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Things Don’t Go According To Hoyle June 16, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People.

Continued from . . . RATS!

A year in the Army was enough for dad; he chose not to re-enlist and his letters began to focus on his longing to be home.

On June 19th, he wrote:

“In another week I will have been in the army a year.  I think they expect me to re-enlist.  How mistaken they are.  I guess I might be sorry that I came in  the army if I had ended up in the Infantry.  As it is, I certainly want to get home, but I will have some good experience behind me, the G.I. Bill of Rights, had a chance to travel, etc.”

Wikipedia ~ Whist (in Public Domain)

“It is unofficial and I don’t want you to count on it, but there is a possibility of getting out a little early.  A law has been enacted which allows 18 month enlistees to be discharged up to 60 days prior to time of normal discharge.  If full advantage were taken of this I could be on my way home in two months.”

“Rumors have it that a greater number of ships than usual are coming to Korea during the next two months.  My guess is that I will be home a little early.”

“Don’t let anyone overestimate this information and be disappointed if things don’t go according to Hoyle.”

On July 6th, to Margaret:

“I am still reading some books but I am getting tired of that too.  I am going to be glad to get home.”

After a quick trip to China, he wrote to Marjorie on August 30th:

“I don’t know whether you have received it but while I was in China I picked up a small item and mailed it to you.  I believe that I owe you a graduation present so you can consider the Chinese souvenir as such.”

“Just when do you start college?  When you get started you had better write and tell me what subjects you are taking.  That is if I don’t leave for home first.  It looks as though I will leave here for the states in about a month.”

On September 7th, he wrote his father:

“Right now I have charge of a case which involves some influential members of the South Korea Labor Party (old Communist Party which changed its name) in an attempted mass murder of Rightests.”

“I have been handling the case for several weeks and in a few days I expect to turn in a 30-35 page report.”

Overall, he felt that his time in the service was time well spent.  In a letter dated September 22nd to his father:

“In one week, I will have served fifteen months in the Army.  Naturally, it has seemed a long time and I have been waiting anxiously for the day when I could again throw my G.I. clothing into my duffel bag, throw the bag over my shoulder, and travel (in the opposite direction) the same route I traveled nearly one year ago.”

“However, I cannot help but feel that my decision to enlist in the army was the correct one for me to make.  During the past year I have been able to gain knowledge and background practically impossible for me to obtain in a similar period had I chosen to remain in college.  Instead of interrupting my education, this time spent in the army has increased my evaluation [of the value of higher education] and has tremendously increased my zest to return to college.  It has also relieved me of the financial burden of a college education and has assured me that once I again start to college I will not have to worry that a monetary shortage could cause me to discard my plan to obtain at least one degree.”

On October 6th:

“Well I am still here in Korea, however Butler has left and Swinnerton and I expect to be on orders at any time.  The boat we expect to leave on arrives at Inchon on the 17th.”

On October 7th:

“The headquarters building of the Replacement Depot here burned down a week ago.  It was in this building that orders were cut for men going home.  Naturally, many orders were burned along with many records of discharge dates, etc.  We wondered for a few days whether this would delay our return.  As far as we can determine, we will leave at the same time we would have left anyway.”

Concludes next Monday . . . Homeward Bound!

* * *

Today is our 30th Wedding Anniversary!  If things go according to Hoyle, we’ll be out and about celebrating for some/most/all of the day.


Please leave a message at the . . . *BEEP*


Remember . . . Wine improves with age.  Age improves with wine.  Life improves with laughter.

Related posts:  Sailing The Maine Coast * Revel in Uncertainty * Brave New Adventures * Never Confuse an RV With an ATV


1. Jill Weatherholt - June 16, 2014

Wow, I’m sure he was nervous when the HQ building burned. I hope he gets home next week!
Happy Anniversary, Nancy! Enjoy your special day!

nrhatch - June 16, 2014

Thanks, Jill! We’re having a fun day. I got flowers and a card from BFF and gave him a funny homemade card/booklet which he enjoyed. We went out for lunch, toured some model homes while considering the possibilities, and then hit the jackpot when the mail came ~> lots and lots of Anniversary greetings.

