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All the Ship's at Sea by William J. Lederer
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All the Ship's at Sea

by William J. Lederer

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 039307451X, Hardcover)

All the Ships at Sea Making Annapolis Was Easy Good old Barracks B is no more, and I guess Im its only mourner. It burned down in the winter of I 941 . Some Newporters claim that spontaneous combustion did the job. Alaybe so, but I wouldnt have blamed the captain of the head if he had struck the match. Nothing remains now but a heap of rubble. Perhaps there isnt even any rubble. I havent been to Newport for a year, but in 1930, when I arrived there as a hospital apprentice, Barracks B was the proudest building at the United States Naval Training Station. Though it had been built in 1904, it was still referred to as the New Barracks. Its SO new, said Coxswain Brown, that it aint even finished yet. Theres a couple of panes of glass missing. That head is cold enough to freeze a volcano all the way down to hell. All the Ships at Sea What Brown said about the crews head and wash- room being cold was true it was also dirty and smelly. These three qualities were brought to our attention the first thing every day. After leaving our warm hammocks we were lined up in the head, naked and shivering, to take our turns in the cold shower. I felt sorry enough for myself each morning, but I was sorrier for the guy who had to clean the place. Captain of the head was a tough billet. The job was given as unofficial punishment to men who were dirty or who didnt rise promptly at reveille. Yet the captain was an important personage because the lives of several hundred men revolved about the head. It was not only their bathroom but also their clubroom, curb market, and library. It was the only unsupervised spot in the barracks. We found it possible to sneak smokes there during working hours, and, despite the dirt and the draft, we could relax there a little. Fights were held in the head without interruption. The kind of literature not approved by the chaplain was read- and hidden-there. Small business was conducted within those cold gray walls. Here some sailors financed their Newport liberties by selling half-smoked cigarettes-snipes-four for a cent. The honest efforts of regimented souls to express themselves decorated the walls. Scribbled all over were such remarks as Chief Amorary has a shape like a beer bottle, or John LaPlant, the worlds greatest lover, blew his nose here. Making Annapolis Was Easy The place had a certain quality which the chief yeo- man called the sanctity of the john. But coziness was not part of that quality. Long streamers of twisted paper lay about, whispering in the multiple drafts. Soggy cigarette butts, shredded and brown, spotted the deck. The brass pipes had an overcoat of green mold. The vivid memory of this salon of discomfort dates back to a day in February, 1930, when I was summoned to the executive officers office. The sign on the door said COME IN. I obeyed. The exec, who was reading, looked at me over his glasses. Lederer Yes, sir. I have your application here for the Naval Academy Preparatory Class. Thank You, sir...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:59 -0400)

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