Army gas in Honolulu, Fort Worden | Mann Overboard

Bill Mann
Posted 8/10/22

Military memories of an Army brat: That short Leader news item and photo recently about plans to restore the tiny gas station at Fort Worden grabbed me. 

That’s because it looks like an …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Army gas in Honolulu, Fort Worden | Mann Overboard


Military memories of an Army brat: That short Leader news item and photo recently about plans to restore the tiny gas station at Fort Worden grabbed me. 

That’s because it looks like an exact replica of the little gas station on an Army base where we lived in Honolulu, Fort Ruger. (Ruger, which sat on the side of Diamond Head, is now gone, converted to Kapiolani Community College.)

I suspect the Pentagon had/has a set of standard blueprints that were used on numerous Army bases.

Also, the parade ground, barracks, and officers’ quarters at Worden look just like those at Fort Slocum, a since-demolished base on an island in Long Island Sound where my career-officer father was stationed after we left Hawaii. 

We may have had one of the best views in all Hawaii: From our officer’s quarters’ back porch, we could see all five Islands to the east, including the one Oracle’s Larry Ellison gobbled up while sitting on his, um, lanai in Silicon Valley. 

We also lived in Fort Slocum, an island offshore from New Rochelle, New York, which was “only 45 minutes from Broadway,” the song George M. Cohan wrote about New Rochelle. We’d drive into Gotham, where I got to feast on the golden era of Broadway musicals: I saw Julie Andrews in “My Fair Lady,” Ethel Merman in “Gypsy,” and Lucille Ball in “Wildcat.” 

I still love old Hawaiian music from our days there. 

The big Hawaiian music label back then was 49th State Records, because Hawaiians were sure they were going to be the 49th. But Alaska cut in line and became number 49. 

While still in the 50th state, my Dad, an Army captain, was transferred from Fort Ruger, and we became the only Army family living at Pearl Harbor, oddly. Talk about feeling like an alien. 

I don’t see a resemblance of any of the buildings at Pearl to Worden, where “An Officer And a Gentleman” dressed Worden in Navy drag. That big prop anchor at the end of the parade ground here does still remain. 

— More links: Jeff Tiedrich on Twitter: “Joe Biden kills terrorists. Trump golfs with terrorists. Any questions?” None.

— Andy Borowitz headline in The New Yorker: “Trump Demands Recount After Biden Has More Positive Covid Tests Than He Did.” 

— Quite an oddball surprise on the P.A. at the Mountain View pool recently: Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music White Boy.” 

— Better Watch: Sad that what is arguably TV’s best series, “Better Call Saul,” ends next Monday. It’s so good the New York Times has been doing weekly recaps of each show, an unusual honor.

— Quotable:  George Carlin: “Every time you have to slam on the brakes, you’re putting your life in your feet’s hands.” 

Also, during my interview with him in Montreal, the ever-quotable Frank Zappa cracked: “Jazz isn’t dead. It just smells funny.” (Don’t think Centrum would have used that line for their jazzfest). 

— Speaking of music fests at Worden, a good theme song for the big upcoming event here: The Isley Brothers’ “It’s Your Thing.” 

— I covered radio as well as the TV business for years, so it was a treat to meet Kala Pointer Fred Flanzer, a major-market radio pro who’s both run and announced at stations in, among other places, St. Louis, Seattle, and San Francisco. Recently, Flanzer (on-air name Smokie Rivers) has been building a radio station down in Reedsport, Oregon, for national radio personality Delilah. Flanzer has great radio stories and insights and is one of my favorite luncheon companions.

— Finally, this from Twitter: Q. How do we know Trump instigated the Jan. 6 insurrection? A. It failed. 

(In his peripatetic newspaper career, PT columnist Bill Mann has written for dailies in Montreal, Oakland, San Francisco, and, yes, Honolulu.