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

 

The Candyman

I sure met a lot of characters on the Pig and one-guy, in particular, stands out vividly in my memory. He was known to most as the candyman. (Others called him Don Foster.) He had been on the Big E for many years and his reputation for cooking up sweet deals for himself was enormous. The 'old salts' would talk of the candyman as if he was some kind of evil genius. I guess he truly was because when I first heard of him it was when we were baking alive in the IO (on Westpac ’86) and the candyman was back home in Alameda lounging around on light duty. No one really seemed to envy this guy; they just couldn’t believe that he was always getting away with his ridiculous scams!

After nine long months at sea the Pig finally returned to Alameda and prepared for a six-month dry-dock period at Hunter’s Point. Rx Department was ordered to supply about 50 men to the shipyard to scrape radioactive paint off the hull. (This was the part of the hull that was downstream of the primary discharges and "that paint" couldn’t be sandblasted off like the rest due to the potential for airborne contamination). It was a total "stab job" and I was very upset when I found out that my name was submitted along with a few other nubs in my division to perform this dreadful task.

It was a very cold and bitter morning when us "chosen" nubs mustered in the dry dock for the first time and I remember how betrayed and miserable everyone felt. The yardbird foreman called out the muster and each man answered quietly when his name was called. Everyone’s eyes stared straight ahead until the name "Foster" was called.

"Could this be that infamous candyman?" I wondered. Others must thought the same thing because after muster everyone gravitated toward this burly loathsome looking character and asked him if he was the candyman. He was. We were confused. How could it be that the great candyman—the one who always got the sweet deals—was stabbed with such a raw deal as scraping radioactive paint off the hull of an aircraft carrier?

The candyman told us: "Raw deal? This ain’t no raw deal! You idiots don’t have a clue as to how sweet a deal this is going to be!"

Sure enough! Never was a deal sweeter. Since we were working for the shipyard and because of all the union shops involved, we hardly did a thing! We would muster with our shift, sit around for a few hours—play cards, shoot the shit, etc.—and then most of us would get cut loose because nothing could get done (because other union shops didn’t do what they were supposed to do). The candyman was right—it turned out to be the sweetest deal ever!

There were about fifteen to twenty squids assigned to each paint-scraping crew. I was in Foster’s group. I remember each night as we sat around waiting for work Foster would ramble on about some far-fetched scam he had pulled off during his many years as an Enterprise squid. Us lowly nubs were mesmerized by his action stories.  Never in my life had I ever met another person more capable of plotting and planning so profoundly just to avoid doing the slightest bit of work! The most amazing fact of all was that Foster had been on the Pig for almost four years by then and he had yet to go to sea!  As he explained it he had some super secret method of pulling a back muscle (which he did prior to any at sea period) and a trip to sickbay would always result in a trip to the base hospital, where he’d be ruled unfit for sea duty. The Pig would always sail without him and he'd enjoy himself on "light duty" awaiting the ship’s return.  Foster had more scams than any human being could imagine. In fact, just to ensure that he never had to go actually down into the dry dock to scrape paint (if for some reason they really needed him to), he showed up each day with his leg in a brace.

Then, sadly, our job in the dry dock was finished. Much to our dismay we were all sent back to the Pig to do real work. When we returned Rx department had undergone many changes and morale was at an all time low.  Basically two horrible things happened while we were gone: The Devil (MMCM) and a new asshole XO arrived.  As a result of the low morale many fools touched by the teachings of the candyman decided to try their hand at this life of scam artistry.  But these desperate men couldn’t fool anyone and the weekly captain's mast results read like a "who's who of idiots." Only one person seemed to be getting away with anything and, as you might have guessed, it was the candyman.

I remember the biggest challenge at that time was simply to get off the ship before 4:00 p.m. The new XO did away with early liberty and ordered the brow secured all day until the end of the workday.  Day after duty or not, no one got off the Pig until the XO said it was okay—and that was never before 4:00 p.m.  We worked pretty hard at sea and nothing was worse than having our liberty taken away when we were home. The only thing you could be sure of in those days was that Foster wasn't stuck on board—no way! You could bet that come noon, as the rest of us were sitting around down the plant doing nothing, he was teeing off at his favorite golf course.

