US West Coast Drive with Two Cousins: to Redding, California (again)

July 18, 2017

My cousin, Pius App, is a “story magnet”, and this is today’s memorable story from our west coast trip. He has a special interest in the USS Zumwalt, a recently commissioned hi-tech naval destroyer, and yesterday our cousin, Pat Hillman, presented him with an official USS Zumwalt cap. Pat’s husband grew up with Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Jr. (Chief of Naval Operations 1970-1974) and their families have been very close over the years.

Pius in his USS Zumwalt hat

This morning, in the motel restaurant, Pius was wearing the hat and a veteran rushed up to him and asked about his service in the Navy. It took Pius by surprise and he told the man that he was not from this country… and the man hurriedly walked away.

It happened again tonight at dinner. We were placing our order and a veteran, spying the hat, came up to Pius and asked how long he served in the Navy explaining that he was in the navy for 20 years himself working for Admiral Zumwalt. Pius told him the same story about how he was from another country, and also explained about how he got the hat. The man thought that was a great story and we all had a good laugh.

I think that Admiral Pius App, now of the Swiss Navy, gets a lot of respect whenever he enters a room wearing the USS Zumwalt hat.

We drove today from our motel in Fresno, California to the Thunderbird Lodge in Redding, California (the same place that we stayed last Friday). Driving north on US 99 we could easily see the smoke from the Detwiler wildfire that we saw at Lois & Jerry’s OD Ranch. By this afternoon it had grown to 20,000 acres (81 sq km) burned and only 5% contained. We also saw smoke from another (smaller) wildfire six miles (9.6 km) southwest of our motel in Redding.

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About storiesretoldblogger

I am an Elkhart, Indiana native and became interested in applying video to history when consumer video cameras were first introduced on the market in the late 1970’s. My production company, Stories Retold, specializes in preserving oral history, traditions, and values with video. Primarily interviewing individuals, I sometimes document families, and on occasion document an entire community. My niche is developing a personal relationship with clients which helps me to tell their story just the way they would like to have it told. Everyone has a story worth preserving, and I enjoy discovering interesting stories from people with whom I come into contact on a daily basis. In years to come, these videos will be priceless as they portray original stories complete with visual images and actual voices filled with all the primary material and emotion that was intended to be. I gain a strong sense of personal satisfaction with each completed project whether it involves an individual or an entire community.
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