Hawaii Marine Golf Team -1970

10 10 2016

1970 was a fun year in golf, especially playing on the Hawaii Marine Corps Golf Team. We had a great team with 4 of the 6 members being 21 or younger.

usmc_hawaii_golfUS Marine Corps All Pacific Golf Tournament -1970
Front Row is the Hawaii Marine Corps Team
Tim Derloshon, Joe Capri, Mike Sisco, Gunny “Pineapple” Werner,
Allen Westbrook, Capt. Chuck Kozak






Best day of my life – marrying Miss Dorine

6 03 2016

December 26, 1970, , , home on leave to marry Dorine. It was the start of something special.


Dorine Louque “Sisco”, my best friend and now my wife

Dorine_Mike_wedding3The wedding party

Marine Corps Base – Kaneohe Hawaii

26 01 2014

There are some great memories of the two years I spent in Hawaii from March 1970 to March 1972. The first year I was single so I played a lot of golf. Dorine and I married on December 26, 1970 so my second year was our first year of marriage – what a treat being able to spend our first year together in Hawaii. We didn’t have any money but we sure had a good time.

USMC Kaneohe gateMain gate leading into the Kaneohe Base

USMC Kaneohe_13th hole13th hole at KBAY Golf Club

The first 12 holes are away from the ocean and on relatively flat ground. You don’t notice the ocean is there because you can’t see or hear it as it’s protected by steep hills between most of the golf holes and the three ocean holes.

I’ll never forget the first time I walked out onto the 13th tee at KBAY Golf Club. It was breathtaking from the elevated tee with the deep blue Pacific Ocean lining the hole and the Ko’olau Mountains filling the background. This par-5 could play very short with prevailing right-to-left wind. I remember we  aimed our drives out over the edge of the beach and let the wind help draw the ball back into the fairway. A great tee shot could leave you with just a wedge to the green.

usmc Kaneohe_14th hole14th hole at KBAY Golf Club

The 14th hole is another good ocean hole on the KBAY Course. The green has a severe slope from back to front. In a KBAY Men’s Association Club tournament I shut out Joe Capri on this hole because he 3-putted. He had a long putt from front of the green to a pin located in the back and he literally putted his ball off the green. We joked, “Caddie, , , bring my wedge!” as the ball rolled down the steep slope off the back of the green. After the hole Joe broke his Otey Crisman putter and threw it away as we walked to the 15th tee, , , I got it reshafted and still have it.

usmc_kaneohe bayArial view of Mokapu Peninsula and Kaneohe Hawaii Marine Base

usmc_kaneohe golfGolf photos at KBAY Golf Club – 1970

Notice the “high and tight” Marine Corps haircut, , , worked well when the wind was blowing like you see on #10 green. Quality of our film photos back then was not so good.


usmc_mike and dorine-2Dorine and me right after our honeymoon and the day I left to return to Kaneohe.

I returned to Hawaii after my 2-week leave expired to find us an apartment. Dorine would join me a month later.

Harold Estes, a retired Navy Chief was extremely helpful to us. He helped me find an apartment in Waikiki (just happened to be the same one his 75-year old Mother lived in). The senior Mrs. Estes became a great friend and she would visit Dorine often when I was at work. Mr. Estes, a successful entrepreneur, hired Dorine as his Executive Assistant which helped us out financially, , , he even found us a great car that we purchased from one of his friends.

usmc_67  convertible mustangThe 1967 Mustang Convertible Harold Estes found for us – perfect for Hawaii

usmc_mike and dorine-1Dorine and me at Karen and Randy Watson’s home on our last day in Hawaii
March 1972 – Kailua, Hawaii

As I mentioned earlier, we didn’t have much money at the time but we sure did enjoy our first year of marriage in Hawaii plus the special friends made while we were there. I married a great looking girl, didn’t I?

Introduction to information technology (IT)

26 01 2014

It was March 1970 when I reported to Marine Corps Base – Kaneohe, Hawaii. My orders were to report to Data Processing Platoon 10 (DPP10) and work in the computer operations section of Headquarters Company. I had recently completed Computer Sciences School in Quantico, Virginia and stationed a few months in San Diego, California while waiting for permanent orders. When they asked, “Would you like to go to Hawaii?”, , , it was an easy decision.

