From: Mordor Illlinois
I feel bad for the guy. In 1978 that was me.
Terceira , is the island that Lajes AFB is located on. The "Bull fights" , are huge festival days that pretty much close down the entire town. Fortunately every town has at least one a year so you can usually find one.
In 1978 I was a 20 year old AW-AN (E-3) with almost no experience of the world. As I was in a Reserve squadron where the average enlisted guy was a 40 something year old 1st class petty officer , I was the one and only "kid" in my unit. (There was one "TAR"--active duty kid the same age that became my partner in crime, "Billy").
We were anxious to see one of these "Bull fights" (as the locals called them) but we'd received warning after warning "Don't fxxx with the bulls". As a matter of fact , several people actually went to mast for it.
As My nickname was "The Boy Scout" , I obviously had no intention of getting into trouble. I just wanted some photo9graphs. And I had a brand new 110 pocket camera to get them. Those of you that had such a beast will recall that you had a little square to aim through. Unluck other cameras it not only didn't magnify what you were shooting at , it in fact DE-magnified it. As I said , I wasn't all that experienced with the world and didn't know that.
The town had been closed off , windows and doors barricaded , fences put up on the sidewalks , and plenty of places to hide behind. So I kept behind them , but just could not get a single decent shot. Then the crowd started running away from where I was at , so I figured the bull was headed the other way. So I stepped out into the street and looked down the sight. I figured that if the crowd started heading my way , it would warn me "Time to seek cover". So I'm looking down this sight , watching a world that seemed a million miles away from me when Billy says "Steve, you might want to get up here". "Just a second Bill, I just want this one.....". At that precise moment I learned 3 very important life lessons. 1) Bulls are fast...very fast.2) crowds don't always do what you think. (In this case instead of running away from the bull, they simple and prudently got the heck out of the way. and 3rd....110mm cameras DON'T magnify!!! After Bill yelled at me again my eye slipped over the view finder to find a very fast but confused bull within spitting distance. I turned and ran, just slightly faster than the bull. (Personally I think he gave me a slight lead just to make it sporting!). Unfortunately I didn't see a fence , or barricade or anything else to get behind. A local boy of about 7 jumped down in front of me , so I followed. Fortunately he broke my fall. We had jumped off about a 15 foot drop onto a ledge! The bull took one look , shook his head as if to say "Idiots! I could have told you that was (or wasn't) there. Then he backed off and started chasing smarter prey. The "local" boy , wasn't he was from another village and he didn't know the place any better than me.
Some how we both survived , I didn't get caught (or killed by the bull) , but my brand new camera was toast. I didn't get any photo's that trip. But I saved up all year and the next time we went back to Lajes I had a brand new Pentax K-1000 with the biggest telephoto lens I could afford. El Torro (not what the Portuguese call the bull) never got that close to me again.
And I learned the best place to watch people screw with bulls is on a second floor balcony with a telephoto lens and a bottle of local rose.
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