My mother passed away a few yrs ago and at the age of 51, there has never been a day that has gone by I haven’t thought about the past at least once. I was talking to my son a few days ago and he brought up my past and asked me some questions and I realized I am the only one left who knows what happen so I thought I would write it down as a written record. Its a condensed version of a daily life till age 10.
Not only do parents need to be extremely careful how they treat their children during their impressionable ages, it is also testament that bad childhoods does not mean the child grows up doing the same too their own.
Scientists have come out with a drug that can erase bad memories. I’m not so sure that is a good thing. What would replace chunks of memories? Blank spots? Would that not be frustrating? Wouldn’t the person know something bad happen but just can’t remember it? Bad memories could also be used as good.
Richmond VA. Oct. 1959. A young pregnant woman and her Navy husband travel to IL so she can visit her family and gives birth to twin boys.
When the time comes to head back to VA, the new mothers father begs her not to go. He tells her he feels something bad is going to happen. She brushes it off. She is in love. Her father told her if she insists on going back, she will not be going in the car that brought them due to the tires being being bald and he himself will drive her and the twins back to VA.
Jan. 1960 Richmond VA. The father is drunk while one of the 3 month old twins lays next to him on the couch. The mother is giving the other a bath. The baby is being fussy which frustrates the father. Rather then picking the baby up and trying to sooth him, he goes a different route by beating him until he is dead.
When he realizes what he has done, he tries talking the mother into a story they could give the police about how the baby died. He suggests they go with the baby falling down the stairs. How he possibly thought that would work, I have no idea. He decides they will sleep on it and call the police in the morning.
The next morning, the mother decides not to stick with the story and the father is placed under arrest. The mother still in love, bails him out of jail. In the end, the father is dishonorably discharged from the Navy and given a 2yr prison sentence. My mother waited for him.
This is where my memories kick in at around 2 0r 3 and I asked my mother later in life if I dreamed it or if actually true. She confirmed that my memories were true.
We lived on the 3rd floor of a 3 story apt. building that looked more like a huge house. By the time my memories start, I have a younger brother now.
My father as changed since the death of my twin. There is hatred for me now. I can only assume why. Being an identical twin, I may have been a daily reminder of what he had done.
My father was a drunk and womanizer. My mother found out he had fathered another child with another woman. He was gone a lot and when gone, he wouldn’t leave money for food. My mother would “visit” neighbors around supper time in the hopes they would invite us for supper. My mother lost a lot of weight. However she made sure we had something to eat. I remember lots of oatmeal.
When my father was home, the rule was, I would stand or sit in a corner until he was done with his meal before I was allowed to eat. Needless to say, most times I ate a cold meal.
Thunderstorms at first was a scarey event for me because I knew what was going to happen. My father would pick me up, carry me downstairs onto the large open porch. Then he would would go back inside, lock the door and leave me out there alone. At first I would scream and cry while banging on the door begging him to let me back in. After a few times when I realized thunderstorms didn’t hurt me, I grew too love them even to this day.
One bright sunny day, I was playing on our long gravel driveway when I saw my father driving down it towards me. I realized he wasnt going to stop and was coming right for me. I kept backing up until a fence blocked me from going any farther. I begin screaming until some of the neighbors came out to see what was going on. When my father saw the “witnesses,” he stopped the car, came over to me and held me while pretending to act concerned. It confused me because we had made eye contact when he was coming at me with his car. This episode plagued me for years.
At bed time, sometimes after using the belt on me, he would grab a couple more belts too be used and tie me down in bed at night. His excuse was it would keep me away from my younger brother. I had this habit of crawling into my brothers crib and falling asleep with him.
I can remember while being tied down, seeing the shadows of my father and mother from the crack under the bedroom door walking by now and wishing he would come in and hold me. Sometimes I would call out for him. I did love him.
IL 1963. My mother finally had enough of his running around and decided to take the train back to IL and move in with her parents. We lived there until we I was 10yrs old and my mother remarried.
Our first night there we slept on the living room floor and woke to the smell of bacon and eggs. That smell was the greatest thing I ever smelled.
Things changed pretty quickly. I never told my mother what happen until I was an adult. It was the first time in my life my mother pretty much called me a liar. Its a frustrating feeling when your own mother doesn’t believe you or doesn’t want to hear it. So there were things I never told her that happen. My mother worked 1st shift so she had no idea what was going on.
Looking back, I think my grandmother who had raised a houseful of kids was now starting over and raising two more. My Grandfather however was happy we were there.
We learned the new rules pretty quickly and grew to fear our Grandmother. She was smart and only did most things when we were alone with her. We never told anyone what was going on because when you’re a small child and never seen anything different, you assume its normal.
We learned kids are to be seen, not heard. When eating at the dinner table, you are to keep your head down and not speak unless spoken to. Too this day I sometimes find myself looking down at my plate while I eat.
If you don’t like what is for supper, you went to bed with no supper. No supper and belts was the main punishment for just about anything.
My brother and I spent most of our childhood sitting in a room next to the living room. We could play but play quietly.
Bedtime was around 6pm. 12 months out of the year. Unless of course our Aunt would come over with her kids. If we made any noises at bedtime, either our Grandmother would come up with the belt or slipper or at times make our mother do it. I preferred my mother. She would tells us to yell out as she tapped us with the belt.
No TV. When we were allowed to watch TV it was Lawrence Welk or sometimes the Wide World of Sports. Most times we could only hear the TV because it was out of site while we were in the little room.
If we didn’t take our nap and instead made a little to much noise that suit her, our Grandmother would first beat us then get herself a snack and grab a chair to sit down next to us and proceed to eat it while mentioning how good it tasted.
My Grandmother instilled it into my head I was a troublemaker. She called me the “leader.” I was the one who was to blame for anything and everything.
My mother met a man at the fireman’s ball and ended up pregnant by who she didn’t know was married. The baby girl was with is for awhile until one day when I came home from 1st grade and the baby wasn’t there. I went room to room looking for her. I begin to cry. My Grandmother came to me and asked why I was crying. I asked her where the baby was. She told me it was gone. I asked her what I did wrong to make the baby go away and if I was in trouble. It was the first and only time she showed compassion towards me and said it wasn’t my fault.
