Fond Du Lac Follies: Improvise, adapt, overcome.....

By Jim Northrup Jr.
News From Indian Country December 2010

We did it, the Fond du Lac area Marines, Gyrenes, Leathernecks, Sea Going Bell Hops, Jarheads, Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children, Grunts, and Ogichidaag of the area felt the thrill of saying Gung Ho to one another.

We had a Marine Corps Ball celebrating 235 years of Marine Corps history. The event was held at the Fond du Lac Reservation Golf Course Clubhouse. I don’t know of any other Rez besides the Navajo who do this.

I think the bulk of the credit should be directed at my cousin Trapper, he was in Iraq as a combat Marine, I am sure the Rez Veteran’s Service Officer Chuck helped organize the celebration. Chuck served in Vietnam.

We begin eating to begin the celebration. I started seeing Marines I hadn’t seen in years. Various thoughts and phrases began firing through my brain housing group randomly:

Improvise, adapt, overcome, Eat the apple – you know the rest, Secure your gear, The smoking lamp is lit for one cigarette and I am going to have that one, L shaped ambush, Front towards enemy, If the Army or the Navy ever look on heaven’s scenes, they will find their wives are sleeping with the United States Marines, Ditty Bopper, Hooch, Rubber Lady, Mighty Mite, 106, Tank, Otter, Amtrac, Brasso, Renew, Peter Boat, APA, Mike Boat, Ontos, Gungy, skating, H& S, Hide and slide, Splib dude, Chucks, Chief, Pepper Gut, Pineapple, Pogey Bait, Slop Chute, Brig Rat, Sea Lawyer, Humping one more click, Smokey the bear hat, Bad Time, In the rear with the beer, BCD, Gunny, Danang, An Hoa Honcho, Short timer, Little Agony, Big Agony, Mid-rats, Letter Company, Six By, Jodi, Boom-boom, Purple Hurt, Idiot Award, 8th and I, Butter Bar, Railroad Tracks, Rockers, K-Bar, Sandbagging, Skivy shirts, Boonies, Boondockers, Rough Side Out, Semper Fi, Always Faithful, Semper Gumby, Always Flexible, PRC-6, PRC-10, Chow hound, Mess Duty, snuffy, Field Day, Junk on the Bunk, Things on the springs, Stacks on the Racks, John Wayne Cs, Canteens, 782 Gear, Grunt, Short rounds, Maggies drawers, Hashmarks, The Suck, Cattle Cars, Office Hours, UCMJ, Special Courts, Field jacket, CS Gas, Brown Side out, Green side out, As you were, Battle Dressing, Recon by fire, MPCs and Ps,O dark 30, Miltary crest, Fighting hole, Fix bayonets, Liberty Call, I’ll grab you by your stacking swivel and shake up your nomenclature, Give me a hus, You’re bouncing ladies, Heels, heels, heels, Vertical butt stroke, MCRD, Hold ‘em and squeeze ‘em, First Shirt, Ambush, patrols, Sneak and peek, Better you than me, Body Count.
The final course was the Marine Corps Cake. A Marine who served in Vietnam read the message from the Commandant.

The oldest Marine present and the youngest cut the cake using an NCO sword. We were following the traditions we had learned over the years. The oldest Marine was from WW Two, the youngest was from Iraq/Afghanistan wars.

The bar was open all evening and I didn’t see anyone overdo it. We sang the Marines Hymm, I got misty eyed. I think we all walked out of there at the end of the evening with our backs a little straighter, our shoulders a little back, our paces – a 30” inch step. Our eyes were a little narrower as if we were looking for japs, chinks, gooks, or towel heads.

235 years old? Heck Marine, you don’t look a day over 200.


Fond du Lac Follies jetted to Tennessee on my last airline ride. It was the latest Fed scare and choice called backscatter X-ray or Enhanced patdowns. Strange, just about the time the Feds are done using the colored security placards warning of terrorist (bogeyman) insurgents attacks.

When I first checked on an airline ticket I was quoted a price for the trip, there and back. By the time I purchased the tickets the cost had risen a bit over two hundred bucks in two weeks.
At the Minneapolis airport I found a long walk to the gate. I entered the queue for the first metal screening, hoping the stainless steel stents in an artery wouldn’t set off the alarm. I removed the metal from my pockets, took off my shoes and and walked through the machine. I walked through okay but my carry on bag had to go through twice and a hand search was required. I got dressed while the Blue Shirts passed my bag along. Then I had a choice radiation or fondling I joined the opt out line. Guilty until proven innocent?

The rest of this story will be in next month’s Follies. It will include meeting parts of the Stansberry family, The ride around Bristol Motor Speedway, the ride down the quarter mile of the Thunder Valley Drag Strip and the rest of the stories.

Mii iw.

Mii saw iw.


The views expressed here belong to the writer alone. They are not meant to represent anyone but the writer. Comments can be sent to FdL Follies, PO Box 16, Sawyer, MN 55780-0016 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.