From 1981 till the time I write this I was working in electronics. After Paradyne a worked for Light speed on vehicle tracking. In the 90s I worked at Custom Manufacturing and Engineering and in 1999 I landed a job at SDI a firm that designs and manufactures tools for the semiconductor industry. I remain there until my retirement in January of 2022.

I have great memories of road trips and fun with my family. In 1981 I met my current wife Susie. I did not know at the time that she would be my future wife. She had one son named James. We would someday be my stepson. I never called him my stepson. I always called him my son. Susie was having marital problems with her husband. I told Susie to go back to him and give it one more try.

In 1984 I married for a second time. Her name was Denise. Things went well at first until her mother started to advise her. Nothing I said could be true in her eyes. If her mother did not agree then it could not be true.

One Christmas, in a fit of rage, Denise overturned the Christmas tree. She smashed new gifts against the wall. Then she picked up some butcher knives I had bought for her for Christmas and proceeded to hurl them at me. Something inside me snapped. I gathered up the kids and got the hell out of there! Soon after this I filed for divorce. I had no peace. I had to get away.

One day I learned from a former Paradyne colleague that Denise had been in an automobile accident. It was bad. She had driven under a Simi tractor trailer in the fog. The accident had taken nearly half of her head. There was no hope for her. She lingered for awhile then passed away. I did not like Denise. And I no longer loved her. However I wished no wrong to become of her. I was sorry that this had happened to her.

Around 1991 I was in the Florida keys with my friend Ty doing some scuba diving. When I returned my dad said that I had received a call. It was from Susie. My heart leaped! I was secretly in love with Susie back in 1981. However she was married and that made it forbidden fruit.

Hobe Sound Florida

In 1991 I began weekend trips across the State of Florida to visit Susie who lived in Hobe Sound Florida. I slept on the couch. Susie had a few kittens that had the run of the house. They would charge back and forth all night. They would run about and sometimes run right over me on the couch. I did not get much sleep.

Carlton Arms

In 1992 Susie moved in with me at Calton Arms in New Port Richey Florida. It was a townhouse with 1 and 1/2 baths and two bedrooms upstairs. We loved the place and would go on daily walks around the property always followed by are cat. The cat thought she was a dog. She would follow us everywhere!

In 1992 Susie and I purchased a house on Fargo drive in Hudson Florida. It was great! We had some land of our own to do what we liked. It was a half acre zoned agriculture. I raised 26 chickens. We ate the eggs. Soon I got tired of them and got rid of them. I was not cut out to be a farmer. Besides the chicken feed attracted rats! We had a hard time getting rid of them.

Four wheeler accident

In 2010 my son Mark had a serious accident on his four wheeler. He had snuck out with his two friends and all three rode the vehicle. As they were speeding down a dirt road in Hudson, a car struck them and did not stop. The three kids were left laying in the road in critical condition. The girl had a broken pelvis and the boy had severe head injuries that he never recovered from. Mark’s leg was broken. A compound fracture with the bone sticking out of the wound. It took him a long time to recover from this. Multiple surgeries with metal plates installed in his leg.

Club Wildwood

In 2010 we moved into a retirement community. Club Wildwood to be exact. We still reside there. It is very pleasant living here with Susie. Mark was on his own then so Susie and I were by ourselves.

In 2020 we began hearing about Covid-19. Little did we dream how this virus would effect us.


In 2021 we took our last vacation with our son Mark. A houseboat trip down the Saint Johns river. A 30 mile cruise from Deland Florida north to Lake George. Both my sons Alan and Mark came along. It was a great time of cruising swimming and enjoying each other. On the second day of the trip we tied up at Silver Glen spring at lake George. We put on our snorkeling gear and swam to the spring head. All the time there were baby alligators swimming along with us! I tell you I was glad to get out of the water and back into the houseboat!

The covid-19 virus

On August the 5th 2021 Mark contacted us. It was his birthday and he was not feeling well. Pain when he breathed deep. He tested positive for covid-19 and was admitted to the hospital. Soon they put a ventilator on him to keep him alive. Is blood oxygen was very low. Well it was all down hill from there and on August the 15th Mark passed away from the virus. He was only 26. Susie and I were devastated. We both fell into a deep depression. It is better now as time rolls on. However we will never fully get over the loss of our son. We just cope. We have each other to cling to and share our grief and memories.