The baby was put up for adoption. To this day I blame my Grandmother. Odds are she made my mother do it. The good news is, my sister found us years later.
We were allowed no friends except for our cousins and the two boys who lived next door to us. They also didn’t have it so well. My 2nd story bedroom window looked down into their bedroom. I could see them getting beat with a belt by their father quite a few times.
My Grandmother had it in her head that I had to use the bathroom every day. She would sit on a chair next to me while I was on the toilet giving me hints on how to go and if I didn’t, she brought out the enema bag. This became almost a daily thing until I was 7 and almost died on the way to the hospital due an obstruction of the bowel.
My brother and I were eating breakfast at the table while my Grandmother was on the phone in the living room. The bread in the toaster didn’t pop up and began to burn. My brother and I whispered to each other about what we should do. He wanted to tell her. I vetoed him and reminded him we were not allowed to talk. It was probably a no win situation anyway.
The kitchen filled with smoke from the burning toast and my Grandmother finally noticed it. She said her goodbyes on the phone then came into the kitchen. She began yelling at us and asking why we didn’t say anything. I reminded her of her #1 rule of not talking. This did not make her happy and she grabbed the two pieces of toast and began cramming them down my throat. I was choking and couldn’t breathe but she wouldn’t stop until I swallowed it.
My brother broke a rule although I don’t remember what rule it was and locked him into the basement. I could hear him pleading to let him out. Grandmother told me there was a very bad man down there who was going to get my brother. I begged her to let him out. She just kept telling me what the bad man was going to do to my brother.
My brother one day made the huge mistake of instead of calling me by my full first name, he abbreviated it. He found out what soap tasted like that day. I had learned long ago soap isn’t very tasteful. I first learned the taste of soap when I came running into the house pointing to my open mouth making grunting noises. I was able to get out that a butterfly flew into my mouth. The cure…soap.
During punishments with belts, shoes, or whatever was handy, the pants had to come down. She was determined we would feel her wrath. My pants were down a lot. After all, it made no difference if it was someone else who did the bad thing, I was the “leader” and deserved it.
Even something as innocent of asking your mother what them bumps were on her chest was just cause for punishment and no supper although that was one of the times my Grandmother made my mother use a belt on me. She just sat with me for awhile then told me to yell out as she pretended to hit me.
I became really shy and timid in school. In the first grade I had to use the bathroom but was afraid to raise my hand and ended up going in my pants. When the teacher saw what I did, she said she was going to send me home to change clothes. I became frighten. I think she knew somehow what was going on at home and told me not to worry. Everything will be okay. I don’t know what my teacher told my Grandmother but noting happen. I changed my pants and went back to school. My Grandmother never talked about it.
I was led to believe the birds were watching every move I made and would report back to my Grandmother. Anytime I noticed a bird, I would stand there not moving until it flew away.
One day I was playing with a caterpillar until my Grandmother told me they climb into your ear and have babies. I was deathly afraid of them for years.
When I became an adult, I tried telling my mother what was going on behind her back. She wouldn’t listen. We used to sit near the curb almost everyday and we could tell by where the shadow of the house fell on the street when our mother would be home for work. I asked her if she knew why we did that. She answered because we missed her. I told her yes we did miss her but that wasn’t the main reason. We knew when she came home, most of the things our Grandmother did would stop.
My mother met a man when I was 1o and had a daughter with him. I suspect my mother married him so she could get out of our Grandmothers house. Or my Grandmother pressured her to marry him so we would get out. My stepdad loved my mother and I dont think she realized she loved him too until after he died.
I didn’t get along with my step dad but I saw the tears in his eyes as I was on the bus headed for Navy boot camp. From that day on, we were okay.
My younger brother was killed over 20yrs ago. It was before our adopted out sister found us. We used to lay in bed at night scheming of ways we were going to find her. My mother never got over my younger brothers death.
I hadn’t seen my father since I was 5 and when the internet came out, my #1 purpose of using it was to find him. I did find him but he had died a couple yrs before.
I have left some things out because some are too fuzzy to piece together. I did have some good times. Especially with my Grandfather. It was devastating when I was 12 and being be told he died.
Not long before my mother died, she told me she was sorry for staying with my father. Her excuse she gave was, “He was good looking.”
Over the years she would talk about bringing my twin to IL from VA. It was a regret of hers for not following through.
I took what had happen to me as a child and used it as an example of how not to treat others and how to raise kids. I think it worked out pretty well.
I’m a twin. My twin brother was killed when he was a few months old. People say one twin “knows” if the other is in pain. Since I was just a baby when it happen, all I can say is it feels like something is off a little. Its hard to explain. A piece of a puzzle is missing. My mother was also a twin and her twin had died young and when I talked to her about this feeling, she told me she also felt the same thing. The something not quite right feeling has been with me all my life.
I was living with my ex-wife trying to give it one more shot the day my younger brother was killed. I had no idea he was staying at my moms in Stockton that weekend. I also didn’t know he had gone to Nora after a bachelor party. As far as I knew he was with his family in Freeport.
When my ex-wife came home from Casey’s she told me there was a man killed by a train in Nora that morning. My first thought was of my brother. I to this day have no idea why. I tried shaking it off and was thinking of calling him but went about my business.
An hour later I opened the door to answer the knock and saw a Stockton police officer standing there. He didn’t have to say a word. I looked at him and yelled NO and ran into the bathroom locking the door behind me. My ex-wife was given the news by the police.
Just a week before my mother died we had a talk about death. She had tried watching Greg’s wedding video for the hundredth time but couldn’t get past the first 5 min. before breaking down.
Mom opened up to me. She apologized for my life in VA. not doing more to protect me and expressed regret for not having my twin moved from Richmond to Stockton for reburial.
I asked her if she was afraid to die and if she believed in God. She said yes to being scared of death and no in believing in God. How could God take away two of her sons?
I told her she may be blaming the wrong person. She should look at Satan for blame. They’re deaths wasn’t natural and Satan wants her to blame God. Satan will do what it takes to deceive people. She didn’t say anything. She just stood there. A week later she was dead.
