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Jim's stories

While on the USS PLATTE in Long Beach Calif.I like all the other "shipmates" frequented an area near the beach called the "PIKE".This was a series of amusement rides,consession stands.And of course the usual "bars".

At one end of the "pike" was a "greasy spoon" called the "GREEN DOOR".One night while I was escorting a prisoner back to the ship,and since the Navy landing was a couple of blocks away,and the "mike boat" wasn't due for an hour or so we stopped in for coffee.

The young girl behind the counter was wiping off the counter,but was to short to reach behind the pie case,so she threw the rag at me,and asked me to wipe behind it for her.I of course being a "gentleman" agreed,but remarked"OK but dont make a habit out of it".

For some reason a few days later I stopped back again to have breakfast,"I told myself" to see if she was working,but she wasnt on duty.

Later on in the evening we ran in to each other on OCEAN BOULEVARD the main drag,and I asked her to have coffee,and she agreed.Another "greasy spoon" called the "STAR CAFE",and for the next few hours we became acquainted.

Later both of us discovered we were each telling the other some "tall tales". I forgot to mention the year was 1962.

Thus began what you might call a whirlwind courtship.We dated when we could,mostly because of the ship going out to sea every other week or so.

At last, I suppose she became trusting of me,ad she ask me to her apartment for a "home cooked meal".Well,you can believe I accepted that offer at once as some of you may remember what Navy chow tastes like.

Did I mention she had two children a boy of five,and a girl of six? At dinner that night,I met them both,and they were well behaved for children of that age.

I am not going to bore you with a lot of details,but will touch on some of the funnier aspects of the four of us getting to know each other.

Time passed by,as it always will,and I was transfered to the USS STATEN ISLAND AGB-5 headed for the South Pole in an OPERATION DEEP FREEZE.I said those goodbys we all have to say when the ship leaves,and we made a vow we would get married when the ship came home.It was September 1964,and we were due back on March 31'st 1965.

As usual the ship arrived out side of California waters,a day early.As I stood on the bow of the ship I knew in the morning when we docked she would be there waiting,and I was going to be "MARRIED".But did I want to? Sure I did.

We docked on April 1'st 1965,and sure enough there she was,standing in the pouring rain.And since the ship was home ported in Seattle Washington,she was the only one on the pier,except her sister.

I had ten days leave,and we set out for LAS VEGAS to get the evil job done.Me,her, and my soon to be sister-in-law. It wasn't a bad drive until about ten miles out of LAS VEGAS when my almost sister-in-law began reading signs saying "five more miles to WHITES Wedding Chapel.This went on mile,by mile,until I spotted a sign that said"Two Miles to Las Vegas Airport",and after reciting this aloud,I didnt hear again how close the wedding chapel was.

Well needless to say the deed was done,and we tied the knot on April 1st 1965.I always thought it was funny that.that was April Fools Day.

All this time I haven't said who this charming lady was by name,that I have been married to now for thirty three years,or my sister-in-law.

So let me introduce you to my wife.

And now here is the lady that announced mile,by mile as we approached Las Vegas,the wedding chapel.

We tried to sleep that night,but were to wound up,so we got back in to the car,headed for SEATTLE,WASHINGTON where the ship was now to be homeported.But after driving only a few miles we were so sleepy,that we had to pull over and sleep in the cold car.

The next day we were on our way,and while passing through GOLD FIELD,NEVADA we stopped for breakfast.Now GOLD FIELD is ,or was just a wide spot in the road.And while we were eating the fire alarm went off,and to our astonishment they couldn't find the fire."wonder if they ever did"?

One other "exciting" incident occurred on the way to SEATTLE.Bobbie was driving and the rest of us were dozing.Now she is a good driver "for a woman"but I was keeping a wary eye out.

The road was rather winding affair,and she was moving along a quite a clip.Ahead the road curved,but I didnt see it,and to me it appeared she was going to drive right in to MT LASSEN PARK,and I reacted rather violently to say the least.

Well we made it safely to SEATTLE and a few days later we left for a four month cruise to ARCTIC RESUPPLY on the northern coast of ALASKA.

While we were gone,I decided to grow a beard,a full beard.I was quite proud of it.It was red,blond,and black,and quite full.I also gained a pound or two,which I didnt really need.

It was now time to return home,to pier 91 in SEATTLE,and again I knew Bobbie would be waiting on the pier.

I had the watch in main propulsion control,so she had to await me in the mess hall,along with my mother.When I secured special sea detail,and came to the mess hall,in quite a hurry I might add,I ran to where Bobbie was to embrace her.Her reaction was not what I expected.She pulled away and gave me a "who in the world are you look".

I guess she didnt know who this chubby,hairy faced "swabbie" was.In fact I hadnt told her I had grown a beard,so she didnt know who I was.It wasnt funny then,but looking back on it,we still laugh about it.

Bobbie is making this home page for me,so maybe I might have some things to share with all of you,and maybe find some old "ship mate's".She has stood by me,through the good times,and the bad times,so I suppose these last thirty three years,have been the best years of my life.