Our Ability to Achieve When We Believe, Lake Okeechobee, SLR/IRL

1968 Squadron VMCJ-2 Collection of Cory McDonald, Florida Memory Project
1968 Squadron VMCJ-2, EA-6B Prowler Jet, Collection of Cory McDonald, Florida Memory Project

10am Correction: I have been alerted that this plane is a MacDonald Douglas F-4 Phantom not a Prowler….https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_F-4_Phantom_II   (Florida Memory Project note must apply to accompanying aircraft)

This morning I went searching for inspiration so I visited the “Florida Memory Project” and typed in Lake Okeechobee. A variety of historical photos came up.  So interesting. Old photos of an ancient shoreline rimmed with pond apple, cypress trees, white sandy shorelines and loads of fish. Photos of building the dike and dredging around Lake Okeechobee…even some in another section of the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon. And then this aerial from 1968 of a VMCJ-2 squadron EA-6B Prowler photographed over Lake Okeechobee. I was captivated looking at this photo. The early days of color photography …dreamlike…

And the lake is so large– over 35 miles long and 28 miles across –70% its original size–still enormous!  You can tell the pilot flying next to this airplane took the photograph. Skill. Teamwork. Belief.

1968— This was a time of great social change and struggle in the United States, but also a time of great determination.  Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the Moon, on 20 July 1969, shortly after this photograph was taken. This EA-6B jet is not a space ship,  but it too represents the technological capabilities of the United States. Our ability to achieve when we believe.

When this photograph was taken, I was four years old. I remember this time in spirit if not in memory. Nonetheless, it is ingrained in me, as in all Americans,  that we can accomplish anything if we put our minds to it. This photo is an image that remind us that we CAN fix water in the state of Florida if we take the wide view and the high view of Lake Okeechobee. And if we believe.

VMCJ-2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VMAQ-2

1968 Squadron VMCJ-2 Collection of Cory McDonald, Florida Memory Project
…..

Florida Memory Project: https://www.floridamemory.com

Lake Okeechobee: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Okeechobee

8 thoughts on “Our Ability to Achieve When We Believe, Lake Okeechobee, SLR/IRL

  1. I happened to come across this YouTube video this morning and thought I would share it with others concerned about the big lake discharges of water. If you watch it be aware it starts out kind of boring, but watch more into the what happened in Minimatta, Japan with releases of contaminated water. Here is the link http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=w.+eugene+smith&&view=detail&mid=82D5316DE07A1BC67AC282D5316DE07A1BC67AC2&FORM=VRDGAR Could this happen here??

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  2. I was a member of VMCJ-2 during the 1960’s. The call sign is definitely Charlie Yankee (CY) so the aircraft pictured is an RF-4B, a photo reconnaissance version of the F4 Phantom II.

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      1. By zooming in (enlarging), and adjusting the image light, brightness, contrast values, can clearly see the CY on the tail. Otherwise, ’68 was hardly the early days of color photography. Color TV maybe, but not photography. First color photo’s in mid 1800’s. Well advanced by early 1900’s.

        This Lake O problem is very sad. I remember swimming, boating, water skiing, etc in late 60’s and 70’s as a kid in the St Lucie Indian Rivers. My late dad and brother both saw it coming and spoke out against it early on. No one cared or listened. They’re both gone, and the waterways they loved are unusable. The water is so bad you don’t even want to get it on you, much less get into it.

        As far as buy the land. We already have, only the politicians bought by the sugar industry never closed the deal. Now we will have to pay again and again. Perhaps in a gesture of good faith and public relation, instead of donating tens of millions of campaign dollars to buy politicians, suppose the sugar industry might donate some land to help resolve these problems. They have certainly been enriched and vastly profited from the former public land, so could easily give a little back to the country and people that have made them so wealthy.

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  3. Of interest:After Googling it looks like it was more particularly a Marine RF-4. The R is for reconnaissance. It was for taking aerial photography. I wonder if it was used by the USDA for the photos that we have used or just training for Vietnam. Maybe just happened to be flying in the area.

    In my quick search saw a story of a mid air collision of an F-4 and a Cessna near lake Okeechobee in the 70s. –Todd Thurlow

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