They say God works in mysterious ways and uses others to get a message or to help another. I have no idea if I was used or not. My hope is she thought about it and made her peace.
“For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.”
I make it a point to take time out to remember all those that I knew who have passed away because as long as I’m alive they will not be forgotten.
Depending who was on duty on the bridge at the time, an announcement would come over the loud speaker giving us tidbits about where we were and what we were seeing off in the distance.
I have been through the Bermuda Triangle four times. The first time going through, I was in my compartment when the announcement informed us we were entering the Triangle. I was a little nervous. After all, who hasn’t heard all the stories about planes and ships disappearing? Wikipedia seems to have all the answers by saying important parts of the stories were left out and explains/assumes what really happen. I can only tell you about my personal experience in the Bermuda Triangle.
The sea was calm but it was as if we crossed a line and the seas became choppy. This happen about every time we crossed into the Triangle. It had gotten so I knew when we were in the Triangle.
The first three times, nothing unusual happen. The fourth and last time, I was pulling duty on the bridge at the helm. It was around 2am when my compass stopped working. I alerted the officer of the deck (OOD)who then told me to steer using true north.
About 10 minutes later the port lookout reported a light off in the distance. The OOD, looked at the radar screen but nothing showed. The light didn’t seem to be moving. We were nowhere near land so that was ruled out. The light was bright white. The light being from another ship was ruled out. For one, there was no blip on the radar screen, if it were a merchant ship, it would have more then one light, there were no other American warships in the area, and our guts told us that wasn’t a ship. The OOD sent the messenger to wake the captain and requested he come to the bridge.
When the captain came to the bridge he was informed of the light, the non working compass and the blank radar screen. The captain looked at the light through the binoculars for a bit then put them down. The OOD asked if we should turn towards the light and investigate. I’m thinking to myself, lets not. The captain after reading my mind concurred. Stay on course but keep an eye on the light. If anything changes, let him know.
About an hour later the compass begin to work again. When we left the Bermuda Triangle, the sea became calm.
Okay, okay. You had to be there.
Charities have been a let down for me. It used to be we would be given a list of charities at work and we could pick and choose which one we wanted to donate with using automatic deduction from our paychecks or one time payment. I always picked the suicide help line. The suicide help line not only talked to people thinking about taking their lives but would talk to thoses who were just feeling lonely.
After a few years my workplace dropped them all and only gave us one choice. The United Way. I gave to them a few years until a few months after 9/11. I was disgusted where the money was going. The huge salaries were out of line and I wondered if my money was going to help or towards a paycheck so I stopped the donations.
After Obama stole the election, my thought when I saw the bell ringers out in force was I would never give to any charity except for military veteran charities because I didn’t want my money going to Obama voters. I figured you voted for Obama, let Obama help you with his hope and change. I did put a few dollars in the kettle anyway this past holiday. I’m having 2nd thoughts again but this has nothing to do with Obama.
Now I’m wondering about the Salvation Army. Yes the Salvation Army helps families. There is no doubt about that. However what I learned about the gifts people donate I must wonder how much of the money donated actually makes it to families in need.
First, I have no idea if this happens all over the country. I’m just picking one Salvation Army center. Some may not think its a big deal. To me, its just another let down.
This particular Salvation Army has names of families people on a Christmas tree and people can pick a family they would like to donate presents to. The presents come flowing in all gift wrapped. What some may not know is, the family names are made up.
After the family leaves the presents, they are put in a room and opened. I can understand opening them up because some people can be mean or think they are funny by gift wrapping a lump of coal or something. The gifts are then gone through and some are kept by the volunteers for their own family.
One particular gift almost got the Salvation Army busted. This person had picked a fake family name from the tree and sees the same gift at a Christmas party the Salvation Army was throwing. When confronted, The Army seemed shocked and promised to “investigate.” I wonder how that investigation is going…
On Christmas day the Salvation Army serves food to people in need. This past Christmas they served 80 families yet when reporting the number to the newspaper, they inflated the number to 180 families. Why did they do that? I’m thinking if they can show the readers just how bad it is, people would pour more money into the Salvation Army.
Personally I have never donated a present to the Salvation Army. I have however donated to the Marines Toys for Tots program. Formally being in the military, I KNOW the toys go to children in need.
During my lunch break at work I had purchased a coke, opened it and set it on top of the snack machine while I got some chips to go with my sandwich. After retrieving my chips, I reached up to get my coke and forgot I had opened it. I tilted it and it poured on top of my head.
This got me to thinking about just a few things that I have done that was embarrassing.
Swimming Pool Hell:
I had a baggy pair swim trunks and One day I was going off the high dive jumping into the water feet first so my trucks would poof out. I yelled out a couple times I was a parachute. (I was a teen) After doing this 5 times or so, the lifeguard finally pulled me aside to tell me every time my trunks proofed out, nothing was hidden.
Another day I was doing cannon balls off the low board and my trunks had split wide open in the back. I had no idea until almost an hr later when a friend pointed it out to me.
Swimming under water, I had my eyes closed but knew I was getting close to the edge. I was planning on getting out of the pool. I reached up to the side of the pool but unknown to me a girl was in front of me getting out of the pool. I had grabbed her bikini just as she was halfway out of the pool and I pulled them all the way down. After that, I learned to swim under water with my eyes open.
After at least 5 yrs or more since I had gone swimming, I decided I would one hot summer day. My new trunks felt nice and tight so I didn’t bother to tie them. I made a running dive from the side of the pool and as soon as I hit the water, my trunks were around my ankles.
Playing Jokes On People Bigger Then You:
While in the Navy, a friend would always take a swig of my soda so I thought I would be funny and cut a small slit near the top. I sat down next to him and set my soda down knowing he would take a drink. He picked it up, took his drink and soda ran down his chin. He thought maybe he was just careless and tried taking another drink. Again soda ran down his chin. He looked at the can, looked at me, and I started running. He caught me on the other end of the ship and convinced me not to do that again.
Never put a one of them bangers in a cigarette and accidentally give it to a bigger man. Its funny, but in the end, it just isn’t worth it.