His schemes were simple and thereby very effective. If you were to study his methodology and then try to duplicate him you would only be caught and punished. He was a true genius. However, this observed outcome did little to stop others from trying.  Don's earliest schemes involved nothing more than bags of trash.  Dressed in a dirty pair of dungarees and carrying what appeared to be a huge bungle of trash he would go to the brow and ask permission to leave the ship to dump his over-sized bag of trash into the pier garbage dumpster. The brow watches would allow him to pass and then it would take them a full ten minutes to realize he wasn't coming back (and by that time he was long gone). The next day, while hundreds of would be scammers lined up to throw trash away (only to be turned away), the candyman easily escaped to pick up parts with some phony baloney requisition form.  Everyday the candyman added a new twist and everyday he managed to fool the guys on watch at the brow. I remember even seeing him carry a box marked "Radioactive Toxic Waste" to the brow and asking: "I'm not sure if I'm supposed to leave this here with you guys or leave it on the pier for the radioactive waste disposal people to pick up. Is it okay to leave it with you guys or do you want me to leave it on the pier?"

Like most legends that live on the edge, the candyman's luck soon ran out.  He was losing his touch and he should have had the foresight to lay low for a while. But Don had a reputation to uphold and so with an air of confidence he plotted onward, bucking the odds, and taking his chances. His first major set back occurred when he showed up to play a friendly little game of softball with some M-Div pals at a local park. It would seem harmless enough to most of you I suppose but what Don didn’t know was that the team he and his friends were playing that afternoon was from the base hospital. Unfortunately for Don the doctor who had just that morning issued him a light duty chit for a pulled hamstring was on the other team. For the first time in his life, the candyman was caught red handed! It was all down hill from that day onward and slowly but surely the candyman was at the end of his rope. The day before his court martial he went UA and deserted! NIS did everything they could to bring that fugitive to justice but they were never able to find him, even though he never left the Bay Area and most of us still ran into him from time to time.  As the years went by he was still quite a legend. I don't know what ever happened to the candyman but I'm sure he's out there somewhere, pulling a fast one on someone.  Does anyone know what finally happened to Foster? 

 

Haircut

Before every liberty port it was pretty much the same thing: squids scrambling to get haircuts to avoid being denied liberty by the lifer chief checking IDs on the brow.  It was impossible to get your hair cut at the ship's barber before any port visit (unless you wanted to wait in line for two hours) and so enterprising nukes would often set up shop in the aft lounge and charge $5 a pop for a haircut.  I usually relied on Gil Miltenberger on such occasions (since he was one of the few guys that didn't totally destroy your hair when trimming it up enough to look sat).  My bud Dicko also cut hair once in a while down in the office.  One day a desperate Brad Stephens came down and begged Dicko to cut his hair but Dicko was too busy.  I volunteered to do it (as a joke) and Brad accepted.  I then told Brad that I was kidding and had never cut hair before in my life.  He didn't care.  So I figured, what the hell.  I had no idea what I was doing and didn't know you were supposed to put a guard on the clippers and shaved a bald patch right up the back of Brad's head.  Dicko saw what I did and quickly jumped in to finish the haircut without telling Brad what happened.  When Brad left the office I took off as fast as I could.  Sure enough, Brad was back in minutes to kick my ass.

 

Another Old Friend Has Found this Site!

Believe it or not, after nearly 10 years I have found one of my dearest friends: Andy Astleford! (I send special thanks to Dave Fisher for letting Andy know about this site.) Andy was the pride of RE03 and was one of the nicest people in all of Rx Dept.  Andy had a heart of gold and I only knew him to get mad when people confused him with Bill Shout (since they were nearly identical twins--only kidding).  Andy was on the Pig from 1986 to 1990.  Andy is married and has twin boys (age 8 ½). He is currently working at the University of Minnesota doing Radiation Safety work.

 

A Modern Era Nuke Has Come Aboard!

I was on the Pig (1993 - 1998).  During the '96 med cruise they were selling this patch out of the aft RC div lounge (see below).  The RMA went nutz and wanted heads to roll.  He wanted all the patches turned back in but some survived.

