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Sweet Bird Of Youth
Some thoughts while looking at a photo on the internet
Just another jigsaw piece  (Use BACK button to return here)

" won't harm you but time will take you on."
~~ James Brown
Text and images placed here by Sid Harrison  September 2010

The movie title Sweet Bird Of Youth immediately came to mind when I saw this picture of some unknown CUTLASS crewmembers in their mess.   (NOTE:  The movie was based upon a story by Tennessee Williams and starred Paul Newman.)  The movie had zip to do with Submarines... but the title: ah! -  thats the hook.

I never served in CUTLASS and didn't know anyone who did. But that is irrelevant. The image of young submariners captured in a photograph; looking into a lens extending into an unknown future --- captured in that forgotten moment. What did they do the rest of that day? - and the next - and the next - and so on - and how did their lives turn out?    That thought and that image from their past simply froze me.         On the boats... any one of us could have easily fit into that picture.

As I approach my mid seventies images like this always seem to naturally conjure up many memories of a long ago youth and my shipmates.

After reading a movie review on the net, and looking at the photo, a couple of lines from the review seem to apply:

"The original title of the play was "The Enemy, Time," which essentially means the same thing as "Sweet Bird of Youth."    "Sweet bird" suggests that, almost before we know it, youth flies away. Youth is sweet and has a buoyant quality, while the enemy, time, is what makes the sweet bird fly."
A relevant bonus link:  The End of the Road  by Bob Harrison
Image below - source:

Launched 5 November, 1944... de-commissioned on 12 April, 1973 and sold to Taiwan.
CUTLASS History:
CUTLASS image - just a stock photo pulled from someplace on the net
Sid note:       With many thanks to the CUTLASS crew members for their excellent website and the image which inspired my musing about  the passage of time.
One more thing:

Posted Feb. 2016

Just a follow on thought about time.  Back then when I was a young Submariner there were many songs I enjoyed. But for some reason the one that seems to fit with the flight of the Sweet Bird of Youth is from the WWII era.

In fact it fits so well when I remember those days that it's nearly impossible to listen without getting a little misty eyed as I reflect upon all those moments in time.

It is a famous Glen Miller song that I'm sure most anyone alive in America has heard at one time or another.

Moonlight Serenade