Went for a walk this evening. It was good. Came home and found a stereo on the porch and I just now put it together. Put in a CD and listened to something old that I hadn't heard in over 15 years. I sat down, got up picked up the old journals I wrote back when I was just a young starting out officer of the naval service. Every new ship or command I would write down the names of the officers and guys that worked for me. I looked at them tonight and I could not put faces to some of the names. People I'd lived with, worked with sailed with and the name told me nothing about them or called an image to mind. That was the whole point of writing them down, to remember. On the gripping hand, many of them were unforgettable. Just last night I talked about Seaman Recruit Fontain and his buddy and pal, Pyscho Wilson. I hadn't told a real honest sea story in years.
On the other hand, as I wrote about the places, they were called to mind right away and I can smell the breeze that was in the air as I walked down that one street during late night Ramadan as families were out picnicking as they broke their fast in my old homeport, Manama.
I started writing them almost 40 years ago. They are transcendent. There were just a handful of photos but those were lost long ago. All that remains are the words and the memories.
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