Saturday, April 26, 2014

Life in Paradise #2

Life on Gitmo was 40 yrs behind the states. Life was not hectic. The highest speed limit was 30mph and that was for a mile. Most speed limits was 20-25mph. I am smiling now, once we were on leave and I was driving on Wilkinson Blvd here at home and Mark in the back seat said, “Dad we are in the real world now, you can go 55 miles an hour.”
(I received another promotion, now a DP1, Data Processing Petty Officer First Class)
If you were a soap opera fan you were out of luck. AFRTS (Armed Forces Radio and TV Service) came on at 4PM and off at 11PM. Reruns and old movies, black and white, but  it was fun.  There were no commercials.
Once for fun the AFRTS got hold of a bunch of commercials, they played them most of the day and everyone was thrilled. That was so funny, we had griped so much in the states about commercials, now we were sitting and being entertained by them.
scans GITMO 012
With rabbit ears we could actually get some Cuban stations, and that was entertaining also to see our normal cartoon characters speaking Spanish.
I am a fan of Cowboy Movies. While we were in GITMO, Louis Lamore’s  “The Sacketts” premiered on stateside TV and I didn’t even know it.

Along that line on Saturday nights Old Cowboy movies were shown at one of the 4or5 base outdoor theaters. There were some backless bench seats but there was plenty room for lawn chairs. One evening they were showing the “Lone Ranger’. If you remember when he came on he would rear Silver up on his hind legs. When that happened I heard Mark down front yell, “Look, he’s doing a wheelie!”
We were all  on bowling leagues. Sherry and I bowled two nights a week and the boys bowled on the weekends. It was fun to go watch them bowl. Everything seemed to center around family.
scans GITMO 018
(Saying goodbye to Pam and Kim Farr and family as they boarded the Ferry for the last time , heading stateside.)

The family medical problems were handled by the base hospital, but dependent dental had to be done back in the states or Puerto Rico. We chose PR and took the Embassy flight to San Juan for the boys dental work only one time.
There was one family restaurant, a hamburger joint at the swimming pool, there was an ‘Acey-Deucy Club’ for first and second class Petty officers, we could eat there. The one big picture of an Iguana was taken there while we ate. The Iguanas would wander around to the tables begging for food, just like puppies.
scans GITMO 011
WE had three places to shop, Our Quick Stop, the Navy Exchange or the Marine Corps Exchange for dry-goods or snack stuffs.  There was a Commissary for grocery shopping.
We met several of the Jamaicans aboard.  They had a tradition or custom, the stronger the body odor, the more virile a man was. Every once in a while shopping, you would have to move to another line or shop again for something you might have missed, due to the more VIRAL men.Surprised smileWinking smile 
Nite Shipslog
There was one service station aboard also. One thing you learned, No gas or shopping after 6PM and everything was closed after 9PM, so you learned to shop wisely!


Annesphamily said...

Oh my goodness, I love these stories. Wow! You have had an exciting life and when I come over I forget to thank you for your service to our country. Thank you sir! My late brother-in-law Gary was an Army man and he took my sister to many different countries and their first born and last born sons were born in Germany. I miss my sister and her husband. They were good folks! I look forward to many more adventures with you and your beautiful bride!

betty said...

LOL with the viral men; interesting how one culture differs from the other in cleanliness!

So enjoying reading about your time in GITMO, Jack, and your family adventures; so typical of how we raised our kids, wanting to spend time with them in different activities, but neat reading about the particular places you and Sherry raised your boys!


Paula said...

Ohhh do those Iguanas bite? In those years when everything weren't 0pened all time we did learn to manage, didn't we?


Sorry but I couldn't eat someplace with Iguanas all over the place. They are too creepy. Interesting that you did, though.

Mevely317 said...

I had to laugh out loud over Mark's "wheelie" comment! (As a kid, 'Fury' and 'Flicka' and 'Rawhide', too, were appointment TV!

Never stopped to consider the differing cultures ... but given my druthers, I think I'd sure enjoy experiencing a world reversed some 40 years (or so). Some days it's hard to keep up!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Bowling used to be very popular here. We were in a bowling league and also bowled with friends on the weekends for fun too.That was in my younger days . It seems like you had just about everything you needed right there. I think we could all do with a little less TV. Strange how you appreciated those commercials. I guess we never know what we'll miss until we don't have it.

Chatty Crone said...

I am surprised you all had such a great experience there. I would love to go 30 miles per hour these days.