Motley Crew

Part of the Prescott, Arizona citizen’s self-defense group took a photo in front of the Palace Saloon. The Palace Restaurant and Saloon is both the oldest business and oldest bar operating in the state of Arizona.

It usually comes down to citizens – regular folks – who are willing to take a stand against arson, murder, looting and rioting.

I go to the Palace myself and I go for the food and drink, not to ogle the pretty bar maids. I’d never do that.

Would it bother you if she was your bartender and chose to sit on the bar to chat with you? Asking for a friend.


Do you trust the FBI?

It’s an important question because a lot of high profile matters are handed off to that agency.

Think of the Minneapolis Police Department with the ability to cover their own tracks much better when it comes to corrupt personnel – and you have the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They were at the heart of the coup to unseat President Trump and most of the bad apples are still there. Likewise, the FBI works hard to bury their mistakes. They behave hysterically when you find them and point them out. There’s just not a lot of institutional integrity, though individuals are often good people. How can that be changed?


The Kids

They’re always saying, “but MOM, we want to go out and play.”

It’s Friday, let ’em out.

The grandkids will soon arrive at the White Wolf Mine, and they’ll be turned loose on the property.


And though it’s not yet Sunday…

This is not technically a sermonette. Just a quote from Ernest Hemingway, who I know some of you who read this blog don’t like. Take it for what it is:

He said, “Try to learn to breathe deeply, really taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”


I’m too tall…

To have flown a P-38, and to young to have flown one in combat even if I had the chance, but damn, it’s a cool airplane.

P-38 Lightning


  1. Home sweet home. Try the Back Alley Wine Bar when you are here. It’s in the alley behind Whiskey Row a short distance from where that photo was taken.

    • Be it ever so humble.

      Speaking of which, there’s a little Mexican restaurant run out of a house on Roberts, just north of Hwy 69, El Assadero. Good food, very nice owners. Down home Mexican with some killer carnitas.

  2. +1 on the P-38. I’ve always wondered how they would perform with a pair of Merlin engines. One can get a fair idea reading about the F-82 twin Mustang.

    From the P-38 to the SR-71. Kelly Johnson.

    • Yes, the P-38 was transformative for Kelly Johnson and the first in a series of wonderful airplanes. The F-82 just came along too late, but it was a BEAST.

  3. That bar looks like a place I would enjoy. Yes, she may sit on the bar if she likes. Iwouldn’t tell her no.

    • OF COURSE you do, my old friend and kindred spirit. Your spirit animal is a three-peckered billy goat.

  4. Asking for a friend. The Palace Restaurant and Saloon thought it was a no-go zone when married? But from my own memories from the past a long time ago, I can imagine it is a nice place.

    Citizen’s self-defense group is an interesting concept. I guess they have their own SOP to be aligned with the local police? But if hell is loose adults need to take action and do something to prevent further damage. In the end, it will be the responsible taxpayer who has to cover pay the costs caused by the rioters.

    • I don’t think that that they have much of a standard operating procedure. The closest thing to an SOP might be ‘fire if fired upon’, but if somebody pulled out a Molotov cocktail, I think that it would have been a lot like the end of the film, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. Not a lot of meat left,

  5. Re: Too tall for a fighter cockpit.

    My Dad said that after advanced flight training the tall guys went to bombers, the short guys went to fighters. So one day he took the opportunity to enter the records room and falsify his medical file to make himself one inch shorter.

    He said the counter rotating props made the P-38 a very stable gun platform, but the cockpit heat was lousy since you weren’t sitting behind an engine. His squadron was in Lightnings only a short time before transitioning to Mustangs.

    He never talked about it much. I once asked him what long-range fighter escort missions were like and he reflected a moment and then said, “Noisy.”

    • Honor to your father and the greatest generation. The P-38 had a lot of concentrated firepower. The fighters with guns in their wings had them bore sighted to converge at a point (don’t ask me how far out, but not really that far) and if the target was at that point, it was chopped to pieces. But with the P-38, you were THERE. I’ve heard that the P-38 was much less comfortable to fly, even if you fit into the cockpit than a Mustang.

