I was on the Rowan from '71-'73 as a SM1. I'm getting too old for this. I
remember now because I just went and checked the plaque they gave me when I retired in '79. Hard to believe, but according to that plaque I was at 16 different commands in 20 years. No wonder I have
trouble remembering a specific one. I went MSC in Sept '79, and the plaque I have from them shows an additional 12 ships. Retired again in '99 as a Captain. Spent 40 years working for the Navy,
almost all of it at sea. It's all a blur now. I remember the ocean, and some shipmates, but not the ships. If I wasn't disabled I suppose I'd still be at sea. It was all about Mother
Ocean. I belong out on her. Never did trust Sand Crabs. Now I am one. Been married for 44 years, finally got to know the wife. Nice old lady. And I have a great dog. It could be
worse, I suppose. But I still miss the ocean.
Reply to personal email from Packer--thought interesting enough to include below:
During WWII my grandfather was Port Captain for the Port of LA. After the war, he and a friend (Spence Turner) founded the LA county Fire and Forestry Departments. My grandpa was
Meredith Thurston. Whenever there was a big fire in LA county, I can remember how all the fire chiefs would assemble on grandpa's porch over a bottle of hard whiskey to plan their strategy for fighting it.
Grandpa lived high in the Santa Monica Mountains. Grandpa's father was a surgeon in the British Navy, and Britain's first ambassador to Japan back in 1850. He introduced the first camera to
Japan. Another great-grandfather was an inventor. He invented the first mobile refrigeration systems for use on trains. Today we would call it air conditioning. The trains used to have to
stop and load ice every couple days in order to keep the food from spoiling. After air conditioning the trains could travel clear across the U.S. carrying large amounts of food for sale, stopping only to
offload food in the different cities and states. Nothing I've ever done equaled the feats of my ancestors. I've just had the luck of the Irish working for me.