 

A Sad True Story:

Over the last dozen or so years I have met many ex-navy nukes (college, work, etc.) and, like most old salts, we swapped sea stories.  Most of these fellows were on subs or other, lesser-known, carriers and all of these guys  had one thing in common: none had sea adventures that could even remotely compare to mine.  In fact, most found my Big E stories impossible to believe.  Especially the one that I am sending in now about how an entire department (actually two) conspired to drive a man insane.  I won’t mention the afflicted person’s name (other than call him Lt. R.) but every nuke on the Big E during the 1988 westpac knows who this person was and would vouch for this story’s authenticity.  For those of you who never heard the story, here it is:

Lt. R. was a refugee from 2 plant that somehow wound up in 4 plant at the beginning of the cruise. Lt. R. was impossible to work for and was hated by just about everyone (officer and enlisted, alike). Lt. R’s troubles really didn’t begin until midway through the ’88 cruise, when people were finally locked into his ORSE watch team. It was one thing to occasionally have to deal with this guy on a random basis but when people were forced to stand 4 and 12s with the guy they began plotting his demise immediately.

The insanity campaign actually began serendipitously with a simple phone call to 4 EOS. Lt. R. never allowed his LRPT to answer the phone (as was the LRPT’s job) and always answered the EOS desk phone himself (so that he could scream at whoever dared to call the plant if the call wasn’t for official business). Whoever phoned 4 EOS that day knew Lt. R. answered and just didn’t want to deal with him and so hung up. Lt. R. slammed the phone down and the two ROs turned around and stared at him (and gave him their usual, "you’re such a retard" look). Lt. R. then said something like, "What? You didn’t hear the phone ring?" They both said no (even though they had). Then Lt. R. asked the throttleman if he heard the phone ring and the trottleman said that he didn’t (even though he had). The LRPT also told the watch officer that he didn’t hear the phone ring. 

Everyone in EOS knew that Lt. R. was troubled since the phone really did ring. An evil plan was then launched on the spot. One of the ROs was on headphones with Control Equipment (he and the CR operator were doing trip and cals) and the CR operator was quietly instructed to call 4 EOS and hang up. Everyone in EOS looked straight ahead until Lt. R actually picked up the phone and then they all gave him a sad look, like they felt sorry for him for thinking that the phone was actually ringing. The phone rang again a few minutes later and the same thing happened. This continued until the end of the watch. Then it began all over again the very next watch. And then again the next. Lt. R. was convinced that his phone was ringing (because it was) and placed dozens of trouble calls to the aft IC shack to look into the matter. At least once during each watch an IC guy would be forced to come down to 4 EOS and checkout the phone circuit. (And every time the phone was found to be working properly.) 

The boys in 4 plant just couldn’t be satisfied with ringing the EOS phone after a while. They soon got really creative and began synchronizing phones, alarms, buzzers, growlers and just about anything else that could make a noise in EOS. Pretty soon the EOS sounded like a clock shop at noon (Ring-bzzzt-grrrrr-wrrrr-ding-weeeet, etc.). While all this commotion was going on the ROs, throttleman and LRPT just sat there straight faced while Lt. R. ran around EOS trying to answer all the things that were buzzing, growling and ringing. The saddest part of the story really was that pretty soon everyone in Rx Dept knew that this was going on and everyone, including other watch officers, wanted to be in on it. So towards the end (before Lt. R. actually went insane) just about everyone felt the need to call 4 EOS or R's stateroom and hang up on him.

But it wasn’t the "rings in poor Lt. R.’s head" that ended his naval career—no, it was actually something else. I was down the plant the day it happened (in fact, I was pretty much the last person to talk to him before he was relieved for the last time and sent to the ship’s sickbay to spend "quiet time" until he could be flown off). But I won’t say anymore about it here. I’ll let someone else finish the story if they want to. I have always felt really bad about what happened and that I was somehow involved in that "final blow." Never in a million years did I actually think that we 4 planters would actually drive him insane but we did.

 

A 3-Plant M-Div-er Finds the Site:

I think EM23 means 3 plant Engineering Mechanical.
I was a Machinist Mate in the Main Engineering Room of 3 plant.  It has been just long enough to begin to forget the horrors of it all. 

Richard Motschenbacher
EM23 1989 to 1993

 

Welcome To Another 70s Big E Nuke!

