Thursday, April 20, 2006

Navy VI


See,
That is Me!
Looking out to Sea!
(I am a poet too)

We mourned as a nation and as individuals as our president was laid to rest at Arlington with little John saluting his father’s casket which made us bawl even more.

On the base Don and I would have a nightly session at the EM Club, which became a second home.

Also we took an interest in photography and developing our own black and white photographs. In the biggest hangar, next to ours, was the base’s official photographer’s shop. We made friends with him and asked him questions about developing black and white pictures. Before long we were coming and going from his developing lab like we owned it.

Don, Reuben, other friends and I begin to frequent all the bars in and around the base between the base and Toms River and the base and Lakewood.

We found a bar down a small street off the main street in Lakewood that mostly black and Latinos hung out on the street corners. There was a bar there we named Bar X. Why did we Christened Bar X? Because it was so seedy. Inside the clientele looked so seedy and up to no good.

We would sit in a booth and watch the people and give our witty opinions about them. It is a wonder gave didn’t give their witty opinions about us, maybe with their wit they could carve us up into something funny. Every time we went to Lakewood we always made a point to drop by Bar X.

And it didn’t take us long to find take note of the bar across the street, Bar Z. It was twice as seedy as Bar X. When we first entered Bar Z a big heavy set black woman put her hand palms on the back her head and had a little song for us:

Play with my Box,
And I will suck your cock!

I think she thought it rhymed.

Bar Z had a jazzy blues band which was pretty good.

A big bar on the ocean, just north of Sea Side Heights was Murphy’s. Which was very Irish. They had some interesting customers. Barney the paper-boy came in and cried over his beer a few times while we were there. An aged long-legged lady with still good posture who used to be a Rocket in her prime seemed to always be there, and wanting to tell newcomers about her claim to fame.

At Murphy’s we met several female school teachers who lived in New York City and they went in together and bought a ocean near bungalow. They became part of our life for quiet a while.

Closer to the base in the town of Lakehurst, was a bar that was nice and friendly. We found ourselves there a bunch of times.

Down the street and around the corner was downtown Lakehurst. There was a laundry ran by a mother, father that spoke in an accent, and their two teenage daughters who seemed to hang around to meet the men from the base, but did not speak in an accent. We did some of our business with them. One day while the mother was handing me a laundry receipt she had a tattoo some place on her hand or arm, I forgot which. It was a number. I asked Sam about that because he is the one who recommended them for laundry and he told me they were prisoners in a concentrated camp.

Also, about a half block off the main street of the town of Lakehurst was a little house with a yard about the size of a porch and a picket fence. It was the home of Obie, the head petty officer in our Personnel Office. He had a wife named Lucy. Lucy was a drunk. She loved a good fight. Obie and Lucy had a sweet little girl about 8 years old that Obie sort of took care of, Lucy was too drunk most the time.

At some kind of office party off the base we met Lucy and it wasn’t long before she called Don and I and invited us to her house for a dinner. Through our talks we found out she couldn’t cook, but Don considered himself an excellent chef and volunteered to do the cooking. He said he would cook spaghetti.

We went to the grocery store and bought the ingredients and right peppers and the right spices. For it to be as tasty as he had planned the sauce would have to simmer a good while, so we asked Lucy if we could come over early to start on it. I dropped by and bought the wine.

The gourmet dinner was a flop. The spaghetti and sauce was good and tasty but more people showed up than we had planned on. Lucy also invited two single women for Don and I to get to know better, and they were like Lucy drunken bar-hopping flies that had masculine nicotine voices. And a family of four showed up that Lucy invited – the man of the family was big and dumb and a loudmouth. I don’t remember his wife saying much, she probably just chased her ill-mannered misbehaving kids around.

The big crude burly guy said something to the effect that “There an’t much there!” Then he said if they expect him to eat that stuff he needed some catsup. Don was fuming. I forgot the details, but somehow Lucy got in a fight with one of the sweet-hearts lined up for Don and I, and when I say fight, I mean fight. Face slapping and kicking. I guess they had some kind of honor, neither one of them pulled the other’s hair. But who cared? Everybody was drunk anyway. Don, who usually was the first to get intoxicated sat there and fumed. His moment of being in the spotlight was ruined.

On our first weekend trip with my car we decided to visit my uncle who lived in Carmel, New York.

Stay tuned.

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