PBS Story on the U.S.S. Oklahoma and Pearl Harbor Is Worth a Look

We marked the 76th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor yesterday. I saw an excellent PBS production focusing on the event from the point of view of the U.S.S. Oklahoma and her crew, specifically. It was certainly worth an hour of my day.

It piqued my interest because I’m a Navy vet and because I lived in Oklahoma for most of the late ’70s. And because I’m a serious history buff with a special interest in WW II. Anyhow, many reasons to like that show. Of course, I’ve never seen a PBS production that wasn’t well-worth my time.

It focused on two elements of the story of this most-infamous day in American history that would be new to most viewers: why the Oklahoma was the only vessel on “Battleship Row” to capsize after the attack and the fact that the remains of seven of her crew were identified and returned to their families in recent years.

If you have an interest in military history, especially the WW II era, you’d no doubt find this to be of interest. I thoroughly enjoyed viewing it yesterday on WUCF in real time. And you can stream it for the next seven weeks by following this link.

It’s September 1st and I’m Thinking About…

It’s September 1st and I’m Thinking About…

It’s the first of September and I have some pleasant thoughts associated with this particular milestone in our annual journey. It means college football is about to start. That’s a marvelous thing. I look forward to it each year.

It means that Labor Day and cooler temps are right around the corner. Love both of those things, bring it on!

But it’s also true that when I see the first of September roll around, I think of Hitler invading Poland. Yeah, I do that. That reveals two very significant things about me: the first, that I’m a boomer and so many of us had Dads who served in WW II. So that whole “Nazis streaming over the border” thing isn’t as bizarre as it may seem.

Well, that and the fact that I minored in history and have studied that conflict and our Civil War in a serious way; those things factor in, too.

So the second thing that pervasive thought reveals about me is that I do worry about stuff more than most folks and more than I should, truth be told. Not in the sense that I think we’re about to be invaded, but just that I often see the darker side of things in general; I’m more inclined to see the potential for trouble, drama and disappointment rather than the “good stuff” which may happen as I navigate some new juncture on life’s path.

It would have been much better for me if Hitler had chosen the 2nd of September to send his Panzer divisions and Storm Troopers across the Polish frontier; that date would not have bored its way so deeply into my grey matter!

Two things I’m going to do today to get past this less-than-rosy recollection: get focused back on the arrival of those crisp Autumn days, and reach for a beer! That’ll work!


The last bulwark against the Nazi Apocalypse, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile