In November 1975 my mother flew out to Oxnard California to see her new grandson Alan. We picked her up at the airport and drove her to our home in Oxnard.
My mom loved her new grandson Alan. She would dotter over him. She loved him so very much!
On day while mom was with us in California, we decided to show her some of the sights the area had to offered. We decided to take a drive into the Malibu hills. We drove north up the Pacific coast highway and turned left onto the Sycamore Canyon road. The road was narrow with no guard rails. It winded up into the Malibu hills through switchback after switchback. I looked over at my mom. She was frightened. Her hands had a death grip on her seat. She asked me to slow down and I did. It did nothing to ease her fear of heights. Finally she laid down on the carpet in the van and covered her head with her arms.
Brenda and I felt sorry for her. I drove as smoothly as I could. We finely reached Malibu creek state park and mom got back in her seat. Her hair was desholved and her dress was wrinkled. However she was very glad to get off that scary winding mountain road. Malibu state park is very near the M*A*S*H outdoor filming location in the Malibu hills.
We sat at the picnic table at the park and ate the lunch we had packed. We sat and talked. It was a very pleasant November afternoon.
Soon we drove the winding road back down to sea level. Mom took her place on the van floor as we decended. I drove as careful as possible to minimize mom’s fear. We made it home and mom stayed on for a few more days. Then we tool her to the airport and she returned to Florida.
In March of 1976 I received orders to the fleet. We packed up our belongings and drove the 3000 miles from California to Florida.
As per my orders, I was to report to the USS Cleveland LPD-7. The ship was currently in Okinawa and I was to meet the ship there. I rented a small appartment in New Port Richey Florida for Brenda and then headed for Tampa and a flight to San Francisco and then to Okinawa where I would join the ship. I was sad to leave Brenda and Alan. However I had my orders and I must obey.