quonset hangar

At the Southernmost edge within the base's double fence but behind its own fence, this Quonset hangar, WWII Japanese type, with a large concrete slab in front of it in a state of neglect and disrepair. An unsightly patch not yet completely cleared out. The concrete slabs are broken and damaged in spots. Grass growing in the cracks. Chunks all around. A good place to catch lizards. Not a proper tarmac but very large broken slabs. It had been bombed. U.S. forces bombed it. Then took it. All their bases are belong to us and I lived for a while at one of them.

My brother and I found that large carefully fenced areas all have weakness. The larger, the weaker. To find them, reconnoiter the perimeter. The fences must follow the terrain. Fence engineers are very clever at managing interruptions, water drainages, ravines, ditches and such, there are effective ways of handling all that, the hills, and bumps, and valleys, and ridges, geological unsteady situations and geographical disruptions to mathematical straight lines that fences by nature adhere to are all handled with impressive and obvious skills. But fences can never quite stay put. It rains, things shift, the terrain actually moves, every year it does, and the fences are maintained but nothing is perfect. Keep looking the weaknesses are sometimes surprisingly glaring you have only to find a gap. And of course people cut them.

As children we'd pass through military fences, double fences with split tops containing wound razor wire, go right through them, over them, under them, as if those exclusionary efforts and clear warnings and strong keep out messages are all mere suggestion.

Turns out the hangar was used to store window screen frames for all the houses in the whole area. Piled up to a mountain. A stack of piled up not quite discarded screen windows. A whole hangar to ourselves and nobody there to chase us off.  And a big fat rope hanging right there from the exact center of the hangar, from the tippy top all the way to the floor. 


Too perfect. 

A trap! 

As if used to lift engines from Mitsubishi Zeros, or perhaps previous American boys had their own secret playground and we found it.  Whatever. It is completely ace! Given all that, what are boys to do? 

This would be the pinnacle of my secret place unearthing, monkey-climbing and Tarzan swinging achievements to date. A full-on airplane hangar! 

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