In Transit at NOB (Norfolk Operational Base) I did odd jobs. I was assigned to the “Personnel in-processing” job where I learned something about the IBM machines I would be repairing. I had seen plenty of IBM cards in the form of checks, but I did not know about all the Card handling equipment. Remember the IBM card? I learned then, that would be my life for a few years.
(the 029 Key Punch machine)
I had an older Ford Econo line van to travel back and forth to Belmont on weekends while I was awaiting orders.
(This is the 407 accounting machine or printer)
It was sorta funny, because I was so old (27) I fit in with the more senior people and they treated me as an equal. In the Navy when you have 4 years of service you get a hash mark. A diagonal line sewn on your uniform sleeve. Well I had the hash mark, but the low rank of seaman.
(The hash mark indicates the sailor has over 4 years active duty. My rank was the same as the kid on the right. three half marks meaning seaman (E-3).
Normally this is looked upon as the ‘screw-up’, the sailor who has been busted down and possibly spent time in the Brig.
The IBM Card Sorter
To me it was sorta fun, and I got a lot of laughs out of it. There was one BIG problem at Norfolk. Sherry was going to drive up one weekend and we would spend time in Norfolk. She was to meet me at ‘Gate 2’. Being new I did not know there were three or four GATE 2’s in Norfolk at the different Naval activities. So when she got to Norfolk she asked directions to Gate 2. She was directed to Little Creek Naval Station’s gate 2 and waited for me. I was at Gate 2 NOB wondering what had happened. Cell phones would have been wonderful then.
Finally some Shore Patrol told her I was probably at NOB gate 2. So she found her way there. She was a little upset, but after awhile realized it was my ignorance not mean-ness that separated us.
But we settled down and had a good time touring the area. Figuring one day we would probably live here.
In a couple weeks I received orders to Great Lakes and my naval career would start in earnest. My Sherry has always been a trooper. About half way thru the school she told me by phone and everyone at home, she and the boys were going to drive up to see me for a weekend. I was thrilled. Her family and some of mine were hesitant to think of her driving around 800 miles to see me. But she did it, with NO GPS!
Next Stop Washington DC, or more properly Arlington, VA.
I guess you are learning, she is as crazy as I am.
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