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Page 18 started June 26, 2003

Letters, Random Memories and Assorted Sea Stories (Cont.)

Geyser Pizza .....

King Paul,

I recently discovered your site. Quite a blast. I was never on the Big 'E', so I realize I don't qualify to appear, but reading your mention of Geyser Pizza brought back memories. I was in Nuke School class 8503 (top EM and top overall student). Then I went to MARF. I was there when the control tube rupture happened and some guys got held up. I got in just under the wire. I was the first EM in 8503 to qualify. I remember for the last month or so picking up pizzas at Geyser. I wouldn't have been able to tell you the name of that place, but after reading the name, it sounds familiar. Anyway, I spent 4 years on the Ike after that ('86-'90). Great site.

Joe Brown
Richmond, VA

I apologize to Joe, being as his letter was sent many days ago and I just found it today.  Joe inadvertently sent it to one of my "mooj" email addresses.  Under normal conditions my "Mooj" mail is cluttered with 1000s of junk emails and I only eyeball them haphazardly before deleting them in mass.  I'm glad I spotted it.  (I also found a poem that my aunt wrote.  Hmmm.  Maybe it will inspire me to write a new Mooj newsletter ...... ) 

I bet I knew you Joe, being as we were EMs at MARF at the same time.  I was often seen hanging out in the E-Div shop selling pizza--as you did later on.  At least now I have a witness to attest to the fact that there really was a fix in to get one EM student qualified as soon as possible to sell pizza.  Do you remember EM1 (SS) Gravelle?  He was one of the few cool E-Div staff guys at MARF.  He was always nice to me, whereas the others were .... well, you know.  I forget who my sea dad was (tall skinny guy with dark hair and glasses).  I can picture him but can't remember his name.  This guy was also Al Huff's sea dad.  Al Huff, the funniest guy in the world, rubbed our sea dad the wrong way and, as a result, ended his navy nuke career early.  One of the funniest things I remember was when this sea dad guy took Huff aside one day and asked him if he was having any personal problems (you know, pretending to give a shit when he really didn't).  Huff was way behind the curve by then and the sea dad guy was obligated to "consult" with him under those conditions.  Huff knew this guy could give a shit so after being asked if everything was okay Huff started to sob and told his sea dad that he just found out that he got his 13-year-old girlfriend pregnant (this was a lie, of course).  The poor sea dad didn't know what to say or do so he told Huff to just work harder and try to get more checkouts.  I was sitting outside the office in one of those study carols and almost crapped myself trying to contain my laughter.  Huff was pretty much a goner after that since sea daddy didn't want nothing to do with him again.  (He certainly didn't ask him about anything personal, that's for sure.)  Joe, can you remember who this EM1 staff guy was?  It will drive me crazy trying to think of this guy's name now.

KP     

KP Rambles On About Prototype .....

I have many memories of prototype and life in general in NY. Some memories are good and some are bad.  In the early days (before going into section) things seemed okay. Fellow 8502 classmates Al Huff, Bill Cawthon, Dave Freisleben and I were living the good life in a small apartment atop the Roackle General Store in Middle Grove, NY (located where HWY 104 dead-ended with Middle Grove Road). This was one of those real old general stores, like in The Waltons, complete with two old gas pumps out front.  Up until then I had never lived in a place so bucolic or wooded. I recall being astounded daily by the scenic beauty all around me, especially in the fall when the colors changed.  I could have lived there forever I thought. But the truth is I couldn’t because there was such a "sadness" about the place. It’s hard to describe but most guys going to prototype in NY will probably know what I’m talking about. Maybe the Idaho guys saw something similar in their towns. I guess what I’m trying to say is that in that part of NY people and things seemed to remain stagnant while every six months another class of navy nukes came smashing through, upsetting the natural balance of things.  Many a heart was broken there.

When we arrived and took residence in Middle Grove we noticed right away that few girls above the age of 16 were around. We later learned that it was because the 17 and older girls had already been married to sailors and were now living in such exotic places as Charleston, San Diego or San Francisco. 

In the early days our apartment was filled with talkative and joyful girls—all young—too young really.  We were the "new shipment" of squids and they were there checking us out. They came in groups of twos, threes or fours on bikes or by foot, bringing cookies, cakes, etc., along with endless charm. It was as if their only chance of leaving that God-forsaken town (to them not us) was to latch on to one of us as soon as possible before another gal got her hooks in.  Most of us had never been so popular before.  It was like being a rock star or something. 

I remember one night a bunch of us MARFites were at some guy’s house. It was a typical after shift gathering—beer, local girls, music and more beer. As I sat next to my future brother-in-law MM3 (and future 3-planter) "Nitro" drinking a beer we both noticed a young man looking in at us through a window. This lad would stare, retreat to the road, toss rocks at the house, and then come back to the window to stare some more.  Finally someone asked if anyone knew whom this fellow was. "Oh, it’s just my stupid boyfriend," said one of the girls, who at the time was giving some squid a foot massage. Such was the fate of the local teenage boys in that poor town. They hated the squids. The squids came and went and took away their girls. Why shouldn’t they hate us? If I grew up there I’d hate the squids, too.

One of my roommates began dating a local girl soon after our arrival—she was barely 17. This girl promptly dumped her high school sweetheart to become a semi-permanent fixture in our house.  This was a welcomed thing because this girl often made herself useful by doing dishes and cleaning up stuff while we were gone.  Her ex boyfriend was a guy named Vinny, who drove a pickup truck with a big confederate flag painted on the hood. (Why a kid would do that in upper state NY is beyond me.) Anyway, for weeks we were tormented by this Vinny. Every night he would drive up to our place (about midnight) and then do a hellatious burnout below our windows. You could set your watch by it. It was almost like it was the only thing he could do. In the end this fair maiden dumped my roommate for the squid next door. (Alas, he had a cool tattoo and a more bitchen car.) Such was life in Middle Grove. Now toss in 14 hr days and the misery of quals.  

How do you guys remember your towns in prototype? Was Middle Grove, NY unique or like all the rest?

KP

More MARF Memories .....

KP,

Damn, drudging up old MARF memories. The worst was my first throttle watch. The EOOW, the E-div LPO, rang up ALL the required bells for me in about 2 minutes, right after the watch started. I remember screwing up and leaving that bypass valve open and could never figure out why the damn shaft wouldn't stop. I don't think I ever "answered" any bell and had nightmares about the whole thing, thinking I was going to fail out of prototype and still owe 6 years! The next day, he told me I did a great job and signed my whole throttle section.

I remember Joe Brown. He was in my 8503 section with Tim Cady, who I think also went to the Ike. (Joe, where's Tim now?) As Joe mentioned, he was the #1 EM nuke around, and Tim and I ... uhh, weren't. Our sea dads (had forgotten about them!) ragged us for "riding the curve" when Joe was about twice as far along. He did his best to help us, without breaking the rules.

The voided tube. Happened around Dec 85-Jan 86. All the EMs were done with our required watches and finished the other BS to qual. Most of the ETs in our class got stuck, as I recall for many months. Silly us, we thought we were lucky to be done and heading to the ship. What the hell were we
thinking?

Remember there was a woman nuke at MARF? I wonder if they have women in the program again. If so, I suppose they're in the plant on the ship too.

Back to the pig: anyone remember Bill Walters, ET in 1 or 2 plant? He actually worked for me in Seattle once upon a time. How about Tim Brown, EM? He's a salesman for my company in Florida.

Rob

Rob, you don't mean RE Div's Tim Brown do you?  The one and only stud of 1-plant?  Man, was he a pain in the ass.  But he was a very hard worker.  I could always count on him.  When he was a nub (barely two days in the div) he showed up at one of our infamous RE parties.  He got drunk, took off his shirt, and then began dirty dancing with a senior guy in the division's wife.  I remember thinking, man that nub's got balls--he'll fit in well.

