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Excerpt: Allen Whitt

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“Hey, guys, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge out there!” It was my new Seaman Recruit, Call Harper, who had just returned from a trip up to the 07 level after his lunch break.
Those of us who had been called to duty manned the rail in our winter blues. As we passed under the bridge, it appeared that Vinney’s radar mast would hit the underside, but it actually cleared by many feet.
We crossed the bay and approached Alameda Naval Air Station. All hands were eager to get back on land, and to meet their families. Hundreds of greeters waited down on the pier, craning their necks, cheering, waving, holding up flags and hand-lettered signs, and shouting to sailors they recognized, or just to anyone onboard.
After we had moored at the pier, I went to the Quarterdeck, and following proper procedure, saluted the Officer of the Deck. “Sir, I request permission to go ashore.”
“Permission granted. Proceed.”
After turning and saluting the American flag flying at the stern, I passed through the Officers’ Gangway, went down the ladder, and threaded my way through the boisterous crowd. All around me, sailors were being greeted by hullaballoo. The jubilation around me was depressing. I found myself scanning the faces in the crowd for anyone who looked at all familiar to me, but that was impossible since I knew no one in the city, or even in California.

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Excerpt From: J. Allen Whitt. “Notes from the Other Side of the Mountain.” J. Allen Whitt, 2013-10-02. iBooks. This material may be protected by copyright.

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