Taking small kids to the grocery store. I learned the hard way, its best to bribe them to be quiet while waiting in the checkout. They may be innocent but the things they say can make a person cringe. How am I supposed to know why the woman in front of me is so fat? The thought of hot dogs looking like penises never entered my mind.
After finishing our meal at a packed Pizza Hut, I dropped the fork and bent down to pick it up. On my way up, this very cute baby, ( I would say at least 6 months old) grabbed my hair with his hands full of pizza sauce and would not let go. The parents of the child kept telling the kid to let go of the nice mans hair but he wasn’t having none of it. After what seemed like an eternity, the baby grew tired of humiliating me and let go. I wiped the pizza sauce out of my hair, accepted the parents apologies and left to pay my bill.
Taking the kids trick or treating. I worked 3rd shift most of the time my kids were small and I always took them out trick or treating. Coming to one house, we knocked and the door opened. My son with his keen eyes saw some toys way in the back of the house and took off on me into this strangers house, got down on the floor and started paying with some kids toys. It took 5 minutes to talk him into putting the toys down and come back to me.
Pulling in the bank drive through for some money, my son was dozing. He suddenly woke up thinking we were at McDonalds and started yelling he wanted a happy meal. The whole bank could hear him through the intercom.
I had a craving for a BBQ sandwich at KFC and to save time I used the drive through. I was told to pull ahead while they prepared my order. This is good. It means it will be fresh. I’m not sure how long I waited but finally I got out of my car to go inside to see what the hell was taking so long. I come face to face with the “Sorry, we’re closed” sign. I pounded on the door until one of them came to me. I told him my situation and they started yelling at each other trying to figure who was to blame. In the end, they gave me my BBQ plus another for free.
I have always said WI is full of people who became lost and gave up trying to get out of the state so decided the hell with it, We’ll just live here.
When on a county road in WI the signs don’t tell you what direction your going. They are marked with letters only. You may be on county road KK. It would be a great help if, oh I don’t know, maybe have the sign say, S. KK?
I went to meet a friend In WI. It was daylight and took me 90 minutes to get where I needed to be. On the way home, There was a town I didn’t want to go through because it was a little confusing the way the streets were laid out and decided I would just go around it. Sounded pretty simple to me. An hour and a half later I was right back where I started. I decided I would go through this stupid town. It took me 4hrs to get home.
If your bored or maybe you bought a new car you want to break in. Gas up for a drive to WI and good luck. Maybe you too will become a cheese head.
A Joke Gone To far:
I had just separated from my wife and sleeping in my mothers basement until I was able to save enough for my own place.
I don’t remember the reason for the 6 helium balloons but thought I would play a quick joke on my mother.
I tied the balloons stings around the door handle but kept the balloons on the other side of the door so when she opened the door, the balloons would come at her.
I heard her pull up. I heard her open the door. She didn’t turn on the light. I then her her yelling. I was trying not to laugh until I heard her struggling. She must of gotten tangled up in the balloons and I heard her almost begging and she was saying “Please don’t hurt me.” I felt sick. I was just about to go up there and let her know it was nothing when suddenly I heard her say, ” Damn you Barry.” She said she didn’t know what it was. She kept pushing something away away and it kept coming back at her. She thought she was being attacked by a person. I never played another joke on her.
Met a woman and we decided to go out to eat. We ordered our meal and was brought our drinks. I was being my suave self when I took a sip of my drink through the straw only to have the straw stuck to my lip when I looked up. Okay. I guess you had to be there.
I have been on a few dates during my life. Before the internet I used the singles classifieds. I made a ad, left a recorded message and like magic, women called.
It never worked out. Blind dates really suck. I had a hard time finding one that I could connect with. If they connected with me, then I had to con my way out of not wanting to see them again. I don’t like it and will never do blind dates again.
I made a 45 min. drive to meet a woman in a town I never been in. I parked my car, locked the doors and got into her car. She gave me the complete tour. We had a nice dinner but I knew it wasn’t going to work. I think she felt the same way. She took me to my car. I reached into my pocket for my keys but they weren’t in there. I look in the car and see they are nice and safe in the ignition. The police in that town will not unlock car doors. One hour later and $30 lighter, I was on my way. My date was nice enough to wait with me though.
One woman I did connect with and I thought she connected with me. We met in a park to talk. We talked and talked. I thought finally. This is it. She gives me her number and told me to call her. The next day, I call her. It went something like this…
Her: Why are you calling me?
Me: You told me to.
Her: I didn’t MEAN for you to call. I thought you knew it wasn’t going to work out.
Me: What the hell?
I’m a fan of the show Cops. Some things on the show bother me though.
A police officer pulls someone over because they are in a a known drug dealing area. So now we are supposed to detour around streets between the hours of 9pm and 6am that have drug houses? Granted the ones we see on the show did end up being guilty but I wonder how many were truly innocent that were edited out?
A officer tells the person they stopped he was seen leaving a KNOWN drug house. They end up arresting him after a search produces some drugs. The cops then move on. What is wrong with this picture? The cops KNOW there are drugs being dealt at the house but let it continue? Why not get a warrant, go and arrest everyone inside? Or if you see them selling, go up there and arrest them. Isnt it a crime knowing a crime is being committed but do nothing? especially if your a cop?
Arresting a drug user isn’t going to get drugs off the street. Its the dealers and suppliers who need to be arrested.
A cop is chasing someone. The someone tosses his stash. The cops catch him then meticulously search the area for the drugs until they find it. I remember reading advice from a lawyer who said when cops are chasing you, get rid of the drugs. The cops rarely will go back and search for it. So I must assume the cops on TV do it because well, they are on TV.
Having a suspect on the ground. One cop has his knee on his neck, another, a knee on his back, yet another on his back yelling for the suspect to stop resisting and put your hand behind your back. Okay, lets see, we have three officers dog piling a man with maybe 300 or more pounds of pressure on his neck and back. I think I would have a problem getting my arm out from under me also.
The prostitution stings are the most boring. Why is it when a woman has an abortion, that is okay because its her body and she has that right. Yet she gets arrested for selling her body for sex?? This makes absolutely no sense to me. You can murder your baby but don’t you dare have sex for money.
Other then that I enjoy watching someone have a bad night.
