The story of a boy, who enlisted in the Navy, who became a man, who still retained the emotional maturity of that boy, yet convinced a woman to marry him.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

1976 Part II-The Calm Before the Storm

In our last episode, I entered the Navy’s Delayed Entry Program.
And went back to school...

January 29-August 29
Wallingford, Connecticut

    The following seven months were a blur. 

My friend Spags got accepted to
Sacred Heart University
on the strength of his
"Visible Man vs. Visible Jesus" presentation.
    While the rest of my classmates breathlessly waited to see which college would accept thousands of their parents’ dollars, I watched television, ordered pizza, and pretended to care that The Crucible was an allegory of the Joe McCarthy Communist hearings.

    By the way, I didn’t and it was. 

    I ignored my stepfather’s dire warnings of, “You shouldn’t have signed up so early.  A lot can happen in seven months. ‘bout you clean your damn room?”

    Even though the first day of boot camp hung over my head like the sword of Damocles (see?  I sometimes paid attention in class), the end of August may as well have been the end of summer.  I saw nothing in my future which would convince me that I had made the wrong decision.  College could wait; after four years, I would enroll at the University of Connecticut with full veteran’s benefits.  I could then realize my dream of sleeping in until noon.

    Rather than bore you with a detailed list of what I did before I left on my four year camping trip, I’ll just give you a brief synopsis. 

    That way, we can finally get on with Navy stories.  Which is why you bought-or stole-this book in the first place.  Hell, I would’ve stolen it.  But, if you’ve already bought it, sucks to be you.

    My bad.

    NOTE:  For those of you reading on Blogger, good for you, you’ve made a wise business decision.  Not only do you avoid having to waste who knows how much on this trash, you get to see lots of pictures.  Well done. 

    After I enlisted in the Delayed Entry program, I.....

missed gym but got to school in time for pizza burgers (sweet!), met a girl in the library (she was following me in the reference section), listened to Bohemian Rhapsody for
No wonder I didn't get lucky.
Freddy Mercury was gay.
Shoulda figured.
Their name was Queen.
the first time in her unheated attic (by the way, yes I tried.  No we didn’t.  Thanks for asking.), joined the National Honor Society (sure had those guys fooled), saw Monty Python and the Holy Grail with some friends from Stratford (truly a sausage fest), intrigued when my stalker girlfriend told me her father ran a cockfighting ring, relieved when I learned it only involved chickens, got a job at Dino’s Seafood Restaurant as the token Irishman (I was surrounded by Baldarellis, Aguzzis, and LaRussos), took my girlfriend to her Junior
Yeah, no kidding.  You think I made it up?
Oh...yeah...right...that's legit.
Anyway, the place still exists.
Unlike Dino.
Prom, did not get lucky (yet again), broke up with said girlfriend (no, the two events are unrelated), ran into potential legal difficulties involving Dino’s niece’s Rambler (I can’t tell every story here), received a ‘D’ on a paper about The Crucible (guess I should have cared), told my English teacher I was “going into the Navy, anyway, what did I need the Puritans for, anyway?”, ran out of gas coming home from work one night (stupid canary yellow Ford LTD Country Squire station wagon with faux wood paneling) , went to the beach with some girls from my class (much better than the aforementioned sausage fest), got sunburned, called in sick to work saying I was attacked by a swarm of bees (because “sunburn” sounded fake), had to go to work for the next
I may have gotten carried away.
But, it was the beach!
two weeks with a bandage on one side of my face (didn’t really think that one through), got bit on the head playing soccer, refused to attend my Senior Prom because of the “principle of the thing” (and the girl I was going to ask was already asked by a guy named Jeff.  I hated Jeff.  Who, incidentally, was the guy who bit me on the head in soccer), graduated from high school, took a call from my recruiter who told me that, instead of leaving August 31st, I was now leaving for boot camp on the 30th, and, two months before I left, met a girl who would break my heart two years later.

Riverside Amusement Park.
Agawam, MA
You may know it now as Six Flags New England.
Yeah, I'm that old.
Hope she's fat.
    Oops.  Guess I should've listened to my stepfather.

    Should’ve cleaned my room, too.

NEXT:  I leave for Boot Camp..... 


  1. "I tried. No, we didn't. Thanks for asking."

    Girls have a way of lousing up really good "We did it here/to this song" stories.

    1. And now?
      "I didn't try. So we didn't. But, that's cool. The ballgame's on."

  2. Wow, you got bit on the head, wouldn't that be kinda hard to do. Jeff must have had a big yap. lol should have went with sunburn, or could have said you heal quick.

    1. This is what happened (didn't include it in the story which is long enough). I'm 5'6", Jeff was (I'm sure still is) 5'11". We both went to head the ball and MY head actually went into HIS teeth. He was knocked out cold while I sat on my knees with a sore head. When I rubbed my head, my fingers came away bloody. I told people to check Jeff, "He's not bleeding, Ken." Oh, long story short, I rode an ambulance to the Meriden-Wallingford Hospital to get my head stitched up. I asked them to run the siren, too.

    2. And that sunburn thing? Oh yeah, real bad head work on my part.

  3. You must explain your head being bitten during soccer. And did you ever get laid? Well, I'm sure you did. How many years did it take? (No, I don't mean the sex. How many years till some girls said yes?)


    1. Look just above at my answer to Pat about my head. As far as the other, I was 18. But, as far as specifics, I'll probably not go into it. No sense embarassing anyone (or making me cry).

  4. Another installment that I liked a bloody lot

    1. Thanks. I'm looking forward to the boot camp portion.

  5. Yeah. You didn't need the Puritans. But you did need a better bloody girl. And a clean room.

    1. The Puritans were a cranky lot with no sense of humor. I think she needed a better boyfriend. Everything turned out fine, though.
      The clean room? Yeah, well, that never happened.

    2. I still hope she's fat. And bald. That would be a bonus.

  6. 1. NEVER get a new girlfriend before going to boot camp. Didn't you know about Jody?
    2. I really want to know about that turd biting you on the head.
    3. This is really funny Ken! (it feels weird calling you that)