|JUNE 1997: Some Cyber-Thoughts
Upon Turning 61
As posted on a Submariner Board in
by Sid Harrison
How It All Began
I've been busy getting the education
(I currently teach at a small two year coll), chasing the bucks, getting
kids through college and up to now pretty much forgot most of "that other
life". I pay my annual Fleet Reserve dues and that has been the extent
of my contact with the Navy life. (Dec.
2003 Note: Sid is now FULLY retired.)
So we got our discharge from active duty service and donned our protective
civilian coloration for a while. But sometimes the smell of diesel smoke
or some other reminder brought it all rushing back.
A few years ago a fellow Lions Club
member (a retired DBF HMC(SS)) and I used to sit in the kitchen on an afternoon
after he had been deer hunting on my place. Just two former sailors having
a few beers and talking the boat-shit - and it was like an oasis after
crawling through a desert... to have someone you didn't have to explain
I've been on the internet about a year
and only recently been "reverting to type" and doing some serious remembering.
Been out almost as long as I was in. In the process of surfing the boat
links, as well as other Navy units, and other branches of the military,
I come to the conclusion that we are all "lifers".
What we did at 17, 18 or 19 in whatever
unit and whatever time and circumstances has defined us. There is an advertising
gimmick whereby they post an ad and it says, "Advertising works...You're
reading this aren't you"? Now if you think because you did a hitch and
got out you're not a lifer...well you're reading this aren't you?
Do we know any 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 year
old guys who worked for _________Inc. (fill in the blank) who sit around
and swap tales of life back at the old Widget Plant. I think not.
I'm dry. Turn the music up. I'm buying
Sid Harrison ETCM(SS) USN(Ret) Colton,
|Posted a few years later:
Recently I was thinking about a maintenance
man/boiler operator we had at a plant where I worked a few years ago. We
sent him to a boiler school in Pennsylvania and when he returned he came
to my office one day with a handful of photographs. They consisted of pictures
of his motel room, a view of the front of the motel and the place where
he had eaten. He was a straight-coupled civilian, in his mid-fifties, and
I guess going to that one-week school in Pa. and staying in that motel
was the most thrilling thing in his life . As I read the many web pages
by submariners and as I check Martini's Board each day I think about how
fortunate we all were to have had the experience.
So one-hitcher or lifer, bad duty and
good: appreciate the fact we don't get very excited over some short stay
in a Pennsylvania motel.
I knew a fellow once that said his worst
fear was someday to be sitting on the porch at 70, rocking and saying,
"Well, I coulda".
I'm sure glad we did!
3 blonde and sweets, 1 black n bitter
and 2 cups of bug to control.
Below is a link to a page that I copied
from the late Sam Orr's website. He was a retired Navy SEAL with whom I
used to swap e-mails. During the latter part of the 1990s Sam posted some
very thought-provoking essays on his webpage. It was maintained by his
son for about a year after his death and has now been removed from the
I think that his commentary about UDT/SEAL
men apply very well to us submariners.
FROM THE LATE SAM ORR's WEB PAGE