Amazing How Quickly The Ship Gets In Your BloodOctober 1 2009 at 3:23 PM
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Hey Bob, Here's something for you to read:
I recently found another of my fathers shipmates, a Snipe from the Black Gang who sent me a box of letters and such that my father had sent to him over the years. I sure have been lucky finding these guys sixty plus years after WWII, especially guys that just happened to be friends of my father. In one of the letters I found a tid bit that you might appreciate.
Dont remember his name, but he was Chief Petty Officer in charge of the Engine Room. (Your boss I presume) Anyways, every time Id see him getting his cup of coffee, hed pull out a little bottle and pour a spoonful out of it and put it in his coffee. After about a month, I asked him what he put in his coffee. He said it was diesel fuel! He said he tasted it so much in the engine room; coffee didnt taste right without it! Funny, I loved to smell the diesel fumes. Id stand at the railings just to get whiffs of it. When I got home, Id deliberately sit in back of a city bus to smell it, but it wasnt the same smell.
I know exactly what my dad meant as I too have stood by the rail enjoying the view and fumes the three times Ive been on the river with the 325. I love walking thru the tank deck, soaking in the sights, sounds and smells of the ship. It's almost Home away from Home! Other than as a visitor, my first full-time experience with the ship was this past April, during Work Week. Afterward, it took three washings to get the smell of the ship out of my clothes. Now I miss the pleasant odor of the ship.
Aside from the wonderful smells wafting from the galley, its the engine room for me! I love being below when the engines are running. Now I wouldnt have liked it too much in the South Pacific during the summer of 1945, but I sure enjoy the engine room and the ship every chance I get. Its amazing how quickly the ship gets in your blood and how addictive she is.
I understand firsthand how 325 servitude is a labor of love. I am proud to be a 325 Crew Member and admire each and EVERYONE of you who dedicate your time away from family to work and sail with the ship. I also enjoy your company, but its the ship that lures me. Ive got her in my blood and I have to have more. I look forward to serving with you again. Your friend and shipmate, Joey.