Sherry and the boys lived in Tucker’sTrailer Park at home. My dad had retired and was filling in pulpits that were awaiting a pastor. Sherry and the boys attended church with them, so they were still moving around.
She wrote to me practically every night, my mail was regular (As apposed to being deployed on a ship where you could get 5-10 letters at a time). I always looked for that letter. Every once in awhile a picture came and was added to my wall. The letters were daily and if she had lipstick on, I got lips, but they were all labeled: “S.W.A.K.” For you that did not correspond with a lover, that was “Sealed With A Kiss”.
While I was active duty every military person and dependents had ‘shot-cards’. For travel overseas all shots had to be brought up to date. Another task that fell to Sherry. She also got a Flu shot and it made her very sick, but she recovered before the flight to GITMO.
Meanwhile: Down in GITMO the folks at housing knew me by name. I checked “THE LIST” every day. After a couple months I could start telling Sherry what number we were. When we got short, She would have to get the movers to come and pack our stuff. My pay-grade was still not great, I was E-5 or Petty Officer Second Class, and that qualified me for move at government expense.
House Hold Goods Shipping will tell you before the packers come, make sure the trash is emptied and if you smoke, the ash trays emptied. If you don’t your trash and cigarette butts will also be shipped.
Before the movers were called, there was a terrible commotion in the trailer next door to Sherry and the boys. Their cousin Steve was spending the night with the boys. The yelling and carrying on drew them to the windows just in time to see the man next door fall out the door as he died from a stab wound by his own brother.
The two brothers were drinking and got into an argument and one stabbed the other in the heart. Sherry did not have a phone, but someone else called the police. The trailer park was very respectable, it was just a very terrible situation.
(I told you Sherry is a magnet to ‘excitement’ )
I had left home after Christmas and near the first of March I told Sherry to GET READY to COME ON DOWN! Her sisters went with her to Norfolk to ship our car. Those girls always had fun together. Sherry put aside the things she thought we would have to have until our stuff arrived and called the packers.
Then on March 17th Sherry and the boys arrived at Leeward Point in balmy GITMO. My mom and dad had driven them to Norfolk to catch the flight to ME!
Sherry had left a cold Norfolk and stepped off the plane to PERFECT weather. They were excited to finally see Cuba, but not half as excited as this sailor was to see them and hold my Baby tight. We got the luggage and climbed on the bus for the short ride to the Ferry. The first ferry ride of many for the family.
On the Windward side they all got a great laugh at OUR GITMOBILE. An old gray 1950 chevy with no upholsery except the seats. Some guys had folding chairs in their GITMOBILE, but we had seats.
More on the arrival next time…
When Sherry arrived we did not have a traffic light. One was installed ‘down town’ later.
1955 Gull wing Mercedes