WUSF6 Watchmakers of the World Watch Tour - Page 35
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  1. #341
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    Re: WUSF6 Watchmakers of the World Watch Tour

    So much for expedient. If business has been slow, you really need to host the WWWT...you'll truly be covered up in no time. So on to the next installment:

    Fredericksburg, Texas is situated almost exactly in the middle of the Texas Hill Country. Many feel that this is the most scenic part of the state. The Llano uplift is a central feature and offers a rocky granite landscape with many granite outcrops...and if you are a climber, this is a great area to practice your technical skill for an expedition to Yosemite. The climate is arid...lots of cactus, sagebrush, granite and also limestone soils (which has led to the development of the wine industry). When its 100 degrees F here...it really is cool (right)...because its a "dry" heat....hmmm...

    There is one creek which runs through Fredericksburg...Barron's Creek. The closest salt water puddle is the Gulf of Mexico...a mere 190 or so miles away. Who would have thought that in 1885 future Fleet Admiral of the US Navy, Commander-in-Chief of the US Pacific Fleet, and Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Ocean Areas (for US and Allied air land and sea forces for WWII) would have been born here. But that is exactly what happened...and his name was Chester W Nimitz. Chester was apparently drawn to the sea by his grandfather, who had been a seaman in the German Merchant Marine. For you history buffs see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chester_W._Nimitz

    Fredericksburg has always been proud of Nimitz' accomplishments and what was formerly a family business, the Nimitz Hotel, has for most of my life been known as the Nimitz Museum:

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    Nimitz was interested in his legacy being not just about the Navy in the Pacific Theater...but about the entire Allied effort in the region. But for the most part the Nimitz Museum was focused on Nimitz and the family history...until the George H W Bush presidency, that is. With Bush's service as a Naval Aviator in the Pacific came a resurgence in development of the Nimitz mission as a Museum of the Pacific War...and more importantly the contributions to make it happen. In the past 20 years, there has been a great expansion of what is now known as the National Museum of the Pacific War. Link here: National Museum of the Pacific War

    Whether you spend 3 hours here or a week, you'll learn a lot...a first class presentation with many events throughout the year and visitors from all over the world.

    There is a larger than life sized bronze statue of Nimitz near the entrance to the grounds...and I was able to confirm a little known fact:
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    Did you see it. Yep...there it is...the little Breil....!!!!
    Though it is still being researched, rumor has it that it served as a Marine Chronometer and Ship's Compass for critical WWII battles in the Pacific.
    What an irony...an Admiral born to German-Americans wearing an Italian watch guided the Allies to defeat the then Japanese aggressors...

    Check out the web sites...and if you get a chance, pay a visit...you will not be disappointed.
    Regards,
    BG
    Molliedooker likes this.

  2. #342
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    Re: WUSF6 Watchmakers of the World Watch Tour

    Your post above on Nimitz is very timely being the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea which is a big deal in Australia ,particularly Brisbane where I live and north thereof.
    The Battle of the Coral Sea was the first sea battle where not only were the adversaries not in sight of each other during the Battle but neither fleet fired upon the other.
    It was all done by aircraft.
    It was a huge turning point for Australia bearing in mind most of our armed forces were fighting in Europe or POWs after the fall of Singapore. The planned Japaneses sea invasion of Port Moresby was scuttled due to the damage of their carriers and their land advance was halted on the infamous Kokoda trail.
    In fact invasion was very real and what was drawn up in Feb. 42 was the Brisbane Line . That is the government we're initially going to withdraw Military to south of Brisbane .
    Little known fact due to suppression by the then Australian Govt. is that a couple of months before the Battle of the Coral Sea more bombs were dropped on Darwin than Pearl H causing the sinking of many ships including US and many many casualties including US sailors. The actual number of deaths is disputed as at the time the authorities did not wish to panic the public ,downplayed it and understated casualties. Officially app. 250 .Unofficially around 1100 . Townsville and Broome were also bombed .
    Australia is forever indebted to Nimitz ,MacArthur and the US forces in the Pacific.
    Last edited by Molliedooker; May 27th, 2017 at 04:36.

  3. #343
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    Re: WUSF6 Watchmakers of the World Watch Tour

    Mollie...a nice addition...thank you!
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  4. #344
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    Re: WUSF6 Watchmakers of the World Watch Tour

    Sr Breil has left Texas...and is on his way to a new host. However, before leaving, he managed to take in two additional attractions in the area.

    Texas is the home of three former US Presidents...and the Texas Hill Country is home to Lyndon Johnson, 36th president of the United States, having finished out the term of John F Kennedy (after his assassination)...then elected for one term of his own. Johnson was born in Stonewall, Texas which is a short drive from Fredericksburg.

