I enjoyed the bull joke, and passed it on. I am attaching a few photos
of a 174th "teeny-tiny" reunion this past Memorial Day weekend (2001) at Dick Baker's
abode in Ft. Myers, Florida. Jim Young and
his bride, Pam, flew out from Newport Beach and I made the 2 1/2 hour drive
from Tampa for our first get together in 33 years -- since we shared a room
in the 2nd Platoon hootch. They both remembered things I must have slept thru,
and Jim was expecting me to return his fan I routinely stole from him during
A bottle of Dickie's best Scotch was sacrificed for the occasion and home
movies were watched and memories & events searched and replayed, drinks
were hoisted in your honor and for all our brothers, fallen and not. I will
forward the photos to Mac so he can get them up on the web site.
Best to you and Joy,
L-R: 1967-68's Dick Baker (Shark 3), Mike Banek (Dolphin 7),
and Jim Young (Shark 7) at Dick's house in Ft. Myers, Florida
Clarification: Dick Baker (2nd Plt. and later Shark 3) was from Indiana, and
moved to Ft. Myers to work with the Lee County mosquito control "air force."
He has lived off Alico Rd., off I-75's exit 20, for the last 17 years. Jim Young
and his wife Pam flew out to meet friends at Ft. Walton Beach, and then down to
meet up with us. The last time we were together was in June of 1968, when I
derossed. Dick and I played our home movies and you and all the guys got
remembered as if it were yesterday.
Jim, Dick, and Mike on Dick's Mako, cruising on the
Caloosahatchee River out to Sanibel and Captiva Islands.
Stories? Too many lies, too little time... you know how it goes. We
remembered our fallen brothers fondly. We argued over who was better lookin'
back then... Thank God we had evidence with movies and photos and it was
a no-brainer! Both wives unequivocally stated I was the pick of the litter!
Once that was solved, we moved on to who had the better war stories. That was
a 3-way tie because we each had doozies to tell. Dick swears he won a camera
from you, Mac, in a card game! But his memory got foggy after a half a bottle
of scotch. Young wanted a replacement fan for all the times I stole his
rusted out piece of crap fan while he was out on CA's. (I should'a picked one
up at a flea market for the hell of it.)
Dick Baker and his wife Kay hosting us on their Mako boat
Mostly we marveled at how much hair we lost and pounds gained in their place! That
doesn't seem fair! We are all blessed with wonderful families and careers
and as we addressed it all we summarily agreed the 174th was the greatest
experience of our lifetimes (save the wives and births of our children) and
the people we met there for the short few months we knew them were the most
trusted and respected of our lives.
Thanx Mac for all the work you put into this thing, it means a lot to many...
(rest of Mike's fluff removed in the name of modesty).
Your friend, Mike
Pam and Jim Young of Newport Beach and Mammoth Mountain, CA