Categories
My Life

The Greatest Generation

greatest_generation_tom_brokawThe Greatest Generation. I just finished this book on the plane. Amazing book!

I couldn’t even get through the foreword without crying! This generation really is amazing. I highly suggest checking out this book!

Veteran reporter and NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw went to France to make a documentary marking the 40th anniversary of D-day in 1984. Although he was thoroughly briefed on the historical background of the invasion, he was totally unprepared for how it would affect him emotionally. Flooded with childhood memories of World War II, Brokaw began asking veterans at the ceremony to revisit their past and talk about what happened, triggering a chain reaction of war-torn confessions and Brokaw’s compulsion to capture their experiences in what he terms “the permanence a book would represent.”

After almost 15 years and hundreds of letters and interviews, Brokaw wrote The Greatest Generation, a representative cross-section of the stories he came across. However, this collection is more than a mere chronicle of a tumultuous time, it’s history made personal by a cast of everyday people transformed by extraordinary circumstances: the first women to break the homemaker mold, minorities suffering countless indignities to boldly fight for their country, infantrymen who went on to become some of the most distinguished leaders in the world, small-town kids who became corporate magnates. From the reminiscences of George Bush and Julia Child to the astonishing heroism and moving love stories of everyday people, The Greatest Generation salutes those whose sacrifices changed the course of American history.

This book really gave me a great understanding of a lot of where my values lie and what I want to do with my life. It’s made me look at things differently and I hope that I can continue to learn and expand on my understanding of this life and where my life needs to go.

Categories
Around The Globe

Rustic Canyon Nazi Camp – Winona Stephens Complex

This past weekend Constantine and I explored a few different areas of abandoned LA. First we went to the Griffith Park Old LA Zoo. On Sunday we went to the Rustic Canyon Nazi Camp up in Pacific Palisades.

In the early 1930’s Winona Stephens, a heir to a mining fortune created the Murphy Ranch on 50 secluded acres near what is now Topanga State Park. The person in charge of building all this was a Nazi spy named Schmidt. Herr Schmidt persuaded Stephens to invest more than $4 million to create a self-supporting community where a chosen few would live until the day anarchy fell on the United States after a presumed Nazi victory over England.

By 1940, they had built a garage with living quarters overhead, a huge concrete water tank, a diesel fuel tank and a dual-generator power station. Stephens, Schmidt and 50 other future master racers lived on the site, cultivating a vegetable garden and waiting for the New World Order. Guards stood at the gates, and the sounds of military drills often rang through the canyon.

The day after the United States entered World War II, Schmidt was arrested by the FBI and the community soon began to disintegrate. Now the buildings lie in ruins, littered with the remains of bonfires and plastered with graffiti, including swastikas. The canyon walls above are cut by four staircases of crumbling, treacherous concrete.

To get to Murphy Ranch, park at the corner of Capri road and Casale. Hike down the dirt/paved fire road which can been seen google maps here. You wil have to go around a gate to Camp Josepho.

The main gate to the complex is about a mile up the road from where the fire road starts, however if you keep an eye out you will see a set of stairs heading down into the canyon about 7tenths of a mile from the start. You can either take these or continue on to the main gate. You can easily walk around the gate and follow the road down behind. About .2 mile down the road will split. You can take either direction to get to the camp. We went to the left which lead to the main pumping/power station and an old garage/house.

You can still see many of the flowers and trees which were planted by the group back in the days. They continue to bloom on their own each year. It really is pretty amazing how well this is all being preserved even though it’s open to the elements and human destruction. The power plant is COVERED in graffiti, and the pits where pumps were once housed are now home to mounds and mounds of trash and empty beer cans.

Someone has even gone to the trouble of creating an artistic sculpture out of a bunch of old trash and building parts. Continue following the small trail past the old garage and once it ends, follow the river for a while. You will come across a very well preserved building which is enclosed in fencing. Here you will find the other end of the main gate’s road. You can either take this back up or continue to explore.

We didn’t have any more time once we got here, so we headed back up the road. But you can be sure that I will be back there soon to finish exploring this huge Nazi complex!

You can download or tracks for Google Earth here, and see just how easy it is to see. This is easily a 3 mile hike, but you could make it much much more. Take your time and enjoy it. We even saw a few people having a picnic down there!

Our pictures of the Rustic Canyon Nazi Camp are here. Or you can view the GoogleEarth GeoTagged photos here. Lastly you can view the other hard data from the weekend here.

Here’s some more references:
Nazi Commune Ruins
Rustic Canyon Local Hikes
I Hate Illinois Nazis

Categories
My Life

Things Are Looking Up

Hmmm.

So what have I been up to lately? I dunno really.

Not much going on here lately.

Been hanging with JonJon and Andrew. It’s been tough splitting time up between the two of them and trying to be fair about it.

But I want to give them both equal amounts of time right now, because I want to hang with them both as much as possible.

Work has been good, but things are getting a little annoying with this timesheet program.

I’m stuck on one little problem and I’ve been trying to think about how to do it for a long time now. It’s very annoying. I think it’s going to take a complete re-write of a section of code. I disaprove.

What else is going on?

I couldn’t tell you.

Beaks spawn comes today! Woot!

This Day In History:

MORE GENERAL INTEREST

1590 Roanoke Colony deserted

1920 Woman suffrage amendment ratified

1963 Meredith graduates from Ole Miss

AUTOMOTIVE

1937 I Love What You Do For Me

CIVIL WAR

1864 Battle of Weldon Railroad, Virginia

COLD WAR

1991 Coup attempt against Gorbachev begins

CRIME

1988 A Seattle judge involved in a sex scandal commits suicide

ENTERTAINMENT

1977 The Police play their first gig

LITERARY

1958 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov is published

OLD WEST

1853 Cyrus Skinner released from San Quentin

VIETNAM WAR

1965 Marines launch Operation Starlite

WALL STREET

1982 The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of Wang

WORLD WAR II

1941 Hitler suspends euthanasia program

Laters all.