Monday, March 22, 2010

Kadena Girl - 1982

This is a fun photo.  This was taken in the fall of 1982 at Kadena.  Really, I can really remember the day.  Just off base at one end of the runway there was a photo stand run by a local guy - we affectionately called Habu Charlie.  He'd take photos of the airplanes and try to sell them.  He also took personal photos with props for any people who wandered by.  And in this case, this young lady and her friend showed up - and Charlie put her in a cammo shirt, helmet and a wood rifle.  This isn't the reason I remember the day - but it helps.
The reason I remember the day is it was getting close to my leaving the island.  I had been to Charlie's stand enough times that he knew me and we had plenty of bad English conversations about planes and photo equipment.  Up to that time, I had never been able to catch the SR-71 taxi and take off in a photo.  I had been trying to get some of these photos for over a year.  Well, on this day, my luck changed - and Charlie kept me in the game.  I had been sitting out at the photo stand for an hours just enjoying the day and catching some of the people such as the girl above and just people watching.  I told Charlie that this was probably my last day.  I was getting ready to leave - and he tells me "Habu - 10 min".   Habu is the local name for snake - but is also what we called the SR-71.  I could not believe this.  How did Charlie know?  I still don't know to this day - but I stuck around and got some great Habu shots.  (Side note - I had a local Okinawan shop do the developing and printing.  I was paranoid thinking that the BX would confiscate the shots!)  Rush of memories.

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