And that is my Memories of a Baby Boomer. I hope you enjoyed. You know you can do this too. Just take a pad of paper or your electronic device and sit down and record your thoughts of the past. You will be surprised as to how much you remember. And you will a better person for doing so.

I want to leave you with this. I call it my template for a happy life. Here it is – Many people get hung up on the small things in life instead if focusing on what is meaningful and good. Focusing on small trivial unimportant things become extra baggage in your life. The following is my template for a happy life. Use what you can of this if you wish,  and use it in your own life as you see fit. See if it can help you focus on what is really important to not only you,  but to others too!

  1. Smile – Smile people smile! Don’t walk around day after day with a cloud over your head. This don’t mean that you walk around all day like the Cheshire Cat, grinning from ear to ear. I know there are times when it gets rough, and you can’t smile. This will pass. It can’t be all bad, so smile! You will be surprised how infectious this is. Soon you will see people all around you smiling!

2.  Accept – People have different opinions about things. Some of these things you may not agree with.  That’s okay. Learn to accept the views of others. You can’t be right all the time you know!

3.  Disconnect – Set aside at least 15-20 minutes a day to disconnect. You may be religious. Take this time to pray for others and their problems. You may not be religious. Same thing. Take this time to think of others and their problems.  During this time find a comfortable spot. Turn off computer and all devices. Close your eyes and empty your thoughts. relax! Breath deep. Feel the energy of what you are.

4.  Listen – Listen to others. Their problem. Their solutions. Their problems. Listen. And I mean really listen. Don’t pretend to listen, but put an effort in it to really listen, and to be helpful.

  1. Play – Set aside an hour or two to play. Swim, ride bike, play tennis or other activities that you choose.

6.  Exercise – See Play. Make sure that it involves some exercise. Playing cards don’t count!

  1. Help – Seek out at least one person to help. Helping others is paying it forward. You will be surprised how much comes back to you when you help others.
  2. Love – Love intensely. Love with all your heart, your fellow
    brothers and sisters. Tell at least 3 people a day that you love them and you care for them.
  3. Get involved – Get involved in something that sets your heart on fire. It may be getting involved in your community or church. Or maybe helping at local boy/girl scouts. It don’t matter what it is. Just get out there and get involved!
  4. Do not suffer fools – You will find in life many foolish people.  You may try to help them, but they just continue the being fools. At this point there is no more you can do.  Brush the dirt from your feet and walk away from the situation. You are not going to change this person’s mind so spend no more valuable energy, and just walk away.

12.  Laugh – Laugh long and hard. It is good for you. It clears your head. You breath deeply and take in more air. It just feels good.

  1. Do not expect praise – Do things because it is the right thing to do. Do not put yourself on a pedestal. Do not expect to be rewarded for the good things that you do.

These are things I do in my life that have defined who and what I am, and how to conduct myself. Try to come up with a plan that fits you perfectly. You will be glad you did and your life will be more fulfilling and fruitful for it. Dig? Now get out there and make a difference! Remember! Don’t sweat the small stuff!


In 1978, after I was discharged from the navy, I made it home after a nearly 3000 mile drive from Huntington Beach California. I tried for awhile to make a life for myself in California. I tried to find work. No success at that. I was living with my buddy Andy and his girlfriend. This was not a life. I yearned for home. So I began making plans to go home. I told Andy of my plans.

Before I planned to leave I went to a Rolling Stones concert at Anaheim stadium. It was the Some Girls concert. It was a hot summer day and Andy, Fred and I had camped out in the stadium parking lot. It would be an all day concert with multiple groups. Like I said it was hot! Very hot! Between one of the performances Mick Jagger came to the front of the stage with a fire hose. He yelled into a mic “Are you hot people?” The crowd roared! Mick put the fire hose between his legs and opened the valve and took an enormous pee on the crowd! He did this for around a minute. It felt so good!

A day or two after the concert I started home. There were no incidents except for the mysterious and unexplained help I received in New Mexico. It took me 3 days to get through Texas. I only drove about 9 hours a day. It took me five days to get home. I could have arrived earlier but I was in no hurry. I went through New Orleans then Mobile and then crossed the Florida state line. I made my last stop in Tallahassee, a four hour drive to New Port Richey. I could have drove on. However I was tired and if I continued I would arrive late in the night. I wanted to surprise my parents. I was coming unannounced and I wanted to arrive during the day.

I woke up early the next day and after a good breakfast I hit the road for the final leg of my journey home. When I pulled up into the driveway on Lagoon drive mom was heading to the utility room with a load of laundry to wash. She stood holding the laundry basket while staring at the strange vehicle that had just pulled up. I got out and immediately she dropped the laundry basket and ran to me and bear hugged me! Her baby was home. He was in one piece. As I have said before, mom worried. I was home and she could stop worrying about me getting hurt in the navy. She still worried about me. But at I least she could stop worrying about this.

Dad suggested that I could stay with them while I went to school. I did while I was attending school.

I started school at Pinellas vocational technical Institute (Now called Pinellas technical college) soon after I got home in 1978. And in three years I graduated as a certified electronics technician. I used the GI Bill to fund my education. I worked briefly with Economy TV and then landed a job at Paradyne, a large telecommunications factory repairing modems in the factory service department.

2001 Castle Drive

In 1981 I had a home built in New Port Richey Florida. It was a 2 bedroom 2 bath home with a double garage and screened in porch. The home had approximately 1100 square feet of living area. The house is still there at 2001 Castle drive. It is on a corner lot.

I watched with amazement as the house was being built. I never lost the desire to watch construction work. I brought that forward from my childhood when I loved to watch any kind of construction that may be going on.

Life as a civilian had begun. I was very grateful for the experience the navy gave me. And the discipline to handle things by myself. However it was sure good to back in Florida and home!

I am discharged from the Navy and a weird unexplained event on the the way home

In August of 1978 I was discharged from the US Navy. It had been a good tour of duty. However I was not a lifer. I had other plans for my life besides being in the military. The ship was in Okinawa at the time of my discharge so I took a courier flight out to Hawaii then to San Francisco then to San Diego for final processing out.

It took a week to process me out. All the time they were trying to get me to re-up. They were unsuccessful as I was ready to go home and continue my life as a civilian.

A VW van

After I was processed out I bought a VW van. It was a fun vehicle to drive. The driver sat right on top of the left front wheel. Packed up the van with my personal affects and headed east on US 10 to Florida. I would be a 5 day trip of almost 3000 miles.

New Mexico continental divide

Somewhere in New Mexico, near the continental divide a very strange thing happened to me. I had been having trouble starting the VW van. It was a problem with the starter. From time to time I would have to crawl under the van and short out the terminals on the starter to make it work. We’ll it was not starting now and I was having no luck shorting out the starter. I was stranded almost 2000 miles from home. And there was no one there to help me.


I continued to struggle with the starter when I looked out from where I was laying under the van and saw two feet and legs standing next to my van.

It was a man. He said “HI there. Do you need any help?” I crawled out from under the van and said “Yes. I have been trying to get this beast started for an hour now with no success. If you could give me a push I think it will start when I dump the clutch.” He agreed and I got into the driver’s seat and shifted the van into second. “I’m ready!” I shouted back to the man. He pushed and I dumped the clutch and the van started. Whew! I was so happy! I got out and walked to the back of the van to thank the man and to offer him some money for his help. There was nobody there! I was by myself. A cold chill went up my spine! Where was he? It was only a matter of seconds between when he pushed and the van started. There was no time for him to run away. When I arrived there was no vehicles in the parking lot. There was no place for anyone to go except off the cliff. And I am sure he did not jump.

The experience frightened me a little. I could not explain what just happened. And there was a fringe benefit. My starter never failed again as long as I owned the van. It was a weird unexplained event and I can never get my mind around it. The only way I can explain this is that it must have been an angel. No other explanation makes sense to me.