If it is that Tim Brown please get him to contact me.  I'd love to hear from him again. 

KP

Catching Up .....

Ram, 

I wrote in once, I think, a while back. You will most likely have to look at a cruise book to see if you recognize me. My name is Jim Graziano. I was in RM11 from 87 to 89. I did a swap to the Texas (CGN-39) just before the world cruise. I was from the Bay Area and had no desire to relocate to the East Coast. I also served as the poor replacement for Lance in the Coop after he finally did get transferred out (I think to the USS Kansas City.) I really enjoy your site. It has taken several years for me to be able to think back on my experiences without feeling queasy. The stories I have read also served to jog my memory and remind me that I did occasionally have some fun. By the way, Lance is now working at St. George’s Spirits in Alameda. They have a website (http://www.stgeorgespirits.com/) complete with Lance on the front page.

RE: The Devil—I reported on board after my 30 day leave with 8 stitches above my right eye from an “alcohol-related incident” 2 days prior. It was still pretty swollen and ugly. My first day when I went to the reactor office I was less than enthusiastic to find the Devil in the office…you see he was the department MC at the office in A-school at Great Lakes when I was there and had already shown himself to be a, hmm…what’s the word I’m looking for…cocksucker…yes that will do fine. He would line everyone at A-school up in his office to inspect ID cards as the hottest scam at the time was transferring a number from an LES onto a piece of laminate and placing this strategically over the last number in your birth date to facilitate drinking. Now, thinking back on this, that wasn’t really that evil…I mean with the exception of the first couple of suckers in line, if you couldn’t figure out something was up while you waited and remove the laminate you deserved to get rocked out. Natural selection, you know.  Additionally, with regard to his distaste for those lacking sideburns, I had gone home for Xmas while still in A-school and shaved my sideburns off (actually my friend shaved my sideburns AND about an inch above and behind my ears bald. When he saw me at school he grabbed me by the shirt, pulled me into a doorway, and ripped in to me about my “trendy haircut.” He wrote me up for that so I guess he has had and may still have a problem with those lacking sideburns. Anyhow, this all came rushing back to me when I saw him and his first question was, "How did that happen to your eye?" I told him I had an accident on leave and he told me that if he found out it was alcohol related he would kick me out of the nuc program. Oooff. Welcome aboard! Now I see that he has registered in with your alumni list. I hope he is miserable wherever he is, but I must thank him because he was instrumental in convincing me not to re-enlist.

I delve into this because this reintroduction to the Devil was one example of the way I was plagued for the rest of my enlistment.  When I finally left the Pig to go to the Texas I found that the CMC there was Butch Carbo. Yes, another douche bag from my past…this time from NNPS in Orlando. My experiences with him there were not as bad as those with the Devil, but he more than made up for it on the Texas. When I was going through my debriefing at the end of my enlistment I had to meet with him. He asked what my plans were, and I told him I was going to use my GI Bill money to go back to school. He laughed and said, “That’s what they all say.” He said he would give me this last opportunity to reenlist, because once I got out and realized that I had made a mistake and wanted back in it would be too late. I just smiled and said no thanks. As a matter of fact I think I was smiling the whole time…for the last 3 days. When I finally got my last GI Bill check a couple of years ago I really wanted to take a picture of me depositing it and send it to that little cocksucker. That’s OK, though…I got the last laugh. I am just finishing up my PhD in Structural Biology and he is undoubtedly still a midget piece of shit sitting in a barca-lounger in his double wide watching Victory at Sea over and over again. Additionally, Ugaki turned up on the Texas about 6 months before I got out along with this guy I can’t remember his name that had been the 1st class in charge of the Coop (along with EMC Maloney) when I was working there. He was a pretty serious dirt bag, a la Bob ‘Spiro’ Agnew, but a nice enough guy to work for. He had made chief, but was still a dirt bag.

Anyway, I really enjoy reading the stories. You do all of us a service and deserve much credit. My E-mail address has changed, by the way, to: jgraziano@gnf.org.

Thanks! 

Jim Graziano

It was great to hear from you Jim!  I think you're our first alum PhD.  Great job!  Thanks for sending along Lance's website.  I still keep in contact with him and he often sends me samples of his latest concoctions.  One of these days I'm going to stop by his brewery and have a look around.  It is located across the street from where the old main gate to NAS Alameda once stood.  

KP 

Idaho Falls Memories ....

I went to prototype in Idaho Falls, class 7904. I chose Idaho so I would be closer to the West Coast, because I wanted to get a Westpac bound ship. Little did I know that the needs of the Navy rarely make any sense, and they usually do exactly the opposite of what seems logical, like assign guys from the IF site to the West coast, and the other prototypes to the East coast.

Idaho Falls is Mormon country big time, and that put a pretty serious damper on most of the night life and bad behavior that I was used to. After cruising through nuke school having never been assigned mandatory hours, I was pretty accustomed to partying hard every night. We had to kinda shift gears a little, and become rather self-sufficient, partying at each other's homes. The bar scene there was pretty dismal. Most of the bars were very local-ish, and the locals didn't seem very friendly at all toward us naval types. They weren't generally mean, like in Great Mistakes, but sorta tolerant but stand-offish toward us. The locals seemed like rancher-cowboy types, or devout Mormons with HUGE families. There was a dramatic shortage of dating/partying age women, since Mormons tend to marry off their young at a tender age. The cowboys didn't seem too eager to share their women, and I know there were plenty of fights at the only Rock-n-roll, partying type bar in town over this issue. I had one friend who regularly sported shiners.

Of course, there were the white trash trailer broads that sleazed around quite a bit, and I think I related the story about one of them a few months back named Carolyn, probably the most famous slut in I.F. history. Just about everyone had slept with her, and everyone else had heard about her.

I.F. wasn't a bad place if you had your own woman, or liked lots of outdoor type stuff. I learned to snow ski there at Grand Targee, which is the back side of the Tetons. Jackson Hole was nearby, but too spendy for my tastes. Man, the road to that place was a nightmare! Especially in the winter, with HUGE drop-offs into massive gorges, some places there were no guard rails. Not the place for drinking and driving, but as you can probably guess, we did it anyways. I also wrote in a story about the time I cut my shift at the site (A1W) to watch the 1980 Olympics, when the USA hockey team beat the Russians and went on to win the gold medal.

Probably the best thing about I.F. was that I made some good friends, because we spent more time together there, as there were fewer places to hang out. I still send e-mails to some of the guys I met there, and have run across a few in the Nuc world when I worked "in the business." I had also heard that the town of Pocatello, the other big area where people from the prototype site lived, had a college and that improved the night life stuff quite a bit. I didn't have a car, so I didn't leave town much, except for some road trips to Yellowstone and to go skiing. Like I said, it was a great place to hunt, fish, ski, jump out of airplanes, etc. Not much in the way of "wildlife," at least not the 2 legged variety...

Arrgh!

Middle Grove, NY ....

I also lived in Middle Grove, class 8302, S8G, I had 3 roommates, 2 - S3G and I think 1 MARF, We lived on Desolation Lake Road, not far from the general store. We lived in a house next door to a lumber mill. My roommate Griffith had a 1970ish Trans AM (the one with the split front bumper) that he used to race all around town and into Saratoga Springs. The troopers tagged him hard one day, seems they could never seem to catch him car for car and had been trying on several occasions.  My roommate said that, as they were towing his car away, the trooper said, "you might be able to beat a car, but not the radio."

Rick Newman

More Middle Grove Thoughts ....

Middle Grove was so small that we had to have our mail delivered to the general store (of course, that may have been because we "lived" at the general store.).  I still remember my address: Box 13, Middle Grove, NY.  There couldn't have been more than a few dozen houses in Middle Grove (plus a few trailers wedged in between each house).  But, it never failed, whenever new nubs arrived on the Big E fresh from prototype there was always one guy who had lived in Middle Grove.  I'd ask him where in Middle Grove he lived and he'd say above the general store.  I'd ask about certain families, girls and things and things were pretty much as they were during my tenure.

