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It’s Just…Beachy! Part II

May 23, 2011

Picking up where we left off:

Yes, this is a machine gun bunker on the beach at Tumon Bay.  It’s a reminder the island had seen some pretty intense fighting during WWII; there are remnants of the conflict all over the island – a subject of another post sometime soon.  I studied it for quite some time, as I found to to be an incredible contrast in the span of a lifetime – a people dominating and subjugating another, defending and losing their toehold in a few short years – only to return as vacationers and spenders of idle time on this clean quiet beach.  the last hours of the occupants of this tiny slitted concrete block were likely quite harrowing; a stark contrast to the resort dwellers a few yards away.

More on that later.

A return to the beach later that afternoon finds the sun shifted from backlight to reflective orb duty.

One of the more interesting quirks about Guam beach life is that it winds down an hour before sunset!  In Key West, we’re accustomed to packed beachfront and sunset bars/restaurants where one has to get a seat an hour or two in advance of the event so as to get a decent seat for the Sunset Celebration.  here?  The bartenders start cleanup at 5:00 PM and are done serving at 5:30.  I have no idea where the people go – but they’re pretty much off the beach at the best time of the day.

I’d found this elevated perch with which to enjoy a solo sunset celebration on my first full day on Guam.  it was quiet; water calm and the sky was set for a spectacular finish.   I’d taken the next photo sequence for the Pheebs, as I was missing her terribly at this point.

Even the climb down the cliff through exotic tropical plants was spectacular.  The pic really doesn’t do it justice.  I’m not much of a photographer, and this is my first full day with the camera bought in Korea, sorry.

Down on the beach, I was quite taken by the following scene.

Every bit as good as a sunset on the other side of the world.  Others were taken – and I was taken aback…

A trio of Japanese girls – late teens to early twenties – had encamped on the machine gun bunker while playing and photographing the day.  How amazingly ironic they would turn the bunker into a table for their shrimp chips and Pocari Sweat – a place where 65 years earlier, a couple of guys their age probably sat in stark terror waiting for the inevitable, knowing they were to fight to the death as they’d likely been told they’d be fed to the cannibal African American soldiers if they surrendered.  The girls appeared to be blithely and blissfully ignorant of the history – which is perhaps why we tend to repeat it with metronomic regularity.

There’s more to this island outpost than meets the eye, methinks.  Enough serenity and scenery for the Pheebs, and remnants of backstories to keep the adventurer in me entertained.  Yes, I thought at the end of Day One, this is a place which merits further investigation.

Author’s note:

We’re hopping a plane in less than 24 hrs to Guam; these posts are precursors to an ongoing story.  While we may get one more post in later today – it will likely be 2-3 days before the site is refreshed as the door-to-door trip takes about 29 hours.  We hope to chronicle the process so you may see what it’s like to go from one side of the world to another in a little more than a day.


Chuck and the Pheebs.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Len permalink
    May 23, 2011 1:10 pm

    Hi Chuck,

    I’ve followed your comments on Michael’s blog for a long time. You seem to lead as interesting a life as anyone I’ve ever encountered. I don’t think I’m alone in wondering what you do for a living that makes it possible to change locals with such regularity? I understand that may be more information than you would like to make public so please dismiss this request if you feel it too personal.

    I really enjoy your banter with Michael and this blog is starting out quite nicely so far.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do and I’ll keep watching to see what happens next.


    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      May 23, 2011 3:41 pm


      Thanks for writing in.

      I read a short story in high school by Norman Spinrad entitled, “Carcinoma Angels”. The story opens with the following line:

      At the age of nine Harrison Wintergreen first discovered that the world was his oyster when he looked at it sidewise.

      When taken as advice – it works rather well, and has served to make life interesting.

      As for what I do…

      I work in the Energy field, specifically energy efficiency. I got into the business over a decade ago in an effort to help forestall the collapse of the American automobile industry. I helped save them quite a bit of money – but in the end, they spent far faster than I could save. My approach is similar to an old fashioned car tune up – tune up a building, facility or process and it will use less energy.

      A few years ago we discovered the Pheebs had a relatively rare disorder (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, or EDS) which makes changes in temperature painful. In an effort to minimize her pain (I’d have to help her out of bed during the winter months Up North) I did an analysis of the most uniform climate – including day/night temp variations, and Key West was pretty much it on the East Coast. we gave away a third of our belongings, sold another third, and took the last third down to Key West where I continue to do energy work. Guam appeared an interesting opportunity, so off we go!

      Trust this helps.

      Looking at the world sideways,

      Chuck and the Pheebs.

  2. May 23, 2011 8:38 pm

    Nice update. Safe travels, as well.
    The second photo down is still backlit. It’s also a bright orb. Guys like me who manage light for a living just have to point out crap like that. I’m over it already.
    The second-from-last photo is *extremely* well done. Beautiful places make for beautiful photos. There is a lot of existentialism in that one photo; the ripple of the waves in the bottom one-third just adds a second/third dimension that requires thought.
    The goal is to always have a second or third dimension in a photo; that’s what makes them memorable. Anybody can point-and-shoot. But, seeing another dimension and waiting for it, composing for it…that’s where the magic is made in photography.
    Again…safe travels to you.

    Greg P. in WV, where it was 50*F last week, and approaching 90*F this week. Sporty.

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      May 23, 2011 9:33 pm

      Greg –

      I can quote bore and stroke displacements on engines going back to the 30’s ; when it comes to photography, I’m hopelessly out of my league. I’d included the pic you liked purely as an afterthought…interesting the reflective light is why I’d included it.

      I’m using a $130 Olympus pocket camera about the size of a deck of cards – and all I’ve been doing is pointing and shooting. in the case of this pic, I’m sorry to report it falls under the category of a blind squirrel finding a nut.

      • May 24, 2011 12:41 pm

        I cannot tell you how many times I have made a solid photo by mere, pure luck.
        The trick is to never admit to it.
        Take care…

        Greg P. in WV, preparing an anti-rain dance so I can mow my lawn.

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