I got into the van with chills running up and down my spine, and continued my trip back home to Florida.

The USS Cleveland LPD-7 returns to Long Beach California from my first West Pac cruise. The ship goes into dry dock for overhaul. And a visit to the hot springs.

USS Cleveland LPD-7 entering drydock

In March of 1976 the USS Cleveland LPD-7 returns to Longbeach California to be put into dry dock for an extensive overhaul. The ship pulled up into the dry dock and the gates were closed. Then the water was pumped out and the ship settled down onto enormous wood skids. The whole process was amazing to me. The ship looked enormous to me as I walked underneath her to see. There were the two enormous propellers much taller then a man. It was fascinating!

After we had docked in the dry dock I telephoned home to ask Brenda why she had not met me in Longbeach. She said she was not coming and that she wanted a divorce. I was devastated. Why? I asked her. She had no answer for me. I blame myself for the divorce. I was young and dumb. I was more interested in being with my friends than being with Brenda. I regret not being more mindful of this.

Huntington Beach California

The ship was secluded to be in dry dock for 9 months. So my buddy Fred, a British American and his civilian friend Andy, a British person here on a visa, and I rented an apartment in Huntington Beach California. It was a three bedroom apartment with a large living room and an ample kitchen. It was within 3 blocks to the beach. Many pleasurable evenings were spent there on the beach.

A Vespa

One day in July 1976 we decided we would take a trip to Deep Creek hot springs located in the San Bernardino National forest. Andy had a Vespa motor scooter. The thing was blood curdling! It could reach speeds of nearly 80 miles per hour on those tiny scooter wheels! Fred would ride on the back with Andy.

A Honda CB 350

I preferred larger wheels. I had recently purchased a Honda CB 350. It was plenty fast for me and much more comfortable then a scooter.

Deep Creek Hot Springs

So we packed up some essentials and headed up the freeway. At some point we got off and headed up a winding mountain road. Soon we arrived at the parking lot for the 6 mile trail to the hot springs. We parked our vehicles and I left my full coverage helmet locked to my bike and we started on the six mile hike.

Naked people at Deep Creek Hot Springs

The view was fantastic! It was a steady climb up the rocky trail and a decent to the creek. Before we decended down the trail we looked at all the people enjoying the hot water. Men and women. Lots of them. And they were all stark naked! We just stood there for a moment, looking down on the group of people that gave no doubt as to what their individual genders were! We looked at each other and Andy said “Well come on mates! Let’s join the party!” He led the way down the trail to the springs and we followed.

We looked at all the naked people and one of the girls beckoned to us to join them in the water. Well we felt kind of out of place. Here were 20 or so people in a complete state of undress and here we were completely clothed. Well it only seemed natural to remove our clothing and to join the happy crowd of nudists in the water. That is exactly what we did!

We stayed in the hot springs all day until the rangers that were watching over us told us it was time to go as the park would be closing soon. We did not want to go yet. However the rangers made sure we were all out of the water and heading up the trail towards the parking area.

Well we did not want to leave so Andy, Fred, and myself snuck into the woods off the trail and hid. Well we must have not hid very well as the rangers soon spotted us hiding and made us leave. This time they walked with us to make sure we had left.

Well we did not want to leave. We wanted to get back in the warm water! So after the rangers left we stayed. We could not go back the springs. However we could stay in the parking lot. So that is what we did.

A tumbleweed

Being young and dumb, we did not realize how cold it got at night in this mountainous region. We settled down in the sand just off the parking lot and fell asleep. Around midnight we all woke up. It was freezing cold! Bone chilling cold if you will. I had put my helmet on to keep my ears warm. I was the only one that had a helmet. A full coverage helmet. I began to feel sorry for Andy and Fred. I knew that their ears were freezing. So I removed the helmet and gave it to Andy and told him to wear it for 15 minutes and then give to Fred. We kept up this rotation every 15 minutes. We were so cold. Around 2 AM we stood up and began to pace trying to keep warm. We found a huge tumble weed so we lit it for warmth. Well it did supply warmth for about 30 seconds. We watched as the tumble weed blazed up then quickly died away. We then decended into a cold misery once again.

