A Piece of the Mosaic


of the Chief’s life.  A life, or at least my life is similar to a picture puzzle with a lot of pieces missing.  The “whys” and the “hows” and a lot of connections are missing.

Today, I made one of those connections.  Filled a hole, so to speak.

First, the beginning two stanzas of Jimmy Buffet’s  “Wonder Why We Ever Go Home”

Years grow shorter, not longer,
the more you’ve been on your own.
Feelin’s for movin’ grow stronger’
so you wonder why you ever go home,
wonder why you ever go home.

People are movin’ so quickly.
Humor’s in need of repair.
Same occupations and same obligations,
they’ve really got nothing to share,
like drivin’ around with no spare.

Focus on the part that I have bolded, while I relate this story from 1960.

I had been in the U.S. Navy for two years, when we got back from a Med Cruise in September 1960.  I was 19 years old.  I was also a 3rd class petty officer with specific defined responsibilities.  I was one of four electronic technicians aboard the ship and I was responsible for the maintenance of certain pieces of electronic equipment that were necessary for the safe operation of the ship.

While on the 7-month deployment, I had been sending my parents money and they had bought a car for me.  A good solid car, not the kind one could find around a Navy base.

I took the train from Norfolk to the Rte 128 train stop just west of Boston.

While visiting my parents, I spent some time looking up some of the people that I ran around with in high school.

Rusty (not his real name, I have never known a Rusty) and I spent a lot of the junior and senior year in high school running around together.  We both had had jobs as baggers at the local supermarket.  We both did a lot of the crazy things that 16 year olds do.
Now look back at the bolded part of the 2nd stanza.  Rusty had progressed from bagboy to working in the Produce Dept.  Not managing it, just putting produce on display.

I had received a good education in electronic maintenance.  I had seen a good part of the world, including the Black Sea after transiting the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus.  I had been places and done things.

Rusty and I had not much in common any more.  His life had not changed.  I had grown.  That was the last time I ever saw Rusty.

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