SEC’Y: CAPT Dave Carruth, USN (Ret.)
|CLASS OF 1948 SHIPMATE COLUMN
JUNE-JULY - 2017
Today is Suday. April 23rd and this column is due tomorrow. To put it bluntly I have nothing from you so you’ll have to put up with my very few contacts with Classmates since the last column.
Last Fri., the 21st, I talked with Sam Smith. Sam is wrestling with Parkinson’s Disease and his tremors will no longer permit typing. We were reminiscing about events nearly 70 yeas ago when three new Ensigns, (Dave Carruth, Tyler Dedman, and Sam Smith) left the Academy to report to the USS OAKLAND CL-95 in San Diego, well actually it wasn’t in San Diego but rather was on it’s way back from deployment. For that reason CAPT John Newton Opie had asked the Bureau to send one of us to Gunnery school, one to Damage Control school and one to CIC school. The Bureau, in it’s ultimate wisdom, sent all three of us to all three schools. For us each course was shortened but believe me we had fun, particularly in Damage Control. Sam’s comment one the phone was, “can you believe that 70 years later the three of us are still in contact?!”. Betty and I were married the day after graduation but neither Ty nor Sam were married yet. When we reported aboard the ship shoved off for a yard overhaul in Bremerton, Washington. Betty flew up and, with the help of the ship’s chaplain we managed to get quarters in public housing, nothing to write home about but it kept the rain off our heads and we were kept warm by a coal stove in the front room, which Betty had to teach me how to bank to save our fire for the following day, we were happy newlyweds. Sam took leave, went back to Arkansas and married Carolyn. Since we had two bedrooms we invited them to share our quarters. One night both Sam and I had duty aboard. In the middle of the night Betty had a recurrent nightmare where a woman came into the room, leaned over the bed and stared at her. Betty usually whimpered and I would awaken her before she screamed but of course I wasn’t there so she screamed, woke herself up and lay there hoping Carolyn hadn’t heard her. She had and Betty heard her coming into her room. Carolyn said “somebody screamed!” Betty said, “it was me.” Carolyn said, “can I sleep with you?” And that’s how they finished the night. To follow up on that story, some time later I was in flight training and we lived in Eleanor Village in Pensacola. Nan and Fred Baughman were there too and we got together for supper one night while Nan’s mother was visiting. Over cocktails, dinner and dessert we had a long session on nightmares. Nan’s mother told us she had a recurring nightmare when a man came into her room, leaned over and stared at her. She screamed. Since that night neither Betty nor Nan’s mother has ever had that dream again.
OK, some health notes. Betty has been having some probs getting around and in searching for answers has had two MRIs. Those of you who have weathered this procedure know that the technicians spend a lot of time making certain you don’t have any metallic items in or on your body, no piercings, earrings, etc, etc. They even ask questions about tattoos. In Betty’s case she has three screws which the doctor put in to fix her left hip which she fell and broke in ’94. We told the tech about them and they said they could probably work around them. As it turns out the screws are titanium, non-magnetic, hence not a problem. Keep that in mind if you have a break requiring metal clips/screws or whatever. I’ve told you about our daughter-in-law Ricki’s skiing accident and she is in full recovery mode, hiking et al but they used a stainless steel plate and screws in repairing her busted knee and warned her about MRIs.
Speaking of knees, Nancy Graham had to have one of hers replaced and is now residing in rehab, probably for another week. That leaves Warren batching it. Hang in there Warren.
Bob and Judy Flood were recently on a cruise through the Panama Canal when he had a prob and was taken off the ship. They replaced his pacemaker. Bob and Judy came back to MD and he had another short session in the hospital. Judy says he is doing OK now but keep him in your prayers. Scribe’s note: I follow that approach in my emails to the Class but of course the lead time on the column kinda makes it questionable. Oh well, you know how your Classmates are holding on.
Bob and Helga Smith display the other mode of life. As I understand they are off to Europe for 15 days. Just proves that some of us are still quite active.
You know, all of us can fall back on those “old tales being retold” as I did at the beginning of this column; however, I think what you would really like to read herein is what is going on in your Classmates lives now. Please help me out.
Since the last column I have learned of the passing of two Classmates and three wives
May Carlson, 2/24/17, wife of Dale Carlson 2nd Co.
Scribe’s note: I have no obit on May hence no life comments.
Please let me know what you are doing and would like to share with your Classmates. You can contact me by phone, snail mail, email et al. I have a deadline just about each month and I have a habit of saving anything you send me so I can consider it for the next column.
Following is a picture was taken at our 55th Reunion and the people from left to right are Betty Carruth, Sam Smith and Carolyn Smith.