I pulled alongside the other car and rolled down my window. "Are you looking for the Reunion?" I said. The gentleman driving answered that he was indeed and was now trying to find a number for the Orienta Beach Club. I asked him if his GPS had brought him here, and he again answered yes. That's all I had to hear... I drove out of the lot down another driveway, and saw a fence. On the other side of the fence was a well lit parking lot full of cars, and a sign that said 'Orienta Beach Club.' We followed the fence and found our entrance. Parked the car, and in we went. 
                                         Sheryl Wasserman Zaffino     John A. Zaffino

                       John Maguire  Jimmy Lysaght  Mary Ann Ianuario Maguire  Bobby Segno
                                            John Zaffino     Santa  'Carl Immediato' Carlucci
         Ginnie Curry Marino     Mary Ann Ianaurio Mauire     Sheryl Wasserman Zaffino                                                                                                                                                    To say the place was lively would be an understatement. The first person that we ran into was Santa Carlucci. I knew him as Carl Immediato when I went to school, but how great is it that he has found a calling bringing the wonder of Christmas to children of all ages. Wonderful! We signed in, got our name tags and found a waiter to get some refreshments. I ran into an old friend, Bob Segno, who I immediately recognized. The last time I saw Bob was on a street just outside of the Danang Airbase. He was wearing an MP helmet and asked me where the hell my helmet was. Of all the places in the world for a chance encounter with a childhood friend, Danang    




Saturday, October 9, 2010

Reunion Part 2a

So we continue on our quest for the reunion. Before I continue, I have to post my wife, Sheryl's, response to my last post.


"That is not true!! I appreciate the complements but I have never felt that way about you!! You are a sweet and caring husband and I love you--"  Sheryl
 I appreciate that fact, hon, but this is my blog and my perception of things, with a little bit of humor thrown in, so you got your say, and I got my thoughts in. I love you too, now go get my leash and lets go for a walk.


 Yesterday was not without its drama. Sher was going to meet her old friend at the Bronx Zoo, then the two of them were heading for City Island for a late lunch before heading home. I was invited to come along, but since they are childhood friends and I am just the husband of one of them, I did not want to intrude on their afternoon trip down memory lane. Sher left around 11:00, I put in the Blu Ray of Ironman 2 and promptly fell asleep. I woke up just as the credits were rolling, wiped the drool off of my chin, and went seeking some coffee. 
 Sher had suggested that she pick up my sport's jacket and pants from the tailors on her way home from the City, since they weren't going to be ready until after 6 anyway. I at first said no, but as the day wore on, I thought that it would be silly for us to go back out again after she came home, so I sent her a text telling her to go ahead and pick them up. I figured that, if they were not right, I would then just head back out and get whatever it was corrected. I read for a bit, messed around on facebook and threw something together for dinner. 
 At a little after 7, Sher called and asked me if I had seen the news. Of course I had seen the usual evening dose of bad news and stupidity that passes for the local and national news broadcasts, so I answered in the affirmative. She said 'Oh, my God! I'm stuck on 684, the traffic is stopped and the Danbury exit has been closed because there was a shooting in Danbury. I of course was my usual compassionate self and said 'But what about my clothes?'. Well, there would be no getting clothes this night, what with mayhem on the interstate! Poor ME! It didn't matter that there may be a wild west shoot out right there in Danbury, I would not have my jacket!
 I posted on facebook, since there were no details forthcoming on any news site that I checked, asking if anyone had heard about a shooting. My friend and physical therapist, Vicky, promptly posted a news article from the Danbury News Times affirming that there was, indeed, a shooting. Vicky told me that she could not even get on I 84 to go home and had to take the back roads.. I told Sher to get off, if she could, and do the same. Of course, there was no mention of this shooting on the news programs at 10 or 11, so we still don't know what happened. I do regret being so selfish that, at first, all I cared about was my jacket, but that's human nature, unfortunate as it may be, that we automatically think 'How is this affecting me?'. I was glad that Sher was safe, but my next thought was for my needs. I need to work to correct that flaw.
 The sun has not yet risen above the mountains, and I am on my second cup of coffee. The day of the great 45th reunion has arrived, and all I would like to do right now is to crawl back into bed and get some more sleep. That's not happening. I sit and wonder what the rest of the day will bring........

