I met an old school friend from S. Milwaukee, WI in Norfolk. He was on the USS Missasinowa and  was headed to Rhodes Greece (the med) and  Valencia Spain to deliver produce.  I met Ray in Rhodes and had fun in a bar drinking OUZO.  Tastes like licorice.  Drink enough and you’ll go blind.  We got drunk and threw a jukebox out a window and a fight.  We ran out, climbed up on the jukebox to the roof and jumped from roof to roof till we fell through into a living room on a table.  Then we ran out a door without opening it.  Ray had 22 days restriction and I got eighteen.  This was Ray’s first liberty.

 A warrant boson one night came up for fresh coffee. Ask for a cup and an SN had made coffee with saltwater not fresh water.  They heard about that for days.

 My most memorable event would have to be my last med trip.  I arrived home to Norfolk just before becoming a father.  Our baby was not due for another two weeks.  My wife was at the pier along with other wives and sweethearts for hours.  They were invited aboard for a brunch served by our galley.  That evening, my wife awoke me with such a backache. The baby was doing stretching exercises and she could not sleep.  Too tired and so much excitement all day.  We ended up rushing to the hospital and I pleaded with my wife not to have a baby in the tunnel as lots of mothers had done, as it had been reported.  Within 5 hours. I was the proud FATHER of a 6 ½ pound baby girl.  I was discharged the following year with another daughter in tow and headed home to Wisconsin where we have resided since then.

 We are looking forward to this time to renew old friends and make some new ones.  Will be great to see how things have changed over the past forty some years.  Lots I bet.


Submitted by:  Joseph Pendzich