Apple pie and Coffee

When the sun came up we decided to go home instead of going back to the spring. So we got on our bikes and started the return home. It was even colder on the ride when you figure in the wind chill! It was a miserable ride. As we were making our way home we spotted a small ma and pa diner. We pulled up and entered the diner. Warmth poured over us. It felt so good. We sat at the counter drinking coffee and eating apple pie. We all were so glad that we had found this oasis on our way home from our adventure!

I begin my tour of duty on the USS Cleveland LPD-7

USS Cleveland LPD-7

In 1976 I received orders to report to the navy ship USS Cleveland LPD-7. The ship was in Okinawa at the time so I flew out from San Francisco to meet the ship.

The following is a description of the USS Cleveland LPD-7 and it’s duties from the time the ship was laid down till the ship was decommissioned.

A stern view of the amphibious transport dock USS CLEVELAND (LPD 7) underway off the coast of Southern California.

USS CLEVELAND was commissioned April 21, 1967 at Norfolk, Virginia. After commissioning, CLEVELAND changed homeport to San Diego, California to become a member of the Pacific Fleet Amphibious Forces. CLEVELAND has divided her time between operations in the Easter Pacific and extended deployments to the Western Pacific.

CLEVELAND is usually assigned as part of a Marine Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), and with her embarked Marines, acted as part of the United States military effort in Southeast Asia.

CLEVELAND first saw action during the Tet Offensive in 1967 and has participated in numerous amphibious and combat support operations, as well as functioning as a Flagship for various Fleet Commanders. Upon the Vietnam cease-fire in January 1973, CLEVELAND joined Task Force 78 in the mine-clearing effort of Haiphong Harbor and Operation end Sweep.

CLEVELAND then began a series of seven Western Pacific Deployments commencing in the years 1974, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1983, and 1985 before entering an extensive overhaul.

In January of 1988, CLEVELAND assumed duties as flagship for Commander Third Fleet and served in this capacity until November 1988. Upon Completion of Flagship duties, CLEVELAND deployed to Prince William Sound, Alaska in support of oil spill cleanup efforts associated with the Exxon Valdez disaster.

A close-up port bow view of the amphibious transport dock USS CLEVELAND (LPD 7) underway during PACEX ’89.

CLEVELAND deployed to the Western Pacific in 1990 and again in 1991 in support Operation Desert Storm.

In October 1992 CLEVELAND deployed on short notice to Central America in support of Law Enforcement Operations and again in March of 1993. During these deployments CLEVELAND played a key role in the seizure of the vessel Sea Chariot, the largest Maritime cocaine bust in history, as well as transiting the Panama Canal four times. During CLEVELAND’s fourteenth major deployment she participated in the United Nations relief effort to Rwanda and the relocation of the United States Liaison office from Mogadishu, Somalia to Nairobi, Kenya. Following the relocation efforts, CLEVELAND was ordered to steam into the North Arabian Gulf to deter the Iraqi aggression of massing troops on the Kuwait border as part of Operation VIGILANT WARRIOR.

Following intensive repair and training availabilities in 1995, CLEVELAND participated in exercise RIMPAC ’96 off the coast of Hawaii prior to the beginning of her fifteenth major deployment in October of 1996. During this deployment CLEVELAND participated in numerous bilateral training exercises in the Arabian Gulf including exercises; EASTERN MAVERICK ’97 and EAGER mace 97-1. While in the Arabian Gulf CLEVELAND became the first Amphibious Warship to participate in Maritime Interception Operations in support of United Nations Sanctions against Iraq. After leaving the Arabian Gulf, CLEVELAND participated in exercise TANDEM THRUST ’97, a joint training exercise with the U.S. and Australian Armed forces before returning to San Diego.

In February 2000, CLEVELAND participated in the recovery operation for Alaska Air Flight 261 off Los Angeles and provided support for small boats and aircraft from Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 11 at Naval Air Station North Island.

Following a Fleet Week visit to San Francisco, CLEVELAND completed her training cycle and deployed for the seventeenth time in March 2001.