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Reunion Part 2 (Cont'd)

  As I said, Sheryl and Paulette went off to see if they could find her something to wear. While I was sitting here writing the first part of part 2, Sher was out looking . She called me from road to tell me she was going to one more place to see what she could find. An hour later, she came home looking satisfied with what she had purchased.  Danielle and Johnny came over a short time later and Sher asked if we wanted to see what she had bought.
 Someone needs to tell me, why, after that long, drawn out process that we went through in the morning, getting my jacket, and pants, and shirt and shoes, how this woman, whom I love dearly, can simply go into a store and find a simple dress that makes her look stunning? This has been the story throughout our relationship of 32 years. We both get dressed up, I think that I am looking sharp. Yet, somehow, she manages to look so good that, when we are out, it looks like she is out walking her pet Bridge Troll! No matter what  I do, it's the same old story. As I said before, I should have just purchased a new pair of jeans and a nice tee shirt, for all that it matters. I mean, it's great  having an attractive wife, but men tend to forget that I am there when we go out. They stumble all over themselves, making conversation with her, and those are my friends! Forget men that don't even know us. I am exhausted from trying to fend them off. Even an old Marine occasionally get's tired. Now, I have to hand it to her, she can deftly fend off these drooling cavemen with a couple of words, without hurting anyone's feelings, but that doesn't stop the onslaught. I should tell you that Sher is 7 years younger than me and ages a hell of a lot better than I do. She's a great lady.... but why do I always have to play her pet monster? 
 The one saving fact about the upcoming reunion is that all, or at least most, of the men there are my age and married. Otherwise, I would be in for another night of playing the guy who escorted Sheryl out for the evening.


Post Script : Of course, this is somewhat of an exaggeration to spice up my silly blog, but most of the statements, if not all of them, are somewhat true. I'll leave it to you to figure out how much when I publish the photos from the coming Reunion.  ;0)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Reunion Part 2

 This morning, after my Mac computer class at the Apple store, I met my better half at the Mall so that she could pick out something for me to wear to the class reunion. Sher picks out most of my clothes because it's our firm belief that the only thing that I should be allowed to dress is a salad or a turkey. There are some that might say that I AM a turkey,  but that's besides the point. So, off to the Men's Wearhouse we went. I told Sher to run interference, because I do so little shopping for myself that these salespeople could sell me a sackcloth for $300.00, tell me I look great, and send me on my merry way. 
 Now, I must tell you that I really have an aversion to spending money on myself. After all of those years working outside, I really am, after all, a jeans and teeshirt guy, and I don't believe in buying a lot of things for me. I so  conditioned myself to buying for kids, and they making Sher look good, that anything over $25.00 for me seems way too much.
  We were met at the door by my 'Consultant', Mark, who assured me that I was in his very capable hands. I was immediately positive that his hands would be in my pocket, taking money out in large handfulls. I told him that I had this 45th reunion to go to and that I needed to look at least 'Presentable'.. which, after quitting smoking and immediately gaining 35+ pounds, what going to be a very hard task. Mark assured us that it would not be a problem and asked what size I thought I wore. I told  him that, at this point, I was a small and large... small in height, large in waist. Sher had decided that we would go with Evening Casual. So, off to the sports jackets. He pulled out a beautiful leather jacket out and asked me if I wanted to go cowboy. For a moment, I drifted back to my days of watching Hoppy on TV and thought 'Hmmm... I wonder if it comes with a cowboy hat?'. I snapped back to reality when Sher said, 'I don't thinks so'. We went through a couple of more choices, each one increasingly more expensive, until he found one that Sher thought was acceptable. I was getting dizzy looking at the price tag, which was more than I usually spend on clothes for the whole year. The jacket is OK, if not my taste. It's a subdued greenish color with small checks. Very conservative. My taste usually runs to mobster pinstripes, but I think those days are past me now... at least I hope that they are. Mark was salivating carrying on a snappy banter which I was totally ignoring. Next came the pants. He measured my waste, or lack of one, and when he told me what I had ballooned up to, I had to grab the counter for support. (I was seriously thinking of running out and buying a pack of cigarettes, smoking the whole thing, and hoping that those extra pounds would disappear). They picked out a pair of pants that was just shade lighter than the jacket. Next, came the shoes (They have it all covered in Mens Wearhouse, they want to insure that you don't leave with any of the cash that you came in with). Mark, just about floating on air at this point, picked out a pair of stylish brown dress shoes to complement the pants and the jacket. Very nice, very expensive.  Next came a shirt. Mark wanted to put me in a standard dress shirt, but Sher had already decided that it should be a mock turtleneck of some kind. For 20 minutes, they argued over what color I should wear. My daughter, Paulette, had joined us at this point. Sher was looking for blue, but there was nothing in my size. Mark suggested orange, perhaps thinking that I kind of resembled a deranged pumpkin.... we all vetoed that choice, much to his dismay. Paulette and I thought that an off white would be the best choice. We finally won out. Mark started to show me belts, but I told him that I had the belts covered.  We started getting everything together and Mark said "You know, the belt really should match the shoes". We reminded him that I was wearing this mock turtleneck, and that it was worn out of the pants.  Mark looked crushed, and said "Oh, I was really enjoying you company and wanted this to continue for a while longer". I said "In that case, you should be paying US!" Sher sad ''Good one, Hon". 
 The high point of my visit was the tailor, a Paisano by the name of 'Sal'. This was like a blast from the past, a good Italian tailor from the other side! He assured me all would be ready by Friday. He also said 'Don't'a put on a anymore weight, or the jackets'a not gonna fit!' Thanks, Sal, I needed that. They totalled up my purchases, Mark grinning like the Cheshire Cat. With what we spent, I could support a small third world country for a year. I kissed  Sher and Paulette goodbye and left them to their quest of finding something for Sher to wear. I drove home in a fog, my head spinning from the high cost of looking 'Presentable'. I should have decided to buy another pair of jeans and a really good tee shirt!
 Now, I'm sitting here and drinking coffee, wondering if maybe I should have just stayed home on Saturday, opened up a good bottle of wine, and stayed away from the reunion, as I did from school, all those years ago. It certainly would have been the 'John' thing to do.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Facebook Weekend

