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     Bill Root is a self taught artist who started painting in the late 1960's. Most of his work at that time depicted domestic life, in the tradition of Rembrandt and VerMeer. Many of his other recognized paintings were scenes documenting the hippie movement of the '60's. BRoot added the "ip" to his signature to include his then wife, Tippy Dalrymple.

       Brootip could be a very loose Dutch translation meaning "crust of the bread" and is well suited for the genre style of painting and consistent with the artist's love of the old Dutch Masters.

       Very little was completed between the 1970's and the new millennium. In April of 2000, Brootip found new inspiration and restored his love for the Rembrandt style. His most recent paintings reflect a polished and more preciseness, continuing in the tradition of the Dutch Masters. His new signature adds to the original an additional "B", for the source of his inspiration, a young Dutch woman, Betty.

Here is a picture of Bill as a boy! I will try and get Bill to give me some background on this image.

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Bill Root in the 1950's

I joined the US Navy in May 1954 and served until May 1958. Boot camp was pretty hard for me and I went "over the hill" twice. I spent 30 days hard labor with confinement in a Marine Corps brig and they adjusted my attitude allowing me to achieve a higher than average rank before the end of my service. After boot camp, I was assigned to the USS Pine Island (AV-12) which was a Sea Plane Tender.

USS Pine Island (AV 12)
Commissioned: 26 Apr 1945
Decommissioned: 16 Jun 1967
Stricken 1 Feb 1971

In those days, one of the defenses against submarine attack was low flying sea planes and our job was the maintenance and repair of the planes as well carrying fuel for them. The ship was equipped with two large cranes and a sea plane deck to facilitate bringing planes aboard for repair. The ships duty station was the Far East, in particular Formosa. (Now Taiwan) We were called the "Formosa Patrol Force". We rotated with our sister ships, 9 months there and 3 months in US.

I was in the Navigation/Signal division. For leaving/entering port, battle stations and refueling at sea, I was the helmsman which afforded some pretty tense times.

I met two brothers on the ship, Larry and Bud Jennings who were into country music. They both played guitar and Bud was singer. They did a little pro stuff before joining the Navy. We began playing at the enlisted mens club at Buckner Bay Okinawa on the weekends. My favorite guitar player at that time was Les Paul and western music wasn't where I wanted to be but never having had a chance to play with a band, I was more than a little enthusiastic Besides....Momma loved hillbilly stuff. We had a stand-up bass (no electrics in those days) 3 electric acoustic guitars (Before Fenders came out) and drums when the drummer could get the same days off as the rest of us. It usually required one of your buddies to sign a "stand by" chit which committed him to stand your watches.

USS PINE ISLAND (AV 12) lowering a P5M seaplane into the water. circa 1950s.
US Navy photo

My "Man Overboard" duty station was Signalman in the motor whale boat. The boat was about 10 or 12 feet long and was lowered over the side to rescue a man in the water. While the ship is underweigh, man overboard watches are posted at strategic places all over the ship. A man overboard drill was affected by one of the officers sneaking out and throwing a dummy over the side to activate the rescue sequence. One day with a pretty moderate to high sea running, I was spending the morning on the signal bridge which is on the highest part of the ship, watching with awe, a school of hammer head sharks a couple of feet beneath the surface. Some appeared to 15 -20 feet long and UGLY! Then the blast from the squawk box...Man overboard! Man overboard! I geared up and jumped into the motor whale boat with the five other guys assigned there and held on while the deck crew began lowering us down the 80 some feet to the water. The boat is held in place fore and aft by two large "pelican" hooks with a large circular "fall" just above the hooks to maintain stability. The falls are quite heavy and I guess weigh about 80 or 90 pounds. As the whale boat touched the water and began bouncing on the waves alongside the ship, which was also rising and falling like crazy, the Boatswain holding one of the Pelican hooks fell and gashed his head open. We all yelled for the deck crew to haul us back up. The Boatswain got up and secured the hook and signaled to haul away. We got about 40 feet up when his wound got the better of him and he passed out and dropped the hook. The whale boat, now, held only by one end, became vertical and dropped us all into the water. We are trained that the most vital life saving thing to do in this situation is to beat feet as fast as you can away from the ship to avoid being eaten by the giant ships screw (propeller). Life jackets in those days were the "May West" type, so called for obvious reasons. Great bulky things in the front meant to keep ones head and face upwards. Totally impossible to swim in so I said goodbye to Mom and got ready. At the moment, I wasn't bright enough to remember that the screw was to be stopped at the onset of the drill.