In 1992 my wife and I drove across country and stopped for the night in Saratoga.  It was sentimental journey for me as you can imagine.  We actually crashed at Dicko's pad--he was on staff at S8G then.  On that trip I took my wife up to Middle Grove to look around and everything was the same.  I went inside the General Store and the old lady (Grandma Roackle as we called her) was still there.  I almost told her that I was one of her many long ago navy nuke tenants but figured she'd probably start cursing at me--as she often did when I lived there.  After looking over my old house I drove a little down Middle Grove Road to where Dave Freisleben was killed.  I said a prayer and then drove out of town, thinking I'd never see that place again.  But I was wrong.  I saw it again in 1997, when my wife and I returned for Dicko's wedding in Saratoga.  (He was back on the Big E by then.)  Once again I journeyed to Middle Grove but by then the General Store was gone (replaced by a Stewarts).  I learned from the locals that the old store burned down ~1995.  

KP  

More NY Memories .....

I see all the stories about Middle Grove and the Saratoga area. Life in the 60’s was the same. I guess that as long as there was a prototype the same things happened. Every apartment had girls hanging around. Prototype was rough! Long hours, hard work. We worked hard and played even harder. I never drank so much in my life, at least until the Big E pulled into Subic Bay.  

Some of us stayed here. I met my wife while I was a student at D1G. We married a year later, bought a house on Lanie Drive in Greenfield Center and still live in the same place. The winters up here suck but, otherwise, it’s ok. I went to work for GE after I got out. When I applied for a job there, they stamped in big letters across my application, VETERAN. I had a job that day.  Many years later I went to work for General Dynamics at the West Milton Site. I qualified as a Shift Refueling Engineer. We refueled the MARF plant. I had the best damn crew of all. We pulled the first cell out of that bitch. My crew worked their balls off to get to that point and we were determined to to pull the first one and we did it. There are a lot of stories in that place, I met some very Good people there. I found out that you meet your best friends after you get assigned to a ship. I was on the Enterprise for a Total of 4 years. Some of the guys I met there are the best people that I have ever met. I still think of them to this day. I wish I could get in touch with some of them. Enough rambling for now. I guess I was feeling nostalgic reading about prototype days and had to put in my 2 cents worth.

Ray Henderson 60’s sailor, 3 plant  

Prototype memories of Ballston Spa ...

KP,

Reading your recollection of upstate NY is amazing. I felt exactly the same way when we arrived in the winter of 1981. It was a weird trip to start with, because when I and a couple of guys left Orlando on Friday, December 19, 1980 (by u-haul) it was 78 degrees. When we got to Philadelphia Saturday morning, it was -4. We stayed at a friend's house that weekend and got up to Ballston Spa on Monday morning, where the temperature stayed all week at about 20 below zero. They told us we missed the cold spell! (Just before we got there there was a week stretch where the temperature never made it above -34 degrees.) It was a harsh winter, but by spring, the beauty of upstate NY was breathtaking. I lived in downtown Ballston Spa. 36 Front Street, right in the heart of the town. There was a pizza shop across the street, and a supermarket up the block. I roomed with one other guy at first, and then several fellahs toward the end who came from other classes in Orlando. There were other guys in the building who we rode to S8G with us.  It seemed even then the girls were much too young. There were three or four who always seemed to be in our apartment. All of them were either 16 or 17. That was strange. On my four-dayer I would always take the bus home to NYC, and would marvel at the scenery of upstate. I went back to Saratoga Springs in 1995, and although there were many changes to the place, there was one bar/restaurant we used to go to called the Golden Grill. It was still there! One night a bunch of us were playing pool and having beers in this place, and about 12:30 AM this guy said we would have to stop playing pool. We thought, don't tell us they're closing the joint. At 12:30? Turns out, the place was a night club, and above where we were shooting pool, there was a DJ booth. The DJ started playing music, and about fifteen minutes later a Greyhound bus pulled up in front of the place, filled with girls from a local college.  I think the college was in nearby Troy. That was one of the best nights at Prototype. Saturday morning cartoon keggers were also very cool. We'd get off the graveyard shift Saturday mornings and have pizza and beer, and shoot pool while watching the cartoons. 

Duke

Brrrrrrrrr ....

Yep, it did get cold up there in NY!  You 8502 & 8503 guys will undoubtedly remember that one December/January stretch when the temp stayed below zero for about two weeks.  My blood was thick by then so I got used to it.  But then one morning I bundled up and stepped outside to go and start my car.  When I walked out the door it felt like someone slugged me!  I was used to zero ... so how cold could it have been when it felt this cold? On the general store front porch they had one of them old Mail Pouch Tobacco thermometers.  I looked at it and saw that it read minus 30! "There ain't no way my car's gonna start," I thought.  But it did.  My old bomber never let me down.  

Hey, here's something I haven't thought about in years.... do you remember when you were at prototype how all the tuber-fleet returnees wore "submarine" glasses? It was like this big status symbol or something.  Guys wearing the BCs did everything they could to get issued the submarine glasses to look more important.  The submarine glasses were round (made to fit under an OBA or something) and looked like John Lennon glasses.   

KP  

June Stats ....

As my old EM-A school instructor Mr. Gremlick used to say, "Same-O, Same-O." Oh, by the way, I refused sale of my URL domain name. I got about 200MB of crap on it and can't deal with trying to figure out how to relocate it.

KP  

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Remembering .....

KP,

Sorry for the delay in responding. I've been on vacation. In all candor I am amazed at how many details you recall from your Navy days. The only EM1 I can remember from MARF (besides that guy Orphanos I think? who used to qualify the officer types) was EM1 Laird, I think it was. I can't remember much about him except he was a pretty nice guy. I think my 'sea dad' was EM2 Goins. Man, how did we do 7 12 hour shifts in a row? I guess it was something to do with being 19. I think my memory is coming back re: the aforementioned EM1 who trained officer types. His name was Pete Orphanos I believe. I remember him grilling the watch officer students. He seemed pretty sharp. Anyway, I don't know if that was any help. It's been a long time. Later.

Joe Brown

To be honest Joe I have no idea why I remember all that I do.  But it's only navy stuff I remember.  A lot has happened to me since my EAOS but I couldn't tell you much about it.  For example, I spent 2 years at UCLA studying nuclear engineering with some of the smartest guys in the world--yet, I couldn't tell you one of their names.  Or recall any funny stories..... Or, sadly, recall anything I learned.  But somehow I remember every guy's name, his wife's name, their children's name, and so on,  of everyone I stood watch with almost 20 yrs ago .... Not sure why.  As far as trying to figure out how we managed to work and play as hard as we did, who knows?  To this day I can't figure that out.  

KP

Silver Anniversary ....

KP,

The other day at lunch, some of us at work were talking about the Philippines. As usual, we had to tone the stories down for the non veterans in the group. (Why is it most life -long civilians never believe unaltered PI stories?) Someone asked how long it was since I had been in the PI. Then it hit me. Myself and most of my 7401 group got off the "Big E" 25 years ago this week! Where the hell does the time go? We were in the middle of the 1978 cruise and were in Subic getting ready to go to the Indian Ocean for 2 months. The Navy wanted to save money by sending anyone with less than 2 months left back to the States from the Philippines. We all said "No problem." I vividly remember walking down the after brow for the last time. It was very bittersweet. On the one hand I was grateful to be getting out of the Navy. On the other hand, I realized that I was leaving a place where I had many adventures and made many good friends with whom I would probably loose touch.

Several of us dicked around and got to Clark AFB after our scheduled flights had already taken off. We were "forced" to stay in Angeles City waiting for another flight. First couple of nights we cruised the local establishments. We were less than impressed.  Nothing like Po Town or the barrio. Music wasn't as good and the people seemed "stuck up" to us compared to the locals in Subic.