I signed up with the delayed entry program for the Navy and went into service a month after graduating from high school at the age of 17. When I went in, the slogan was “Fly Navy” and “Sailors have more fun.”
After boot in Chicago and my standard two week leave I was to head for my ship in VA. The USS Dupont DD 941. My first thought, what a stupid name for a ship.
I have never been on a plane before. I was seated next to the wing. I called the stewardess over to let her know I think the wing is going to break. How was I supposed to know its supposed to do that?
In the Navy I learned many things. For example, there is no such thing as a BT Punch. Or a mail buoy. The bucket of steam and bulkhead remover I am proud to say, I never fell for.
Being on a ship requires a your left and right part of the brain to work together. When walking through a doorway, you step over and duck your head. Its very important to do both at the same time.
If the sea is rough, jumping up in the air as the ship drops down, takes a little practice.
Always be prepared for a sudden roll. I still have the scar.
Some men throw up every time the ship left port. It took me a couple hours before getting sick but it never happen again.
Eating instructions: Take a slice of bread, place under food tray so tray wont slide. With other hand hold your drink. NEVER take your hand of the drink. As the ship rolls, tip the drink in the opposite direction.
Before leaving port make sure everything is tied down and secured or people could get hurt from sliding chairs and such if a person loses his balance and while laying on the floor, 3 or 4 chairs may slide across the room and slam into that person.
Anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour a code word will come over the intercom. When hearing this word its very important to play like a statue while armed men patrol the ship with orders to shoot anyone that moves. The reasoning being, a stowaway wouldn’t know what was going on.
Remember to tuck yourself under your sheet. Some racks may be 4 high. Men are tired and don’t want to be waken up by a loud thud followed by swearing.I found the best way to sleep was on my stomach. Less rocking back and forth.
Which brings me to talking in sentences. Every other word MUST include a swear word. The only problem is when visiting family when on leave, you MUST remember your mother may not like that very much.
Being out at sea, we averaged 4hrs sleep a day. I found it is possible to catch a few winks while standing.
The life boats have/did have little packages of candy.
Painting the water line takes two people. One to do the painting while the other bails water out of the rowboat.
To clean a mop: take mop and rope. Tie half hitches around the mop handle. Throw mop over in the water aft of the ship. Tow mop for 5 minutes. Haul mop back aboard ship, untie rope and use.
To dry mop: Twirl mop and as the mop is flung out, set down so mop is standing by itself.
When firing a dummy torpedo that accidentally hits a Russian battle ship, expect retaliation when least expected. Maybe they will fire one back at you at 2am.
A ball cap, a shirt and even your pants can be used to keep you above water if fallen overboard.
Aye Aye sir. I always felt stupid saying that.
Shit can: Trash can
Bug juice: Kool aid
Marine Shower: Cold shower. This happen a lot. No hot water.
Holiday Shower: A warm shower lasting more then 5 minutes. It takes time to convert sea water into usable water so short showers were a necessity.
Scuttlebutt: Water fountain.
Skate: Screwing off instead of working.
There are exciting and frightening moments such as almost being washed overboard during a storm.
Fog so thick the ship has to be a complete stop and ring a bill every few minutes to let other ships that almost hit it know there is a ship dead in the water.
Being called to general quarters and “this is not a drill.” being said in one sentence.
Having your general quarters 3 stories below the water loading the 5″/54 guns with the powder and projectiles with no way to escape if something should go wrong.
Think you will learn a trade you are able to use in the outside world? Maybe. Maybe not. I had been to fires schools and continually having to be qualified to fight fires . My ship had caught fire while out at sea so firefighting training is very important. When I was discharged, I thought I could use that training and get a job with a big city fire department. Oh oh. There was a problem. The Navy fights fires completely different them civilian fire departments. Looking at the exam I realized the terminology was also completely different. I was looking at gibberish.
Lost three shipmates. Had a burial at sea for them. Being on a ship is like having 250 close family members. The ship itself becomes like a family.
I miss my family.
Why oh why does a person on a motorcycle at a red light think they need to continually rev their engine? Is it some kind of cool factor they think they are exhibiting? Do they not realize some would like to get out of their car, walk up to them and slap them off their bike? Trust me, the only one your impressing is yourself. The rest of us hate your guts.
Speaking of motorcycles, why is it if a car went by a cop that had a muffler as loud as a motorcycle, they get a ticket for excessive noise yet the motorcycle wouldn’t?
When a person is riding a chopper, does his arms fall asleep? Why would someone want handlebars above their head?
Why is it some in a car step on the gas all the way down hill only to have to slow down at the bottom because now they are going to fast?
Which brings me to why do some stay on the gas until 15 feet from the stop sign then put on their brakes? You just wasted gas AND brake wear for nothing as I coasted up next to you.
When a person has their stereo up so loud, it shakes the walls a half block away but all we hear is thump thump thump, does the person think we can hear their music or the song that is being played? Do they think because they like their music, we all would even though all we here is thump thump thump? Are they wearing earplugs or is it just heavy wax buildup in their ears?
Why would someone have their drivers seat pulled so far back they can barely see over the steering wheel? Do they not realize they look stupid? Why doesn’t the police pull them over for that? Its obviously a driving hazard.
Why would a teen wear his pants low and claim its expressing their individuality when 70% of other teens do the same thing? Would they continue to wear their pants like that if they knew where it started and the reason? (in prison. showed other men he was “available” and made easy access) Trust me, when you look back after growing up your going to cringe at pictures of yourself wearing your pants halfway down your butt.
When going into a department store with no cash and only checks, why not have the check filled out except for the amount before everything is rang up? Oh, and why not have your drivers licence ready instead of waiting for the cashier to ask you for it and now you have to dig around looking for it? Do you not realize the people behind you have a life? We wasn’t put on earth waiting for you.
Why rake leaves? Leaves act as a blanket for the ground during the winter and by spring they are pretty much gone anyway. Which means, you just did all that raking for nothing.
Why are there mosquito’s? Do they serve a purpose besides being food for bats?
Why do most penises hang to the right? Does a left handed persons hang to the left? Could a left hanging one be trained to hang to the right?
Why call the new toilets water savers when you have to flush it twice?