In January 2003, CLEVELAND departed for the Arabian Gulf in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, where she deployed as part of Amphibious Task Force WEST. For the first time in her history, CLEVELAND transited the Suez Canal leading into the Mediterranean, in support of Mine Sweeping Operations conducted on the northern approaches of the canal. Returning from deployment, CLEVELAND entered the yards for a nine-month overhaul.

CLEVELAND started off its 2005 deployment by embarking the Marines at Camp Pendleton and then a short port visit in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for one last taste of America before heading west. After some operations off the coast of the Philippines she made a stop in Darwin, Australia. CLEVELAND then transited through the Suez Canal to participate in the multi-national exercise, Operation Bright Star, and enjoyed a port visit to Rhodes, Greece. Upon completion of Bright Star, she headed south again to offload the Marines at Kuwait Naval Base. CLEVELAND then stopped for a port visit in Bahrain, a Humanitarian Assistance Offload in Karachi, Pakistan, as well as a port visit to Jebel Ali. She then participated in anti-piracy operations off the coast of Africa. After backloading the Marines one last time off the coast of Kuwait she stopped again in Jebel Ali, Singapore, and Hong Kong for a few quality of life port visits, and then one last stop in Hawaii to pick up the “Tigers” for the trip back to San Diego.

Since commissioning, CLEVELAND has received the following unit awards: Combat Action Ribbon (2), Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation (4), Navy Excellence Ribbon (6), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (5), Vietnam Service Medal (23), Southwest Asia Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation- Gallantry (3), and Coast Guard Unit Commendation Ribbon with Operational Distinguishing Device.

I remember when I first set foot on the ship. Especially when it started to move. It was amazing to me that a ship that size could actually move! I stood on the fan-tail of the ship in slack jaw amazement as the ship slowly made it’s way out of port and into the open sea.

My berth was in the forward part of the ship starboard side 2 decks down from the main deck. My compartment berthed 20 men. There was a TV there and a table. Also lockers for our personal effects.

After steering

I stood watch in two places. First was after steering. To get to it you climbed down a ladder 5 decks down to the bottom of the ship. The steering compartment contained the hydraulic steering gear that pushed the enormous steering rams that were connected to the rudders.

Shipboard evaporator

My other watch station was the evaporator in number 2 engineroom. Steam was passed through an evaporator and the condensation was collected and stored in a huge tank. First priority for water was the boilers. If a boiler ran out of water the results could be catastrophic. If the boiler blew up, as it would do if it ran out of water, it would certainly kill everyone in the engineroom. Super heated steam at high pressure is a very dangerous and quirky thing. The pressure is so high it could cut off your finger or a limb before you knew it.

Life was good on the “Steaming Cleve”. I was assigned to “A” gang. “A” gang was responsible for all auxiliaries on board including both emergency generators, all boats, and all hydraulics on board from after steering to barber chairs. I was assigned to the whale boat and was responsible to maintain it and to preform all preventive maintenance.

Chow line

The food on board was good and there was plenty of it except for milk. When we were carrying a full complement of Marines, the milk ran out after about two weeks out from Port. Then they switched to powdered milk which tasted nasty at first. But then you got used to it and when they switched back to whole milk the taste was again nasty. It took time for your taste buds to adapt. We got all you can eat steak and lobster once a month. A guard was stationed at the shitcan (navy slang for garbage can). If you threw out any good food you were done and could not return to the chow line for more.

Garbage detail

Once we were in international waters, the garbage was thrown overboard from the fan tail of the ship. Various birds would follow the ship all the way across the Pacific ocean to feed on the garbage.

At night they would call out over the public address system “Darken ship. Give the ship a clean sweep for and aft. The smoking lamp is lit in all authorized spaces.”

Propeller shaft

After a few weeks at sea we began to get bored and we searched for diversions to relieve the boredom. One thing we did was ride the shaft. It was dangerous and unauthorized. If we were caught doing this activity, it would mean a trip to Captains Mast with a possible reduction in rank and a reduction in pay. Here is how it went. We would gather up mattresses and climb down the trunk that ran amidship down to the very bottom of the ship in one of the shift alleys. We would lay the mattresses around to provide protection. Then one by one we would jump onto the revolving shift and hang on. We would see how long we could hang on and the person that hung on the longest won the game. We were very lucky that none of us were seriously injured.

