Sid's N T I N S Locker
All Gave Some - Some Gave All

Who loves ya?
Remembering John Wynn who died Saturday 12 May 2012
Posted by Sid Harrison ETCM(SS) USN/Ret   13 May 2012
Inevitably John's phone calls opened with, "Hey! You watching the soaps?" And his last comment in an e-mail or phone con was "Who loves ya?"

John and I had never served together on a boat and our actual contact consisted of when he and Lynn stopped by our place a couple of summers ago in their camper - plus a couple of meetings at SubVet events in Groton.

But like boat sailors do we managed to stay in touch.  I could rely on at least one phone call every month, more or less interspersed with occasional e-mails.  Most of these electronic-comms were the result of John's re-reading some of the crap I have on the internet about the passage of time, youth and the boats.

He loved reading Dex Armstrong's stories. He relished the poems and writings of my late cousin Bob. In fact as far as I know there is still a Christmas decoration that John had made and hung on the tree at 40 School St. with Bob's name on it.

The stories by any submarine guy about times-gone-by was like catnip to John. They moved him. And so he would call and tell me how he felt. John was a sentimentalist.  He hated the aging process and the loss of strength, youth and the cruel passage of time. (And don't we all.)

He would go on a surfing/reading spree and then my phone would ring: "Hey, you old fart you watching the soaps" he would yell at me. I would respond with the same words "Nope! Too busy.  I leave that to you old guys".  It was almost a ritualistic exchange. Then, without breaking stride he would rapid fire launch into something he had read on my website or some story from a Submarine BBS and his thoughts about it. 

We'd kick around some sort of disjointed sailor-speak about what it means and the brevity of life and the good times. All the while, like two drunk high schoolers who had just discovered deep thinking, we jumped from point to point.  Most of the time never fully completing a thought until finally one of us would say, "Well I gotta go". Followed by his signature sign-off: "Talk to ya later. Who loves ya?"... Click!


During the past several months our calls were less frequent. He was not doing well and I knew it. But a few weeks ago we talked for the last time on the phone.  I could understand him a little better as he was talking slower. I asked him how he was doing. His quick response was, "I got COPD. I'm hooked to an oxygen tank and I'm dying here. How the hell do think I'm doing? And when are you gonna come down? Got plenty of room."

That last conversation of ours focused on a couple of pieces called "Tears in the rain" and "Sweet Bird of Youth". He had just re-read them for the umpteenth time and they were really working on him and he wanted to talk.  I had a hunch where he was coming from.

When I hung up the phone my wife asked me how John was doing. "Talking slower." I said, " I could actually understand him better. He's really dwelling on the end of it all" Then as I felt my eyes starting to get that hot feeling I pulled on my jacket and went for a walk.

I'm missing those conversations already.

Good bye my friend... its raining.

Going Home   by Georges Schreiber - Watercolor, 1943  Link

Young John Wynn
Links to his stories, his contributions and to  pages  he would frequently re-visit. I'm sure there are more out there that should be included. But these will do for now.

Friends and Shipmates memories
Joe Roche Remembers John Wynn

Three of John's stories
Magic (1999) 
Rolls (1999) 
One Diesel Boat Sailor's Story  (2000)

Writings he often re-read and 
commented about.
Tears in the rain
Secrets We Keep and Lines We Have Crossed
Sweet Bird of Youth 

Some pictures and writings to topics and
activities to which he contributed.
40 School St.
Ben Bastura, Curator, 
Joins USSVI and Lockwood Base
Ben Bastura's Submarine Library and Museum
Ben Bastura Submarine Library and Museum   via
Goodbye Ben Bastura
The USS Torsk (SS-423) Volunteer Program
(John participated in several work weekends)
Obituary for John Wynn

SubVets  40 School St.
The 38th

Submarine Stamp Ceremony
Dealey Center  2000
"A strange illusion, this Navy of ours. A paradox of permanence and fleeting friendships. Always the same Navy - but the ships and the buddies came and went as we moved on. And moments that seemed at the time to stretch long and timeless into the future gave way over the years to fading memories until many of the names are gone and the dates are no longer clear.

The time and the memories all sliding quietly away.
Flowing slowly like the Thames River to the sea."
~~~ Thames River Time