Life - Such as it was

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is a rather humorous attempt at an autobiography. Pretty much everything in here actually happened, to the best of my recollection. Enjoy! PS: The picture is really me from my 1957 Bitburg High School yearbook. The person who took it left it in the developer too long and overexposed it. All of them were like that and everyone hated them.

Table of Contents

Life - Such as it was

This is a rather humorous attempt at an autobiography. Pretty much everything in here actually happened, to the best of my recollection. Enjoy! Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 2

When we left Alaska, our eventual destination was the East Coast, specifically Washington D C.  Allowing for visits to relatives els... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 3

We have arrived at our destination!  Unpacking the car went rapidly as by that time the only thing we had left was the camping gear ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 4

A very short word on Brussels sprouts:  ICK.  My mom usually made these horrible excuses for a vegetable about twice a week.&nb... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 5

Pretty much everywhere we kids went we were on a bicycle.  I had one which, I think, was called a Schwinn Roadmaster.  This thi... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 6

Over the period of five years my family lived in Morningside, Kathleen and I developed a friendship of sorts.  At first it wasn’t ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 7

For our first major date, Kathleen and I settled on a movie followed by a trip to the local malt shop next door afterwards.  Since n... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 8

I graduated from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts while we were in Washington DC.  Working very hard, I managed to accrue over 25 merit badg... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 9

Building plastic airplane models was a Very Big Thing back then.  I must have had around twenty or thirty models hanging from the ce... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 10

Life as a kid transiting from pre-teenhood to mid-teenhood was definitely not a bowl of fruit.  Nasty ‘appointments’ (as in ‘y... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 11

My family, in 1955, consisted of my mom and dad, me, my brother, and two sisters.  I was the oldest and each of my siblings stair-st... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 12

The North Atlantic Ocean at night, even in August, was pretty cold.  The instant we opened the sliding door to the Promenade deck, t... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 13

When we docked, all the families had to stay together in order to debark properly.  Claudette and I didn’t catch sight of each oth... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 14

I was in school precisely two days when I spotted a familiar thatch of dirty-blonde hair bobbing along above all the other varicolored he... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 15

One lonely Saturday night when my parents were out, I wondered just what my dad’s bourbon tasted like.  I had never even gotten a ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 16

It turned out that hay rides existed even in Europe.  Peter and some of his friends invited Linda and I to go on one with them one a... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 17

I really don’t have a clue as to what attracted me to Molly.  True, she was a very blue-eyed blonde with soft curls near her ears,... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 18

After lunch, we did a bit of walking around to settle it as getting into a Volkswagen with a full stomach isn’t a really good idea.&nbs... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 19

Molly took my hand again, but this time I slipped out of it and put my arm around her waist.  She stiffened slightly, but then relen... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 20

The next morning, after a fairly good breakfast, I found that parental telepathy did actually exist.  Molly’s mom immediately nixe... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 21

We took a different way back, deciding to ride the number 6 line.  This route dipped south and went past the train station at the Ga... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 22

The next day my mother went down to the front desk to see if there were any interesting sights to be seen that would bore Molly and I to ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 23

I previously mentioned trains.  I love trains of any description.  Even if Virginia couldn’t go with me I would hop a bus to ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 24

Our group of teens had our fair share of tragedy too.  One of the girls I was originally introduced to at the Teen Club so long ago ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 25

Now, as the countryside clacked past us rapidly, the other two guys drifted out of our shared compartment quietly.  Virginia came in... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 26

We arrived in Paris about four in the afternoon and, after a really scary ride across town in a couple of taxis, we got to the hotel.&nbs... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 27

The next two days in Paris passed all too quickly for Virginia and me.  Sometimes we were with the others, but we did a lot of solo ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 28

A way back I promised more on scouting.  The American Boy Scouts organization on the base was a good thing.  It helped most of ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 29

To balance out a year that contains Fasching, another grueling fortnight of wild abandon is known as Oktoberfest.  This festival occ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 30

That evening we took things easy by joining the rest of our group in one of the separate dining rooms for dinner.  It was a lively g... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 31

In one minute, in early fall, Virginia’s and my world came crashing down.  Her dad told her that his request for extension here at... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 32

