A Carroll “Lex” LeFon Primer

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Who was Carroll LeFon?

The best description of Lex that I’ve heard is “Imagine Hemingway flew fighters…and liked people.

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Rhythms the Compendium

Welcome to the “Rhythms” home page, a blogvel of sorts in several parts. The author’s attempt was to reveal elements of life aboard an aircraft carrier on the line. He had no idea it would take so long, and leave so very much untold.

Carroll F. “Lex” LeFon

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Index – The Best of Neptunus Lex

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In Memory of CAPT Carroll “Lex” LeFon, and the Wonderful Community He Fostered

Welcome. The idea was floated that a ‘talk amongst yourselves’ blog would be a good addition to for the Non-Facebook Crowd. Here it is.

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The Background Was As Dramatic As The Movie

It became a movie that none other than someone who was Mafia Royalty (and chose to leave the Life, and managed to live), considers to be one of the 2 greatest and most realistic movies on La Cosa Nostra.

The man whose dream it was to produce this was new to the industry, having worked in a cubical at the Rand Corporation, faced unbelievable opposition to the making of this movie. Besides convincing the head of Paramount that he could produce a movie, the opposition he faced involved death threats.

Even the head of Paramount Studios found something in his bed even more terrifying than the movie’s portrayal.

You learn that you can have a good script, but without the right casting the movie can still flop. Without the right screenwriter, the movie will flop.

This miniseries, produced by the producer of The Godfather, Albert S. Ruddy, delves into the painful process and politics they had to overcome in the making of a movie that is considered in anyone’s short list as “one of the best”.

I look at the cast, and can’t imagine anyone else in any given part.

I’d love to tell you more, but don’t wish to be a spoiler.

The story of the making of this magnificent movie is as dramatic as the movie, and Albert S. Ruddy is finally telling the story after 40 years.

The Offer is streaming on Paramount +.

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They are getting more than 30 pieces of silver

Everyone has a price.  Unfortunately this RAF top gun and his cohorts are going to extract a price in blood from the USA and its allies…

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11341957/Ex-RAF-gun-killing-training-Chinas-fighter-pilots-recruiting-British-airmen.html?ito=email_share_article-top

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American Bomber Boys

I have long had a fascination with the aviators of WW2. In training, it was up or out. And by “out”, so many were killed in training flights and not simply washed out. Chuck Yeager’s autobiography had a chapter or 2 on his training days at Tonopah, NV.

I’d have to admire any aviator who, graduating from the venerable PT-17 (Stearman) biplane, to the T-6 (called by the AAF) or SNJ (called by the Navy) when finally strapped into a 1,500 hp Mustang or 2,000 hp Corsair (there were no dual seat trainers) and takes off, hopefully giving it enough rudder so the massive torque wouldn’t run it off the runway.

And kill yourself.

Happened to a lot of students.

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Traffic School

I’ve never taken my driving casually. I’ve probably accrued easily over a million miles (including a Mercedes 300E that had 380,000 miles). I’ve had 1 minor accident when I was 16, driving my aunt and uncles’ Ford LTD station wagon. A man in an old pickup ran a stop sign, and I T-Boned him. No injuries.

Even the best have been killed on public roads. Mike Hawthorn was a British driver, probably in the top 5 drivers of his day. Drove both Formula 1 and Endurance racing (won LeMans in 1955, F1 World Champion in 1958).

In 1959, he was killed in his Jaguar sedan on a British motorway on a rainy night going (according to a witness) 80 mph.

If it can happen to the best, it can certainly happen to us.

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Speakeasy

Yesterday, I had an interesting time traveling to see things I had seen dozens of times before. Except this time, I really saw them.

I have led my car club on dozens of drives through the Sacramento River Delta. I have told people that this area is completely different from the city.

Call it laid-back.

And in 10 minutes you can leave one urbane world to the beginning of this world.

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The Price of Hubris With The Wilsons

English picked up both the concept of hubris and the term for that particular brand of cockiness from the ancient Greeks, who considered hubris a dangerous character flaw capable of provoking the wrath of the gods. In classical Greek tragedy, hubris was often a fatal shortcoming that brought about the fall of the tragic hero. Typically, overconfidence led the hero to attempt to overstep the boundaries of human limitations and assume a godlike status, and the gods inevitably humbled the offender with a sharp reminder of their mortality.

I don’t know if I fit the classical Greek definition of Hubris, but a couple of times I did get spanked pretty good, if not by Zeus, some power. Maybe it was God knowing I had a comeuppance.

