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.
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.