USMC_KaneoheDPP10 – MCB Kaneohe, Hawaii – 1971
That’s me standing underneath the DPP10 sign

We are standing in front of a mobile data processing vehicle which houses the necessary equipment to run an IT shop in the field at that era. Today, you can do everything in the field from a laptop, tablet or SmartPhone.

After a couple of weeks training they assigned me to the 3rd shift to run the 3M applications for the air wing section of the base. 3M stood for Machines, Materials and Manpower. Anything that took place within the air wing of Kaneohe was reported through the systems I ran.

This was still early in the days of computers. We used an 80-column card computing system and machines related to the IBM 1401 Computer Systems. It was a very manual process to sort, collate and prepare the cards so we could run them through the 1402 Card Read/Punch machine to print a report. For example, in one of my end-of-month jobs it took me over 8 hours to sort over 50,000 cards and print a single report, , , I spent all weekend at the end of each month producing a few monthly reports.

storage_IBM 1401 computer systemstorage_IBM punch card technology

The good part was that 3 weeks out of each month I only needed to run the daily reports for my area of responsibility. This took about 3 hours to do, , , when finished I could leave the office. This is how my golf game improved tremendously my first year in Hawaii.

I would go into the office early and 2nd shift usually finished their jobs by 9:00pm, , , so I got started early and finished my work by midnight to 1:00am. On many occasions I would go sleep on the beach just off the 15th hole of KBAY Golf Club and get up at daylight, , , take a shower in the clubhouse locker room and then play 36 holes of golf every day.

Walked and carried my golf clubs the whole time, , , no carts because we couldn’t afford it nor want to use them, , , a great time. It was a tough living but someone had to do it. 🙂

There were some real characters in DPP10. Joe Rock and Frank Bonomi from Boston, Don “Gibby” Gibson from Salt Lake City, Bruce Fagrie, Mike Northway, Gunny Crawford, Dave Sistek and others.

usmc_DPP10 MarinesGunny Bill Crawford, Bruce Fagrie, Don “Gibby” Gibson, Dave Sistek

Working in a “card shop” gave me basic understanding of data early in my career because you could physically see what it is on an 80-column card.

storage_80 column card

An 80-column card represented a record of something, , , it might be the details of a helicopter or possibly transaction details of a flight taken with the helicopter, , , it could be information about a piece of equipment or a part,  or it might be information about a Marine assigned a post within the air wing of the base such as a pilot, crash crew member, or mechanic.

I remember thinking it was really strange when a certain Staff Sergeant would walk in, ask for the 3M aircraft master card deck, , , thumb through it until he found the card he was looking for, , , pull it out and then tear it up before handing the card deck back to me. It was how he physically deleted an aircraft or piece of equipment from inventory.

Life was simple in those days, , , but processing data was much harder and more time consuming. I like having the computing power we have in our laptops today.





Best golf of my career

16 12 2013

1970 was my best golf by far while stationed at Kaneohe Marine Base in Hawaii. Pictured below are Allan Westbrook, Joe Capri and me (driving) in the 1970 Hawaii Marine Golf Tournament. We finished 1, 2, and 4 in the tournament. We were all 19 or 20 years old, , , good times.

Mike Sisco_Allan Westbrook_Joe CapriKBAY Marine News article

I played 18-36 holes of golf every day because I worked midnights as a Computer Operator so I took real advantage of it and improved my handicap to a “1”. That means I shot par or better on most occasions.

I even remember asking a fellow Marine, Jim Rainey, “How can you be a “7” handicap?”

Those days are long gone. Dorine and I got married on December 26, 1970 and priorities changed, , , a good thing :).

Joe Capri became a good friend and we played many rounds together. Two of them are memorable. I was with him when he double-eagled #7, a par-5. We thought his 2nd shot was in a bunker but it finished in the hole, , , double-eagle is the 2nd rarest feat in golf behind “shooting your age”.

