JOIN THE NAVY AND SEE THE WORLD!
Even as a preteen, I was sold. I just had to get through High School and turn 17. Two months after graduation, I was sworn in. I would have been in sooner but it took me two months of wild and wooly living before my folks would sign for me.
|NEW HOME OF THE OLD HEMMINGER |
After crossing the Atlantic, we sailed up the River and tied up along the city dock of Bayonne, which is in the Aquitaine Region of France. We had been there only a short time when a bus load of probably seniors from a local high school debussed right in front of the ship. Three girls and one guy walked over to the ship and started a conversation with me. LIFE WAS LOOKING UP! I "jumped ship" and went ashore, acting like the civilian crew, to a dock side, outdoor cafe and ordered a round of soft drinks. Keep in mind, I did not speak French and these young people did not speak English. But always remember, LOVE WILL FIND A WAY. Un Huh!
|WALT AT THE TIME OF THIS EUROPEAN TRIP|
Yes, yes, I was young once, a long, long time ago!
After getting around introductions, I got right to the point and made a date with two of the girls for that night for my shipmate, Robinette and I. They wrote out their address and seemed about as excited about the date as I was, and, yes, that was pretty excited!. Liberty was piped down at 1600. Robbie and I were Oh! so eager to confirm all we had heard about the French girls. We got a cab immediately. The cabbie shook his head and, in broken English, told us the girls lived in a town about 50 miles away. THE MAGITUDE OF THAT DISAPOINTMENT STILL SADDENS ME UNTIL THIS DAY!
|WORLD FAMIOUS (?) JABON DE BAYONNE|
|LISBON, PORTUGAL IN THE 18TH CENTURY|
|PRACO DO COMERICO|
Commerce Square in the center of Lisbon