Why not have deer warning horns as standard requirement on all cars? For the ones that do have one, shouldn’t the insurance be a little cheaper? We have a LOT of deer around here. We have a LOT of cars hitting deers.
Why does Woolite and most other carpet cleaners sell products that don’t work and why does the government let them rip off people with false advertisements saying that they do work?
If toothpaste prevents cavities, why do we get cavities? Why do we still need to go in for cleanings? Doesn’t this mean the toothpaste actually DOESN’T work? Shouldn’t the toothpaste say it probably wont prevent cavities?
Why is it if there are three urinals in the mens room, a guy will use the middle one forcing whoever comes in to stand next to him? Or, if a man is using the end urinal a guy will come in and use the middle one when the there is a perfectly fine one on the end?
Why would a person not take off their oily gloves when using a forklift that has to be shared with others?
Why did I have to bring in my birth certificate to work a few years ago to prove I was born in the U.S. but one other person in a higher paygrade didn’t have to?
I live in NW part of Illinois and at the time it seemed like it might be fun to drive almost 2000 freaking miles to reach Sparks Nevada. The fun lasted about 4hrs into it. Then it became a job. I didn’t bring a road atlas with me. I only relied on my GPS. (Note to self, bring road atlas on next trip so I know where the hell I am in in the states or even know what state I’m in)
Iowa is land a hog. Why does a state think they need to be so damn huge? I was halfway through the state wondering if it was growing as I was driving.
I will say though, Iowa has the most impressive rest areas I ever been in. The state goes all out to impress the traveler and it worked. The rest areas also are fairly close enough together so that if you need to use the bathroom, a person wouldn’t have their bladder erupt if they decided to wait till the next rest area.
Iowa rest stops were the only ones who would have a you are here map. In every other rest stop I was in I only saw the map of the state and they left out the you are here part. Unless I just didn’t see it.
Going through Nebraska was fine until it got around midnight. It seems most gas stations close around then. I would fill my car up when I reached a half a tank. So around 1am I was at that half full mark and started looking out for gas stations. I would see signs for gas and head off the interstate only to find them closed. When my gas gauge read slightly under half a tank, I started to feel a little panicky and decided to look for a rest area to park for the night.
The first sign I saw that said there was a rest area up ahead, I missed because I didn’t see the rest area. Nebraska likes to hide some of them. Instead of having them right there ON the interstate, they for some reason thought it would be fun to put it out of sight and make you drive through a maze to get to it. In one of their rest stops I couldn’t find my way out. My GPS was starting to get pissed at me. ” As soon as possible, make a u-turn.” I finally just sat there and waited for someone to leave so I could just follow them.
I drove till I found one that I could actually see and pulled in for the night. When I woke up a few hrs later I decided to go inside and use the facilities and buy me a can of coke to wash down my aspirin. This brings me to another complaint. All rest areas should have a soft drink machine. Which brings me to another complaint. The ones that do have a soft drink machine, whats up with the plastic bottles of soda? What is wrong with cans? Bottles of soda dont seem like they get as cold and taste a little flat. Which brings me to another complaint. Do most rest stops have a thing against coca-cola?
Going through Wyoming wasn’t to bad except for the fact, they hate rest areas. They cant be bothered with building them so they have quite a few of places you can park but have nothing else. The rest areas they do have are pretty boring. They don’t want you sticking around so they just build a building around a couple bathrooms in the hopes you do your job then leave
Lot of road construction signs all the way west. Lot of cones but no work being done. I never was told if you have to drive slow even if there is no road construction actually being done. Sometimes I sped through them, sometimes I didn’t.
In one part of Wyoming there actually was work being done. They had the interstate on my side down to one lane. The problem is, they must have forgotten to put warning signs a few miles back because traffic was backed up for miles due to both lanes being full of vehicles trying to get into the one open lane.
The gas stations all the way to Nevada have no trust in us travelers. They all want us to prepay for gas. I would go in, stand in line, give them some money, pump my gas, then have to go back in, stand in line to get my change because I could never get all the gas I paid for into my car. To all you gas thieves, thanks a lot assholes.
Salt Lake City really needs to do something about their road signs. My GPS is telling me what lane to be in and I follow its instructions. Next thing I know, my GPS is “recalculating” When I look up, I see the lane I’m supposed to be in going off slightly to the right and since there is a cement barrier, I can’t get over to it and end up somewhere in Salt Lake city hell. My GPS is telling me to turn left. Problem is, I’m in the far right of the million lane and the road is packed full of cars filling all the lanes. I turn my blinker on and lo and behold, like the hand of God coming down cars slowed down and let me over so I was able to get back on the interstate.
Not only does the west detest rest areas, they also build as few gas stations as possible. Now I’m looking for stations when my Gage reaches 3/4 mark. My car is new so it isn’t quit broke in and I was getting around 32-35 mpg.
I was going through the salt flats and wondering if I was going to make it out of there alive. I’m watching my gas Gage drop and the only thing in front of me is more interstate. When I finally saw a gas sign off in the distance, I realized I yes, there is a God.
Driving a long distance you notice the same people. Mostly truck drivers. I pass them, leave then miles behind, stop and get gas and end up passing them again. Crips, how much gas does a semi hold anyway? It was getting a little embarrassing passing the same guys over and over.
The country is very brown from Utah to Nevada. I see nothing growing. I’m wondering to myself, what do you people do to contribute to the rest of the country?
The wind in some parts were pretty wild. I saw a a camper flipped over from the wind. I had to grip the steering wheel and just hang on.
There is a couple tunnels that I had to go into. One was fine. It had lights inside. The other, not so fine. No lights inside. Imagine, your in the bright sunlight when suddenly your going through a unlit tunnel. Not good.
I never been to a place that practically has no humidity. Here in IL, the humidity rarely goes below 50% so even if its in the 70’s but the humidity may be in the 90’s it feels crappy.
In sparks, the temps in the day time reached into the 90’s but with the low humidity I never sweated. Very weird. I felt like I was a human magnifying glass and sun was burning right through me. I was tired all the time. At night the temps would drop into the 60’s and the wind picked up. I slept like a baby every night. Normally I toss and turn. In Nevada I was falling asleep within 15 min. of my head hitting the pillow.