On our third day, after a good meal, we went bar hopping again. We asked a local Airman where the good places to go were. He mentioned several places and then advised us to stay away from McArthur Highway which was referred to as "Slurp City." Sounded like our kind of place. It was! I hooked up with the #1 girl at a place named "Knobbing Nora's." Great gal. And it soon became obvious why she was the #1 girl at an establishment of that name. Spent what must have been four of five days partying in the McArthur Highway area. One morning when the five of us still left went for our daily check in at Clark, we were told to get in our uniforms and be on a C-141 in one hour. We tried bribing the airmen to bump us off the flight, but they weren't hearing it. We had to leave our girls waiting for us at the main gate. So we got on a plane, flew back to Travis AFB and got our discharges on Treasure Island July 10.

Not saying that I'd necessarily want to spend 4 more years on the 'Prise, but must admit that after 25 years, 99% of what I remember is the good times. And you're right, KP, I remember much more about the people I worked with 25+ years ago than most of the people I've worked with since.

PP

Some Idaho Memories ....

I was at I.F., class of '67/4, assigned to the S1W prototype, even though they already knew I was destined for surface duty, coke bottle bottoms. We rented our house from an ex-Nuke who had been assigned to instructor duty after completing prototype training, and stayed there 10 years as an instructor, never saw water, saved and invested, and became a land baron in I. F. A true success story. I remember standing outside waiting for the bus at 5:00 AM in February, 10-15 below, so cold you couldn't inhale. Never was able to learn to sleep on the bus, so every day was minimum 14-15 hours.  One interesting memory that made its way up through the morass was iron-shaped detectors we used when we went off duty to check our shoes, etc. for contamination. One day just for grins, I pointed it at the prototype hull. It pegged the meter. Maybe this will pop up in someone's memory. I was told by someone there that the Navy tested new 16" gun barrels for Battleships in the desert near the prototype, firing from rail cars into nearby mountains. Just a little trivia.  Blackfoot was the "place to be" if you wanted a little desolation and privacy. The bars were primarily Indian populated, there are some really vague, fuzzy memories of some pretty serious bar fights. Those Indians really liked a little confrontation, and after all was over, we were good friends again until next time. The local cops also let us alone to work out our differences.

DK

Squids hated by young men in upstate NY ...

Seeing the accounts of young girls hanging out in squids' apartments in upstate NY brought back a memory. I lost my virginity to some 18 year-old local girl while in prototype. I think she had been living with her high school sweetheart. My relationship with her lasted all of about 3 days. I'm not proud of it. She was at my apartment one night and came on to me real strong. I guess I couldn't resist (see earlier note re: virgin status), but after spending another night out with her I realized I really couldn't stand her. After she left me I heard she hooked up with some squids at one of those houses in a rural area (maybe Middle Grove?). The image of a general store is familiar. I went to a party there once or twice. Anyway, the whole idea of us squids being popular with the girls was a foreign concept to me. I grew up in Va Beach, which is right next-door to Norfolk. There is a lot of Navy there. There is NAS Norfolk, the Little Creek Amphib base, Oceana jet base, and Dam Neck training center in Va Beach, and that still doesn't cover it all. Anyway, when I was growing up in Va Beach squids were not highly regarded. It was a mark of shame for me when my fellow high school classmates learned of my plans to join the Navy. I guess it's funny how young people in a place like Middle Grove, NY would feel stuck when only 100 miles in several directions one would find all sorts of industry and hence employment opportunities.  But I'm not one to talk. When I got out of the Navy I settled in the Va Beach area where I grew up. I have since moved to Richmond because my job with the power company has taken me here, but that's still only 100 miles from Va Beach. Just wanted to share that. BTW, to Rob...not sure who you are, but I remember Tim Cady. Tim seemed like a fairly deep guy. He probably has one of those serious defense contractor type jobs by now. 

Joe Brown

Cliff Ward Comes Aboard ....

Great Web Site... I was stationed on the big "E" from June 1979 to May 1981.  MM2 Nuc. I worked primarily out of the Rx Machinery office. Working directly for Chief James (Jim) Regan. Stood watch in #2 and #3 Plants Rx side.  Please add my name to the list.

Cliff Ward
E-Mail: cliff.w.ward@columbia-center.org

Stephen Slater Comes Aboard ....

Great Website! Have to shut my office door so people don't hear me laughing. I served in RC14 and RC22 during the early 90's refueling. Don't see too many stories from this period. I was assigned to the PIG in December of '89 as part of the "Nuclear Augmentation Crew" for the yard period. They were originally going to fly a bunch of us out to the ship, but we ended up working on BNEQ in Norfolk until the ship finished the 89-90 world cruise in March. I was assigned to the Enterprise from Dec 89 until Jan 94.  Your site brought back a lot of memories (FTN, sleeping in the SWGRs, tapings, stupid blue plastic hard hats, 3 RAR massive spill, screwing with NUBs, and slacker REs (I mean that respectfully)). I'll send some stories later.

Oh yeah, one more thing. I was Brad Thompson's (see Page 5) LPO when he finished BNEQ and was assigned to the plants (RC22/D). The shipyard sucked ass (like he says) and it was every bit as bad as he says, but those of us that had to suck it up did so and tried to make it a little fun sometimes. Looking back, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, but I also wouldn't trade the people I met during that time for anything.

Stephen Slater
RC14/RC22, 1990-1994
stephen_g_slater@yahoo.com

Coldest I've ever been ...

Reading about the cold winter in NY reminded me of the coldest I've ever been. It was after I got out of the Navy, while I was working at the Perry Nuclear Plant in Ohio on Lake Erie. One winter's day, it was cold. I mean, a single digit for the high.  This isn't that bad, really. But here's how it got so much colder...

The ventilation inlets for the turbine building were on the north side of the building, facing the Lake (from whence the wicked, cold wind was blowing). There was a room called the annulus room where all of the inlets were located, and there were louvers all around to allow air to flow into the building, and thus into the inlet plenums. Mounted against the louvers were air pre-heaters, which were like giant radiators designed to pre-warm the air coming into the annulus building. They had hot water flowing through them. That was the plan, anyway. If the air coming in was too cold, the inlet fans would shut down and the louvers would close, which caused the exhaust fans to shut down, which caused particulate and gas levels in the building to build up.... you get the idea. We had to go into the annulus building and jumper some solenoids on the radiators to get the louvers to open back up, so the inlet fans would run, so... etc, etc.

Let me tell ya, man, it was freezin' azz cold in there with the wind blowin' in off the lake, the air swirling around and getting sucked in by those fans! It had to be blowing about 30-40 mph past the louvers, which is where we had to work, up on ladders, to boot! I'm not kidding, that was the day that I decided I didn't want to be a technician any more. I left about 7 months later to be an engineer in South Carolina at the Savannah River Plant. I never felt that cold again (so far) and don't ever remember being that cold before. And you CAN'T put jumpers on while wearing gloves, either (man, did we ever try, too).

That was also the day that the security guards wanted to fire me. When I heard what our assignment was, I decided that we would use the pickup truck to haul our equipment to the back of the turbine building. Fortunately, it was a GM, so the ignition key and the door lock were separate keys. It was so stinkin' cold that I had absolutely no desire to stand out there and scrape the ice off the windshield, so I started the truck, turned on the defrosters, locked the door and went back into the building. Of course, you aren't allowed to leave a vehicle running unattended. Someone might steal it or something. Like they would ever get the thing out past the guards at the gate! Why anyone would want the old piece of junk that had never been driven over 20 mph in it's life, I don't know.