Best of all . . . NO BILLS in the mail. 😎

nrhatch - June 16, 2014

I don’t think I would have handled the burning of the HQ building as well as he did. What a stoic response.

2. Barbara - June 16, 2014

Your dad realized that his time in the Army was a valuable experience he wouldn’t have gotten had he not joined up.
Happy Anniversary!

nrhatch - June 16, 2014

Thanks, Barb! We learn so much from experiences in life ~ both good and bad. The mix of highs and lows makes life more interesting.

We’re having a great day. Had lunch at Longhorn Steakhouse ~ our first time there. Loved the Parmeson Crusted Asparagus appetizer. Never had anything like it before. We were too full for dessert . . . so we’ll need to continue the celebration later this week.

3. ericjbaker - June 16, 2014

What, no back-up server for discharge orders? What kind of army were they running back then?!

I first encountered the phrase “According to Hoyle” in 1994 in the film “Pulp Fiction,” when Samuel L Jackson was arguing with John Travolta about whether they had just witnessed a miracle or a freak occurrence (someone had earlier emptied a handgun at them from point-blank range, and every bullet missed). Jackson says, “Whether or not what we experienced was an According to Hoyle miracle is insignificant. What is significant is that I felt the touch of God.”

I recall thinking, “What? Who’s Hoyle? I don’t remember a character named Hoyle in the movie!”

Later I got the DVD, heard it again, looked it up.

We live and learn.

nrhatch - June 16, 2014

When I read my dad’s letter, I remembered hearing the expression before (maybe from him, maybe from Samuel L. Jackson), got the sense of what it meant, but didn’t gleen its origin. So, I went and looked it up. The new fangled way ~ via google!

I think the back up orders were via carbon copy back then. 😎

4. Pix Under the Oaks - June 16, 2014

I am anxious for your Dad to get on that boat and get home.. 😀
Happy Anniversary you two! Enjoy your day!!!
Will there be any Heavenly Cupcakes?

nrhatch - June 16, 2014

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Pix. Loved your card this morning. No cupcake . . . yet.

We went out for lunch, split an appetizer (parmeson crusted asparagus ~ yum!) and an entree and both felt too full for dessert.

Which means . . . the celebration will continue later this week.

5. katecrimmins - June 16, 2014

Love the picture of you and the hubs in the inner tube. Happy anniversary. That is an accomplishment! Many people never make it to 30 for one reason or the other.

nrhatch - June 16, 2014

Thanks, Kate. I love that photo of us.

One ICKY part about that day ~> after getting out to the raft, and getting our drinks, I saw a bunch of EELS swimming through the water. EWWW . . .

We’re having a fun day. After lunch, we stopped at Palma Sola Bay Club to check out the model homes ~ the units on the 3rd floor are super nice. Gorgeous breezes. They’ve only completed the first of 23 buildings (with 9 units per building). So we won’t be moving anytime soon. But it’s a contender.

katecrimmins - June 16, 2014

Ooohhh! I want to hear more about those!

nrhatch - June 16, 2014

Which? The eels or the model homes? 😎

I’m assuming model homes:

6. Silver in the Barn - June 16, 2014

I wonder what that small gift from China was. And congratulations on a landmark anniversary.

nrhatch - June 16, 2014

You and me both, Barbara. I read all dad’s letters and didn’t see any other reference to what he sent Aunt Marjorie from China. So I’m as in the dark as you. Next time I talk to her, I’ll ask her if she remembers what it was.

7. Don - June 16, 2014

No place like home especially when you’ve been on active service. I really grasped and understood some of the feelings your Dad must have had of coming home. Love these posts.

