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PLEASE HELP WITH MISSING PERSON, plus, “SALUTE TO VETS PT. II,” PATRIOTS-JETS, and HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPH. ALL EXCLUSIVE TO THE PLANET!

BY DAN VALENTI

Missing Person; Can You Help?

The Planet has been requested by concerned friends and family to ask if anyone out there has word on the whereabouts of Richmond veterinarian Michael Roth. Roth, who has a mobile medical practice, has been missing for about a week, according to information received this morning.

Roth has this posted on his page at “Meet Up” — “Hi everybody. I am a vegan veterinarian living just over the NY line in Richmond, MA with my vegan dog and cat. My interests include gardening, downhill skiing, concerts, (especially blues), hiking, and biking.” We could not post images from that site, but they are available there.

Anyone with information on Mr. Roth is asked to contact The Planet (danvalenti@verizon.net) or the State Police barracks in Lee at 413/243/0600. All information will be held in confidence.
Although the state police would neither confirm or deny that a missing persons case has been opened, we have word from another local veterinarian that Roth’s family has contacted police and that a case may soon be opened.

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Ten Hut! The Planet Presents “Hail to the Veterans” II

Our first vet salute went to Richard Carlota, who saw front-line action with the Army infantry in Korea in the early 1950s. Today, we move ahead to the Cold War era, a time of mistrust and apprehension, a near nuclear way during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, and the last great glowing of old-fashioned, John Wayne-type patriotism (we don’t consider the Sara Palin type genuine in the least).

Today, we salute Buddy Lewis, who served aboard the USS Bashaw SS241 submarine on active duty from 1962-1964.

“This was at the height of the cold war, when submarine activity was very active for both the United States and Russia,” Lewis says. “They would ‘snoop’ around our coastal cities as we did theirs. Although this was during the nuclear submarine days, The Bashaw was a World War II retrofitted diesel, that is, ‘pig boat.’

The USS Bashaw

“There were four boats identical to this in Pearl Harbor. The Navy used them for reconnaissance missions in and around The Bering Sea. We were often submerged for more than 60 days at a time, only to come up to about 50 feet at night to run the engines to charge the batteries. I truly enjoyed my tour of duty. It was a true adventure and the basis of a zillion stories. There is a great book about the sub service during this period. It is called Blind Man’s Bluff. It goes into these activities, both ours and theirs, during that period.”

COVETED SERVICE AWARD: This plaque acknowledges Buddy Lewis' service aboard the USS Bashaw during the height of the Cold War.

Submarines provided a key element of the U.S. nuclear strategy during the Cold War. That strategy employed deterrent as a defensive key. If the enemy knew that an attack would bring an equal or worse reprisal, it would reduce the chances of nuclear war.

Men selected for submarine service in this era underwent strenuous academic, technical, and physical training. Even today, the washout rate for submarine service is about 90 percent.

The Navy launched the Bashaw (named after a type of catfish) on July 25, 1943 and commissioned it on Oct. 25 of that year. The Bashaw won five battle stars in WWII. The Navy decommissioned the Bashaw on Sept. 13, 1969 and sunk it during target practice in July 0f 1972.

Please join The Planet in out salute to Buddy Lewis, to all submariners past and present, and to all men and women who answered the nation’s call of service.

If you wish to nominate a veteran for Planet Honors, please send information to this information to danvalenti@verizon.net. Include a JPEG of any citations, medals, patches, photos, and the like. We would be glad to salute them.

Super Still, or “From Bad to Verse”

Yes, the New England Patriots lost yesterday, but they remain super still. Patriots fans have enjoyed a long run of success going back to the team’s first Super Bowl win in 2002. Three more Super Bowl game, and two more world championships, came our way. We thus congratulate the New York Jets for their victory and wish them well against the Pittsburgh Steelers this week.

Last year, the Jets reached the AFC championship game and came up short, so actually, as coach Rex Ryan said, the Jets haven’t done a thing yet. Lose against the Steelers, and they are in the same place as last year after losing the title game to the Colts. Win and they continue to a place they haven’t been since 1969 and Joe Willie was wearing pantyhose and a Fu Manchu.

Meanwhile, the Planet offers this verse as our reflection on yesterday’s game:

ODE TO THE PATRIOTS

There is no fire of crackling boughs

on the hearth of our Patriot heroes.

There is no contentment of brown-eyed cows

who lie in the Gang Green meadows.

Now do the cheerleaders whisper vows

in the gloaming. The Jets move on, roaming,

to try for a ring on the finger.

The Patriots move on to the April draft.

Though it won’t last for long, the mists linger.

Ah, they must leave us now and go away

far from the heavens where we had hoped to play.

Hillbilly Heaven

Who says there aren’t hillbillies in Berkshire County? As with the debate over Sasquash and the Loch Ness Monster, scientists, academics, and sophisticates in tuxedos have long argued over the presence of hillbillies in the high-toned Berkshires. Now comes this startling photograph.

We can’t reveal the site of this picture, except to say it is in North County. We need to keep the location secret because, even as we speak, a scientific expedition to the site — led by the famous explorer Sir Tiberius Fruitjuice — makes its way to this potentially historic area.

"Otis" poses in front of his "outdoor theater" in the Berkshire hills. The set-up is rigged for cable TV, heat, and refreshments.

You will notice in the picture that Otis has a TV hooked up (screen visible behind him). Otis wears his favorite coveralls. They display the patina of engine grease, fatback, and plain old dirt.

Information is scant on this amazing photo, but data gleaned by The Planet’s photographic experts have determined it was taken Dec. 31, 2010. This indicates that we may be looking at a hillbilly ringing in the New Year in what for him is no doubt considered style.

Already this picture has prompted panic in the streets. Villagers armed with clubs, coming fresh from a showing of “The Bride of Frankenstein,” have taken to the hills to hunt down the beast. The burgermeister, of course, is leading them.

MORE LATER. TUNE IN TONIGHT FOR ADDITIONAL CONTENT!!

5 Responses to “PLEASE HELP WITH MISSING PERSON, plus, “SALUTE TO VETS PT. II,” PATRIOTS-JETS, and HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPH. ALL EXCLUSIVE TO THE PLANET!”

  1. REX
    January 17, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

    Hope that they find Mr. Roth.
    Nice post today. Warm, light hearted, and enjoy the aslute to vets. Enjoy especially that you aren’t overdoing it with false patriotism etc. but every so often. Keep this series going at the same interval.

  2. rick leab
    January 17, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    Thanks to Dr. Roth, two of my dogs were euthanised in the comfort of home, rather than spending their last moments on a stainless steel table. I hope Michael is OK, he’s a good guy.

  3. Jethro Bodine
    January 17, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    Golly, Uncle Jed. We oughtta invite Otis to our home. We can eat in the Fancy Eatin Room, use the Pot Passers, and take a dip in the cee-ment pond.

  4. just saying
    January 19, 2011 at 5:58 am #

    Prayers go out to Mr. Roth and his family.
    Keep up the posts honoring the veterans, great stories so far.
    On the topic of hillbillies, there are plenty of us here in the lovely Berkshires. Its not all tanglewood and jacobs pillow, there are in fact quite a few folks who live here year round and can take care of themselves just fine.

  5. fort william
    February 9, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    Why don’t you discuss in detail on best whiskey?