Do you have these weekends when you just don't feel like getting dressed? This usually happens to me in the early Autumn, on a weekend that's clear and sunny, but cool. This is the way that it's been for me this week. I got up at my usual time on Saturday, 05:30, had my first cup of coffee and looked out of the sliding glass doors into the early morning sky. Beautiful! I could see all the stars for the first time in days! I slid the door open and stepped outside... DAMN! It was cold! When I went to bed the night before, it was 72 degrees and humid. Just a scant few hours later, it was 40 and crisp. What to do? Well, I had to go food shopping, no two ways about it but, after that? Well, not  much, if I had anything to say about it. 
 So, off I went to the A&P and did my bi-weekly shopping. When I got back, Sheryl was there to help me unload. We finished unloading, she went off to work, and I was off to my day of do nothing. First, check facebook to see what's going on. Not much from what I can see. Post my status, say my good mornings. Another cup of coffee. Tend to my Vineyards and my Puppys..... how childish have I become? Pretty childish, but who the hell cares?  My Canadian friend, Laurie comes on, and we start to discuss our Macs and how much better they are than PC's. We ought to do a commercial... we certainly convinced me! More coffee.... saying my good mornings, joining in the morning banter with Carol, and Ms. Pru, Diane, Susan..... say, how come most of my friends, at least the one's that get in on this, are female? This question has occurred to me before, but I never have found an adequate answer. Oh, sure, I will get the occasional answer or good morning from Joe, or Albert, or Rich.. but not the ongoing engaging conversation that I get from my female friends. I wonder if it's because I am retired and don't have any obligations? I don't know... anyway, if someone wants to read something into it, let them. I am beyond caring about silly things like that. Too old to give a shit, as they say...... more coffee. I really should go take that nap, since I don't sleep much at night... but... it's time to take care of my vineyard again. Hmmm I have to go do my duty and help my friends, too.  So, off I go to all of my neighbor's vineyards, helping with buildings, fertilizing, tasting wines.. ... it's now  after one. Where did the morning go. I need more coffee.... put on another pot. Make a sandwich left over meatloaf, while I'm at it.  Jeez, it's after two..  I need to get things together for tonight's dinner. So, I get the meat out, so that it comes to room temperature before I start cooking... assemble the various things that I will need when I start... now, it's after three.  What's happening in my Facebook neighborhood? I exchange banter with Ms. Laurie about the Macs again, the difference between iMac and MacBook, talk in general about how much I hate the cold weather and the loss of sunlight......  time for the Yankee game. Turn on the TV, listen to the mindless stats from Joe Buck and Tim MacCarver... feel like shooting myself, or them. Why can't they just announce the damned game?.... oh well...  time to do the vineyard again. Oh, yay, I won Xpoints in the stupid wishing well game on the vineyard. I do some more landscaping... not real, of course, Vineyard style... talk to Susan and Laurie and Dr. Peg in between doing game favors for everyone that needs them.... more coffee, my third pot.  It's time to get dinner started! Where did the day go.
 Jumping back and forth between the stove and facebook and the Yankee game. Swearing at Joe Girardi for bone head (my opinion) moves. the game drags on incessantly.. four hours plus. ... get dinner on the table ... eat, back to facebook and all of its games and banter.... more coffee. Friends are dropping in, one at a time, in my facebook neighborhood. My eyes are having a hard time focusing. time to call it a night. 
 Where did my day go, and what did I accomplish? I did not get my nap. I did talk to some of my friends and I took care of my various games. What a life. Well.... there's always tomorrow...... 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Class Reunion

