19 January, 2012

{this memory} 35

This is the story behind last Monday's {this moment}.

You're looking at married officers' quarters on Powhatan Street, Naval Station, Norfolk - then called the NOB. I lived in this end unit for a few pre-school years while my father had shore duty as Executive Officer of Camp Allen, the on-shore brig for the Atlantic Fleet. That's not the memory, but it is the context.

It was here: where if I hung out by the enlisted mess hall, I was given ice cream; where my best friend pulled the fire alarm at the corner and I got so scared when the firetrucks came that I wet my pants; where I would try to take the lawnmowers apart when the sailors took a lunch break; where I broke my brand new toy pistol when I dropped from the top of a huge slide - I had to - he got the drop on me and told me to drop my gun; where my older brother's class hid me in the closet at the rear of the classroom; where I asked my mother to come outside and look at the bugs, in reality a nest of black widow spiders; where I experienced my first hurricane - Hazel in 1954; where the admiral's limo ran over me and broke my arm - I'm told my father wasn't too happy about that. On and on.

Oh my, I was a busy little boy, but what vivid memories I have. I am truly a fortunate man.