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He Was Dirt To Us
by Sid Harrison ETCM(SS) USN(Ret)

My wife and I have been trying to remember names of old boat friends. One name is giving us a real problem.

There were lots of guys I served with that had what I thought were great, original and creative nicknames. Most reflected some physical trait, their home state or region (Coon-Ass, of course, was from Louisiana). The nickname of one guy was literally plucked out of the air. Here's the story, I think you'll enjoy it.

On the USS Casimir Pulaski SSBN-633 sometime in the early '70s we had a nuke MM1 by the name of Harry Overstreet. Harry was cool and Harry was the leader of a hard charging party crowd called the "Overstreet Gang", a group of fellow travelers who gave new meaning to work-hard/play-hard. Now the greatest aspiration of every young non-qual nuke was to be accepted by the Overstreet gang. It meant you had arrived.

During one upkeep a very quiet young MM3 reported aboard and had no nickname. Some of the guys in the Overstreet gang gathered around and told him that he had to have a nickname. He was put on the spot and he thought for a long moment and finally said, "just call me DIRT". They liked it, and that's what he was from then on. A very funny guy with a dry sense of humor. When the word was passed for him over the 1MC his real name was never used. He was always Dirt to us.

At a boat picnic some time later my wife and I came upon Dirt and his young wife and new baby. When introductions were being made his wife piped up and said, "I'm Mrs. Dirt and this here is Dust". She was funny too.

To this day neither my wife nor I can remember his name. So if any ex-members of the Overstreet Gang are reading this - let me know Dirt's real name. It will ease our minds considerably.