My relationship with Danni soon moved into a second stage.  Our first stage was pretty platonic.  We enjoyed traveling, and jus... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 33

In the late fifties, VW’s were not imported into the US.  Every one of them had come from a serviceman returning from Europe. ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 34

Shortly after my dinner date with Shannen we said our goodbyes and I headed north to Montana.  I had been accepted as a freshman int... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 35

When I was about 11 or so, a couple of my best friends and I were poking around the back of the school as kids are wont to do and came ac... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 36

During my scouting days, we would visit Camp Tapakegga over in Virginia for a two week period of what was euphemistically related to us a... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 37

As I mentioned in an earlier chapter, up in Alaska I was under training by an old sled driver by the name of Jed to ultimately drive some... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 38

Back in Morningside, there was a fairly large group of kids that hung around together quite a bit.  During the summer vacation we di... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 39

"Things I remember but have gone missing now – Pt 1" 1. Shredded Wheat came in a box with pasteboard dividers.  These dividers... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 40

"Things I remember but have gone missing now – Pt 2" Here are some more items for thought: 21. The Heath Company is one company... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 41

When I was around ten or eleven years old, kite flying was all the rage.  There were all sorts of kites to be built: box, triangles,... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 42

Over the years, my siblings and I pulled some pretty good stunts on our parents.  These were almost always, but no by all means tota... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 43

I don’t really think that my parents set out to make my life truly unbearable, but it sure seemed that way.  Since I was the eldes... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 44

Trip to the Worlds Fair – 1958, Part 1 In June of 1958, right after classes let out for the year, my parents announced that they we... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 45

Trip to the Worlds Fair – 1958, Part 2 I slept fitfully that night as I relived our evening and awoke almost as tired as when I wen... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 46

Trip to the Worlds Fair – 1958, Part 3 Not very much happened the next day.  The girls and I were just about walked out so the... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 47

Trip to the Worlds Fair – 1958, Part 4 After breakfast the next day, all of us piled into our two cars and headed back to the fairg... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 48

This was probably my finest Christmas of my teenage years: It is the winter of 1958 and all through the housing area plans are being ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 49

A while back: When I was around twelve or thirteen I fell madly in love with a girl in one of my classes at school.  Since this ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 50

One summer, while we lived in Washington D.C., my dad had to go to some TDY (Temporary DutY) Meteorologists conference out on the west co... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 51

My first exposure to a drive-in movie was after I returned to the States from Germany in 1958.  I landed in California a newly-minte... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 52

Back to Germany: As I look back on it from the distance of almost 60 years, I can see that making any headway with Janet was doomed f... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 53

Our walk to the Base Exchange snack bar was uneventful.  We engaged in small talk for the ten-minute walk.  Overall, I’d have... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 54

In Petaluma, the little group of teenagers I was a member of would meet at the church every other Friday evening to do some form of enter... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 55

Coming to California from Europe, as I did in my sophomore year of high school, I never really had any idea what fads, local teen culture... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 56

While stationed in Germany, my dad had to attend quite a few NATO weather conferences.  Since he was the commander of the local weat... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 57

Next morning, if it could be called that due to the lack of anything brighter than mid-gloom outside, I woke just after my dad had finish... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 58

A very tall guy answered the door when Tom pushed the bell.  He greeted Tom, glanced at me, and looked over the two girls as they pa... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 59

I decided to sleep in the next morning.  This wasn’t a conscious thought, but more like one made when one opens one eye and catche... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 60

We arrived back in the good old USA from Germany in the late fall of 1958.  We touched down at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 61

Following our touchdown, it seemed as if we would taxi forever until we turned sharply and the engines went silent.  We’d been hea... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 62

The next few days consisted mostly of the five of us settling down for a long trip.  We chose seats according to our age.  Sinc... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 63

We got up early, cleaned up, had breakfast in the haute cuisine establishment of “Eats” out on the highway, and puttered west towards... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 64

The drive to Dodge City was very hot.  We panted while sitting on the hot cloth seats.  We could barely sit back because the vi... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 65

Morning arrived and once again we were assigned farm duties.  I had to go out and do the milking for five rather surly cows.  I... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 66

There was a very old Montgomery Wards Airline floor model radio in the living room.  According to my grandma, she and granddad liste... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 67