 Saturday, October 9 2010  is the NRHS class of '65s 45th   Reunion. 45 years, is it really possible that so much time has passed since I was getting hauled into Miss Coons office for cutting class? She was the principal when I first got there in '62. She was the principal when my father and my aunts went there. Not one to suffer clowns like me well. 
 I had a very checkered history at NRHS, to say the least. I was a terrible student, and an incorrigible truant. I just could not focus on anything else but the opposite sex and cars. Even at this late date, I have to marvel at some of my classmates that just seemed to breeze through without giving anything else a second thought. It must be some kind of brain block. To say that I was never in school is a serious understatement. I spent more time drinking coffee at the College Diner than I did in any classroom. When I was in class, all I could do was daydream about the good looking girl six seats ahead of me, or what I was going to do as soon as I could figure out a way to get the hell out of there. I had my '54 Merc Sun Valley waiting for me, parked on one of the side streets, probably collecting a slew of tickets and, if I could coax her to start, there was plenty of cruising to do. I would jump in that old car with 2 or 3 of my friends and just drive around for hours, or until we ran out of gas, which we frequently did.
  It's not that I was any lazier than any other High School kid. To the contrary, I was always working at some after school job or another so that I had the cash to buy gas. It's just that there was nothing that a teacher could say that would interest me. 
  We were always getting written up for not being in class. They would diligently send the letters home, and I would just as diligently fish them out of the mailbox and dispose of them. Finally, in 1965, they gave up and were preparing to toss me out. I saved them the trouble and quit. A couple of months later, I was taking the oath to join the Marine Corps. I left for Boot Camp on April 13, 1966 and spent the next four years working for Uncle Sam. I took the GED shortly after reaching my first permanent duty station in Beaufort, SC. I scored a 98, so somehow, all of that education they were trying to force into my thick head finally made it in. At least quite a bit of it did. 
 I have spent quite a bit of my free time over the last 45 years studying what I refused to even try to learn all those years ago. I've come a long way since then. I wonder what my old teachers would think.....?

Friday, October 1, 2010

War Stories

I joined the Marine Corps in 1966 and served on active duty honorably until 1970. I served in Vietnam from early 1968 to early 1969.  I had many experiences during those years. From time to time I will relate a story or two on my blog, most of them are amusing.  Here is one such experience. I hope that you enjoy it.

Raisin Wine
The Raisin wine story. We usually had a Marine or three on mess duty at any given time, so we were able to get the needed supplies from the mess hall. First, we needed to get something to put the wine in. We had these big, five gallon boxes that held a plastic bladder inside, filled with milk. We got a few of the empties and cleaned them out really well. Then, we procured several very large boxes of raisins from the mess hall, along with packages of yeast. We put the raisins in the bladder and filled it with water. We let the yeast 'cure' in some warm sugar water, and added it to the mixture, along with a pound or two of sugar. I can't remember the exact measurements. I'm sure that we just kind of tossed it together. The last 45 years have made it a bit hazy. Then, we put it in a dark place for a couple of weeks and , voila!, we had our wine. It was not bad, considering there was one ingredient, the name of which escapes me, that we did not have. It worked... that was the key. Gave us one hell of a hangover, too.  We drank it for several weeks without incident, but scuttlebutt has a way of making it to the ears of those in Officer Country. Captain MacCurry, our CO got wind of our illicit hootch and sent that big slug of a Sargent Major snooping around. That stinking Sgt. Major found our stills and confiscated them. He put us on report, and we got a few punishment details. That isn't what pissed us off. What pissed us off was that that fat slug lifer DRANK our wine, and didn't buy another drink in the enlisted club the whole time he was there.  
 I used to love the Movie "M*A*S*H" and later the TV show, because it reminded me of the antics of the H&MS 11 BOMB DUMP where I served. We were like Mash, except that we were all just enlisted Marines, no officers involved.