life

i reached a major milestone today. With the blessing and assistance of the Coronado Library staff, who gave me access to the microfiche reader and scanner, i now have the ship logs in readable form for the USS Yosemite (AD-19) during her Indian Ocean deployment in 1983-84. The logs are the last piece of the available puzzle to complete my book on that deployment, which was the first where a Navy ship with women as part of her complement spent extended out of port time. My working title is Steel Decks and Glass Ceilings. There is still a lot of work to do, perhaps the most difficult work of validating the facts, eliminating duplications, making the damn thing properly readable (perhaps the most difficult task of all for me). But i can see the end, and i am very happy. i think it’s a message that needs to be put out there.

Thanks to Shaun Briley, library director; Glenn Risolo, library manager; and Nick Burmeister and Loren Cruz, research staffers. You made it happen.

As i sat in the library this afternoon, taking a break from the laborious and tedious work of scanning microfiche and copying to a computer file, i reflected on life, mine in particular. Once at 87, my daddy told me he had lived a good life, had a great family, and all he wanted then was to “go quick.” He did go quick eleven years later. He did have a good life. Sometimes i think i might have been better off had i stayed at home and followed in his footsteps, but i didn’t and it is all right. So i jotted down some thoughts about life, mine in particular, and put in the poem below tonight:

i prayed with the pious
i sang gospel with the church folks
i ran with the wild ones
i sailed the seas
i dug the graves
i played the music,
all genres of the time,
i professored with academia
i tackled the running backs
i hit doubles to left center
i nailed threes from the corner
with a push shot in my socks
i hit every shot in golf
in the wrong direction
i have run a long way in many directions
i hunted the game
i fished for the fish
i have lived in a grunch of places
i marched in a line
i ate in the five stars
i ate in a diner
i drank in elite salons
i drank in dive bars
i have done good things for folks
i have done some bad things
i have loved and lost
i have loved and won
i have lived a full life
but
looking back
it tweren’t much different
than all the others
if you cared
as you went about your business.

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