He’d Like to Stop Traffic with It

04/25/2012 § 10 Comments

Photo of a utility building between the last 2 locks on the pacific end of the Panama Canal

I might be small but I am one of the most important buildings in
the world.  I oversee the last two locks on the Pacific end of the
Panama Canal.  I am responsible for the ups and downs of
much of the world’s cargo.  I never tire of that pun.

I took this photo in Oct. 1972 as my destroyer was headed for Vietnam.  Click here to see how new construction will double the capacity of the canal by 2015.  Note how ships are pulled through the locks by tractors.

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§ 10 Responses to He’d Like to Stop Traffic with It

  • dhphotosite says:

    He is such a control freak…telling everyone what to do. You pull in here and stop…you wait… you go out first…
    What ship were you on John??

    Go NAVY!!!

  • jakesprinter says:

    It`s a great Dock Site , Nice work John thanks for sharing it 🙂

  • October 1972, I was in my first (hated) year of college. I saved the newspaper the following year (correct?) when Saigon fell to the Communists and watched on TV as helicopters were lifting people off the roof of the American Embassy. The people at the gates trying to get through, they knew their lives depended on getting out of Vietnam. Such a powerful moment in history, and what followed–Pol Pot. Frightening. I am sure you have some rivieting stories, many you might prefer to forget. A sober comment today, John. Thank you for your service to our country. I know a couple of men who didn’t make a back alive.

    • Our ship was sent home a month early after the Paris Peace Accords of January 27, 1973, ended direct U.S. involvement in the war. (It was after U.S. troops left that Saigon fell.) Pol Pot was the despot who ruined Cambodia, sending all the people in the cities into the countryside.

  • Traversing the entire Panama Canal (twice) was one of the highlights of my time in the Navy.

  • David Bidlack says:

    He is, at least, able to keep ships from barging in.

  • niasunset says:

    WOW! Seems that it would be amazing… Thank you dear John, with my love, nia

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