Parks Stephenson


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Sparks, have fun. Might as well since you probably won't get a lot of sleep. I've seen all the ships you mentioned of course. Can't help it when you spend 14 years in San Diego.

Ever do any work on the George Washington? That was my last ship.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
I heloed over to the GW from the Cripoli for one day up in the Gulf and was amazed how advanced that carrier was over any of the ones I had been on up to that time. I still can't get over the fact that crews now get realtime satellite TV and e-mail! The biggest revolution I experienced was the coming of the VCR aboard ship...which now seems like ancient history!

Parks
 
Aw hell! The kids I met took VCRs, real-time e-mail and even satillite phone calls for granted by the time I got there. ATMs on the messdecks too. I remember when they were experimenting with the things for the first time back on the Ranger and MARS was how you called anybody back stateside. When I made it to the GW, nobody had any idea what MARS was.

I liked the location of the ships store too. One central location, reasonably close to some of the major storerooms, though not all, but it was a downhill trip to get stock to the store. (I still remember restocking the 03 geedunk on the Ranger from a storeroom on the second platform!) That was a lot easier on my 40 year old kneecaps.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
As you know, I was flying the E-2C off the Ranger. Our big secret was that we would use our HF radio to call a stateside Air Force base, who could then patch us to our house (kinda like an airborne MARS). We had to give it up because the Soviets could DF the HF signal and locate the Battle Group, but at least I got to talk to my sister just minutes before her wedding, halfway around the world.

Oh yea...I also remember the days before YNs received word processors. 'They' said computers would make us a paperless Navy, but all that happened was that the new technology inspired 'Them' to ask for more reports. I think more trees are felled nowadays than they were then. And they're STILL talking about a paperless Utopia. It'll never happen.

Parks
 
The idea of a paperless Navy is good for quite a belly laugh. I remember the first "paperless" ship I was on...the Mahlon S. Tisdale, and the overworked YN who was drowning in the stuff.

BTW, was that photo of a Luitenant E. Stephenson in the cruisebook one of you? If so, they screwed up a letter.

If you ever want to chat aviation, I think you have my e-mail address in your rig somewhere. I took some flying lessons while stationed at NAS Keflevik. Quite a challanging place to fly. High winds, unpredictable weather, icy runways...fun, fun, fun!

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Michael,

It's been so long (17 years!) that I can't honestly remember how my picture was captioned. If it's in VAW-112, then that's me (although I vaguely remember one cruisebook -- don't remember which one -- that put my picture in the wrong department). My middle initial is E., so maybe that explains it. I'm going to have to dig out my cruisebooks some day and take a look. Need to compare the picture from your website with your smiling face back then.

Even though I was an aviator, I spent less time flying than just about anything else. Here's the ships I served on:

USS Alexander Hamilton
USS Casimir Pulaski

after I received my commission:

USS Constellation (aircrew)
USS Ranger (aircrew)
USS Constellation
USS Midway (aircrew)
USS Independence
USS Belleau Wood
USS Tripoli

As you can see, I spent more time as ship's company than I did as aircrew. I started out as a bubblehead and ended up playing with the jarheads. Just couldn't make up my mind on what I wanted to do in the Navy, so I ended up doing a little bit of everything.

Parks
 
D

Dean Manning

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Parks,

I know the Marine Forensics Panel (SD-7) released a report on the findings of the 96' expedition. Do you know if they released one for the 98' expedition?

-Dean
 
Sparks, As I seem to recall, pilots and NFO's alike spent a helluva lot of time doing just about anything but flying. A major dissatisfier as I recall. Looks like you got around quite a bit. I've tried touring as meny ships as I can whenever I got the chance including a few foreign warships and a submarine or two. It was always a learning experience.

Officers aren't the only ones to wear a lot of hats. At various commands, I've done the DC maintainance man thing, phone talker in helo control, machine gunner on one ship, the usual medley of watches that people get stuck with on duty sections...and I may be one of the very few Ships Servicemen ever to serve on a snoopy team. I volunteered for it when I found out I had better references then the people on the signal bridge had. That NATO Major and Minor Warships Guide is a useless disaster! I'd quote what the signalmen and OS's thought of it, but you can't use that kind of language here.

I kept things like Janes Fighting Ships and Combat Fleets of The World handy, and still buy a new edition as soon as it's available. I could usually have a ship identified by class and name in 45 seconds with these references.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Hi, Parks!
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It's not exactly a welcome aboard, but I posted here since it didn't really "fit" anywhere else. I re-visited your web site last night, and it is very nice indeed. It does look like you've changed a few things since I last visited, so I'm not sure how "long in the tooth" it really is.
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Hey, one thing I didn't remember seeing -- new? -- is your son's Lego project. It's absolutely phenomenal work, and please tell him I said so! He deserves a lot of praise for that one. (I'll bet Dad helped out just a little bit, eh ...?)