Pine Island (AV-12) underway off San Diego in 1954 approaching Electra (AKA-4) in preparation for a transfer at sea exercise.

The huge ship side passed by and began to proceed on its way. It got smaller, and smaller and even smaller and the thought crossed my mind that they didn't see us. When it appeared to be about two inches in size, we could see them turning. It would take about an hour and a half to get back to us. At first, I was glad to be alive and then I was struck numb to see the Boatswain gushing blood into the ocean. The very same ocean that was hearth and home to the giant ball gnashers I had minutes before been watching with the detachment of someone who is snuggie in his own home. Suddenly, I saw several white somethings fluttering about 15 feet beneath my feet. Once again, I said my farewells to Momma and if anyone EVER really could walk on water, I would have then! It took only a few seconds to realize that the rest of the crew were dropping their white trousers to lessen their bait profile as well as lighten the load. The ship finally got close enough to send another small boat to get us and brought us to the side of the ship where we had to climb a "Jacobs Ladder" up the side of the ship. A Jacobs ladder is two vertical ropes with wooden planks tied between. I made it after being twisted this way and that and slammed around for what seemed an eternity. No small feat for someone like me who had just aged 30 years in a couple hours. ANYWAY.....Where was I?..... Ships command put us all in sick bay for a couple of days and there I met a tenor sax player from Chicago...Bob something.....Maybe White. The ladder that led down to sick bay ended in a small compartment maybe 6'X6' and Bob would play jazz there. You can imagine the reverb in a 6X6 metal box. Sounded great!

I suggested we try to do something guitar/sax. By this time, the Jennings brothers had been transferred and I was looking for a gig. Before the Navy, I had managed, via fake ID, to sneak into the "light House" in Hermosa Beach Ca. I was pretty much overwhelmed by West Coast "Progressive Jazz". Bob was also into folks like, Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker and that ilk. We hooked up with a trumpet guy, drummer and I think another sax. We did stuff like "Take The A Train" "Saturday Night Is The Lonliest Night Of The Week" and some more of the old chestnuts that those guys had revived and revamped. We entered a band contest at a local theatre in San Diego. When ever Bob would leave the ship, he would meet up with a guy who must have been his body guard. I didn't have any "Civies" to wear so Bob made this guy loan me a jacket. The jacket had been customized on the left side with a bulge to hide a shoulder holster. We won first place with "A Train". We got a little cash and a date to play for one night with the regulars at a popular spot, the "Cotton Club" in San Diego.

The band stand was a " plywood on cinder blocks. With about 8 guys jumping up and down, I could hardly hold onto my guitar much less play. The most memorial incident of the night was the two or three black guys who would come up to me at different times and rub dollar bills on the strings of my guitar. When I hit what they deemed a hot enough lick, would drop the bill on my amp.

On night we went to the club where Barney Kessel was playing. There were no vacant tables near the band stand so Bobs body guard went to the group of 3 or 4 people seated at one of the choicest tables and offered them some money for their seats. I could see them shaking their heads in the the negative but when Bobs guy whispered something in their ears, they got up and went to the back of the room. Makes you wonder huh?