The 2nd memorable round was when I beat Joe in the KBAY Men’s Association Tournament, , , primarily because he putted terribly. On the 14th hole, he literally putted a 30-footer off the back of the green and had to chip back onto the green. After that he was so frustrated he broke his wooden shafted Otey Crisman putter and threw it away. I asked if I could save it and still have it.

Joe was one of the best ball strikers I’ve known. When he putted well he was hard to beat and a great teammate on the Hawaii Marine Team of 1970 and 1971.

I can’t play like I once did or hit it nearly as far as I could back then even with the new technology we have today, but I have some very positive memories of “when I could play this great game of golf”.

Arrival at Parris Island

29 04 2012

Our bus pulls into Parris Island around midnight on April 23, 1969, , , almost exactly 43 years ago as I write this post. It was dark, cool and I could smell the sea air of the Atlantic Ocean. My Marine Corps experience had begun.

The bus stops, the door opens, and enters a Marine Corps Drill Instructor who immediately begins shouting at us to, “wake up, , , wake up, , , get off the bus, , , hurry up, , , move it, , , move it”. This was the “wake-up call” and something that got your attention and quickly let you know that you were in someone else’s house now, , , “This is not Kansas, Toto”.

We all scramble out of the bus where another Drill Instructor starts lining us up in single file. Then we have our first Roll Call and we are instructed to shout “Here” when our name is called and run to a new line they create in alphabetical order. Life will not be fun for anyone who answers, “Present” or messes this up.

Everyone seems to be here so they march us to a processing center, , , a large room with rows of tables. There, we are instructed to empty our pockets of anything and everything on us, , , money, key chains, wallets, jewelry, , , everything. There will be dire consequences for anyone found with “contraband”. We put our personal belongings in a plastic bag and write our name and address on the outside.

Then we are instructed to write a short note to our parents telling them we have arrived safely and are now “in the care of the US Marine Corps”.

Then, we march to an empty barracks where we are told to stand in front of the bunks at attention. This would be a position we would get very accustomed to, , , standing at attention in front of our bunks. We would also get very used to the guys facing us and on either side of us, , , this will be who we see the most for the next 12 weeks.

No sitting or lying on our bunks except when we sleep, , , even then we had to sleep at attention.

First thing in the morning, , , around 5:00am we head to the barber where all our hair is cut, , , we get a high and tight Marine Corps “buzz”. We all looked pretty sad with no hair, pale skin, and a look on our faces that looked like, “What have I gotten myself into?”

No talking allowed, , , the consequences are not good, , , you learn quickly to do exactly what the Drill Instructors tell you ( and nothing else) if you have any smarts at all. Still, there are always a couple who just “don’t get it”. These guys will pay for their mistakes over and over during the course of our 12 weeks at Parris Island.

I can’t call myself a Marine yet, , , still just a lowly recruit at this point. Graduating from Parris Island Recruit Depot will allow me to actually become part of the Marine Corps family.

USMC physical

29 04 2012

I remember going to downtown Nashville to get my physical for the Marine Corps. It was March of 1969 and I was excited as well as a bit nervous about enlisting but I knew I needed to do something.

I had recently been kicked out of college for doing some improper things, , , seems that I discovered women and alcohol at the same time, , , and at a church school at that. When I was put on probation and couldn’t play on the golf team, , , things just got worse until the Dean told me I should go back home. This Dean and I made amends four years later after I got out of the Marine Corps and he told me, “Some kids just need more time to grow up, , , and you were one of those kids.”

My Dad did the best thing for me when he told me, “Son, you are either going back to school or you need to get a job, , , but you are not going to lay on my couch all day.” Best thing he could have done and it worked, , , I decided to enlist in the Marine Corps.

There was about 100 of us being processed through physicals, , , young men and boys preparing to go off to boot camp for their selected service, , , Army, Navy, Air Force, and the United States Marine Corps.

I learned quickly that the Marine Corps was something special. When they brought us our box lunches, the Marine Corps lunches were bigger and better than the others.  Oooohhh,,raaaahhhh!!

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