Could everyone write one simple essay about something that once happened in Saltaire…that they saw or were a part of…and put it on one big website? Somebody should collect a lot of stories before we all forget. Otherwise it is like a line in “On The Beach” : The history of the war that now would never be written.” -(JO'H)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dialogue on Uncle Pete

Picture by Hank Stillgebauer
Re presented August 2012 in:
 O'Hare, Jim "Six Personalities from Saltaire, 1950's and 1960's"
On Jul 3, 2012,  "JO'H" wrote:
You know how everybody has a story about how their true talents were wasted when they went into the military?
Capt. Peter Kurachek puts a lie to those stories. During World War II  Uncle Pete served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Corps readying young men for combat. I couldn't think of a more perfect MOS for Uncle Pete.

Uncle Pete's training was mere preparation for his days as swimming teacher in Saltaire.

Beaver responds:
You're damn right Uncle Pete's military training was a mere warm-up for his Saltaire swimming lessons. Who the hell do you think wrote the training manual for BUDS training for prospective Navy SEAL's?? We were the 10-12 yr old Guinea Pigs for current SEAL training. I've seen BUDS training on the Military Channel and I've yet to see the cadre out in CA make the SEAL recruits swim in seaweed and leech filled water. I've yet to see a zinc nosed, greased up Godzilla sized instructor leap on a recruit while going through drown proofing. Hell, all of us were 12 yr old candidates for SEAL Team 6.

Duncan Dobie,  7-4-2012:

For the past two weeks I’ve been teaching swimming lessons to teenagers at Camp Sunshine, the children’s cancer camp in Georgia. It, it was our 30th year celebration and my 30th year as a volunteer. Over the years, I’ve taught dozens of kids to swim, using the tried and true techniques we were all taught by our unforgettable mentor in Saltaire so long ago. You better believe I told some of those kids about my “Seal Team 6” training by Uncle Pete and I always reinact our “life-saving” technique that Uncle Pete branded into our brains. If you didn’t go underwater and swim behind him he would engulf you with his Hulk-like body, wrap his arms around you and pull you under with no mercy. Little kids usually have almost no fear of the water and they learn very quickly. But you get a 15 year old who has never been around water and they’re terrified to put their heads under. I had one girl who was a “sinker.” I remember Uncle Pete talking about sinkers and floaters. As I remember, I think he taught us that about 10 percent of the people are sinkers, that is, they cannot float at all, even in salt water. Every time this girl got in the water and tried to swim she went down like the Titanic. Just think, thanks to Uncle Pete all of us could have been heroes in the Seals, Special Forces, Forced Recon, FBI HRT and others, but apparently none of us took advantage of that one-of-kind training.

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