Fred Remembers-Part 13

18 Nov


 Judy Wills


Shortly after we were settled in Danville, Dad took off for Japan.  We waited patiently, expecting it to be a long wait (for us to join him in Japan); however, one of the serendipities was that the powers-that-be on the Air Force Base in Tokyo had arranged to alleviate the housing shortage by allowing selected people to actually build a small house on the property just adjacent to the base.  It was leased property, and we could build the house and then sell it when we left, to somebody else who would eventually then sell it to the Japanese.

So, I believe it was for about $3,300 Dad built, or had built, a three-bedroom, single bath house – no garage.


Charles at the back of the house

Front of the house

It was done sometime in either April or May of 1955.  So instead of having an 18-month wait, we had a much shorter wait.  In early May, we got on a ship in Oakland, California, and 21 days later, arrived in Yokohama, Japan.  That was an interesting trip, itself (more on this later).

We enjoyed the little house there in Tachikawa AFB, in Japan.  We lived on base in one of 10 or 12 small houses on the edge of the base, right next to a Sentry Dog training area.

Charles wrote:   While waiting for the house to be built, I lived in the BOQ, of course, which had the advantage of being close to the Officers Club where I took all my meals. The food there was excellent and cheap. The club dues were something like $2.00 per month, and for that we received one dinner per month free!  The Tachi O’Club was also famous for “Smily” and his orchestra which was also very good.



Credit Google Search and Fiveprime


Dad had the 1955 Chevy shipped over to Japan.  He had to drive on the left side, like the British. After less than one year, a taxi company offered to pay full price for the car.  If it had been plain black and standard transmission, they would have paid double the price offered.

After Dad sold the Chevy to the taxi company, Dad bought a second-hand 1950 Buick  station wagon “Woody” – with wood on the sides.  It was a bucket of bolts, and we didn’t travel in it very much.  Most of our trips were made by train.

We had a lot of interesting experiences in Japan.  In the time before we got there, Dad had discovered that one of the things the Japanese had done was a lot of construction.  A 2-3 hour trip of about 50 miles away in the mountains west of Tokyo, they were building a dam, called the Ogochi Dam.  At that time, I think, it was about the fifth or sixth largest dam in the world.  We could go out there on an excursion on Saturday or Sunday and watch them build it. It was an adventure just to drive out there, because the roads were in terrible shape, with huge potholes, some that would almost swallow up a whole car.  But we usually made it out there safely, and enjoyed the scenery en route. The drive and the dam were quite spectacular.


Photo credit wikipedia


Charles wrote:  Tachikawa was a lovely assignment. The religious program was full and satisfying.  We were comfortable in our little home and on base.  We were close enough to downtown Tokyo to get there by rail or to drive there on avenues K or L.  We drove down Japan Highway #1 to Oiso for a day at the beach and on another occasion drove to the Gohra hot springs area where we enjoyed the baths, and our children could climb Mount Fuji.  We drove north to the resort city of Karuizawa, on wretched roads, to see our daughter Emily enjoy a stay with friends there.  Our favorite drive on a Sunday afternoon was to see the Ogochi dam, following a winding river road in the mountains.  For a trip in winter time we took the Romantic Railroad to Nikko and enjoyed several days on the ski slopes with a chaplain friend and his family.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

2 Responses to “Fred Remembers-Part 13”

  1. divoran09 November 18, 2018 at 4:46 pm #

    great post


  2. GP Cox November 18, 2018 at 7:43 am #

    I’m glad you remember!!

    Liked by 1 person

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