~ MESSAGE BOARD ~
6 Messages as of 7-11-10
Fun to see the old Haunts. Knew ol Erney Gains for a long time before his passing, along with Spider and that ol Gang of hard drinkers on the Beach.
I was with VA56 aboard USS Midway (AQ2 James Blackstock). In 1974 ,some of us spent the weekend at Gaines beach AO1 Jenkins had known Mr. Gaines and arranged it all. We had roast pig ,lumpia and fried rice and lots of San Miguel needless to say. It got kind of spooky as the crowd thinned out as these huge greasy looking wild dogs came out of the jungle. It was kind of scary when you went to the head as the dogs appeared to stalk you if you were singled out. I have fond memories of the weekend and yes some of those pictures did evoke feelings of sadness. Thank You so much for the memories in pictures.
Knew Ernie for a very long time in Subic and His little Beach hang out. Spent many a night out there and at Spyders Patch in the Barrio. Sad when he passd and things fell apart like so many other spots of interest like Josh Johnsons the Site. The Corruption of attempting to Gringo Business with the Philippino workers is overwhelming for a lot and adds to the demise of many. But the Subic site always brings back a few fond memories and lost Comrads still hanging out in some ExPat bar telling there stories and embelishd lies is forever part of my thaughts. Retired Navy and MSC and havent been back to Subic area in ..Well..Since Pinatubo blew its top and me and my Wife movd on. I was second eng on Kilauea in SRF when it went off and what an Exciting time that was. Stayed for about a year before moving to the states. Saw a lort of changes through the years. First memories were dirt streets in the early 60s and hanging out at Tommys Bar and Old Piano player crooning to us. Hay always close in saying "Wasnt that a Time" ....Always ask if theres anyone left who remember me. Feel free to E...Frank Blackstone ......out...still kikin!
Ken MRC(SW) Retired
I was also a long time friend of Ernie, I had visited his beach quite a few times on liberty until finally getting Station Dito in 88. I was the last guest/resident of the place, had the little house by the pond ..I was there when Ernie died and for a while following that. Linda kinda lost it and ended up getting involved with the Manila movie star crowd and took out many loans against the resort, I watched the place just fall apart into poverty, finally had problems with Lindas nuttiness and she asked me to leave the place .It finally completely disintegrated and the last time I saw it in 92 it was just in ruins I dont know what happened to Linda and all, I only have regrets and sorrow for the loss of Ernie and the failure of Linda to keep his legacy.
John Markham, KD6VKW, CTMC/EWCS, USN (ret.)
Hi, Howard, I was poking around for pictures and stories of Gaines Beach and I found your site. Nice. You triggered lots of good memories. I was in the Navy from 1962 to 1982, retired as a Senior Chief. I got hooked up with Ernie Gaines via a buddy, a chief Photographers Mate on one of my ships, USS Oriskany (CV-34). Ernie had also been a Photographers Mate before he retired from the Navy, according to my buddy. I visited Gaines Beach numerous times during two cruises on Oriskany between 1974 and 1975/76. 'Po-town was fun but Gaines Beach was special. As you said, the area of Gaines Beach had been a submarine base during WWII. The water near the shore still had some pilings from a long-ago pier and one of Ernie's great regrets was agreeing to let some UDT people try to clear some of the pilings to provide better access to Ernie's new dock. They used too much of something that goes boom and they destroyed his dock. It wasn't a total loss, however, as Ernie was fond of wailing about it as he retold the story, "They blew up my dock!" Fresh water was an issue when I was there. Apparently there was a spring on the mountainside that produced potable water but Ernie's attempts to bring it down to the beach were routinely thwarted by people who stole his pipes. He eventually gave up, I think. Ernie wanted to build another, particular boat ... and maybe he eventually did ... I don't know. The boat in question was to be a Gaines Beach Ferry. Although a few lucky souls went to Gaines Beach on an amphibious craft, like a "duck," most of us paid a few pesos for a banca boat ride. Ernie didn't think too much of those banca boats. "Somebody's gonna drown coming over here," he said. He wanted something more substantial but I don't know if he ever built it. Thanks for the photos of the building remnants. It looks from the foundations that there was some additional construction done after 1976. I don't remember any brick/stone structures of that size. When I was there, the bar was the biggest building on the ground; there were some cabins that I think were elevated on posts. My memory is a little shaky.
I knew and worked for Chief Ernie Gaines in 1965 at his boat building yard (which was across the bay from what became Gaines Beach) at the old Sub pens from WWII. Had met the Chief while stationed at Subic Special Services (I ran the Rec boat Subic Star) from 62-64. He had retired and had his boat building business across the bay and since I'd recently gotten married to a local girl and was coming back after discharge I asked him if I could work for him. He made no commitment to me, then. He was building Thunderbird Class sailboats with hardware and sails imported from Hong Kong. After Subic, and for my last year, I was stationed aboard the USS Kitty Hawk CVA 63 and wrote to the chief to find out if there was a job available with him. He wrote back, said he thought I was crazy, and that if I wanted a job he could use a "material handler" to run to and from Manila, retrieve hardware and goods from his Chinese importers and bring them back to the boat yard. Pay: Five pesos a day. The exchange rate was about 3.50/$1. I said yes, and upon my discharge took a jeep out from Olongapo to Calapandayan and caught a bangka across the bay to the boat yard where I met the Chief who, while chomping on one of his ever-present cigars, reiterated that he thought I was crazy. But he gave me the job and for the next 3 months I shlepped hardware and boxes of goods to the yard from Manila, and got to know his lovely wife, who at the time, I believe was a lady from France. He had a son, who at the time was about 12 and I'm not sure but believe he also had a daughter. I've included some of this in my novel, BAMBOO. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bamboo-David-Namerow/dp/0738844233 . Thanks for refreshing the wonderful memories.