Or maybe it was just old-fashioned karma.

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Royce Williams DESERVES a Medal of Honor

97-Year-Old Veteran Recounts Top Secret Aerial Battle Hidden From American Public for Decades

In an aerial “dogfight” that made U.S. naval history, Korean War veteran Royce Williams beat out seven Russian fighter jets on his own through nearly impossible odds—one he was forbidden from discussing for more than 40 years amid Cold War tension.

The year was 1952, in the midst of the Korean War. Williams was stationed near the 38th parallel—the demarcation point between North and South Korea—not knowing a battle about to commence would forever make him a legend.

“Every pilot that meets [Williams] reveres him … he’s the ultimate top-gun legend,” veteran and friend Steve Lewandowski told The Epoch Times.

Williams’s prowess even caught the attention of producers from Tom Cruise’s “Top Gun” movie franchise, according to Lewandowski, who consulted with Williams on his experiences to potentially add to their storyline.

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Innovation and Guinness

A Post Hizzoner Would Have Found Interesting

I thought Guinness was just a great beer with a long history. Apparently it is a company steeped in innovation going back 100s of years. To attract and keep the best talent, they offered company benefits that today would be considered cutting edge by companies like Google. Only they started this 100s of years ago.

The key to Guinness’ robustness has been innovation. Through a series of key innovations, Guinness was able to stay on top despite (among other things) a famine, mass emigration, two World Wars, a civil war, and the changeover from British to sovereign rule. Guinness is responsible for changes in workplace relations, several foundational advances in the physics of brewing, and even the famous Student’s t-test in statistics. Indeed, Guinness has been one of the key drivers of innovation in Ireland.

And it all started in 1759 with a 9,000 year lease on the property.

H/T to David Foster of Chicago Boyz

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Apollo 11: A Bit of Alternative History

Today marks the 53rd anniversary of that famous flight that Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins took to the Sea of Tranquility. I wrote a bit some time ago of where I was that day – in the back country of Sequoia National Park, flown in by helicopter, and clearing the trails of fallen trees. That evening, I was in my sleeping bag, looking up at the moon through these massive redwoods. I had a little 6 transistor radio, and was listening to the scratchy station in the Central Valley that it was pulling in. To hear Armstrong’s voice and looking up at the moon through those redwoods, filled me with wonder and awe.

I’m in a Facebook group that I have come to learn is filled with a lot of “movers and shakers” of NASA, past and present.

I posed the question, “where were you on that historical day?”


I’m reposting a few of their (anonymous) answers.

“I was flying a combat mission during the Vietnam War. Listened to the lunar landing on one of our radios that was broadcasting Voice of America. Back on the ground at the O-Club to watch Neil come down the ladder. A never to be forgotten sense of pride in being an American.”

“I was ten. My sister 13. We were sitting on the couch under the window air conditioner, covered in a blanket because we were cold as we watched on the black and white console tv. Somewhere before the landing I was annoying my sister who called for mom. She was on the phone with someone, and the cord wouldn’t reach us (thank goodness for corded phones!). So she threw a shoe at me to get me to stop. And the Eagle has landed! 😉 “

“It was first day of 2 weeks at Boy Scout camp with no TV. …That night in the tent, I listened to first half of moon walk on my transistor radio until the battery died.”

I was 9. Four days earlier, we’d been to the Cape to watch the launch. Now I was trying to stay awake for the first step. I can’t remember if I actually saw it live: I was dozing in and out.”

“I was a 16 year old space nerd. We had gone to my 5th grade teacher’s house (who was my mother’s best friend) to watch the moonwalk. I was absolutely transfixed by what I was seeing…humans were walking on the moon (and I knew better than to say “I wish I was up there”). After the walk was completed, I got my telescope out to see if I could find the LM. No luck but it was worth the try.”

“Our family had recently moved into a brand-new townhome in the Denver suburbs. That was the day the patio was poured, and I was allowed to carefully write the date and a little drawing of the moon in the fresh concrete.”

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GB – VMFA XXXIII

Posted by asm826 on October 24, 2006

Tom and Bill came out of the doorway as Gunny Ceisak and Sgt. Collins walked by. They waved and the Gunny stopped. Bill grinned, “How about a beer, Gunny?”

Gunny motioned up the street, “Alright, but let’s find a quieter place. I’ll buy the first round.”

“Good deal, we’ve had all the noise we need.”

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