Going back a bit!

by The Boatswain | November 7th, 2005

Thought I’d reminisce a bit earlier than the last entry. Things were a bit different before WW2. I was living in New York City, working as an usher at Radio City Music Hall, and was BORED! I was a High School graduate and thought I’d go into the Navy and, at least, “get out of town!” The recruiter must have been having trouble meeting his quota, because he took me in, but I first had to gain some weight. At that time I was a mere 111 lbs. I stuffed myself on bananas, returned to him, and I found myself sailing on an overnight cruise to Providence, RI. (This was on the old Fall River Line, which no longer exists.)

We then rode a bus to Newport, Rhode Island and the Naval Training Station, where my career launched! Boot camp consisted of marching, learning to do laundry, taking care of our uniforms, drills on seamanship, and EARLY rising! Usually we were up at 5 am and ‘policed’ the barracks (meaning swabbing the decks, making the beds, and generally cleaning things up). Around 6:30 we marched to the messhall, ate a hearty breakfast, (bigger than I had EVER had before) and got ready for the days routine. It must have been good for me because, at the end of 6 weeks, I weighed in at 155 lbs. That was the weight I kept for the next 20 years!

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The United States Navy rating of Boatswain's Mate is a designation given to enlisted members who are rated as a deck seaman. The colloquial form of address for a boatswain's mate is 'Boats'.

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