Sam Cooke wrote it
Sam Cooke sang it. Then Otis sang it. Then Aretha sang it.
Then over fifty other groups sang it…and they are still singing it.
“A Change is Gonna Come.”
And it will. i believe the change Sam was addressing will come.
It was a heroic song. It is a beautiful song.
And the title words fit something far less important on this website. A change is gonna come. Here.
Last week, i wrote my last column for The Democrat, number 500. Last week, i completed my sequestered sojourn to somewhere and found it. What i found is i will continue to write.
i started a book, or rather i picked up where i left off at least a half dozen times writing a book. It’s about a ship, a wonderful ship in a position to allow change to come. The Yosemite did not only allow the change to come, she caused the clarions to blow the song of change to the heavens. She went to the Indian Ocean and unlike those tenders before her, she steamed north to the island of Masirah, Oman, anchored and performed wondrous repair and maintenance on ships of the carrier battle group, and she did it with an extended out of port time while women, one hundred enlisted and six officers were part of the crew and wardroom. First time. It was akin to what Sam Cooke was singing about.
i was the executive officer, and i think the lessons learned still apply today, not just to the Navy or the military in general, but to the world. Before continuing, i must thank Captain Frank Boyle, USN (Ret.), Noreen Leahy, Emily Black, and Dr. Frank Kerrigan for helping me remember, correcting the fault in that memory, and adding to the fun of writing this book. i also need to thank Blythe Jewell Gander, Sarah Jewell, Alan, Maren, and Eleanor Hicks, Joe Jewell, Carla Neggers, Kate Jewell, and Maureen (you know her, right?) for providing guidance and encouragement as i move forward in writing the book. Oh yeh, the working title is Steel Decks and Glass Ceilings.
My book is a long way from finished, barely started really. But i will finish it. i don’t know if i will publish it for the public, but i will finish it. What will come next is yet to be seen. As it nearly always is with me.
i’m also dedicated to bring changes to this website. i plan to have more posts, to put a little more of my soul into these pages. After all, i am seventy-three and wise enough, i think, to not try and change the world. It’s the next generations turn to try their hand at that. My part in this thing called life is to provide stories about what has happened to me in those 73 years, what i’ve observed, and how i feel about things. This is not an attempt to change the world, but to, perhaps, let some folks who might think about my experience, read my stories, and maybe make their plan to change the world a little bit better.
Part of the change here is to see if i can cover my expenses. i am, with the help of the incredible Walker Hicks, planning to make this a subscription website around the first of September. It won’t cost much. i’m thinking about a buck a month, paid for annually. That should cover my expenses and reward Walker a small token of what i owe him.
i will need some help. So as i roll this out and continue to change and massage those changes, i will be asking readers to help me.
Like i have a problem with what to call this. When this began, Walker suggested the theme be golf-like. i certainly agreed to that. Walker came up with “jewell in the Rough.” i liked it a lot, and it has been on the banner of this site ever since.
Then i chose some categories to label each post. One category was “A Pocket of Resistance.” That is me. Blythe has noted i am a “contrarian.” That is accurate, but “A Pocket of Resistance” relates back to my discovery of that part of my nature while aboard the USS Anchorage in the South China Sea in 1975. i like it. A lot.
Soon, every post bore the label “A Pocket of Resistance.” It seems sort of duplicative to have everything labeled “jewell in the Rough” and “A Pocket of Resistance.” So i would like you readers to let me know which you prefer better or what you would like to see my website labeled. And don’t worry, i have a tough skin and can laugh at myself if you want to throw some rocks over the wall.
So, even though it is not as earth shaking-ly important as what Sam Cooke meant, it is important to me.
After all, a change is gonna come.