a lot of the advertising photographs for American Bottling Company,
Okinawa distributor for Bireley's soft drinks and bar mixes. Photographing
the glass bottles provided an education in lighting and product photography.
Jim McGuire Sr. and his son, Jim McGuire Jr. operated this enterprise that
distributed beverages throughout Okinawa. The McGuire's were always
kind to me, and hope the best happened for them.
One of the salesmen, I have forgotten his name, was an
Okinawa native and had served Japan in WW2, as a Kamikaze pilot. The story,
as he told it, went something like this: His village was in Northern
Okinawa and the men had all been drafted into the Japanese Army.
One day, when he was 12 or 13 years old, Japanese
soldiers came his village and rounded up all of the boys, 12 and older.
They were all taken to Japan and taught to fly a plane. The war ended
before he could fly a mission. I asked him, joking, if he was
disappointed. His answer, "Not really."
I sold three of the military clubs (Kadena Airmen's Club, Kadena Officer's
Club, and Naha Officer's Club) a monthly news paper. I charged them
$175 each and sold the back page to American Bottling Co. for the cost of
printing. Writing, layout, proofing, and printing took about 8 hours
each month and I cashed checks for over $500. That was a lot of money
I also had access to the Officer's
clubs. (I had to review the food and entertainment.)