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Cherry Flavored Frisbee

Story ID:10502
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Dillon MT USA
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Cherry Flavored Frisbee’s
By Chuck Dishno

More of my Army life…
My first duty assignment after attending the Army School of Photography at Fort Monmouth, New Jersy was at Fort Lee, Virginia near Petersburg.

There were no positions in the photo section so I was assigned to the entertainment branch. My job was to maintain the equipment and set up all the movies at the 3 post theatres. This was a great assignment and my office was in the main post theatre, one of the only buildings that had refrigeration.

I was attached to the Headquarters Company that housed all of the personnel that kept the base running. It was a large company of about 1000 men. It comprised of about 10 or more platoons and since I lived off base I was assigned to an off post platoon.

KP Duty…
Headquarters Company had a large mess hall that fed 800 to 1000 men three times a day. About every 45 days we had to pull a day of KP. It was such a large company and mess that everyone from sergeants down to the lowly private had to serve. I hated this dreadful duty and because I was so low in rank, no stripe, commonly called a “slick sleeve”. There was no way I could get out of it. Most of the sergeants would pay someone to take their shift but I couldn’t afford it on the meager pay that I got in the early ‘50’s.

KP was a long tiring day. I would have to report to the kitchen at 4am and wouldn’t get off until almost midnight. I hated it! All in all, Army life wasn’t too bad and mostly I enjoyed it. Being in beautiful Virginia was great.

Along came Bill…
One guy I met named Bill hated the Army with a passion though. Bill was from Brooklyn, NY. He had volunteered for the draft and had to do 3 years active duty. He said it was a big mistake and he was going to do everything he could to get out even if it meant a dishonorable discharge. Bill had been in about 6 months and already had many demerits racked up assigned him, from not reporting to duty, going AWOL, sneaking off base at night and ending up drunk and being picked up by the MPs. Several times he would be gone for a couple of days when he could hitch a ride back to Brooklyn. Bill was desperate to get out of the Army even if it meant a dishonorable discharge.

Bill had been in for only 7 months and he said this was the first time he had been out NY City. He lived in a large apartment building and his hobby was raising pigeons on the roof. He said he had several cages of pigeons that he would tend to each day. Bill talked with a distinct Brooklyn accent and he would say, “All I want to do is go home and hook wit them boids. He would say that he would let a bunch of his boids out and the trow them up to let them fly around. He told of many times when the boids were circling around they would hook up wit someone else’s boids and bring back a new one or two.

Bill and I became good friends and he would often stop by the theatre when he was doing Post Beautification rounds, a.k.a. raking leaves.

One Monday he stopped by to tell me the good news. He just got word that they were giving him his coveted dishonorable discharge on Wednesday. The bad news was he had checked the duty roster for Tuesday and found his name and mine on KP duty for that day. He guessed that the Army and the C.O. were giving him one last punishment detail.

The next morning I reported to the mess hall at 4am and as usual Bill came dragging in about an hour later. He was met by the mess sergeant who promptly put him to scrubbing the kitchen floor. I could tell it was going to be a hard day for Bill. As the day wore on, Bill was given every dirty job that came along from scrubbing pots and pans to cleaning out he grease traps. Bill didn’t mind though because he knew what the next day would bring. Hi would soon be back ‘hooking up wit dem boids’.

Cherry pie was the scheduled dessert for that evening and soon the cooks were baking 300 cherry pies. These were large pies baked in metal pie tins.

After chow was served the mess hall looked like it had been hit by a bomb and our work began. Naturally, Bill was put back in the pot and pan area and told to clean and wash all those 300 pie tins. Bill just smiled, rolled up his sleeves and went right to it.

All seemed to be going smoothly when I heard some wild singing coming from the pile of cherry pie tins. I went back to see what all the commotion was and there stood Bill at this big tub of hot soapy water with a pie tin in one hand and a scrub brush in the other. He would take the pan, dunk it in the water and sing, “dunky dunky dunky, scrubby scrubby scrubby, washie washie washie, then he would throw the pie tin like a Frisbee across the room where it would bounce off the block wall and fall to the tile floor with a clatter. All the time of the flight Bill would shout blank, the blanking Army (eand reach for another pie tin to repeat the process.

This went on for about 20 minutes until a couple of MP’s came in and dragged Bill out the door grinning all the way. All went as usual the rest of the evening and we were released about 11pm.

The next morning, Wednesday, all platoons were required to stand revelry formation on the quadrangle. This is where each platoon reported to the CO.

When it came to the third platoon, the leader reported, “One man missing, Sir.” Just as he reported, we all looked up and saw Bill walking along the second story balcony. He was dressed in civilian clothes and had his coveted discharge in his hand. He was happy as he waved goodbye to all of us.

This all happened almost 60 years ago and I can only hope all worked out well for Bill. I would like to think that with his knowledge of pigeon aeronautics, he applied for a job at Wham-O, the maker of the Frisbee. When asked what experience he possessed could claim that he had flown the forerunner of the Frisbee in the Army. I am sure he told them that his flew better when coated with cherry pie crust and juice.

I realize this may rankle some of you old military guys but I give Bill credit for knowing what he wanted and going for it.