Sherry and the boys fell back into a routine awaiting housing in Cuba. Sherry had her sisters dad and brothers around along with my parents and of course the boys had to be enrolled in school.
There is a lot of weight on the wife’s shoulders, as she awaits orders herself. Sherry knows she will have to supervise the packing of our ‘stuff’ for shipment to Cuba. Since we are shipping a car down. She will have to handle the paperwork and arrange the shipping. She always handles these tasks like the trooper she is.
She was going to leave the trailer in Tucker’s trailer park to be rented while we were gone.
Mean while, my flight arrived in Gitmo in the evening. The base itself is 40 square miles, but half of that is water as you see above. Gitmo is divided into two parts. Leeward you see on your left, and windward on the right. they are joined by two ferries. There is a air strip on both sides, but the Leeward is the most useable, so all aircraft use the airport on Leeward. We incoming folk took a base bus to Ferry landing to get the ferry to the windward side. It was late so I was assigned a bunk and locker.
I was told my new shipmates were off on a division party and would show up later. I crashed. At about midnight someone is shaking me. “Hey new guy, want some coconut chicken?”
I got up we introduced ourselves and I ate some VERY DELICIOUS coconut chicken. I had never heard of it, much less tasted it.
There was a lot of smoke the next day. The wind was right to bring the smoke from the ‘burning of the cane’ over in Cuba Proper.
I found out I had about 30 pieces of IBM gear to maintain. A couple of the key punches were back over on Leeward point. I was also assigned Payroll for the Base, civilian and military. My job was to produce pay cards and then to print the checks.
The Senior chief said first things first, if you are bringing you family down, you need to get to the housing office and get your name on the list, it is about 6 months waiting now. MY heart sunk, I was hoping that the wait would be shorter.
(In the tropics you must get used to lizards, but these dudes, NEVER were around the homes. They were up to 3-4 ft. long, the Iguana.)
Then at housing I went thru the list and signed up for permanent quarters. The sweet lady also added the GOLDEN WORDS, we have some substandard housing, it is called ‘Defense Housing’ it was built 40 years ago. Two bedrooms, the furniture is in fair condition but no A/C. It also rents for about 1/2 price of standard housing. That waiting list is 2 to 4 months.
Of course my only question was “WHERE do I sign.” This was a win win situation. I stayed on the standard housing and the policy was, when my name came up we could move into standard housing.
The supervisor gave me one warning, Drive out to Defense housing, look it over. You know your wife better than we do, DO NOT put us in a position of having to ship your wife back to the states. WE have had men bring their wives down and the wife ABSOLUTELY refused to live in defense housing. I smiled and assured him there would be no problem, but I would drive out to look the housing over when I got a car.
I was smiling when I wrote my nightly letter.
I had a months turn over time on learning the equipment and my new job. Life was good. Average temp 80-85, we received refreshing tropical rains at times, but mostly it was balmy.
- 1970 Muscle Car country, Plymouth Barracuda
Ant then American Motors Produced THIS the 1970 GREMLIN! It just did not have it.