I never felt dirty. My glasses would get that oily stuff on them up near the top where they hit your eyebrows but not in Nevada. I was only having to clean them once a day.
Every morning I would wake up in a panic knowing I still had that drive back. It almost made me sick every time I thought about it.
I did enjoy myself there though. Went to Carson City way up in the mountains, went to lake Tahoe and took a ride on the tour boat while one and only Mark Twain explained the history of the area.
On the way back, I knew what to expect so was prepared. I filled up before hitting the salt flats. I had gave my car its first oil change in Sparks and noticed the more I drove the better millage I was getting. I ended up getting a little over 40mpg. It was much better. I never reached panic mode all the way back.
Again, Salt Lake City REALLY needs to rethink the interstate markings. I was being double careful this time. Everything was going perfect. There even I-E 80 markings painted on the road and I made sure I was on it and thought to myself I got it this time. I’m actually going to make it when suddenly my GPS was “re-calculating” again. The difference this time was I didnt end up in Salt Lake City hell and was able to get on the right lane.
I think they should have gas stations at all rest stops. Or, if your going to put a sign up that says “GAS” put it near the interstate. Don’t make people get off the interstate and end up driving 3 miles into some town or city looking for the gas station. Your not going to trick me into stopping to shop. I’m getting my gas and blowing your town.
When I hit Nebraska on the way back a deer shot out in front of me. It was around 1am. Now I’m paranoid as hell. I’m trying to keep my eye on the road and now off the road looking for any deer who seems to think the grass is greener on the other side. This went on for an hr when I decided enough. I’m stopping at the next rest stop excpet of course the next rest stop was parking only. If you needed to take a leak, I guess you do it on the ground.
As I’m looking for a rest stop that has a building I saw a comet. I thought for sure that thing was going to hit the ground. It looked like it burned up not more then 50ft from the ground. I found my rest stop and slept for a few hrs before moving on.
About the middle of Nebraska I noticed the humidity was getting higher. I had my car window down the whole time since Nevada but now I’m getting the crud feeling so use my a/c.
When I got into Iowa it was like a whole new world. All that green. All them cows. All them farms and corn. Again, what do the people out west contribute? Dirt? Sand?
I stopped into one of their beautiful rest areas and they had a map with a “You are here” on it! My heart sunk. I’m looking at it thinking, holy crap. I have that far to go? Holy crap.crap crap crap.
Everything is going smoothly till I hit Iowa City. I see it in the distance. Its huge. Storm clouds. I’m right in the middle of the city when it hits. It poured so hard I could barely see anything. The cars around me don’t seem to be fazed and still speed. I can’t pull over till it passes because there is nowhere to pull over. I hold on and hold my breath till we get out of it.
After leaving Iowa city, not much happen. I just can’t believe how big that state is. I finally made it home to IL. Never will I do that again…I don’t think.
Maybe I was to heavy of a smoker (2-2 1/2 a day) because I still want a cigarette. What I will say however is I may still want a ciggie but the cravings would be MUCH worse if it wasn’t for the pill. The cravings are more like if I were on day 5 of a quit. Its not a 24 non stop crave.
I’m getting tired of the upset stomachs every time I take a pill. I dread taking it knowing what will be next. The dreams are a rip off. Dreams wearing the patch were much better. All my dreams with the pill are depressing ones. One day I was just sitting there and sorta dozed. I wasn’t asleep yet began dreaming right away. I know a man who said he was dreaming while awake.
I am using nicotine lozenges to take a little more of the edge off. I break them in half. I also suck on mostly lifesavers butter rum candy. I never realized how hard it is to find this candy. In a town of 25,000 I can only find them in one place. A grocery store. So far I have wiped out one isle of them. I hope they restock them.
I know the cravings will be with me the rest of my life. I have quit before for one year and every day there were cravings on and off throughout the day so I know its something I just have to live with.
I am supposed to get one more month supply of the pill but I’m not doing it. mainly because of the upset stomachs. I’ll stick with the lozenges for awhile though.
I vaguely remembered something about CNN’s Sanchez having a DUI and when reading about it on Larry Sinclair’s blog decided to look it up.
Jeffrey Smuzinick supposedly ran out into traffic when Rick Sanchez, drunk, behind the wheel, struck and injured 32 yr old Jeffrey. A carpenter by trade. Jeffrey had severe head injuries and was paralyzed. He was in a coma for months. He underwent rehabilitation but ended up dying in a nursing home at the age of 36.
After hitting the man, Sanchez LEAVES the scene and runs home. He then returns later. Larry says he went home to get his drivers license and down a quick beer so he could tell the cops he needed to calm his nerves. (which makes it a hit and run)
When the New York Observer interviewed Rick, the subject of the killing came up. Rick, who has no problem attacking others on air, becomes defensive when the shoe is on the other foot. His excuse for driving drunk , injuring, paralyzing a man who ends up in a nursing home then dies?
“I was wrong, because I had a couple of cocktails, because I was over the legal limit,” he went on. “It could have happened to anybody. … There were probably a lot of other people leaving the stadium that had had a couple of beers as well.” The police tested him over one hour after the hit and run and he was still above the legal limit. I think he had more then just a couple.
Strange how a liberal never takes full blame for anything. Its all about them. Witnesses at the scene say Rick ignored the victim and it all became about Sanchez. as he loudly told police and bystanders that blood tests were pointless, and would hurt his public image.
Rick the ever compassionate person he pretends to be never visited his victim. Never called him to say he was sorry because well, its all about him.
No jail time. No charges.
VA Tech. A man is busy picking off students one by one. Eyewitness accounts describe police hiding behind trees and failing to pursue the killer, while ordering the school to be placed on lockdown so nobody could escape the carnage as the killer picked off his targets with seemingly little interruption from the police.
This happens way to much. Police slow to respond. Needing time to reassess the situation. While they twiddle their thumbs instead of doing the job they are paid to do, people needlessly die. The police are the ones with the guns and vests. The people being killed are unarmed and helpless.