Great Idea. I am glad someone finally thought to do this!! You (your site) made me search and search until I finally found "YE OLDE DOPEY BOOK" from my Reactor Plant Three days, circa 1971-1975. This book has not seen the light of day in many a year. Man, you talk about shaking some cobwebs loose. El Dopey jolted loose memories that have been locked away for a quarter century. 3 WESTPACS to "NAM," Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club, and a 60 day line cruise I thought I would never forget. I hope some of the other 3 Plant "MISFITS" from '71 to '75 show up (I see one already listed). Thanks for a great site and I wish you and yours the best!!!

Jim Sutton
RM / 3 Plant 1971 - 1975
USS ENTERPRISE CVN - 65

 
KP note Please send in scans of your dopey book! I can only imagine how "brutal" things were back in the old days.

 

Attention 3 Plant Survivors of the '72 to '75 Era, An Important Part of Your History Has Just Been Discovered!

HOO RAH!! I think that is Grunt talk for pretty cool. I do have a scanner, and I will try to figure out the tech aspect as far as uploading some of this anyway.  Man, the more I look at this book, it amazes me just what kind of egotistical, back stabbing, smart ass bastard, slobbering drunk, Olongapo loving nukie pukes we were. There are a lot of people in here that will never admit they stood in the glorious and often crowded "clap" line at sick bay. The best I can remember, and can tell from reading these hallowed pages, it covers two westpacs from '72 to '75. It is a BIG book and the 13 1/2 " pages will be hard to scan and keep any continuity. (got any ideas?). I thought about taking it to work and try reducing it on a copier. But I am not sure I have that many years left. I may be exaggerating a little, which I know is unusual for any EX- NUC. But it does happen. I will try to work this out. When this particular book was started I was known as "Hutton," but before long, since I was dating a little Mexican senorita that I had met in a bar (who wouda thunk) in Jack London Square in Oakland, CA., my feeble dim witted remarks in Ye Olde Dopey was being signed by "Taco," which all my fellow Nucites insisted on calling me. Some entries were signed by me as "The Tequila Kid" (this was after three of us got in a Tequila drinking, showing off for the Puss contest, and then got mildly chastised (ha) as all three of us were crammed on a 500 Suzuki motorcycle and tried entering the base at Alameda NAS, da Grunts at de gate no very happy don cha no) the Tequila part of my life is just a tad bit fuzzy. At any rate I will attempt to do my duty and try to find the time and know how to exhibit this hallowed and glorified piece of sh.. I mean literature. Sorry if I have rambled on, but it has been sooo long ago, but the memories keep acummin. In fact, one just popped up about a week’s leave I took in PO town, but that is another story. I hope some of 3 plant Misfits (we actually had some patches made up, wish I could find mine) find this sight. We might, could, maybe, come up with a story or two. Any tech advice on getting this stuff posted on your sight, do not hesitate to try to pound it into this ex-nukie's hard head. You have to try to remember, in my era on the "E" Hewlett Packard had just come out with the first hand held calculator. ARRGH all this goes to show you this 50 year old EX-Nuc may never grow up. Do you think it has anything to do with the radiation???? 

Jim Sutton

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More from Jim Sutton

Hopefully, some of the old Three Planters alias "The Romper Room Raiders" alias "Misfits and Losers" will read all I pass on, and then they can add to, take away, or offer corrections. I would like to hear from any of them. I will attempt to list some participants in Ole Dopey. Maybe it will jar some ex-nuc memories. There was Okie, my ole pard and steaming buddy, whom we swore an oath to each other that we would never, never, never lose touch with each other (which of course we both broke 26 years ago). Rambling again oh hum. Anyway, I will try this again: OKIE, HUTTON/TACO (me), BJ/BUCK, THE GRIT/SMITTY, HIG/KD, BURGER, BUFORD, "O", THE BLIND KID/BLIND BABY/BB, OZZIE, FUZZY, BANZAI, FUBAR, 750CC, FLEAS JR., BVD, TTPOD, 360, SWEET TONY, THE INNOCENT ONE, NICKNAMELESS, GREEN HORNET, JG, THE ROCK, EL "C", CC, WHORELET, CHINK......I'm sure I have missed some, and there are a bunch of cameo appearances. Maybe I can add some more at a later time. Hopefully these names may help stir up those comatose brain cells that we so diligently tried to destroy. Hello Hello, is Anybody Out There!! WHERE ARE YOU GUYS!!!! Okay, dun ram'lin. I would only like to add my thanks to you for the opportunity to share the past with all who care to read it, and let all the Nucs (Ex-Nucs, Now-Nucs, Future Nucs) that followed or will follow in our footsteps, I'm damn proud of you for carrying on the grand traditions of Misfits and Losers and for not ruining our lousy reputation. Thanks to ALL!!!

