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Different experiences 2

March 20, 2013

This is an excerpt from my second book, “Memory Harvest of a Sharecropper’s Son,” which is now available in Amazon Kindle format and in printed format. This story is about some of my different experiences.

I enlisted in the Navy shortly after turning 17, with my parent’s consent. I studied aviation electronics. My first duty assignment after electronics school was in a communications center at NAF Naha, Okinawa. I began working as a radio and teletype operator. I became supervisor of one shift of a four-shift operation in the communications center before I turned 19.

After most of a year in the states, I returned to Okinawa with a Patrol Squadron. I flew as radio operator in P2V-5 Neptunes. We flew the same basic patrol that the P3 Orion was flying in 2001 when it was buzzed and clipped by a Mig and had to land on a Chinese island. We were buzzed many times. It was a quite common occurrence.

While in the Navy at Whidbey Island, Washington, I performed as a magician at the Chief’s Club, Officer’s Club, USO and at several local off base locations. I continued performing as a magician after leaving Navy for many years.

While in the Navy at Whidbey Island, Washington, I performed as a rodeo clown in an all-Navy rodeo. On Sundays, I taught a Sunday School class for children, sang in the choir or ushered during church service.

I obtained my ham radio license, W5FBB, while in the Navy. I operated W7UMX club station at Whidbey Island, Washington. When stationed on Okinawa the first time, I had helped KR6LX set up his ham station in our communications center with equipment checked out from the Army. When I returned to Okinawa, he was gone and the equipment had been turned in.

I grew up in a family of Baptist ministers. We have traced Baptist ministers in Mom’s maternal family back to England in the 17th century. Family lore is that John Bunyon, author of Pilgrim’s Progress, was a relative. I was expected to be a Baptist preacher by my parents and grandparents. Growing up, I thought that was what I would be and tried it for a short while. I even was the pastor of a small rural Baptist Church in Oklahoma for about a year. I finally realized that preaching was not my calling, so gave it up.

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