Sunday, April 30, 2017


(Blame it on mama, she made the uniform)

I have always admired the folk who KNEW what they wanted to be when they grew up and worked toward that. Most everyone I looked up to as a child were military. I admired my brother’s uniforms.

I never thought of another profession from about 5 years to 16, I always wanted a uniform. As a boy you don’t know of the many jobs in the military, you just think of carrying a rifle, obstacle courses, inspections and war.

When I was old enough to forge a birth Certificate I started the process. Looking back the recruiters had to know I was a kid. I looked 13 or 14. Much later I learned that a recruiter is under tremendous pressure to meet a quota, so they took me. I was caught at the swearing in. The SBI agent didn’t have to try hard, he scared me. I had broken a few laws, forgery, etc.  A few months later with mama’s signature I made it. I got my vacation on Parris Island. LOL

(Look at the kid on the right, we washed out clothes with a scrub brush!!)

It was then I learned there were other jobs in service other than the infantry. I had a good friend who was a cook. I was a field radio operator. After two years in the USMC, I thought I had had enough of the military. It had not been all that much fun. LOL

But after two months of looking for a job I found one.  It paid at $1 an hour stuffing ‘This Week’ magazine in the Sunday Funnies. I had just turned 19 and had a pregnant wife. I still wanted a uniform. I joined the USAF.

I have had many jobs, careers or occupations since that time but I did total 20+ years in the USMC, USAF and USN.

After trying a couple more jobs, Hotel Maintenance and running a Roach Coach (Catering truck), with Sherry’s suggestion and approval I got into building. I found my love. I was 42 years old and once I realized this was my real dream I was the happiest I had ever been at a job.

I have met builders who knew at 15, they were going to build. I admire that.  Some of us WANDER thru a lot of life. I’ve seen the saying “All that wander, are not LOST!”  I think of old Davy’s saying, “Not lost, but bewildered some.”  I guess that was me.  LOL

If you hit your heart’s desire on the first try, I am proud for you. Some of us had to wander for a spell.  LOL My journey was definitely not a waste. I enjoyed the many situations I was in. I had a good time, most jobs I even thought this is IT! But when I found a hammer that fit my hand, I was a happy guy.

Nite Shipslog

 1955-56 Buicks, new when I joind the USMC

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Outside pressure

Years ago I was an Instructor in Naval Intelligence Processing. Later a SS teacher. I was always looking for Objects to use in teaching.  I remembered the teachers that could drive a point home with a fitting object.  Quotes of the 'Wise ones' were also near the top of the list.

In Key West I was called into the 'Old Man's Office'.  I reported in and my CO said, "Stand at ease Chief."  He was smiling and continued. "I wanted to take a minute to tell you I stood outside your class room today. I liked the use of the hammer in driving data home. I also noticed you used a lot of sayings  attributed to your dad. I just wanted to know, was your dad that wise, and did he say that much?"

I laughed and said, "My dad had a formal education of the 3rd grade. He was self-educated and smarter than many men with a Masters-degree. And Yes-sir, he did talk that much, he was a preacher."

"Get out of here Chief, and keep up the good work." (I write, patting myself on the back!)

 (Key West has the southern most point of the USA)

Now to the point of this entry. When I taught SS many Sunday mornings I took an early walk. One morning I started picking up nuts and bolts along the road. I found some wheel nuts, muffler hangers and many assorted things belonging to cars and trucks.

That morning I carried a sack of the parts into class. I took the objects out one at a time and suggested that none of these parts on their own would  stop the car, BUT it would be less safe. A wheel lug will not cause you to lose a tire but if another is lost the pressure on the other lugs can be dangerous. I was equating this to our lives, if we are not careful we will not notice some of your joy is gone.  Losing some of these bolts I am sure caused some squeaks. Losing some of our joy we may start squeaking or complaining. Sometimes the complaints are enough to ruin good relations.
There are times when outside pressure, works like pot holes to cars and cause you to lose something you NEED and treasure, like your smile. I hate it when outside forces mess with my mind. It happens to me. If you are not careful it can happen to you. When I start complaining, my girl checks me, and I TRY to straighten up and fly right.  LOL

Nite Shipslog
PS:We have a son who thinks when you die and you are good, you go to Key West. I do not share the feeling.

 This is a cool paint job on a unique car