Saturday, September 26

Donating blood brings back...

Karla and I visited our doctor Friday for our occasional hour-long consultation. He suggested that we donate blood every couple or three months. It seems our blood is just a teensy bit thick, and draining a bit of it occasionally will remedy that.

I haven’t donated since I was a youngster attending Navy electronics school on Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay. It seems there was a young lady who was desperately in need of a whole lot of blood, and my class got “volunteered” by the base commander. A photo of several dozen of us, standing a**hole to belly button, as the Navy used to call it, appeared on the front page of one of San Francisco’s daily newspapers.

Ah, yes. The Navy. That was the time when I never had to give a thought to what would befall me on any given day. All I had to do was make sure the Enterprise’s radar repeaters (the TV-set-like displays that showed what the radars were seeing) kept working. The Combat Information Center, roughly mid-ship, was my base. From there I enjoyed the hike to the bow of the ship where one of the repeaters was located. The space was called Secondary Conn, and it was used to run the ship if the normal command center, the bridge, got blown away in combat. It had five portholes, and it was very calming to stand there alone and stare out at the ocean. (The only other portholes were in the Captain’s cabin, so this was a rare treat for an ordinary sailor.)

 I read recently that the USS Enterprise was finally decommissioned. It was in active service for 50 years, making it the longest-serving ship in US Navy history. Heckuva boat, she was, and I got aboard it when it was a mere six-month-old returning from its initial deployment in the Mediterranean. My fondest memory is the trip we made circling the entire globe and absolutely nothing went wrong with any of my equipment! I really enjoyed that two-month vacation.

1 comment:

Pete S. said...

Thanks for that great story about your navy days!

I'm impressed that your doctor will talk to you for an hour. Too much iron in the system can lead to serious health problems, and draining off some blood is a good way to control it. Maybe those crazy doctors of yore with their leeches and bleedings really knew what they were doing.