Randy Loubier is the pastor of a small country church in a small town in the small state of New Hampshire, USA. Slow Brewing Tea is his third book and first novel. Some of the geography and settings were sketched from memories of growing up in New England and his time in Misawa, Japan (1978-1980). For Randy, his years in Japan were an adventurous pursuit of the culture with an attitude and shy personality, not unlike Isaiah. As a slow brewing tea himself, he spent much of the first fifty years of life denying God the Father and pursuing numerous eastern and new-age faiths. He wrote Slow Brewing Tea and the accompanying series The Tea Room Scrolls as “I found something I’d like to share with the world.”
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Motorcycle and Mountains
Something big is going down," Joe yelled into my room as he came inside, slamming the door behind him. His excited green eyes reflected a naïve desire to see war for the first time.
"Big Red is on the move,” Joe said. “Ships are headed for the gulf; planes are flying non-stop. We’ve got action, man!"
He tugged at the top button on his fatigue shirt and turned around to head into the barracks bathroom. It was eight o’clock in the morning, and Joe had just returned from night shift on the Hill.
The Hill was the secret location on the base where the huge antenna, the “elephant cage,” was located. I had never been up to the Hill. And, officially, I had "no need to know” the purpose of the Hill.
But everyone stationed at Misawa Air Base knew that the Hill was the main reason we were there.
It was 1978. We were frigidly deep in the Cold War, located just miles from the Russian coast.
We were spying on Russia.
Linguists and codebreakers were the unofficial heroes on the Hill. They listened day and night, took notes, replayed key sounds, and did their best to find out what Red was up to. They took their work seriously; one false report could trigger a domino effect, but these dominoes were made of uranium and could lead to the nuclear annihilation of our planet.
Elsewhere on the base, there was a small army of technicians and support personnel employed to make it all work. Most of the base, me included, were not allowed past the guard shack on the road up to the Hill.
Joe was one of the guys allowed past the guard shack. But, to Joe’s dismay, he wasn't one of the heroes. He wasn't even support. He was, in his words, "just a babysitter with the most boring job in the world."
Joe was an Air Force MP (Military Police). On night duty. He was not inside the station. He was not even at the front door. He was on top of the building, on the roof. He didn’t see anyone during his entire eight-hour shift. Ever.
Joe and I had arrived at Misawa Air Base at about the same time in 1978. We both arrived fresh out of tech school. These were our first jobs in the Air Force. We were excited to be in Japan, wide-eyed, with lots to learn and explore.
I had no idea I was about to learn life's most important lessons from an unlikely encounter... (Keep Reading)