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by Jake the Yeoman
Holidays Aboard the Hannah
Do you remember those Thanksgivings or Christmas's we had aboard ship? I have to say one thing; the Hannah never skimped on good fare on the Mess Decks anytime, but much better still, on Holidays.
I also have a fond memory of the first time we arrived at Ford Island in Hawaii on our "Pineapple Cruise in 1962.
I had always wanted to go to Hawaii, and the Navy would probably be my only ticket there, coming from a modest background, so when we got there in 1962, I remember how they filled up the Menu with all kinds of tropical fruits and was that ever wonderful! So when it came to keeping a Sailor happy in his belly, the Hannah was on top, and forged great memories that way too. This statement is my own personal experience, but I'm sure every Sailor aboard any Naval vessel that visited the Hawaiian Islands received the same Welcome there.
They say, the way to a Sailor's Heart is through his stomach (using a slight variation in the saying by the Yeoman), but oh how true!
Another "Holiday Routine" recollection was that the Hannah was not always "work and no play"… perhaps she was more so during the ten years we were involved in the Vietnam War and deployed to WestPac, and although I wasn't aboard ship during that time, I have to believe that the Skipper of Hannah could still find days when the Crew could have Holiday Routine… typically "Holiday Routine" fell on Sunday or some other National or Religious Holiday, and excepting for very heavy combat operations, at least some of the ship could have a day of rest. If I am wrong here, I'm sure one of you might give ol' Jake a "Course Correction".
These days were great times to just write letters home or venture up on the heavily worked Flight Deck, to go sit at the bow and sun yourself on sunny days or sit and let the breezes flow through your hair and watch flying fishes or dolphins race along the way.
These experiences are great Memory Joggers… and it is easy for me to go back many years to those times aboard the "Fighting Hannah" to recall these feelings - which became 'Hallmark Experiences' of my youth. If you know how a place or a certain smell or sound can conjure up very Special Memories, I find that a gentle breeze or a spring morning can do just that for me. Or perhaps a very cloudless night with a full moon, and stars ablaze in the heavens might take you back to a time on the Island's 07 Level when you were looking out over a calm sea, and sometimes then on more current experiences, you'll have the same sensual joy come back to you again. It certainly does for me!
I believe (at least for myself), those days were the epitome of youth, and I'd not exchange one of them for a Million Dollars!
Monday, November 26, 2007
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