|dex armstrong Posted 2008-01-27 9:30
We usually got FINEX sometime Friday.
The Old Man would pass the word and
the old girl would start making turns for the barn....The beasts in the
Forward and After engine houses would throw a few extra logs on the fire
and the off watch animals would get the COB to open the showers (by that
time all the potatoes stored in the After Battery showers, would have been
consumed and the effects of the consumption residual pumped to sea.).
The animals leaving the showers after
drowning their fleas, would break out foo-foo juice, douse themselves in
amounts intended to extinguish body odor that was diesel boat specific
and that large numbers of America's civilian population associated with
sewage plant operators. Submarine sailors of the period used industrial
strength foo-foo...and before long the entire After Battery and Crews Mess,
smelled like the inside of a lingerie drawer at Madam FiFi's House of Carnal
Delight in New Orleans. Before long Sonarmen were dancing with IC Electricians
and guys were breaking out custom tailored Seafarers with satin lined jumpers.
When they passed the word "PASSING CHESAPEAKE
LIGHTSHIP" (Currently in Baltimore succumbing to the seductive machinations
of the Goddess of Progressive Oxidation), it was like Mother left the front
porch light on for you. You collected in the Crews Mess and wondered just
where in the hell all the clean white hats came from.
Your shipmates were engaged in the discussion
of very weighty subjects like dried up cans of KIWI shoe polish, who was
in first place in the National League, What happened to Hudson automobiles,
what the hell happened to Gogi Grant and what day they served fried clams
at Howard Johnsons.
Word would filter down from the Bridge
via returning coffee haulers..."Were passing the Cavalier Hotel...Thimble
Shoals Light....Silver Tank....Fort Monroe and the degaussing range....Old
Point Comfort...Passing Fort Wool....Carrier Piers in sight."
"LINE HANDLERS TOPSIDE"
After you nudged your way into your
assigned nesting assignment, put your lines over, got your Guard Mail runner
off and running and the Exec got on the 1MC and told you all about the
personal benefits to extended life prospects of staying out of automobile
collisions, purchasing expensive stuff when loaded and sex with girls with
large lip blisters someone, usually the incoming Below Decks Watch passed
the word." Liberty now commencing for Sections One and Three...Section
Two has the watch." The Liberty Sections simply evaporated into the night
with and without AWOL bags. Chiefs simply tucked a full ZIPPO and toothbrush
in a pocket.
Dick Hall, who later went down on THRESHER
rode another SubRon Six boat but I can't remember which one had a Triumph
TR-2. (We went to Wakefield High School together, left blood on the
same football fields together and tasted the lipstick of many of the same
lovely girls .}
In a TR-2 you could travel at NASA speeds
with your butt four or five inches above highway asphalt. At eighteen this
is of absolutely no consequence or concern. At eighteen death is an unknown
concept that you know is reserved for old coots way down the road. Death
by stationary object like being wrapped around a bridge support I- beam,
large oak tree or courthouse lawn granite monument never occurs in the
E-3 mind - which is more attuned to location of glove compartment stored
church keys, finding locations to return kidney processed brewed products
to the earth from which they came and finding attractive females with loose
panty elastic and no curfew.
So one night we pulled in, and when
they put down LIBERTY Dick Hall met me at the pier side brow. "Hey Armstrong,
wantta share gas and beer expense back and forth to Arlington?"
"Does a hobby horse have a hickory dick?"
So we tossed our AWOL bags into Dick's
TR-2, kissed the Marines on the DesSub Piers goodbye...stopped at Bell's
and picked up a case of cold Rock' n Roll. Rolling Rock Beer, made
in LaTrobe Pennsylvania - where Arnold Palmer comes from...actually rumor
has it that it is actually Arnold's diabetes specimen ...either that, or
comes out of Arnold's pony.
Picking up beer to consume while driving
was a poorly thought out concept indulged in by a significant percentage
of non-rated East Coast bluejackets. Picking up "roadies" was a popular
practice. You could get an ice cold case of Rock N Roll at BELL's for an
exorbitant amount of moolah...and spend the rest of the night drinking
and whizzing in strange locations and pass 200 miles quite agreeably.
There was a radio station WCKY Cincinnati
1 Oh-hi-OHH --- "The station musta hadda antennur tha size uv the goddam
Eiful Towur" (direct quote from John T. O'Neil) and you could get WCKY
in places where you couldn't pick up VOICE OF AMERICA, RADIO FREE EUROPE
or Dick Clark and AMERICAN BANDSTAND, and you could pick them up on the
WCKY was shitkickers dream: Mother Maybelle
Carter, Ferlin Huskie, Hank Williams, Buck Somethin'er nuther and more
gittarz, banjers, fiddles and harmonicas than you could tolerate in a bloody
lifetrime. And they had the damnedest advertising, "Yessir Folks that'z
GOOD BOOK...Spelled G-O-O-D...Good, B-O-O-K book...Good Book...You git
both the Old and New Testaments in one combined volume...with pitchurs,
explanatory text and all the words actually spoke by Our Savior is printed
in red. It is bound in genuine imitation leather and comes to you with
a bonus if you act today...Yer choice of a hundred baby chicks or twenty
pounds of Burpee marigold seeds...Remember thatz G-O-O-D,...B-O- O-K box
29, Cincinnati 1, Ohio....act today..supplies are limited,
Listened to WCKYon the road because
about midnight on Route 17 North it was all you could get. It was educational.
One night we learned all we would ever know about horse laxative.
Well sir, It had been a long maneuvering
watch and we had wrapped ourselves around several bottles of Arnold Pee
and were busting down a stretch of Route 17 between Glouster and Tappahannock
when Mister Sandman decided to pay us a visit - both at the same time.
We awoke to the sound of some kind of Devil inspired drummer beating out
some kind of loud obnoxious tune. In reality, two members of SubRon Six
had left the designated highway and were trailblazing a course through
some poor bastards corn field with stalks of corn falling with ears of
green corn whomping on the hood.
The Goddess of the Main Induction had
seen to it that (A) there was no fence and (B) there was no ditch....just
a sign that read DEKALB 43 that was cut off at five inches above grade,
on our way out.
If we had had the brains God installed
in a tree frog we would have found the nearest church and gotten on our
knees in thanks. But that kind of wisdom comes with maturity and we were
miles away from arriving at that destination.