      • Thanks LL. Dad said he’d tell his armorer what convergence distance he wanted, also what mix of ammo – for example, every fifth round a tracer. Usually the last twenty rounds were tracers.

        • It’s good to know when you’re running out. Some pilots opted not to have tracers, just Incendiary in the mix so you could see the hits. The enemy didn’t always know that they were under fire if you missed.

  6. I had a scoutmaster back in the 60’s who tried for astronaut training, he said his arms were too long for the seats.

    • They aren’t going to build the machine to fit you. He might have started a movement if it was today. #LongArmPeopleCareersMatter. Fifty years too late.

  7. The P-38! What a beautiful airplane. One of my father’s regrets was that he never got to fly one of those when he was in a Ferry Squadron in the early 1950’s before he went to Korea. He got to fly Jugs (P-47), Mustangs, tons of T-6’s, B-25’s, A/B-26’s and others. Of note, when you see those movies of the above ground nuclear tests at Jack Ass Flats where they have the airfields set up, some of those planes were flown there by my Dad. He was ferrying a B-17 to Europe in the fall of 1952 when he got sent home on orders to go to Korea. He was just a few years too young for the Greatest Generation; he would have been 92 this year were he still alive.

  8. I got to climb in Revis Sirmon’s P-38 Scatterbrained Kid (named for his wife, Lorraine) back in the early 70s. He’d flown them in Europe in WWII, with over 50 missions. I’m 5’10” and barely fit. Sadly that airplane was lost when he loaned it to another pilot for an airshow and he crashed the airplane on takeoff. Those little ‘informal’ groups that are getting set up may be the saving grace of businesses like the bar, and rural areas if the rumor of Pantifa/BLM bussing people into the suburbs comes true…

  9. Growing up I lived behind a P-38 pilot. Lt. Col. William Leverette, USAF (retired.)

    He splashed 7 Ju-87 Stukas in one mission over the Med in defense of British shipping.

    Later commanded his group as they flew from Italy to support bomber operations in Germany.

    Col. Leverette was one of those quiet happy guys, who just happened to be a cold stone killer. He had no regrets killing Germans. And he could talk for days about everything dealing with the Lightning.

    • Don-in-Oregon: It’s good to know when you’re running out. Some pilots opted not to have tracers, just Incendiary in the mix so you could see the hits. The enemy didn’t always know that they were under fire if you missed.

      • Beans: Having a role model like that helps you to understand why we fight and why we should not be afraid – ever.

  10. Seems the P-38 had an incredibly stupid fuel management system. It’s thought that a large percentage of P-38 losses was due to this problem. Every fuel tank had a valve setting that was manually controlled by the pilot. Lots of tanks. Release your drop tanks, reach down to the floor and start moving valves. Idiotic. Usually you are dropping those tanks due to being bounced, or intending to attack. Makes you easy meat. ISTR it was a common AAR for the Germans to comment that the P-38 didn’t do anything when they attacked, other than drop their tanks. There is a famous fighter pilot (name?) that had both engines die just as he came up behind a German fighter. Ended up shooting him down while flying a glider.

    A famous flying writer died when his borrowed P-38 lost the engines while tuning on final. His father had been a Lightning pilot in the ETO, and he was writing about learning what his father had to deal with in the war.

    He wrote that his father had an interesting method of attacking the Germans. He would wait until one got on his tail, and them initiate a climbing left(?) turn. If the German followed he would eventually stall and spin. The P-38 pilot would chop the inside engine, the plane would rotate, and bringing up the throttle would then be heading downhill right at the German. Sort of a very controlled hammerhead stall for the P-38. Next to the P-47, it was the second fastest thing going downhill, so no German fighter could run away from it. Trying to dive away from either plane was usually suicide.

    • I heard that they had problems with fuel management and as I recall, there was a hand crank to move fuel available, which makes no sense in a combat aircraft. I didn’t know that the problem was THAT acute.

      The P-38 had many of the same problems that other twin engine fighters of its day had. But I wouldn’t want to fight against one flown by a competent pilot in ANY Axis aircraft of the day, with the possible exception of a ME-262, which had a significant advantage in speed.

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