Of course, like every time I tried to pull something off, I got caught. Can you believe it, here is is like 7:30 AM on a Saturday, so cold that most people couldn't get to work because their car batteries were frozen, and here comes a security guard leaning into the wind, walking around the building. I actually felt sorry for the guy. Then he looked at the truck and noticed that nobody was in it, and I didn't feel sorry for him any more. He went over and tried the door, which was locked. I saw him calling it in on his radio and couldn't believe it. Then he came toward the building to get out of the cold, and he saw us standing in the foyer. He looks at me and asks if it was our truck out there, and I told him it was indeed. He told me all about the dangers of leaving the truck unattended, that someone could jump in it and steal it. I reminded him that the doors were locked, and that I had the key. Then he told me that the truck could jump into gear and run into the building. I said "And what? Crash through the 6 foot concrete and rebar wall around the diesels? C'mon, man! It's so cold out there that it's a health risk, and I'm waiting right here until that truck is warm enough to defrost it's own windows." He didn't care for my reply, and called me in to the supervisor, after making a big show of confiscating my ID card. He talked for a few minutes, then called me over to the phone with a smirk on his face. "My supervisor wants to talk to you." The supervisor told me not to do it again, and that he knew it was freezing cold out, and he was gonna cut me some slack this time, but never to do it again. I gave him my word, and we proceeded to go to the annulus building and freeze. By the way, I left the truck running outside the annulus building the whole time we were in there, so it would be warm when we got through. 

Frosty frozen Arrgh!

This story was just what I needed to cool me down a bit.  It's 117 here in Phoenix today!  

KP

Good Old Naughton .....

I remember XO Naughton too well. I have a picture of him with myself giving me some Junior Sailor of the month award for Reactor Dept, December 1989.  Going to the interview for the Yearly award, having him and the board ask a bunch of dumb questions like, "Why should we make you sailor of the year?" and stuff like that. Then they asked me, "What was a 4.0 sailor?" I think I ruined my chances at anything when I told them that it was a theoretical person that didn't exist..........oops.

As far as the shipyard was concerned when I was there, what a joke. Those lovely sexy blue plastic helmets that were supposed to protect you. Yeah right, I think I got whiplash from the damn things every time I went down into the plants. And those fantastic glasses they gave you that you couldn't see 20 feet in front of you.

I remember a couple of things from the shipyard in Newport News. One thing I remember was the great medical response team we had when they were across the dock on that Floating Accommodation Facility (FAF, or food and floaties). Doing rehab on one of the secondary shield tanks, one of the guys fell down in the tank and basically broke his arm. Called up to EOS and told them to get the Medical Response Team over there, and Medical said that we would have to bring him over, so we did.  We get over there to find them waxing the floors of medical for an inspection the next day, and they had no one available to response over to the ship. Thank god he didn't go into cardiac arrest or something.

One other thing I remember fondly (or unfondly) was the watches we had to stand in the plants when the shipyard was ripping out the asbestos lagging. Going down into the plant from the hangar bay to take logs on 3 or 4 meters, having to strip down down to nothing and then get into those fiberglass suits and respirators, go down into the plant, then come back up, strip everything off, take those cold showers, get dressed and walk out into the hangar bay in January weather against the bay.  There were so many people that had pneumonia from those watches, it was ridiculous.

Just some food for thought for the time being.......

Mike Powell
89-93 RE02

Rob Brixey Comes Aboard ....

Ram,

I went to MARF way back in 1978, class number 7803. Prototype was a good place to be from. They abused the students and treated the staff worse. I served on USS Long Beach and USS Carl Vinson as an RO. The Pig was the low point of my career, after making “selectee” for E7 in 1984 - I turned down the opportunity to extend the 18 additional months to take the promotion. My detailer sent me on the first Indian Ocean bound carrier he could find. I actually flew from Rota, Spain to Diego Garcia over the course of a week. Waited on the next Pig Mail plane, which was an S3 Viking with a rather flat tire. I offered to help fix the flat to get off of Diego Garcia. When the flat got fixed, we took the short 4 hour flight to the Pig. It was my only arrested landing in the Navy. 

There were three 8 year nuke E7 selected on the west coast in 1984. All three were on the Pig. All three turned it down and got out.  The experience was a real motivator to apply myself in the civilian world. 

Life has been easy. I licensed at a commercial plant, became an instructor, and started my own company providing instructor services.

Your website is great, and brings back many fond and horrific memories. 

(Have you ever woke up at 2 AM with a red flashlight in your face hearing the words, “Yo man, they need you in the plant…” then about halfway to the bathroom you discover that you are actually walking on carpet instead of warped tile?) What a great feeling.  That’s the angels way of telling you to enjoy what you have.

Rob Brixey (former ET1) 

Friends may contact me at rob@robbrixey.com

Jeremy Clauuser Comes Aboard ....

KP... I'd like to be added to your alumni list.

My Name is Jeremy Clauuser I am the WCS of RE-23 and have been on the pig from 1999-present. My email addy is yyantichrist@yahoo.com. I was referred here by some other snipes lost in the pits, and I am delighted to see some of my old friends here. Keep it up, and I'll be contributing soon! 

So how is RE Div these days?  Do they still have my photo displayed on the RE Div Hall of Fame (right next to Joe Miskall's)?  Tell us what's going on these days.  None of you "modern day" guys ever write back after your initial posting.  How is morale?  How are the plants?  Are the guys (and gals I guess) still upholding the traditions of working hard and playing harder?  We "old timers" hope to hear back from you soon.

KP

Tan Helmets ....

I wasn't aboard for the NN refueling so I never got issued one of those "blue helmets."  However, when I was "stabbed" with dry-dock paint scraping in late '86 the shipyard issued us hard hats.  I think they were tan.  One morning we mustered for work and were told that we had to report to TI immediately for fire fighting school.  We jumped in a van (provided by I can't remember who) and headed over the bridge.  We arrived just in time for muster.  All of us were still wearing our hard-hats.  The chief at the school just about had a shit-fit!  He couldn't believe anyone would have the audacity to report to his firefighting school wearing a hard hat!  We had to listen to him rant and rave for about ten minutes.  But it was cool.  We could care less.  Fire fighting school totally kicked ass and it beat the hell out of scraping paint all day.  

KP

Is it just me or do you sense anger in this guy's Greeting ....

this is a bad ass site. thanks for this. my friend just told me about it. it is nice to see all the hate and discontent has been spread for so long. the pig should have gone down decades ago.

my name is [omitted], email dmatheman3@hotmail.com 

I hate this place.  it has only gotten worse since i got here on Feb 2, 1999. it wasn't that bad when i got here. i recognize quite a few names from this list. but now that the chain of command has turned into a bunch of f__ken nub lovers it sucks. I am sure that you have heard that a f__ken nub is the god damn divisional TPO of RC. only because she, yes SHE, has tits. not qualified.  not allowed to tpo meetings so the lcpo sends a qualified tpo to the meetings and has everything turned over to her.  f__ken bunch of pussies.  and where is the f__ken tape these days? holy shit. these f__ken nubs all need to die. comin to the ship with this "you can't touch me" attitude.

so back to my profile. 

I was RC-11. then to the station office then to 2 plant to replace 3 nubs that went to ETMS (did i mention that i have never been but re-enlisted for it and it is in my contract). now i am goin to WIFCOM. not goin to do shit there. f__k them. 

anyway, once again thanks for the site. lookin forward to seeing what is new. definitely going in my favorites dept. if you need pics or anything let me know.

{name removed by editor}

D__ny didn't ask to have his last name omitted but I did it since he is still on the Big E.  His stuff is pretty hard-hitting and I'd hate for him to get hammered because of it.  It's happened before.  (But then again maybe D___y wants to get in trouble?)  Let me know D. and I'll repost your last name if you really want it shown.  My guess is that those in Rx dept probably know who you are since few could share your bad attitude (ha ha ha).   As far as pictures .... how about something that a few of us old timers might recognize.  

KP

Women .....

