Interesting People And How We're All Connected - Off Topic (Non Trade) - Contractor Talk

Interesting People And How We're All Connected

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-05-2011, 06:36 PM   #1
DPDT, Momentarily on
App-ironworks's Avatar
Trade: Metal Fabricating/Welding/Ornamental Metal
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Marshall, NC
Posts: 718
Rewards Points: 1,024

Interesting People And How We're All Connected

So in the last couple of weeks I've had the chance to work for some interesting folks.

In the process I've learned that my preconceived notions of folks can, sometimes, not be farther from the truth.

There are two gentlemen, in particular, that I'm thinking of while I write this post.

Both are named John.

Both are senior citizens.

Both are really fine gentlemen.

Both are veterans, however only one is a US vet, the other I'll explain shortly.

Booth live in the greater Asheville, NC area.

Both do not know the other.

The thing that get's me, and the reason I felt like sharing in this post, is how you really don't know people till they let you know them.

The 1st John, the US vet served from '58 to '63 aboard the USS Wasp CV/CVA/CVS-18.
While stationed aboard her the vessel's main duty was sub chasing, primarily Russian subs during some of the peak times of the cold war.

She participated in the Cuban blockade ordered by JFK in '62, and therein lies the connection.

The 2nd John was born a Cuban national and in '60 was recruited as part of a group of Cuban exiles to be trained by the CIA for an invasion into Cuba, in an attempt to oust Castro and install a regime more friendly to US interests.

The 2nd John was one of the men on the ground during "The Bay of Pigs" invasion.

He told my helper and I this story while we were installing his railings.

Wow, was all I could think, over and over.

He told us of how things went from bad to worse, pretty quickly, and how JFK, essentially, left him and brothers in arms to their own devices for survival.

They fought a losing battle against better trained and better equipped Soviet backed Cuban forces, then they escaped the fighting and made it to high ground and worked together to survive for a few months in the mountain jungles of Cuba, his homeland, mind you. A total of 11 men made up his group, and as far as he knew they were all that was left.

Eventually the Cuban army mounted a huge manhunt to round up any of the surviving invasion force they could find. John said they combed the mountains, methodically, almost arm in arm, spaced less than 10 feet apart, a moving wall of men.

Escape was impossible, those 11 men were captured and taken to a Cuban POW camp. He was placed in a cell, made of concrete block, 4' long x 3' wide x 7' tall. The only opening was a slot near the floor where food was slid in. There wasn't even a door, they closed up the opening with concrete block.

He was there for 2 years.

2 years.

In a box too small to lay down in, with no light, separate, and alone.

At one time during those 2 years the 1st John was on duty, on the Wasp, off the coast of Cuba, as part of the blockade.

The 2nd john says when it ended, it ended quickly.

One day he and his companions were taken from their cells and told, "This is it, you all are to be executed momentarily".

They were left alone for a few minutes and took advantage of the time to say their good bye's to each other.

They were led, blindfolded and bound to the firing line. The Cuban soldiers loaded their weapons, as ordered, took aim, as ordered, and fired, as ordered.

Turns out it was just another of many mind games and they fired blanks.

After that within days they were transferred to US custody in some sort of deal that he can only speculate was made in some back room somewhere. His group and other political and war prisoners totaling near 1100 souls were essentially bought back by the US gov't in exchange for payments to the Cuban gov't totaling, what he claims, of about $62,000,000.00.

He told us of how he thought he was blind when he got out of the cell because it head been pitch black the whole time and his eyes couldn't take it.

He told us of making a life in Miami, after the ordeal and a 4 month hiatus to recover.

4 Months!

2 years in a box, then "killed" in a mock execution and all he needed to get his s*** back together was 4 months.

Wow! I don't know, but I'm pretty sure I'd not be so tough in the same spot.

He, also, told us of how, after time to recuperate, he and several others were asked, by the CIA, if they would invade Cuba once more. He told his contacts that the only way he'd even consider it was under the condition that there be true US military personnel right next to him, on his left and right as they marched on Cuba.

I think we all can figure out what the answer was.

So to both Johns, as well as anyone who puts their life on the line to try and make the world a better, safer place,

Thank you.

Thank you very, very much.
Whatever you do, do well.
App-ironworks is offline  
The Following 11 Users Say Thank You to App-ironworks For This Useful Post:
goneelkn (08-05-2011), knucklehead (08-05-2011), PA woodbutcher (08-06-2011), PrecisionFloors (08-06-2011), Resta (08-06-2011), Snobnd (08-05-2011), tgeb (08-06-2011), thom (08-06-2011), Tom Struble (08-05-2011), VinylHanger (08-06-2011), Willie T (08-05-2011)

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!




Old 08-05-2011, 10:19 PM   #2
General Contractor
Willie T's Avatar
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: St. Petersburg, FL Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond their range.
Posts: 3,444
Rewards Points: 12

Re: Interesting People And How We're All Connected

Fantastic story! And you told it so well, I could almost feel the darkness of that little box.

Thank you. And them!


"True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and only that which is."
François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
Bill Everett - St. Petersburg, FL
Willie T is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Willie T For This Useful Post:
tgeb (08-06-2011)
Old 08-06-2011, 10:44 AM   #3
thom's Avatar
Trade: General Contractor/Homebuilder
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Albuquerque NM
Posts: 4,137
Rewards Points: 4,748

Re: Interesting People And How We're All Connected

Unfortunately, in our desire to help people we turn them from victims into dependents. Most of the time, the best we could do is allow people to quickly become responsible for themselves.

Examples of this failure are:
The American Indian
Multi-Generational Welfare Families
Eternal dependence from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
The African American Culture
The city of New Orleans
thom is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for

At we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?