Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Separated again, Sherry in Charlotte and I in Cuba

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.

scans GITMO 011

(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.

scans GITMO 017

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.

Nite Shipslog


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.


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

A balmy 80-85 degrees sounds good to me. I wouldn't like the lizards so glad you didn't have any where you lived. We had a green gremlin once. It was used and had stick shift. I never liked it but the kids loved it! I think it was the name they liked best.

Paula said...

You knew your Sherry, didn't you? It's amazing where you can live just to be with the one you love.

shirl72 said...

Life gets interesting If I remember
the boys raced bikes in Cuba.
You sure have lived a versatile life. You have experience lots of difference situation. Our life
growing up prepared us to adjust in
different situation, thank goodness.

betty said...

I like their attitude of you checking out the housing before "signing on the dotted line" so to speak, just in case it wasn't up to what the wife might want. I bet Sherry was glad when she got that letter you wrote!



My hubby and I have spent twenty eight years living in two places and it isn't easy to do. Glad your wife got to be with you.

Linda said...

I have never been to the tropics, but I do love iguanas.

Mevely317 said...

There you go using those words, "key punch" again, Jack. Shudder!

Coconut chicken does sound delicious. What a delightful introduction to your new mates!

Looking forward to the next installment from Cuba!

Annesphamily said...

Oh my, these old cars bring back find memories too. My oldest sister had a mint green Pacer! LOL! What a car! Last night I saw a mini Cooper, it was mustard yellow with the black and white checkerboard on top like an old fashioned taxi cab! But it is a tiny car!
My nephew owned a Chevy Nova for ages too and my brother Ed had an original Dodge Road Runner! Even the crazy horn honked like the roadrunner! LOL! I love all the movie b/w movies and so many of them vacation in Cuba. I always wanted to visit there. I love hearing your stories. Thank you

Chatty Crone said...

I am glad it worked out , but somehow knew it would. Except for those big iguanas.