I just read D___y's (last name omitted but then again I wonder how many 'D___ys' there are currently assigned to RC Div aboard the Enterprise) account of the female getting preferential treatment simply because the Lord saw fit to endow her with a generous bosom. I would love to hear more stories vis-a-vis the male/female dynamic aboard these combatant vessels.  Back in my day (1986-1990) aboard the Eisenhower the only time we would see females would be on something like a short 4 week or so trip and a group of 25 or so reservists would ride with us. I think this happened a couple of times while I was there. They found a place on the 02 level to berth them where there was only one way in there and posted a guard at the entrance. Of course the females were free to walk through the male berthing areas and catch the men in various stages of dress. It quickly became apparent that when 5000 or so 19 year old men are out at sea with one another for weeks their standard regarding what type of female will catch their eye quickly degrades. I freely admit I found myself on at least one occasion lusting after some female hind quarters in dungarees that would probably not have rated a second look out on the street. I did not interact with any of the females--not that I had a chance anyway. They didn't come to the plant that I'm aware. But obviously our modern day counterparts have to work side-by-side with them and deal with all of the crap that inevitably will come up. So I say again I hope we can hear more re: what sort of shenanigans are taking place.

Joe Brown

I think somewhere on this site is mentioned how the Big E also had these female reservist airdales onboard during workup cruises.  It was a rare thing and they were only on for a couple of days but it really messed up the flow of things.  I am reminded of one thing as I type this.  I can't help but smile.  It involves our good friend FN Mar__va (see story on page 1 or 2).  FN M was a repair locker mate of mine who wasn't too bright.  Anyway, during one such cruise when females were aboard, FN M announced to the locker that after GQ he had some hot airdale babes lined up.  These lustful chowdales wanted him to meet them in a fan room up on the 03 level.  (Them fan rooms were notorious "hook up" places during those 'girls on board' cruises.)  Those naughty gals also instructed FN M to bring along a few "friends."  The idiots in my locker couldn't wait to secure from GQ so as to join in on what seemed like loads of fun.  I was a slacker, no doubt, but a wise slacker at that.  So I told these idiots that they were only inviting disaster upon themselves.  Normally I could care less about the folly of idiots but I knew the deck would be stacked against these fools if or when it came so a "he said--she said" scenario.  I was able to talk the majority out of the fan room folly and in the end FN M could only muster two or three brave souls willing to partake in the scheme.  But it was all for not--the gals were a no show and FN M and his gang of idiots waited in the hot, humid fan room for hours with nothing to show for their troubles.  They were lucky and they didn't even know it.  

KP      

A Yard Story ....

As I am sitting here writing this it is 11:00pm EST. My shift here at the combustion turbine plant I work at was supposed to end at 10:00 but we are running to meet peak demand so I am still here. No big deal as time and a half and double time seem to take the worry out of a lot of things. The reason I am writing this is having to stay late got me thinking of the MS-V17 watch we had to stand while we were in Newport News Shipbuilding. I am sure some of the early 90's nukes can sympathize with this. No, we were not at sea but here we were out on same god forsaken sponson watching a valve. We had sound powered phones on and our "job" was to shut this valve in the event that the line supplying this valve ruptured. I thought it was screwed up then but I now know it was! I believe it was a 24" valve piping steam from the "Nancy Lee" boiler into the ship. You would go relieve a guy at turnover and set out on the sponson at 20F with a wind chill on minus 30F. The whole time you were hoping that the next shift would remember to send someone up to relieve you as this was a special watch. It never failed you would get bagged at least 30 minutes but most of the time it was closer to an hour. The khaki's refused to let us have a heater and thought it was a "good" deal. What a crock of crap! Enough venting for now.

Rich

Hang on D___y ....

Although I cannot picture who he is, I am sure that D___y was once a BNEQ student of mine. I was assigned to RT as one of two ELT instructors from 1998 to 2001. Donny, I understand your pain and frustration with the process of females on board the ship. It was getting bad when I left and I can only imagine what that cluster of idiots called the "chain-of-command" has  done since. One of the main reasons I am a civilian now is the total lack of quality leadership in the Navy as a whole. That and the fact that I am now home every damn night of the week drinking a beer and looking out on my view of the golf course.

I don't think you "old-timers" (no offense) realize the level of integration that was forced upon the nuclear community since about 1996. I am not a bigot and I fully understand that woman, in the right roles, are every bit as capable as men. However, as with all programs meant to equalize racial and gender differences, there are some extremely unqualified woman getting plush positions without serving their time. Nothing like watching guys spend a whole Med deployment standing five-and-dime CTGO because the women can't take the heat or are not strong enough to operate the five valves. They get sent to the divisions, take up a billet, and then because of physical limitations take up all the plush divisional positions that used to be based upon merit and seniority. That leaves the average, hard-working man, stuck in the plant forever. It was not this bad when I was leaving but the signs were showing their face. Only one female out of fifteen qualified CTGO's was standing watch and although she stood a good watch, she was pregnant within six months and off the ship. Even in the divisions where physical strength is not as necessary (admit it RE's, EE's, and RC divers) did the females somehow end up in all the plush positions. I was sending them to the divisions after BNEQ only to have them come back as TPO's after a couple of weeks. TPO's used to be senior guys who knew their shit.

If you are reading this D___y, how is the situation with the aft berthing going? That was always a bad plan from the start. I slept in the same rack the entire 5 1/2 years that I was on the ship. I listened to the poker games, the tape fights, real fights, and other daily activities for years in the aft lounge because I slept right beside the door leading into it. Imagine my shock to wake up in the middle of the night and hear female voices in the lounge. Yes, they even sectioned off a corner of our berthing and gave it to the females. What was once the RE head became theirs along with the entire port side section of RX berthing. So now you had three hundred men and about fifty women all effectively sharing the same berthing. In a normal situation this would be heaven, but this is the Navy and nothing good could come from such a situation. Donny, do they still live back there and has any situations arisen because of the sharing of the berthing? I know that I took a couple of tongue lashings after coming in late at night and darting through the port side access to RX berthing out of habit. What the hell did they expect? I had been using that door for five years before they even got to the Enterprise.

D___y, just hold on and realize that there is a brighter day. The EAOS is your salvation. Just take the necessary steps to prepare for it now. Good luck.

Jason Moody

Some Thoughts .....

Wow,

I just read the last two stories on the website. Definitely not our Navy, is it? I can remember the Airedale girls on the workups before I got out in '85. I thought this is bound to be trouble. What a mess. I couldn't imagine not getting my RT LPO billet because somebody couldn't pull their weight and served no time in the plants. Only one out of fifteen qualifying CTGs? That was the easiest watch to stand, other than throttles. I understand nukes don't stand throttleman anymore. Is that true? What I'd like to know is is the camaraderie on board among the nukes the same or do the guys today not hang out together?

Duke

Women Nukes and More ....

Pardon the sexism, but with women aboard, we could have a whole new definition of "watch relief." How does a messenger of the opposite sex do a wakeup? Eunuchs? I guess you can't walk to the showers wearing just the too small navy towels and shower shoes anymore.

As for Jason's comments about getting bagged because others get a better deal; not much different than star babies taking up ALL the billets for 2nd class. I recall the futile testing only to get those slips with your "multiple" on it and the multiple to get advanced. I think many of us 8503 guys went through 4 cycles (2 years) where the multiple for surface nuke EMs was "999.99". Of course the max you could really score was about 240.  Meanwhile, there were plenty of star babies that were skates in EE30 (and I'm sure RE as well) that rarely could be found when there was work to be done.

Years ago, I came to the conclusion that 1/3 of us worked when something needed to be done, 1/3 worked when told to do something, 1/3 were MIA and would only work when basically ordered to work. Then they screwed things up so the LPO never wanted them to do anything. I wonder if it's still the same.

Rob

Rob, you are right about the STAR babies,  RE was loaded with them too.  Many reported to the fleet as 2nd classes, only to slither into slothdome forever.  (But some didn't, and moved quickly into leadership roles.)  I forget how many cycles it took me to make 2nd (not many) but I was lucky.  The door shut right afterwards and few others advanced the old fashioned way.  Both "Q" and "Kid Pillow" arrived at their EAOS date wearing 3rd class crows--and they were among the hardest workers I knew.  

