The Navy's traditions live on in the hearts of those who serve

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's a small, small world.

If you have read any of my early postings, you know I am from Cleveland, Ohio. I went to Putitas Elementary school until the sixth grade. The building is still there, or at least it was a couple of years ago when I last drove by it. However, it is now a nursing home. In any case, my third grade teacher, Mrs Condon, was a wonderful lady and very proud of her son. While I was in third grade, her son was accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy. A marvelous accomplishment and she was very proud of him. She had him in our class to tell us about being selected, and she talked about his accomplishments with great pride. Move the clock ahead a few years, I had just completed my tour as the Gunner's Mate detailer, and I was flying to meet the USS Caron in the Med. The trip to meet the ship was complicated by the fact that they were off the coast of Lebanon, support the Marines during that difficult period of time. So, we flew from Norfolk, to Rota, Spain. We stayed there for a few days and then flew to Souda Bay, Crete in a C-2. Now a C-2 is not a comfortable, spacious, passenger plane and it has no amenities. There is no Head!! Meaning no place to go to the bathroom. Some C-2 has a place for men to vent some liquid waste, (How's that for being delicate) but that hole was sealed up on this plane. So, by the time we got to Souda Bay, I had to GO! As soon as we arrived in Souda bay and they opened the back ramp on the plane, I was "hot footing it" to the first place I saw marked as a "HEAD". I saw the door in the hanger and made a be line for the door. I crashed into the "HEAD". found the urinal, and was immediately glad I did. Then, out of the blue, a Female sailor came out of the stall behind me screaming, "Didn't I see the wheel?!?" What wheel! What was a wheel? I had never been stationed with female sailors, except at he Bureau, and they had Male and Female HEADS. Oh well, I didn't care. I'm a Gunner's Mate, I'm not bashful. And anyway, I felt much better. So, as I departed the Head, I did see a "Wheel" on the door with a Male/Female portion. I guess the drill was which ever sex was on top meant that's who was in the Head. Burt it is hard to see the Wheel through eyes clouded with urine!

To continue, we were told we had to stay overnight in Souda Bay because of weather and that we had to stay out in town because there were no rooms available in the barracks. So, people were teaming up to get a room out in town, because that was the Base Commander's rule. There was this Commander, the only officer on the flight. He looked lonely, so I grabbed him up and said, "Let's go get a room and a good meal." The Commander agreed and off we went after changing into civilian clothes. I guess they wanted us to look like we were from Crete. Didn't work, I don't speak Greek. The Commander and I got a room, and started to get to know each other, He told me his name was Condon. I told him about my third grade teacher and about her son. I told him how proud I remembered her being about his acceptance into the Naval Academy. He looked at me and said, "That was my Mom." It really is a small, small world after all.

Maybe someday, I can get a room in the nursing home that was Puritas Elementary school. Maybe even in Mrs. Condon's third grade classroom.

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