After my last post and the events of the next two days, in retrospect, I should have stayed at home.
When we first arrived in NJ, I discovered that my camera was broken. When we hit NY I went to a Radio Shack close to the pier and bough a camera.
The kiddies and I were going to go to Gettysburg that Friday morning, but it was raining, windy and cold, and it was a three and a half hour drive one way, and the whole tour is outside. So we decided to drive down to Camden, NJ, and visit the aquarium and the USS New Jersey, the battleship on display there. It was misting when we got there, and I had a slightly irritating sore throat. I left my cap in the car, senior moment again, and it was too far away to go back for it. So I had a damp head.
I took four pictures of the kids outside the aquarium with my new camera before it broke. Son-of-bitch! Across the rive, in Philadelphia, from the aquarium and the New Jersey was another naval museum of a four-master schooner and a Spanish-American War battle ship (like the USS Main.) I couldn’t get a picture of those, either. Dammit!
So we toured the aquarium and the kids like it. For me, once you have seen a fish…well…they look the same as they do in the Tennessee Aquarium and the Georgia Aquarium, the Gatlinburg Aquarium and the all the other aquariums I have ever been too, so I just let them enjoy themselves and fumed about the camera.
I really wished beyond reason that I had the camera when we boarded the USS New Jersey. As I walked across the brow, there was a volunteer in a Navy chief’s uniform. I saluted the American Flag on the fantail and then saluted him and ask permission to come aboard. He saluted back we talked for about twenty minutes, as he was an old Tin Can Sailor, too. His partner OOD was a retired Chief who served on the tin can, USS Sumner. It was enjoyable standing there in the mist with my throat getting sorer.
We toured the Jersey and I was impressed with the size. You could put three WWII destroyers on her deck. The New Jersey was the biggest battleship ever built and is as big as a WWII carrier with a hundred times more fire power. We got to tour the huge 16” gun turrets and I got to show J-Man the inside of a 5” gun turret like the one I was a part of when I first reported aboard my ship and our first sea cruise. Unfortunately we couldn’t tour CIC (Combat Information Center – the radar room where I worked on my ship) because it was on a deck that hadn’t been reworked for visitors. And we couldn’t tour the engine compartments, either. But it was a cool tour anyways.
The wind picked up and the rain got a little harder, so we left and drove back to Murray Hill in a monsoon. Along the way, the kids were napping and missed the best scene of the day. This car with two men and one woman was driving in front of me. As they passed semi’s, the car would slow down and the woman would lean out of the car waist high and pump her arm up and down. If the trucker blew his air horn she would lift her shit and give him a boob shot. J-Man was pissed that I didn’t wake him up when I told him about it. He has hormones now, yah know.
By then I was feeling achy and could hardly swallow. God, I was having fun. I also found a Radio Shack close to the motel and took the camera back. They give me some static over not taking the camera back because there is a slip of paper in the camera packet that says not to return the camera to the store, but to contact a Kodak service center. I told them no fucking way. The camera was just over 24 hours old and they would replace it. They called the manager who said not to worry. He replaced the camera and apologized for having purchased a faulty piece of equipment. That didn’t help with the lost shots I missed during the day, but I now have a camera that works.
I had planned on going to Gettysburg on Saturday. But with the rain and wind and my throat cancer, Judy and I decided that the 14 hour drive might be too much for me and the kids to sit though in one day so we should leave that afternoon. We packed up early and left Saturday afternoon, after having lunch with Judy. The kids weren’t happy about it because the REALY love their Me Maw. But it was better to break the drive up into two legs. So we drove down to Winchester, VA, and found a motel with an indoor pool. I set on the side and read my book while they had a good soaking. Then we went to dinner, where I could hardly eat because it hurt to swallow.
We got up early Sunday morning and hit the road. Those mountains of Virginia and North Carolina really had the wind up. Several times the car would sway, but the kids were asleep and didn’t notice. I sucked on throat lozenges all the way home, and we arrived at their house around 7:00 p.m. They were really glad to see their mom and dad and the animals. I was even more glad to get home and climb into my bed.
I’m a little better today. My throat doesn’t hurt but I can only talk with a rasp with no volume.
Pictures later, and jokes after that, peeps. My throat is so messed up that I can hardly speak with any volume, so I might make this post with a bigger font so you can hear me. What? Oh!
MASTERPIECE #1651 - Karel Myslbek, Czech *"So What Do You Say? Should We Try CPR, or Just Rob Him and Call It a Day?,"* 1909 Oil on canvas
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