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Barrio Shame

Every time we went to O-Town I always promised myself that I'd behave but I never did.  Usually it only took about half a pitcher of Mojo and a few San Miguels and I was out of control.  Most of the time we'd skip O-Town altogether and go out to Subic City or the Barrio because the bar fines were much cheaper (50 Pesos vs. 300 Pesos).  Also, out there you didn't have to bother renting a motel room since all the bars had little rooms in the back.  I was always really uncomfortable in those little rooms because they always had pictures of Jesus and the Virgin Mary hanging on the wall.  Nothing could take the thrill out of bonking your hook faster than looking up and seeing one of those pictures staring at you.

Anonymous--for good reason.

 

What Bored People Do to Pass The Time at Sea:

While digging through some old navy stuff I found a piece paper and had no idea what it was (see below).  But, since I had kept it it must have had some significance.  After a few minutes of staring at the old memo--obviously a fake--it all came back to me.  It was another one of those "lethal" forgeries I was so famous for writing to serve as the initiator of another one of my heartless practical jokes.  Luckily this one didn’t backfire on me.  In fact, it worked out better than I had ever imagined.

This episode took place during the ’90 World Cruise when I was working in the RE office. At that time there was a power struggle going on between two 1-plant REs over who would become the next LPO of RE01 (These guys were EM2 Brown and EM2 RJ Martin). Both these guys were constantly coming down the office to badmouth the other ("So-and-so did this" and "So-and-so did that"). I finally got fed up and decided to have some fun at these guy’s expense so I typed up this phony memo, not quite sure how I was going to employ it.  (Note the authentic-looking "CHUD" sticky for a little extra realism.)  My officemates watched me put together this fake memo and strongly advised that I destroy it immediately—for obvious reasons.  I was just about to tear it up when RJ Martin entered the office and wanted to know what was going on.  He saw me try to hide the memo and became suspicious.  I couldn't have planned it better!  RJ kept pestering me to show him the memo and so I finally did. He read it and couldn’t contain his joy! He didn’t seem to care that EM2 Laing, a nub, was being put in charge of RE01—just seeing that Brown was being "sent away" was enough to make him happy. He then wanted to know where we were sending Brown and I told him that I couldn’t tell him. RJ then asked if poor EM2 Brown was being sent to the coop. I told RJ that it was none of his business and warned him to keep his big mouth shut.  He promised me that he would and then ran as fast as he could back to berthing with a grin a mile wide. Within minutes Brown was down the office to see what RJ was so giddy about (all RJ told him was that there was a big surprise waiting for him the next time he went down the office). Brown took one look at the phony memo and saw it for the joke that it was. He then returned to berthing and told RJ that he had his facts all wrong and that RJ was the one actually being sent to the coop. The next thing I knew RJ was down the office (his face red as a beet) demanding to know if it was true that he was being sent to the coop.  By then we were all laughing so hard that RJ stormed out of the office (unsure of anything). For days he wouldn’t speak to me.

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A 4-Plant M-Div-er Finds the Site 

Your web site is really cool.  Please add me to your list of ex-Big E Nukes. My name is Daniel Donahoe, I worked in 1 AMR (EM-31) for two years and then two years in 4 MMR (EM-14). I was stationed on the Enterprise from 9/83 to 9/87.  I'll have to tell my ex-Big E Nuke friends about your web site.