After awhile, those guys left the ship and there was nobody to jam wid. One mandolin player talked me into messing around a couple times but he was SO bad that to this day, I can't stand a mandolin. He was from Kentucky. (Aren't all mandolin players from there?) A guitar player from North or South Carolina, I forget which, named John Lominac, come aboard and I hooked him away from his country roots and showed him there were other chords besides plow handle G and C. We wore out several records by Django Rheinhart, Barney Kessel, Tal Farlow, Sal Salvador and I forget who else. One of Barney's songs was "A Tribute To Charlie Christian" (know who he is?) I never got tired of playing it. I mentioned it to Bobby Hebb last year when we were talking and he said the original name was "Birkes Works" by John Dizzy Gillespie. I bought Mel Bay Jazz guitar books and found a new love in chords like G13b5b9 etc, etc. I forget what year Bobby appeared but it must have been about late '55 or early '56. He was assigned into my division because the brass found out he could play trumpet and they thought it would be neat to have the bugle calls done live instead of that scratchy old 78. I latched on to him right away and we had an immediate connection. He was pretty good with his horn but he was more into country and main stream. I showed him the error of his ways was reborn. We practiced when we could find an empty compartment on the ship and thought we were pretty hot. Bobby searched the ship and came up with two more "soul brothers" for alto and drums. The ship had a nightly movie on the hanger deck and that was our first gig. The audience was slightly appreciative of the jazz but when we went to the song of the day "Shake Rattle And Roll" it brought down the house and they didn't want to see the movie. We played the "club" hanger deck for maybe a month or so adding to our song list.

Sometime during the 50's, Communist China folks kicked out the head cheese, Chang Ki Chek and exiled him and his wife and family with a bunch of his followers to Formosa. The whole area was pretty tense with a lot of saber rattling and such. Madam Chang Ki Chek, who was pretty famous by her own right made a tour of the ship one day in either Okinawa or Formosa. She was to be honored that night at a formal gala and dance at the officers club at the air base on the island. The lieutenant in charge of recreation approached us and asked if we would play for the occasion. Jeez! We all agreed that our level of expertise was WAY below what should be expected for that type of event. He said..."Ok....How about this. You play or you spend a few days in the brig on "piss and punk". (Bread and water) So.....After a long 10 second conference, we signed up. It was a huge dance hall with a band stand big enough for Basie and Ellington side by side and we 5 guys seemed absurd up there. The ladies were all in formals, the guys in their uniform tuxedos and cumber bunds. Generals, Admirals, politicians. Crap! There were enough big wheels there to make a very long train! We only knew 3 songs that were danceable and two of them were questionable. If you know me, you KNOW I was nervous! Momma saved all my letters from that period and I read them couple years ago and I had written, "I was scared to death" There was one slow ballad we did and the dancers made us play it 'till I 'bout puked. I'm sure we played it 15 times. We made it through and nobody told us we stank so we started feeling like old pros.

The ship went into Hong Kong China for two weeks every year for "R&R" (rest and recreation) and somebody, probably Bobby, signed us up for nightly appearances at the "Great Shanghai" bar. That's where the photo I sent was taken. That was a blast! The club had a capacity of close to 1000 sober civilians or 1500 drunk sailors. We got paid 5US apiece each night (Bobby remembered it as 15 when I talked to him) free drinks and our choice of the hookers at the end of the session. There was never any time for hookers because we only had "Cinderella liberty" meaning we had to be back aboard ship no later than midnight.

Bobby sang and played trumpet and he had a little act where he played two large soup spoons. Apparently that was part of the stuff he did in his act at the "Grand Ole' Opry" before the Navy.

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Left to right Bass Player I'm not sure of his name....I think Henshaw or something like that. R. Gtr and singer, Bud Jennings Me...R GTR, sometimes singer Larry Jennings Lead Gtr. The Jennings bros were in the Electronics Division on ship and I think the bass guy was either a "Snipe" (Engine room) or a "Deck Ape" from the Deck Division. It was tough for all of us to get the same night off so we most always had to find someone to "Standby" for us.

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<------Here is a Standby Request I found in my old stuff. (Click the image to view full size.)

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Click here to view full size Gualala, California in 1972. A little town on the coast just north of San Francisco. I paid $8.00 for that stove and burned driftwood and other things collected from the beach.

This is a hippy family where I lived in Annapolis California which is a small logging town (Pop. 100 or so) about 9 miles up in the hills from Gualala. I was fascinated by geodesic domes and this guy built a large one for his home

Click here to view full size This is a clipping from the Independent Coast Observer newspaper that serves the communities in and around Gualala.