Happy anniversary to you both Nancy. Celebrate well.

nrhatch - June 16, 2014

Thanks, Don. We’re having a fun day. Home for a breather. Once it cools down a bit, we may head out for a walk on the beach to burn off some of the celebratory lunch we enjoyed.

I have often found that the best part of any vacation is walking in my front door at its conclusion. I imagine that feeling would be magnified upon discharge from active duty.

8. suzicate - June 16, 2014

Happy Anniversary!

nrhatch - June 16, 2014

Thanks, Suzi. We’re having fun. Ate at Longhorn Steakhouse for the first time. We didn’t get steak. 😎

Loved the parmeson crusted asparagus and the corn fritters.

9. jannatwrites - June 16, 2014

That would be worrisome to wonder if your orders to go home got destroyed. Glad he made it home.

Happy anniversary – have fun!

nrhatch - June 16, 2014

I would be on pins and needles waiting to hear if I was still going home ~ dad definitely sounded ready to return to the states.

Thanks, Janna. We went for a bike ride, had a lovely lunch, toured the model homes in a new neighborhood, and opened up a stack of cards from friends, family and each other. We may hit the beach for a stroll before dinner.

10. Val Boyko - June 16, 2014

Your Dad’s journey is so interesting. I expect of we were to look at an early letter and then a later one we would really see his inner growth, clarity and strength of character.
Happy Anniversary!!
Mine is thursday … June is a wonderful time of year 🙂

nrhatch - June 16, 2014

Here are his first letters:

From the outset, he knew that he was enrolling in the military for the GI Benefits to help pay for college. The biggest change I noticed is that the “excitement” of being away from home gave way to excitement to return home.

Happy (almost) Anniversary to you, Val. June is a popular month for weddings.

11. Eric Tonningsen - June 17, 2014

My dad served in Korea too. I still recall many of the detail stories he shared as we were growing up. Nice photos, too, Nancy. Love your closing ‘mantra.’ So very true.

Happy Anniversary and thanks for the Longhorn Steakhouse review. We just had a new one open up near us.

nrhatch - June 17, 2014

Here’s to laughter! BTW: After leaving these comments, I checked out the Nutritional Information for Longhorn ~ Yowsa! We don’t eat out often. Seeing the calories, fat, sodium in what we ate for lunch reminded me WHY we fix most meals at home.

At least we skipped the 1680 calorie dessert we had considered before getting too full to enjoy it. 😎

Eric Tonningsen - June 17, 2014

Yikes! Perhaps we’ll pass. Thanks for even more helpful information.

nrhatch - June 17, 2014

Longhorn offers several meals under 500 calories which feature chicken, seafood, and beef.

After a lighter than usual dinner last night, our nutrition for the day ended on an even keel. But eating out really can be a minefield for the unwary diner.

12. diannegray - June 17, 2014

Happy Anniversary, Nancy. I love the pics (but not the eels! yikes) 😉

nrhatch - June 17, 2014

Agreed on the eels. If I had seen them while still on shore, that’s where I would have stayed. The waitresses wandered around oblivious to the slippery beasts.

And thanks! We had a great day yesterday and plan to resume the celebration tomorrow with a Happy Hour out and about.

13. Three Well Beings - June 18, 2014

Happy Anniversary…a day or two late from me, but I am sure you’re celebrating beyond one day. 🙂 I am so pleased to read another installment of your dad’s story, and I’m hoping that his release to come home is forthcoming! My husband is convinced that his draft number and papers were lost in a Pasadena fire related to a Vietnam War protest…he really should have been called up, and wasn’t. Your dad’s concern about the lost paperwork was probably very, very real! I’m staying tuned for the “what’s next?” 🙂

nrhatch - June 18, 2014

Thanks, Debra. We’re continuing the celebration today. I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed dad’s letters home. Your husband might be right about lost draft numbers and papers. I’m sure it happened from time to time because . . . things don’t always go according to Hoyle. 😎

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