Tuesday, September 05, 2006

19 November 1955

Anchored today off the coast of Sardinia which, if my knowledge of geography serves me right, is an island about an inch or two off Spain & France, on a large map

Only got topside for a moment today, & practically froze even in that length of time. Sunny Mediterranean—HAH. The occasion for my going out into the harsh elements was to run a breakfast inspection sheet up to the Officer of the Day. Since he is located on the bridge, it gave me a chance to get my first look at the brain-center of the carrier. It is an angular, heavily-shielded room; or rather two rooms. The first one, furthest forward, is where the Captain &/or Admiral &/or OOD stand. From here, the ocean spreads out in front endlessly—the flight deck is far below & off to the left—almost the sensation of flying. This room is quite large & rather angular—like half of a twelve-sided sphere. The windows which run around it are set in thick protective steel, & have large shutters with only small viewing-slits which can be lowered in case of attack. Behind this first room is the steering room. The wheel which turns the carrier is about two & a half feet in diameter—a metal vertical disc rimmed in wood. Beside it are the small but complex machines & indicators which convey directions to the engine rooms. All quite simple, & yet very complicated.

The days of the bearded sailor standing on the quarterdeck amidst raging seas, struggling with a huge, many spoked wheel are over. The driver of the U.S.S. Ticonderoga was a young kid in blues, not over nineteen. Ah, this brave, new world….

Today I also did what may be considered a foolish thing, but I’m sure I shall never regret it—I signed up for a four day tour to Paris, leaving from Cannes, France the evening of the 22nd. The cost, as I believe was mentioned yesterday, is only $69, which is unbelievably low. But considering that I have only $100 to my name, representing almost two years in the service, it is quite a large sum. Also the fact that Christmas is almost here.

As for Christmas, I like to pretend that there is no Christmas at all this year (for me, there isn’t). But I’ve got to buy presents & send them home, even if they don’t get there until February.

I meant to mention it yesterday, but didn’t have time—yesterday morning I had the most unusual sensation—it lasted from about eight o’clock to five after 10—what those who are not confirmed skeptics might call a premonition. Of what I do not know & cannot guess. That would be about 2 a.m. back home in the States. Probably it was nothing, but it was an odd feeling

Tomorrow is Sunday—we replenish Monday. I suppose the only reason we’ve anchored is to save fuel. Now there is an example of clear & logical thinking. Oh, well, that is the way I keep house—it may be messy, but I like it that way….


knbmr said...

Hey Sailor
Did you have a gay old time in
Paris, or were you out at all then?
I don't know what gay life was like in the navy back then, but when I was in the Air Force in the sixties Iwas practicaly out even on
base. I think "Don't ask don't tell" made it much worse.

Dorien/Roger said...

Having witnessed first hand how the Navy dealt with gays (two incidents described further along in the blog), I was very circumspect about my being gay. I'm sure a lot of my shipmates knew, but I locked that part of me tightly away. I did, later on, have a tremendous (albeit strictly one-sided) crush on one of my friends (you won't have any trouble figuring out which one when he starts showing up in the blog).