Hey, if you get the chance, would you pop open a thread (or just follow up) on those Marconi comments you made in the Bristow thread -- the closed door session, etc.? I'm really intrigued by your thoughts on that, as I'd always assumed, based on Wyn Craig Wade's book, that the whole conference was just about letting the reporter Mr. M had sneaked aboard get his "exclusive". But I do have to wonder -- certainly Marconi had every motivation, business-wise, to "encourage" Bride to cast the company in a good light...

And, "DEBEG"??

Cheers!
John Feeney
 
John,

First of all, I almost didn't see your post here, because I thought this particular thread had passed away peacefully in its sleep. Then, I wrote a long reply and somehow managed to muck up posting it to the list, thereby losing everything I wrote. I'll try to remember what I wrote, but it's so hard to recreate genius. :)

Thank you for your LEGO comments...my son appreciates the compliment. He wants to dismantle the two because they take up a lot of room and he wants the LEGOs for some other construction. Before that happens, I need to take another set of photos, especially since I corrected some errors on Britannic. For those model builders out there, would you believe me if I told you that the lifeboat gantrys were painted grey? That is reflected in the new version of the model.

As far as Marconi is concerned, I don't believe I have enough concrete theories or evidence to justify a new thread. Basically, I have a gut feeling that Marconi talked about more than a mere newspaper interview during his closed-door session aboard Carpathia with Bride. Maybe it's because Marconi was quick with solicited and unsolicited comments during Bride's testimony. Maybe because Marconi was intentionally misleading about his relationship with DEBEG ("Deutsche Betriebsgesellschaft für Drahtlose Telegraphie" - the company formed by the combination of Telefunken and those portions of Marconi Marine which Kaiser Wilhelm II was able to appropriate for his merchantile marine). Although technically, Marconi was correct in asserting that he was on the DEBEG board of directors (a token position), in actuality he was suing DEBEG for patent infringement. Marconi claimed during the Senate Inquiry that the Frankfurt carried Marconi equipment made in Germany, when she really carried apparatus manufactured by Telefunken. And then there's the fact that Marconi had a lot at stake during the Senate Inquiry...Senator Smith was gunning for him, Marconi was in the States to oversee the takeover of the United Wireless Telegraph Co., and the outcome of the greatest maritime disaster appears to have been heavily influenced by the use of his equipment. Whether Marconi manipulated events or not, the fact remains that he profited from the disaster, probably more than anyone else.

So, basically I'm suspicious of Marconi. I won't even touch on the Marconi Scandal that surfaced the following year, which involved members of Mersey's Wreck Commission. I don't have specific accusations or conclusive evidence, but I just have trouble believing that Marconi walked aboard Carpathia with Bride's best interests foremost in his mind.

Parks
 
Hi, Parks!

Regarding your first paragraph, GOD I hate when that happens! (I usually do frequent cut-and-pastes to Notepad, just in case, but even that doesn't always save the day.) As for "re-creating genius", I have a hard enough time just trying to create it the first time around these days.
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"Aw, shucks" on the proposed demolition of the Lego fleet. They really are great!

As for the Marconi aspects, even what you've related here has certainly honed my interest. I'm tempted to "dig" about the Marconi/Mersey Commisson Scandal, but I must say I respect your integrity in not muckraking there. Thanks very much for filling me in -- I'll have to take a closer look at Bride's testimony, and see if I can catch the scent.

Cheers!
 
John,

Re: LEGO fleet...My son is torn between building Olympic to complete the fleet or dismantling the two already built. We don't have enough LEGOs to build a third ship and there's about $75 worth of bricks in each. Our financial situation may preclude new construction. Maybe we can merge with another Line? :)

Parks
 
Notice to all -- Parks had the misfortune of having his web server go out of business. As a result, his Titanic site is temporarily out of business and he is having trouble with all things "E". Parks did get a message out...he is alive and well and working on correcting the problem.

--David G. Brown
 
Dave,

Thank you for putting out the word. I am still able to exist in the virtual world in places which do not depend on my e-mail or website address (like this forum, for instance). I have lost everything that I had out on the Net (including pictures for current eBay auctions...gak!) and will be busy in the coming days/weeks finding a new home for my files. Therefore, I won't be posting much.

I find it hugely ironic that my files were kicked off the net at about the same time (GMT) that Titanic went down. A practical joke on someone's part? I don't know...that would have to be quite a sophisticated prank. Be that as it may, my Titanic site went down almost 89 years to the day that the actual ship went under.

My new provider, earthlink.net, has a 6 MB limit, before they force me to upgrade to a business account (which I can't afford). That may mean that I will not have the webspace to bring back my Titanic site. However, I would hate to have my Titanic site suffer the same fate as its namesake, so I will be looking for ways to bring it back. I also lost my "sparks12" moniker in the transition, so I'll have to come back as someone new.

All in all, I've had a depressing day. It's beautiful outside, tomorrow's Easter, and I've been forced to sit in front of my computer all day, just to salvage my eBay auctions. I'll still be up on my flash.net address for a while and will put out a message when I've transitioned everything to earthlink.net.

In the meantime, keep up the good work in my absence.

Parks
 
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