Thanks,
Dan

 

A Peek Back In Time

Below are scans of the April 19, 1988 and April 22, 1989 Shuttles.  I found these old 4-page newspapers in my box of "navy crap" that somehow survived nearly a half dozen moves since I left the service.  I kept the April 19, 1988 issue because it covered the most exciting thing to happen while I was on the Pig (Operation Praying Mantis).  I kept the April 22, 1989 issue because it marked the literary debut of my pal Dicko.  Dicko penned the article on page 2 entitled, "Reactor Department's Answer to 'Wog Diary.'" This article was written as a protest to a series of articles that the Shuttle was publishing at the time by some gung-ho airdale (called The Wog Diaries).  The airdale's stories were stupid and filled with hyper-graphic imagery about life on the flight deck.  Dicko had no intention of publishing his short article (he wrote it only as a joke, using the same type of over-graphic imagery).  I took it up to the printing office and submitted it using a fake name.  The Shuttle editor thought it was a great story and didn't realize it was meant to be a parody (or maybe he did).  I figured those of you who sailed on the Pig during the '88 and '89 at sea periods might enjoy a peek back at how you viewed the "outside world" on those two particular days.

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A Question Posed to You All:

Does anyone know when the Enterprise began naming reactor and engineering work centers using the two digit convention to denote both the group and the plant (e.g., RM22, RC14, EM23, RM11)?  A few of the '70s era nukes have asked me about this since this was not done back in the old days.  I'm not sure what they did back then.  Are they still using that naming convention today? 

 

The Greatest Hoax of Them All!

Since no one else is sending in stories I guess I'll add another.  In that box of "navy crap" I mentioned above I also found a copy of the bogus trivia sheet that my bud Dicko and I typed up in the wee hours of the night during the '89 - '90 cruise.  We were inspired to do this while thumbing through a Tiger Cruise information pamphlet that contained real Enterprise trivia with similar outlandish comparisons.  Some of the trivia on our sheet was genuine so that people would recognize it from other sources.  (And, most-likely, some of the bogus stuff might have actually been true anyway.)  After we typed up the phony trivia sheet we snuck into the Rx admin office and made a few dozen copies and then left these sheets sitting around on tables in the aft mess decks.  When daylight arrived squids eating breakfast collected these fact sheets along with their daily Shuttle.  Within hours these fake Enterprise trivia sheets were being quoted and posted everywhere.  No one with any common sense seemed to question these ridiculous "facts."  Our chief (Randy Shackett) even heard one squad of airdales being read the phony trivia sheet by their DO while mustered on the hanger bay that morning.  But I have to give Rx dept. its due.  When this sheet was posted in Rx berthing most found one or two of the items hard to believe.  I fondly remember "Reactor Phil" Skinner commenting to one of his RC brothers that he seriously doubted that "the Enterprise had ever sailed north of the Arctic Circle." 

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ORSE

What whining & crying about ORSE. Hell, the reactor control equipment floor was always cleaner than the trays on the mess decks. Our ORSE was always held off the PI prior to our sorties out in the Tonkin Gulf. You electricians & machinists went into ORSE boards 3 at a time. Us RC types were always one at a time. It prepared me for work in the real world. I learned to tell a rear admiral he sucked in elegant language. You get bosses in private industry that think they're god, it is very easy to handle these assholes after the USN's assholes. I'll forward a story about a sleeping WO during an ORI.

D.L.

 

Alma Mater NTC Orlando

Those of you who went to NPS in Orlando may be interested in reading about how the place that was once called NTC Orlando is now going to be used to house the masses.  Check out this link:

http://www.cityoforlando.net/planning/ntc/ntchome.htm

 

My Pal Dicko Has Sent In His First Story!  I Have to Warn You Though, It's ..... Well, Let's Just Say It Isn't Clean.

Love the site. I spent the last hour laughing my ass off! We really did try to be evil didn't we? I guess it was the boredom that drove us to it.

One story came to mind when I was looking at the pictures:

During the '88 Westpac when we were in Pusan, Korea, KP and I were sitting in this really seedy basement brothel/bar on Texas Street. I remember KP was looking a little ill and needed to relieve himself of some gastric distress. Much as he didn't want to, he realized this was as good a place as he was going to find so he went upstairs and found the bar’s poor excuse for a toilet. I just kicked back, had a beer and watched the fun. I remember there was this woman with butterflies tattooed on her eyelids (that had to hurt). She made a somewhat indecent suggestion that I found more terrifying than titillating. Suddenly KP came running down the stairs shouting, "Let's get out of here! Let's go, let's go." I pointed out that we still had beer remaining but KP was already moving toward the door. Realizing that this was urgent I hightailed out after him. It wasn't until we were far away that I could get him to stop and fill me in. He had gone upstairs and entered the bathroom. It was nasty and apparently had items stored inside such as women's clothing. Not in a position to be picky, KP immediately took care of business. His relief turned to horror when he looked around afterwards and saw that there was no toilet paper. I often wonder about the unfortunate woman who left her white dress hanging innocently in that stall. Of course KP had done the unthinkable with the dress and prepared to vacate the scene undetected. As he opened the door, however, an old Korean woman was standing there and offered him a handful of toilet paper. KP simply mumbled "no thanks" and ran off. He said that the old woman had a confused look on her face and entered the bathroom to investigate. This prompted KP to rapidly begin his escape and collect me on his way out.

D.H.

 

Something I haven't Thought About In A Long Time

I know most of you probably thought that Dicko and I were pretty squared away but that wasn't always the case.  Back during those pathetic 1987 workups we were still pretty junior and always getting bagged with the 2nd and 4th watch on every duty day.  Except, of course, on those duty days that fell the day before any at sea period.  Then we were bagged with the 1st and 3rd watch (so that the unethical senior members of the duty section could sneak off until the 4th watch, when most of the Webster Street bars closed).  We sort of had a tradition on such nights.  As soon as we got relieved at 1:30 a.m. we would hightail it back to berthing, change, sneak off the Pig and then drive as fast as we could to the liquor store next to Johnny B. Goode's (it closed at 2:00 a.m. sharp).  Once we had secured a case of beer we would then drive as fast as we could to the Taco Bell on Webster Street (which closed at 2:30 a.m. sharp).  After that we would return to the parking lot adjacent Pier 4 and park in some dark secluded spot.  There we would celebrate our last few hours of "liberty" drinking and eating tacos until the sun came up.  Throughout those wee hours of morning many a recognizable face would come stumbling by and we would always invite that person into the car for a beer or two. (E-Div's Scotty Crowe comes to mind as a frequent visitor.)   I remember the parking lot was filled with drunks on such nights, most of whom had no idea where they were headed (they were just following the other drunks back toward the Pig ).  When the beer and tacos were gone we, too, joined the others and stumbled back to the ship.  We usually timed it so that we could come across the brow only minutes before it was secured for good (~5:00 a.m.).  We usually heard "C" note from our pits and prayed that no one would wake us up for at least a few hours.           

 

13 Drunks

During the first month I qualified we had an in port period of 3 days in Subic before returning to Yankee Station. So with one duty day and 48 hrs off, it was party hardy, between the PO club at Cubi Pt. and the bars in O-town. All 13 members of my watch team returned for S/U with at least a 0.8% blood alcohol level. An unnamed 3A RO kept falling out of the chair. The WO summoned me to 3 EOS (I was RCEO) and asked me to please do something about "Willy" and then the WO promptly fell down. I used rags to tie him to the chair. I was next summoned to the CTG flats and helped the CTG watch, the CRAO, & the Chief open the MSS on the 3A Rx. It was quite a show, every one falling down in the process. I wish camcorders were available then. Every one on the S/U threw up at least once that shift. Fortunately, those Rxs were well designed. Everything came up fine. That was a long 6 hours and seemed like forever. The CPOs back then were a different crowd. Most were caught in the Cuban Crises and were extended, so they made a career out of it. They certainly were nicer than the CPOs of the 80's & 90's I've read about here.

D.L.

 

Hey, I Finally Got Hold of "Q" !

This is the best f__king thing I have read in a long time. I am sitting here in my office with the door shut crying because I am laughing so hard. Absolutely the best. Those pictures from the Dopey Books are priceless!

KP Note:  As most of you know "Q" (aka, Myron Gyolai) was one of my dearest friends back on the Pig.  He and I served for years together in 4-plant and then in the RE office during our last cruise (89-90).  After we got out of the navy we were roommates in college.  Q is now a respectable family man living in Danville, CA.

 

Believe It Or Not There Actually Was a Righteous One Among Us!