All in all I had a good life on the steaming Cleve. I made many friends. We went to many ports. Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Okinawa, and Hawaii. I learned a lot. And I collected many precious memories!

Mom comes to California to see her grandson Alan and I receive orders to the fleet

In November 1975 my mother flew out to Oxnard California to see her new grandson Alan. We picked her up at the airport and drove her to our home in Oxnard.

My mom loved her new grandson Alan. She would dotter over him. She loved him so very much!

Malibu creek state park

On day while mom was with us in California, we decided to show her some of the sights the area had to offered. We decided to take a drive into the Malibu hills. We drove north up the Pacific coast highway and turned left onto the Sycamore Canyon road. The road was narrow with no guard rails. It winded up into the Malibu hills through switchback after switchback. I looked over at my mom. She was frightened. Her hands had a death grip on her seat. She asked me to slow down and I did. It did nothing to ease her fear of heights. Finally she laid down on the carpet in the van and covered her head with her arms.

M*A*S*H Production site

Brenda and I felt sorry for her. I drove as smoothly as I could. We finely reached Malibu creek state park and mom got back in her seat. Her hair was desholved and her dress was wrinkled. However she was very glad to get off that scary winding mountain road. Malibu state park is very near the M*A*S*H outdoor filming location in the Malibu hills.

We sat at the picnic table at the park and ate the lunch we had packed. We sat and talked. It was a very pleasant November afternoon.

Soon we drove the winding road back down to sea level. Mom took her place on the van floor as we decended. I drove as careful as possible to minimize mom’s fear. We made it home and mom stayed on for a few more days. Then we tool her to the airport and she returned to Florida.

In March of 1976 I received orders to the fleet. We packed up our belongings and drove the 3000 miles from California to Florida.

USS Cleveland LPD-7

As per my orders, I was to report to the USS Cleveland LPD-7. The ship was currently in Okinawa and I was to meet the ship there. I rented a small appartment in New Port Richey Florida for Brenda and then headed for Tampa and a flight to San Francisco and then to Okinawa where I would join the ship. I was sad to leave Brenda and Alan. However I had my orders and I must obey.

My Son Alan is born

On August 23rd, 1975 my wife Brenda and I welcomed our son Alan into the world. I was still in the Navy and still stationed at Port Hueneme in Southern California. Brenda my wife and I rented a small appartment on A street just off the naval base in Oxnard California.

In the wee hours of August the 23rd 1975 my wife Brenda woke me up. Her water had just broke. It was time to make the trip to the hospital.

I knew which hospital to take Brenda too. However I had never been there. I had no idea where the hospital was. I layed down a sheet in my van and helped Brenda in and she laid down on the sheet. I wanted the sheet in place in case she made a mess, in case anything leaked out. I did not want to mess up the carpet in the van. Brenda was not amused at my logic. However she went alone with it.

I drove into town but still could not find the hospital. I was beginning to worry. I wished that I had located the hospital weeks before. Why didn’t I? Sweat began to beed up on my forehead as I frantically searched for the hospital. All this time Brenda is moaning and crying out as she lay on the sheet in the van.

Well I finally found the hospital and got Brenda inside and the nurse took her to the labor room. While I was with her in the labor room Brenda told me to get out! She said “Look what you have done! Get out!” I was shocked. However I got out and waited in the waiting room.

Presently the nurse came in and “It’s a boy. You can come see.” I followed the nurse and looked through the glass at my boy. My sweet bundle of joy! After looking at him for awhile I went to see Brenda again. She smiled up at me. And asked if I had see him yet. I said “Yes.” She was no longer mad at me. Her anger had passed.

I left the hospital to go back home. I was still in the navy and had duties to perform. As I got in me car I noticed that my tape deck had been stolen. It was gone and all the wires were neatly tied up. The robber was a neat robber and had made a neat job of his robbery.

After a few days both my wife and my new son were released. I picked them up at the hospital and returned home. I was so in love with Brenda and my new son Alan.