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Hiya Folks!
Sorry about that CharlieJ…I hadda ax! (Richmondtown boy too? You remember where Coopers Pond was? I know Gina must.) When I first got to working with people from the south, it was weird hearing somebody say someone was a pisser and find out they meant it was bad. Totally the opposite of what I thought. Culture shock! ((Do SI-ER’s have culture?!? Gimme some yogurt!)) Thanks, Gina for straightening me out. Yer a pisser, too!

Colonel, the answer is no, it wasn’t all cold water. After Alaska, and the Ironwood, it was considered such crappy duty they gave us a choice. Oddly enough, I tried to get on the Icebreaker Polar Star, (that shows how stupid I can be), because they get to go to New Zealand and S. America and the Antarctic but there was a 4-5 year waiting list. So I picked Nawlin’s. I thought, yeah! The Big Easy; Ole Miss river duty; calm, flat, warm, Gulf of Mexico waters; easy duty. Geez, was I wrong. Freakin’ class 3 and 4 hurricanes, giant oil tanker fires, shrimpers who insisted on sailing in the worst conditions, (Imagine! Trying to earn a living...); water-spouts raining fish and mud, drug busts, drunken a-holes that ran out of gas and beer and bait in the middle of nowhere, friends washed over-board and killed… (One of the tanker fires was so bad they were going to evacuate the town of Algiers, if we didn’t beat it down pretty quick. That was such a hot one the Squids were called in. [Thank God and the Navy, but you didn’t hear it from me]).

That link you mentioned about your ancestor is pretty neat. I like the genealogy setup. I know you have no time for fiction, but I mentioned a book a while ago called "Voyage: a Novel of 1899" by Sterling Hayden. He gives a great account of ‘rounding the horn’ under sail, but under very unusual conditions and it is somewhat buried in the book’s story.

The shrimpers appreciated us. One day we’re doing the Aids to Navigation thing, sweating and pissing and moaning and watching the dolphins watching us, when a shrimper pulls up alongside and heaves 2 big burlap sacks over the rail. The cook ran out and grabbed them, and a half-hour later all hands, all 22 of us, were piped to the messdeck. Shrimp and crawdads until we were almost sick of them! If we had had beer on board, you could have bumped me off right then…heaven!

I have heard every shallow-water, bathtub-sailor, beach-hugging, pollywog joke there is…and lemme say dis about dat. Someone had to comfort all those lonely wives of you deepwater men! (Are you laughing?…I hope so. You can take the boy outta Staten Island, but you can’t take the SI outta the boy.)

I hate ties too, Chief. If you ever look at a picture of the annual Hall of Fame ceremonies, you can see just one man who never wears a tie: Teddy Ballgame, one of my heroes, even if he played for the goddam BoSox. (Come to think of it, he was a Navy Pilot, too!)

Colonel, I try to give back a little by being a literacy tutor. (My friends say I’ll be teaching them SI-ese and I try to tone it down, sorta). They usually assign me to the guys because most of the tutors are women, and an occasional shout of, "s**t!" doesn’t bother me. It usually happens when I try to explain that ‘tough’ is ‘tuff’ and ‘through’ is ‘throo’. When they ask me why that is I say, How the f**k do I know? and we crack up. Now to my point: (long-winded bastard, ain’t I?) They taught us how to recognize dyslexia but not much on teaching methods. I saw your link and I can see what worked for you (I’m looking for the sheets of red film), but do you know of any (other) methods? Anyone else know of any?

Gina, one of these days we hafta have a cuppa together…I have to keep playing that lottery.
My best to Mom and J.

Enough! Can’t you recognize an English major…we never know when to shut up. I love this method of reaching out. I’m an inarticulate knucklehead in the chat-rooms and even more so in person and I appreciate this.
Cheers and down the hatch!

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