About a year or two ago I was standing in line at a deli when I noticed a familiar looking fellow standing in front of me.  I knew that I knew this person from somewhere because he was also staring at me trying to figure out who I was.  After a few minutes of idle chit-chat we realized that we had served together on the Enterprise.  In fact, we were both 4-planters and had stood many a watch together.  This fellow was none other than John Sackett of RM14.  I asked him what brought him to rural Harford County, MD (where I live) and he told me that he was the pastor of a local church.  "No kidding!" I said.  Yep, ol' John was really a minister.  He went to the seminary right after he got out of the navy.  We met for lunch a few times after that to share a few old memories.  Once in a while I'd even stop by his church to visit.  I hadn't seen John in a while so I stopped by to visit him yesterday and learned that he had been transferred on to a higher calling: he's now a chaplain in the air force!  Good Luck John!  

 

Lifer!

Admit it.  You all have somewhere in your possession one of those big wooden San Miguel mugs.  You know, that thing you bought at one of those shops on Magsaysay on your way back to the base when you were drunk and had a few extra Pesos in your pocket.  (You probably bought one of those stupid San Miguel velvet ball caps there too--and had your nickname stitched on the back.)  One night "Q" and I passed one of those woodcraft stores and were feeling generous so we commissioned a giant wooden "Lifer" desk plaque for our pal Dicko.  It cost us nearly $30 but we figured it was money well spent since we knew it would totally offend Dicko.  After we bought it we brought it back to the ship and placed it prominently on Dicko's desk.  Pretty much the whole division saw it before Dicko came down and discovered it.  He had quite a hard time convincing everyone that he wasn't a lifer and that he would never buy such a thing for himself.  I snapped a picture (see below) of the plaque before Dicko chucked it off sponson 7.

rx-liferdesk.jpg (97637 bytes)

(click to enlarge)

 

 

Another Old Friend!

Andy Astleford sent me your page. Wow it's great. Don't know if you remember me (Tim Boyd). Everyone called me doc. I was a 4 plant RE from Sept 89 to Mar 92.  Sign me up on the page as an alumnus. I have contact with Randy Shackett, Mike Bowman, Kenny Monson, John Archer, John Rensch and TJ Laing. I’ll forward the page to them and see if I can get them on the list. I think I might even have some old pics and such from those days.  I’ll dig around for them. Talk to you later.

Doc

KP Note:   Hey Doc!  I remember you pretty well because you and I were in the same nuke school class (8502).  You arrived on the Pig just as I was leaving so you must have transferred from another ship.  I would love to hear from the others as well!  Send pictures! 

 

Class 8502B:

My nuke school class.  We were infamous (and I won't say anymore than that). 

rx-8502B.jpg (195327 bytes)

 

Welcome To Another Old Fwd Group RM:

Dude, just found this page, funny as shit. If you would, please toss me on alumni list.

Matt Parli, MMC RM11 & RM14 1993-1996

Later.

 

Olongapo Then and Now:

Today's 7th Fleet squid probably has no idea where Olongapo is.  I don't think an American warship has sailed into Subic Bay since the base closed in 1992.  Some of the stuff I've seen on this site is about a place and time that many of us old salts remember well.  (Too well.) Check out these two sites for a look at a place and its people that many of us will never forget.

http://www.filipinawives.com/memorial.html

http://www.subicbaypi.com/

 

Enjoying the Stories?  Go to Page Three of The Unofficial Reactor and Engineering Department Web Site For More........

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The Ballad of Subic Sam 
From The Nov. 5, 1999 Mooj Weekly Standard 

Walkin' the streets of Olongapo City 
Pesos in his pocket gonna buy him some gritty 
Mojo in his gut, gonna make him feel sh_tty 
Kids playing Frogger—really quite a pity 

Sierra Club rock band playing really loud 
Peso show, Shark's Cove, drawing up a crowd 
Mag-sai-sai, mamison, bar fine dis-allowed 
Sh_t River, noxious fumes, rise up in a cloud 

Imitation snakeskin boots coverin' up his feet 
Chewing on some lumpia as he walks on down the street 
Jeepney, Barrio bound, grabs himself a seat 
Exits at the White Rock Hotel, rents himself a suite 

Haze gray, under weigh, next week it'll be true 
Every time he urinates the pain will not subdue 
He'll wait in the clap line with other bad boys, too 
Subic Sam, The Peso man, he never had a clue