    ARE WE THERE YET...!!!!!
    The little Breil could hardly hold his enthusiasm..
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    The LBJ park is both a Texas Parks and Wildlife and US National Park Service venture.
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    Though Johnson City (which was founded and named for Samuel Ealy Johnson) claims to be LBJs hometown, the park is located on the family ranch just outside of Stonewall.
    It is no secret that Johnson loved Texas and the Texas Hill Country. He spent so much time at the ranch, that it was dubbed "the Texas Whitehouse".

    The ranch sports a 6300 ft runway...not sufficient for the Boeing 707s which served as Air Force One...but long enough for the Lockheed VC-140 JetStar...which, when POTUS was aboard was Air Force One.
    A member of the JetStar fleet is retired at the ranch and displayed by the National Park Service. More about it here, if you are interested: Piece of flying history lands on LBJ ranch

    Sr Breil stepping down from the JetStar...Sr Breil noted as he stepped down, that he would have loved to serve as navigational compass and timer in the cockpit:
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    The "Texas Whitehouse" was fully equipped for communications. At the time, there were 3 national Television networks...this was before satellite/cable communications. LBJ had 3 televisions...one tuned to each network. Numerous press conferences were delivered from the ranch...and here is Breil taking his turn:
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    But did LBJ wear a Breil...it seems to be sitting clearly on LBJs left arm...?

    There are two watches and 2 watch boxes displayed a the Park. All of them Benrus.
    On my first tour of the facility, the guide proudly announced that these were given to dignitaries and guests visiting the Whitehouse (hmmm...Washington...or Texas)...?

    There is one small problem with this notion...can you spot it:
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    Hint: LBJ left office January 1969 and died January 1973.
    It is possible that these were gifts from the Texas Whitehouse from the retired President...? They do bear the Presidential Seal.

    The second watch displayed is a Benrus Wristalarm...conceivable that these were gifts from the Whitehouse during LBJs presidency? Hmmm.......?
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    Finally there are these two boxes...I have enquired of the current Benrus in Belgium... but no reply...perhaps my inquiry should have been in French...or Flemish....?
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    For more about the park(s) see here:
    https://www.nps.gov/lyjo/index.htm

    and/or here:
    Lyndon B. Johnson State Park & Historic Site — Texas Parks & Wildlife Department


    Best regards, BG

    ...and somebody get to work and find out about these two boxes...!!!

    Last edited by BenchGuy; June 18th, 2017 at 14:29.
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  5. #345
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    Re: WUSF6 Watchmakers of the World Watch Tour

    "Let's go to Luckenbach, Texas..."

    You may have heard the song...
    But did you know there really is a Luckenbach, Texas... It really was frequented by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson...
    And it happens to be about 20 minutes from Fredericksburg, Texas.

    Founded as a trading post in the 1800s, by 1904 Luckenbach was home to 492 residents...by the 1960s, it was a ghost town until purchased in 1970 by Hondo Crouch, a folklorist and Texas rancher. Its association with "Outlaw" Country Music started in 1973...and the rest is history (relatively recent history...somewhat recorded...somewhat embellished).More about the history here, for those who are interested: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luckenbach,_Texas

    Today Luckenbach is still venue where up and coming, as well as establish "Outlaw Country" artists want to be heard...if you can make it in Luckenbach...well, then that's sayin' somethin'. (Of course, as the signs say, "Everybody's somebody in Luckenbach".

    There is someone playing in Luckenbach daily, but weekends and holidays tend to attract large crowds...and the floor is always crowded in the Dance Hall on Saturday night. If you like to drink (beer) and eat extraordinarily unhealthy, but tasty food...then throw your leg over your horse (or Harley)...and head on out. More about the "doins" at Luckenbach here: http://www.luckenbachtexas.com/

    Being this close...and having heard about the "firm feeling women..." (from the song...not my words), Sr Breil (yielding to his Italian inclinations) had to make the trip to Luckenbach...

    First we read the "historical" marker:

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    Then there was the obligatory picture in front of the Post Office and General Store with the bust of Hondo (Breil was looking a little washed out here...maybe too much sun...or possibly too much cervaza...):
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    Then it was time for entertainment! This was Breil's version of karaoke. Do you see him? He didn't actually sing, but he did participate):

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    The lady in front of the stage was actually taking money out of the tip jar...we do things differently here...(and she did not go to jail or get clocked by one of the outlaw cowboys...)...

    Almost lost Breil here...a young lady announced she was "lookin' for a husband..." Breil seemed to be yielding to his romantic side... Then I asked the young woman, "Would that be a temporary position or permanent..." to which she replied, "Well, full time...of course..."

    That must have been a reality check for the Sr Breil...who abandoned the proposition...and went home "with the one who brung him..."

    This was our last adventure together...we said our farewells at the Post Office...and now Sr Breil is off to some other exotic location in this world...
    Where will it be...?
    Stay tuned...

    Best regards, BG


    Last edited by BenchGuy; June 25th, 2017 at 14:27.
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