When I first arrived in RE I observed that there was definitely a contrast in work ethics.  The sluggs were happy to be sluggs and the ass-busters knew that if they didn't do it, it wouldn't get done.  Most, however, did a good job and cared about their reputation. 

KP

Watchbill Nightmares ....

I remember when I was the watchbill PO or whatever they called that stupid task, which always totally sucked.  Everyone whining about how they didn't think it was fair, etc.  The Enterprise was always the dumping ground for rock RC div’rs from the rest of the fleet, as well as from the prototypes.  We had guys aboard that were absolutely asleep at the controls, and had to be babysat the entire time they were aboard.  I can't even imagine having to throw in the pressures you'd get from Mr. A who likes Ms. B, and wants to stand all his watches with her, but Mr. C wants a piece of that action, and then Ms. B hates Mr. A but really likes Mr. D, who's married, etc.....  Makes me want to pull my hair out.  And you wonder why I cut it so short now?  Hey, I've got teenagers, 'nuf said!  And I thought this was exactly the reason the Nav wanted to boot out the queers (oh, yeah, I hadta go there, eh?)

Before I get too far into this, let me state emphatically that I believe that women and men are equal in the eyes of the law, deserve equal pay for equal work, and that people who want to live and do whatever with other people have a legal right to do it, as long as they don't effect others.  Personally, I have a different moral standard, and to me, just because it's legal don’t make it right.  Yeah, people can change...

I recall that we had some guys in each plant that were so lame at the panel that you always constructed the watchbill so they were on with your best guys.  Pretensively, this was to help the lesser able man to "develop to his full potential as a Naval watchstander and professional" (pretty good, eh?).  The real reason was because just as some were pretty lame at the controls, there were some that were quite good, and capable of watching two panels at once.  You know, rarely is there ever an evolution or casualty that gets them both at once, and usually if there is something like that, all you can do is report "4A rx scram...".  At the same time, there were guys that you would NEVER put together, as you just knew nobody would want to go in there to relieve them.  It sucks badly to think that a further complication would be thrown in there, and then to imagine that there would almost certainly end up being women making these watchbills....  a whole new dynamic.  I know I sound sexist, but I've been around long enough to know that anyone who thinks that there's no difference between men and women is a blithering idiot.  Strong words, but it true.  Men and women don't respond to stress the same, they don't respond to problems and difficulties the same, they don't get over being "wronged" the same, and to have a mixed crew is a formula for disaster.  Make it either all men, or all women.  That's probably the only workable solution, but of course, the in yer face "women are as good as men" crowd would never have THAT.

"Equal pay for equal work" is only achievable and realistic when you have "equal work for equal pay."  And we all know how THAT works in the Navy.  Take that, you butt kissing, "let me get you a cup of coffee, Chief" little weasel!  I hate it when I get this fired up early in the morning!!!!

Arrgh! (From the "olden days," when men were men and women stayed on the pier)

To Rob ....  

Rob, who are you?  I wonder if I knew you.  I was an EM in 8503.  I went to MARF next and then to the Eisenhower.  I made 2nd class in prototype.  I don't remember what the multiple was when I made it.  My strategy was pretty simple.  Back in Nuke school I used to keep my EM3&2 manual in my laundry bag. Whenever I would go do laundry I would go over that manual while waiting.  I know it sounds lame.  It gets tedious when you have information that is really pretty simple but you have to keep going over it repeatedly so you can blow the test away.  But that was my plan, and it worked.  When I took the test while in prototype I blew it away.  Then again if a few more star babies had been born during that cycle there might have been no one getting advanced.  At least my strategy assured me that even if only a couple got advanced I would be one of them.  Of course when I showed up on Ike with the 2nd class crow on I was immediately branded a star-baby.  I dispelled that myth as quickly as I could.  I just happened to get assigned to the same ship as my high school buddy Don Launder (MM type) who had reported to the ship about a year ahead of me.  We were in high school together in Va Beach and then both went to Ike.  It just happened to work that way.  The ship was in Newport News for overhaul when I reported.  I found my way down to charging station to visit my buddy Don.  He told me that all the other MM's who saw me had instant disdain because they thought I had reenlisted.  But it didn't take long to clear that up.  As for the concept of the thirds, I guess I was in the middle third.  I'm not proud of it.  It's a real stumbling block for me when I'm placed in a group where others are getting the same pay and benefits for doing almost no work.  So I ended up doing a conscientious job whenever assigned something, and I'd say I even took some initiative.  But I admit my initiative was mostly limited to a job where I anticipated some chance to shine.  I was not motivated to toil in anonymity.  That doesn't mean I was a 'smoke-d*ck'.  I really wasn't.  It just means you'd sooner find me taking initiative to pursue a repair issue that's been bugging the division for a while versus taking initiative to clean the plant.  Anyway, you think the Navy's bad, try working a union job like I did for 10 years after getting out of the Navy.  Now you have co-workers who not only slide regarding how much work they do, but it's also a time issue.  I had lots of union co-workers who knew how to play the system.  They'd come in and work OT for time-and-a-half or double time and then the next days they were scheduled to work they'd call in sick.  So they got extra pay plus comp time essentially.  Plus them calling in created OT for somebody else.  And the cycle goes on and on.  I finally moved into a salaried job with the power company.  Job security's not as good, but the issues of not pulling weight are not there anymore.  But I digress.  I'll just shut up.  So Rob, who are you??

Joe Brown

[Rob, I emailed Joe who you were.. hope you don't mind. 

KP]

Ken Farling Comes Aboard ...

My name is Ken Farling

I served in RC11 briefly then transferred to RC14 --- I was aboard from 83-86 I came aboard just before we came home and got stuck in the bay and I left when we were in the med in 86' a couple of weeks after we went thru the Suez canal...

my address is

bradyfarling@hotmail.com

please list me.... and btw.... great site!!!

Last Days ....

KP,

I just had to write today as it is 25 years today that O'Neill (PP) and I got out of the US Navy, at Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay (My dad went to boot camp there in 1941).  PP and I spent 5 years together after meeting at NPS, Bainbridge.

When we left the ship in Subic, PP, myself, and Gary Steinke rented a Special Services van to take us to Clark AFB along with a case of Sam Magoo (we were all in class 7401-3).  A few days earlier, Ron Ogan, another of our classmates, had ridden a Navy bus to Clark and his bus took several rounds from some unfriendlies; we, however, evaded any such activity.  Everything PP said in his last entry is true, and I would like to elaborate on a few things.  His #1 girl from Knobbing Nora's was across the street from us as we reconned the main drag in "Slurp City," she waved at us and stuck out her tongue-I've yet to see one longer, it went below her chin. PP was in love instantly and practically sprinted across the street to claim her.  She was pretty cool and took good care of PP-I never heard him complain of a sore dick before on the previous 2 Westpacs, but he did as we left the PI.

One of my fond memories from Angeles City was a beer fart on our way to eat on the day before we left.  I was wearing boxer shorts under white shorts, so the beer fart ran right on down to my sandals; I felt it hit one sandal.  Before I could turn my head to look at the damage, a fly was already there!  I was amazed at the fly's quick response.  Needless to say, I went to change and hooked up later with the others.

The day we finally left, we met yet another classmate, Cy Pilarski, off the USS Bainbridge, on his way home as well.  It was one hell of a time.

One quickie from the NPS days: during the first few weeks of NPS, there were always long lines at the scuttlebutt at break.  I never paid much attention as to why until one day, while standing at my usual 15th in line, I heard some guys complaining near the front of the line.  So I step out to see what's up and there's PP taking mouthfuls of water, then tipping his head back while opening and closing his mouth. He'd do this 2 or 3 times and then leave and the next guy (Barry Colebank) would do the same thing.  They had decided to drink like birds and were making their statement.

