When he joined NN mailing list a coupla' years ago, Jerry Cross (who was our Comm Officer on the first deployment) wrote:
" . . . The Vietnam Cruise book has been my only contact with almost all you fine young men since then. I remember your name, and I found your picture in the cruise book. Strange enough, your face is not the one my memory connected with the dirty toil of cleaning those machines in a bucket of solvent. Who was that guy? . . . "
[ By the way, LT Jerry V. Cross is one of the few people mentioned by name in the Deployment Report. ]
My reply was to Jerry's "Who was that guy?" question was:
" . . . The story behind the picture in the cruise book goes something like this: Now this is no **** ! [ pro forma sea story beginning ] Times were posted to get cruise book pictures taken in the library but I didn't go. Times were posted for make up pictures (presumably for people who were on watch or had some other legitimate reason for missing the scheduled time) but I didn't go. Times were posted for ordering a cruise book but I didn't go. After I left the ship, I went to a destroyer (Waldron DD-699). One day, an unexpected package arrived containing a copy of the cruise book.
The rest is speculation: I always figured that they'd had a place laid out for the picture, had to put something in it, and sent me a copy just to show that they got even with me by inserting the geekiest photo they could find! 'Who was that guy [in the picture]?' I don't know, but I doubt that he was even a crew member. I certainly didn't remember him even back then when my memories were fresher. . . . "
67-68 Cruise Book
Somebody else ! Guess that's what I get for not showing up to get my picture taken.
From the RM striker's patch and from being in my momma's living room, I'd guess this to be early 1966.
If I'd a' known I was gonna' live this long, I'd a' took better care of myself.
OK, Carl, did you learn anything?
Was it dumb to not get your picture taken for the cruise book? Yes, I clearly lost that one !
Was it dumb to not order a cruise book? Yes, the CD copy bought from the NN Ship's Store is a prized possession now.
Was it dumb to have frittered away so much of those early years on beer and women? Yes but I really do appreciate sobriety today.
Was it dumb to spend half a century smoking cigarettes, drinking gallons of coffee, and not getting enough exercise? Yeah, sure.
Would you have done it differently if you'd known what you know now? NO WAY !
My world is exactly as it should be and I'd be terrified to change even the dumb stuff for fear everything wouldn't end up exactly as it is.