At 11:21am two (some claim three) kids walk into a high school and started shooting. Depending on who tells it the shooting stopped anywhere from 11:46am to as late as 3:45pm. A total of 15 people including the shooters were killed. SWAT didn’t enter the school until a half hour after the shooting stopped. The police were there within three minutes but Sheriff said they were “out gunned.” So opted for hiding behind cars.
Now we have the most recent massacre in New York and again, slow police response costs people their lives and again, instead of trying to save lives, they need to hide so they can think about it for awhile in the hopes the killer will just kill himself when finished.
I know police work is dangerous but they know its dangerous before joining up. There was no gun pointed to their head forcing them to be a police officer. If a police officer chooses to hide behind trees and cars while people are being killed, maybe its time that police officer looks for another line of work.
Not sure if its the chantix but last two nights I could barely sleep. I slept a couple hrs sorta last night. Gave up and laid down on the couch. I then fell asleep. Maybe I just needed a change. I don’t know.
I started the 2 pill dose last night. When I woke up I had no cravings but I still have a half pack of ciggies and smoked anyway. While getting ready to go out I lit up another and had to put it out because I didn’t want it.
I don’t know if its just my imagaination or not. Seems a little early for the pill to be working. I havent even started the full dosage yet. Being a hard core smoker, 2-3 packs a day, I find it hard to believe its working already.
I just lit up a ciggie and so far I’m still smoking it. The feeling I get when smoking is a full lung feeling. Maybe I’m just coming down with something.
I barely get a upset stomach now when I take the pill if at all. Still being ripped off of the really vidid dreams like the patch gives. Maybe that will come when I start the full dosages.
I’m not seeing things that arnt there yet or thinking of killing myself.
Three pack a day smoker and I quit smoking for one year once using the patch and gum. I used both for a month then dropped the patch and stayed with the gum. I cut the gum in half so the package would last longer. I chewed the gum for maybe 4 months. By the time I decided to get off the gum I was only chewing two pieces a day.
I CRAVED EVERY DAY. I felt cheated. I quit damn it! This didn’t feel fair. Granted the first three days in the quit was really bad. A non stop craving. Total hell. I had no idea caving and just having one ciggie would ruin all I did. Looking back I should have bought some more of the nicotine gum.
I have quit again. A week here, month there. I keep trying but I know what hell it takes to go through and always have the feeling of dread.
Now that the Kenyan has broken his promise of no new taxes and stabbed his sheeple in the back not to mention my state of IL wants to add another dollar to the cost of a pack, I decided enough is enough. I want to force the Kenyan and my state to go after other peoples vices for a change and went to see my doctor to get some Chantix.
Day one it wasn’t more then 20 minutes and I got a queasy stomach. My mouth tasted like a tin can. Same for day two. Day three my stomach wasn’t as queasy and it didn’t last. The tin taste is gone. Tomorrow I start taking two pills a day.
So far I feel nothing. I’m dreaming but nothing like the dreams I had while wearing the patch. I hope they get more vivid. Its like being on an adventure when going to sleep. Except when its a nightmare. Wearing the patch I had a nightmare. It was so real I was afraid to go back to sleep. When I did fall back to sleep I’ll be damn if the dream didn’t start where it left off.
I’m still smoking like I normally do. I keep waiting to notice something but so far nothing. I’m still smoking as much as I always have.
I’ll let you all know if Chantix works for me. Maybe it will because now I have the Kenyan for motivation.
Everyone is a Pollywog until they cross the equator aboard a ship. Then you become a Shellback. It was a tradition originally created as a test for the seasoned sailor’s to make sure their new shipmates could handle long rough times at sea. The things they make a pollywog do, I fail to see how that is a test of anything. Maybe things were done different a century ago.
I served aboard the Destroyer USS Dupont pictured in the header of this blog.
The day before the crossing we held a beauty contest. It was all in good fun. We had no idea what was in store for us the next day. If we did, I doubt we would of been laughing and joking around. The people pictured are still polywogs. (The man in the middle won.)
I was standing the 4am-8am watch the day we crossed the equator. As soon as I was relieved, I had to put my pants and shirt on backwards, my shoes on the wrong feet. After the ceremonies began, you soon forget how uncomfortable that is. Once its over, we threw everything away.
They started by making us all kneel down and breaking eggs on top of our heads, calling us names and smacking us with a piece of fire hose. No sailor is forced to participate but the ones who didn’t were looked down on as cowards. I went through it myself but didn’t look down on the ones who backed out.
We were on our hands and knees the whole day. On ships they have what is called non skid. Its really hard and rough. Sorta like being on your hands and knees on small gravel.
They continually hosed us down with fire hoses while dropping eggs from above on us. We had to crawl from the bow of the ship to the stern. Some gave up. It makes no difference who you are. Even officers who have never crossed goes through this. As a matter of fact our captain had never been across the equator. They were a little extra rough with him from what I heard.
There were only really two gross parts to the whole thing. The first one happen halfway through. They pick the two fattest sailor who are a shellback, put some kind of green goop on his stomach. I think it may have been peanut butter mixed with horse radish and food coloring. In the belly button is a cherry. We must get that cherry out using our mouth.
The main problem is he grabs your head and pushes your face deep into his belly and smears your head all over it. After that, there was no turning back. I was going to finish it even if it killed me.
The 2nd one was worse then the belly epeisode. They had saved up garbage for a week. They put the rotted food in a long chute. It reminded me of a slip and slide. They put a apple in your mouth and you must still have that apple in your mouth when comeing out from the other end. As your going through it, the people on top are beating you trying to get you to drop that apple. If you come out with no apple, you must go through it again.
Inside the chute, was rotted food along with vomit from other sailors who went in it before you. The smell was overwelming. I came out of the chute covered in garbage and puke but still had that apple in my mouth just like the guy in the picture.
Once we get past the garbage chute, we become a shellback. A true blue sailor. We walk over to a fire hose they had hanging down and stand under it to rinse ourselves off. After changing into clean clothes there is a celebration cookout that night.
For the ones who were afraid to go through it the first time across, they had a second chance when we crossed over. It wasnt as bad as what we went through. They didnt have to crawl all over the ship and there was no garbage chute. It also lasted only a few hours. If I had known that, I may have waited for the return trip.