Where as I am now seventy five years old, I thought that it is about time for a new assesment.
There are certain givens, such as I am a father and a grandfather. I am involved with the nicest and best woman I have ever met and I am a transplanted Clevelander living in SoCal.
But what about the less obvious.
I have always been the the kid, the upstart. The guy who dives into things and makes them right without expecting as much as a thank you.
I am a sailor in every sense of the word. I spent eight plus years in the US Navy. I had everything go my way while in the Navy. I went to Guidedmissileman A School at Virginia Beach as an E3 a Seaman First Class. We weren't allowed to take the E4 Third Class Petty Officer while in A School. Our class graduated on a Friday. The semiannual E4 exam was held on the following Monday. The next day we flew to Pomona, CA for Terrier BT3 C School. One week before we graduated from C School, I was informed that I had passed the E4 exam and would be promoted on May first.
When I reported for duty at my first duty station at NAD Crane Indiana on May third, I was a pettyofficer. One year later, I was a second class PO.
I reported to Missile Technician B School as a second class PO. Nine months later, I reported for duty on my first ship, an aircraft carrier where I took the First Class exam. Six months later I was transferred to new construction at Todd Shipyard in Seattle where I promptly sewed on my First Class crow. At the time I was the youngest First Class PO in the entire US Navy at the ripe age of twenty one. Three years later I turned down Chief Petty Officer. I didn't want to be a twenty four year old CPO. Chiefs lived in the chief's quarters, AKA The Goat Locker, and I didn't want to live with these lifers. I had already decided the I wanted out of the Navy and wanted to go to college.
In 1968, I got out. We shot a bird, missile, the day before at the pacific Missile Range and pulled into the Ammunition Depot at Seal Beach to rearm. Being I was a Plank Owner, I had them pipe me over the side and became a civilian.
Life was good as a civilian. I had marketable skills and had no problem finding employment. I had good jobs, finished college and traveled the world on an expense account. I became a real estate agent selling apartment buildings in Lon Beach and made lots of money. I had Norton Commandos, Porches, Mercedes and Cadillacs. I sold industrial instrumentation and had sailboats which I lived aboard. I ended up starting a company that built plastics forming machinery and made quite a good name for myself.
The bad news is in 2013, I had a stroke. T the time, I had a schooner which I lived aboard for thirty five years. I could no longer handle the five sails that we ran around on.
I now find myself as a codger. Seventy five is an old man by anyone's criteria. I now live on a forty foot trawler power boat and take a nap most every day.
I'm not complaining. I have a wonderful relationship with a girl who is my intellectual double. I drive a BMW 325ci convertible I have two grandchildren and I do the occasional machine upgrade with no heavy lifting. We have taken cruises to Alaska and through the Panama Canal.
I guess that I really don't have anything to bitch about but I am a bit uncomfortable being 75.
Like Micky Mantle said "If I knew that I was going to live this long, I probably would have taken better of myself."