We spent eight long, boring, centuries in Santa Ana.  In the early decades of the first century, my brother and I sat up in the smal... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 68

See the Rhineland on 75 cents a day (1): One fine spring day, just after school let out, a bunch of us were hanging around the Teen C... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 69

The next morning I woke before the three bears, er, burpers and managed a nice bath before shaving and toothbrushing.  Just as I was... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 70

Dawn broke with a crash – literally.  A few of the guys were outside playing a pick-up game of soccer in the back yard and one of ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 71

The next morning dawned later than normal.  Overnight, clouds had moved in and a chill had settled on the campsite.  I noticed ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 72

Another cloudy day greeted us as we rose for breakfast at the inn in Maring.  Since I was the closest thing to a weather forecaster ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 73

I woke to soggy footfalls outside my tent.  When they stopped, Virginia asked me if I had any dry covers as her tent had let water i... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 74

It was so much nicer the next morning to wake up to the tapping on my door instead of rain tapping on the roof of my tent.  By the l... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 75

Forward in time to California... Following my sometimes painful introduction to life back in the States, things settled down to a dai... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 76

Moving from one school to another is always traumatic.  No matter how good (or bad) you were doing in your old school, there is alwa... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 77

Back in the Fifties – long before the invention of Nintendo and the like -- kids had to make do with things at hand in order to have fu... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 78

A short break: I was looking through a bunch of very old black and white pictures the other day and ran across one of my favorites.&n... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 79

It was a dark and stormy night… All really bad literature starts out that way.  There is even a yearly contest that celebrates... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 80

Bullying has been around for a lot longer than just recently.  My own experiences in the mid-fifties with bullying were just as bad ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 81

One of the cool things that pretty much every kid, the males as least, got to do was build forts.  Big forts, small forts, one-man f... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 82

We met again the next afternoon.  Fired up once more with the spirit of adventure we rushed around like demented squirrels gathering... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 83

Back to California, 1960. My family moved away from California in the middle of my senior year.  Orders for my father sent him u... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 84

My wife and I were now coming off thirty days of leave from Fort Meade which we had spent in Colorado visiting both sets of parents (how ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 85

It didn’t take us long to settle down into our new house.  The wife was still taking in the fact that she was away, really away, f... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 86

In late February, 1964, I was awakened by my wife who, at the time, was frantically whacking me about the head and shoulders and telling ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 87

A few vignettes: It was a big day when the wife-a-phone network came alive and reported that the Commissary had a new shipment of …... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 88

Getting adjusted to life aboard ships is almost the same as adjusting to married life.  You are living in intimate contact with, in ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 89

A few years ago, there was a great web site run by a shipmate of mine (and good friend) that had pages and pages of really great informat... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 90

Watchstanding get pretty old after a while.  It is pretty much unendurable when you’ve been at it for over 90 days with no liberty... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 91

A typical evening liberty in Olongapo might go like this. You dress carefully in your freshly starched and pressed Undress white unif... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 92

I would have liked to keep my promise of only describing places where tourists normally don’t go, but one item of note that occurred wh... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 93

Since I started this portion of my life describing some of the hardships spouses (in my case, my wife) must face while the veteran is awa... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 94

In a previous chapter I gave a few details of my trip back on Christmas leave from the Azores.  It was while I was back home, at a p... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 95

My introduction to Japan started back on the Oxford when we were laid up in Sasebo for engine repairs.  I loved it then, even though... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 96

Before my wife arrived, my parents decided to make a trip over and visit me.  I had just taken possession of what was to become my f... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 97

My day had finally arrived.  My family was flying in from Tokyo today.  I was ready to go down to the air terminal and pick the... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 98

Let me state at the very first:  Thailand is a beautiful country, filled with very friendly people and a very colorful history. ... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 99

My little bungalow was located down the road from my duty station by about three kilometers.  That meant that I had three methods of... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 100

The next day we were taken on a tour of the kid’s school.  It wasn’t much, just three wooden and bamboo shacks stuck together wi... Read Chapter

Life - Such as it was, Chapter 101

While I was in Thailand, my current enlistment was nearing its end.  I’d already had twelve years under my belt and wasn’t plann... Read Chapter