Off on a Tangent – The Wake Island Token

When I was between the ages of 4 through 6 years old I lived on an atoll in the Pacific Ocean called Wake Island. My family  lived a few hundred feet from the beach. My dad was assigned to the island as a US Government worker. There was a post exchange, commissary, outdoor movie theater, government housing, and school.

Prior to me starting kindergarten,  I spent my days on my own beach with my little brother. It really was my own beach. When we arrived at the beach (with mom’s permission), I would look as far as possible to the right, then left. No one was on my  beach. With bucket in hand, we would capture all the sea creatures on the beach (we were not allowed to go in the ocean).  My little brother and I would go to the beach daily with our toys of the day.

On my first day of kindergarten, the class was introduced to the class pet. A deadly and poisonous lion fish. The class rule was never stick your hands in the fish tank.  After the school day, it was back to the beach. Every once in a while dad would take the boys (my three other brothers) 4-wheeling in a military jeep. We would also tour the flight-line and go around the atoll.

I also still remember dad and his friends would go diving and bring back things from their dives (black coral, large shells, and  Japanese glass balls (fish net floaters)).

Many wonderful memories on Wake Island.

Below is a Wake Island “token” being shown at a few websites.



Well,  you know that I had to investigate this so called “token”.

It turns out it is actually part of a Japanese produced  lighter. I acquired the lighter as a present for my dad. My dad does not smoke, but it would be a good piece for his “past travels collection”.