Now one or two from Saratoga-this time of year in 1974. PP and I saw Bob Hope and Loretta Lynn at the racetrack for the July 4th festivities-had a ball that day drinking and going on carnival rides.

Four of us lived a few blocks off Broadway on Catherine St., two went to S3G (PP and Capt. At) and myself and Gomulka went to D1G.  We were there from Feb. to Aug 74.  Fortunately there was a liquor store walking distance from our apartment and we sampled practically every beer they had including well known brands as Fife and Drum, Utica Club and of course Genesee.  Long story short, I was last to qualify and even spent time at the West Milton Hilton, a quonset hut with racks, a head, and kitchen facilities so I could spend more time there studying.  I finally passed on my 8th opry.  While still at the apartment, Gomulka and I would usually come home after our shift (and we were all on the same shift), but PP and Capt. At and most of the S3G staff and students would party almost every night.  These two clowns would come up the stairs to the apt. two steps (clump-clump), fall, laughter, two more steps, fall, more laughing, etc until they fell thru the door.  Within minutes they'd be in their racks and passed out. I don't (and still can't) see how they could do it night after night for 6 months.

To D___y (omitted) (strangest last name I've ever seen):  Jason Moody gave you some sound advice.  Fortunately there were no nuc women in our time. I'm sure I'd feel the same as you.  Seriously, hang in there, dude, think positive-maybe she'll fuck up and get sent to the MDMAA force where our rejects used to go (or the library!) I thought MM1 Clayton would never leave 4MMR back in 76-77, but finally it happened.

All for now lads-Willy-4MMR 74-78

More Thoughts ....

During my last tour on ENTERPRISE, all Officers and CPOs were required to participate in the weekly all-ship zone inspection. It was a formal function where just about all spaces on the ship were looked at and graded for cleanliness and DC preparedness.

We found a fan room on the 03 level that was decked out with mattresses and several packages of condoms. What we had stumbled upon was the ENTERPRISE brothel. The khakis had heard rumors, but we could not find it. Apparently several of our young female sailors supplemented their Navy pay by doing a little hookin’ on the side.

Having women onboard was a change to say the least. Especially being a khaki, we NEVER allowed ourselves to be in an office alone with a female. There was more than one khaki who suffered through the ‘the chief said I could have early liberty if I gave him head’ nightmare. From the time I got my first female in the division, there were no special deals without a chit. All requests were in writing … period.

Most of the women in RC and RE divisions could do the job. The women of RM and M-Div had more of a problem. Some could not operate the MS-V5s or open the CERV on the CTG. There was also the ever present problem of whether the watchstanders in the plant were allowed to strip off their blue shirts and wear just T-shirts. What happens when one of our young ladies wore a sheer bra and you were able to see through the material when the heat was 125 degrees on the flats? It became a mess that occasionally reared its ugly head.

The berthing situation was something else. Yes, the women could walk just about anywhere they wanted (especially the airdale women, who were headed to the paint locker near the aft RC head) – no more walking around in skivvies. The proper ‘uniform’ in berthing was always gym shorts and T-shirt. Walking into female berthing was ALWAYS a hassle. Three knocks, crack the door, yell ‘Male on Deck’, wait for a response and then enter. Most of the guys having to wake a female counted on a female being awake in the middle lounge to do the honors.

It may sound chauvinistic, but it is my belief that we are asking for trouble when we mix genders of that age group. Hormones and testosterone are flowing high and things tend to happen. Just ask the young lady who was bent over one of the bollards on the fan tail when the MAA came out. Don’t know how long the MAA stood there and watched, but at mast, he said he had all the evidence he needed.

I think I retired at the right time. It just was not the same Navy during my final 5 years. Kindler and gentler would be an understatement.

Mark

More On the Topic at Large ....

KP,

I started reading about the women and give my two cents worth. Most of the time they were a pain! Some were OK and tried to make up for the fact that the rest were lazy whores. I remember I thought RE (sorry) was especially funny. If there ever would have been a football game between divisions I think RE would have won with a line of behemoths and a huge running back (all women of course).

I remember one weekend one of these irritating, fat tramps (pregnant) had missed the underway and wanted to get her TLD. I was the RL duty section leader at the time and made myself HP watch so that I could sleep away the hangover. I would show up in the morning (somehow on time) issue TLDs and SIPDs as need be and then go to sleep. This fat tramp has someone wake me up at about 10am because she just got to the ship and had missed the morning distribution of dosimetry. I stayed in bed and just kept telling the people she sent I would be up in a minute. I guess I kept her waiting for about 2 hours until just before watch. She was pissed off, but I figured it served her right for waking me up after a long night of drinking when she hadn't even gone on the underway.

Another time I was called down to 1 plant to do surveys for a discharge. I don't remember who the CRAO was, but it was someone I knew and had gotten to the ship around the same time as me. The RAO was an expediently qualified female. For those that don't know about discharges, the RAO operates the valves while the CRAO supervises. I arrived on the scene and called EOS to tell them I was ready. The order was passed to do the discharge and the RAO attempted to open the appropriate valve. No good, she was too weak to do it. The CRAO went to help, but feeling like a dick I told him no way I was doing the survey if the RAO didn't do her job. She 'tried' again and couldn't do it. At this point the WO is calling down to find out what is going on and I start to leave. The CRAO at this point apparently had enough and told the RAO to get the valve open or else. Amazingly she got it open that time when she realized she couldn't get out of doing it anymore. I did my survey and left laughing after I was called an asshole. 

My point in the last story to the angry guy is that there are ways to get back at the worthless ones and not get in trouble. Just be right when you know they are wrong.

Eric Hood

P.S. Sorry to bash RE's KP, but it always seemed like there was one of them deeply involved in a male/female scandal.

Guess Who? (Picture Taken from Critical Thinking)

How many hours of the best years of your life did you spend staring into oblivion like this?  Did you ever wonder why there were 2 fire extinguishers in a room made of steel, containing nearly NO burnable items, and it had an escape trunk you could bolt through if it DID catch on fire?  Oh well...  DCPO madness, I guess!!!

Father of Schmegma House ....

KP, my old pal Greg Berghammer (who unlike me and most of my cohorts has nothing pending under the statute of limitations), told me of the story portion of [this] website.   I have the dubious honor of being the father of Schmegma House. In one letter the mystery boat of dyes inlet is mentioned; it wound up drifting all the way to Seattle.  Other nuc events of the era include:

1. The E-6 who mailed his id card to Jimmy Carter and refused to return.

2.  The E-6? short timer who cut the nuc instrument cables and brought the wrath of NIS upon our heads and cost RM22 our dopey book.

3. Our sorry LPO who got out and stayed on base and got arrested for molesting a dependent after he was discharged . I owe an apology to some people, I also went DE at that time and did not hang like I could of.

Hope to hear from more old hands and will work on improving my writing and memory.

v/r Carl (Tarheel) Walker 

"C" Note!  

Time to get Underway for Another Page of Big E Stories!  Click Here.

 

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Many Moons Ago .....

The masses clamored for Mooj Minion T-Shirts and there were none.  Every week someone wrote in asking for one.  So I figured, hey, maybe I can actually make some money off this whole stupid Mooj website idea!  So I had 100 made up and emailed all those asking about them to tell them the good news.  How many did I sell after that you ask?  10!  That's right, 10.  Thus, Mooj T-shirts became my bane and I suffered endless grief every time I looked at them sitting there, rotting away in unopened boxes.  But over the years I've sold them off one-by-one.  Mostly to ex-navy nukes, who know a good shirt when they see one.  Now I have only about a dozen left! Chances are if you don't buy one now you'll never get another chance since I doubt I ever waste time or money making them again!  Hell, I'll even give them away for free if you promise you'll wear them!

Ram Tuli
8350 S. Kyrene Rd, Suite 102
Tempe, AZ 85284