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Re: Fleet Sonar School, Key West - today, 29 March 2011

My favorite spot was the Bamboo room with Jim and Jack doing the entertaining while I had a wine cooler or two...

Re: Fleet Sonar School, Key West - today, 29 March 2011

I remember OT3 Donovan quite clearly but never had the pleasure of meeting the Skip....

Either way, my first year in the Navy was in Key West for reasons we won't get into here. I was there with you Jimmy in '76 and with you in Kef for '76-77 and for some of '79 in Centerville. I chose a different path after that!

Those days will live on my memory as will the sand in my shorts from digging out Fort Zachary Taylor!

Re: Fleet Sonar School, Key West - today, 29 March 2011

Jim I'm glad you got to go back to Key West. For many it was the beginning of good memories of life as an OT. I had 3 tours in Key West 59-62 USS Bushnell (AS-15), 62-64 NAS Boca Chica and finally 69-74 FSS Green Doors. I was an ET1 and had never heard of SOSUS. I made ETC by the grace of God and CPOs Jim Daniel, Tribble, Peavyhouse and a host of others. When the Rate became active I begged the Commodore to help me convert to OTC. Dan Solberg, Max Morris, Swanz, Zeek, Phill Blauvelt and Moran taught me through the "A" school backed me up with more info so I could pass the OTC exam and convert. Good days and great memories? You Bet.

Re: Fleet Sonar School, Key West - today, 29 March 2011

My first trip to FSS was following BE&E during a very cold winter in Great Lakes. Arrived in KWest January 67 for Sonar "A" school followed by "O" school. Second time was after a cold winter Kef. Arrived in Jan 71 for Sonar A-2 and OT maintenance school. Third time was as an instructor following IT school in Norva arriving in Key West in Feb 75. Moved to Norva with the schools at the end of Dec 76. Notice that all my arrivals in Key West were in the winter following a tour of duty in a relatively cold environment. Have visited Key West numerous times since then and was always surprised to see how some things have changed while other things have stayed pretty much the same.
I had the same impression as Jim about the proximity between the school, EM Club, barracks, and galley when I was a young trainee. The different perspectives of that distance from back then and now are almost funny to consider. Of course, back then we were almost always on a tight schedule to get from one spot to another within a finite period of time. Being hurried always makes a short distance appear to be farther than it really is.
Someone in a previous post asked about the Boca Chica Bar. I pulled many an all-nighter there in my youth and I'm sorry to say it no longer exists. On my last trip to Key West it was a T-shirt shop. The Bamboo room was another haunt. I remember the two guys playing their guitars and singing there. Every so often they'd break out in their version of “Halva Na Gela” which went “Have a tequila, Have a tequila, Have a tequila, for fifty cents”. Tequila for less than a dollar a shot. Those were the days!

Re: Fleet Sonar School, Key West - today, 29 March 2011

Of course when you were somewhat less than sober, the barracks was a long way from the club. I spent a lot of time at the Escape, in the shopping mall behind the liqueur store. We used to take the dancers to Sugarloaf Key on Sunday mornings. Key West, what a great place to remember.

Re: Fleet Sonar School, Key West - today, 29 March 2011

I never had the pleasure of being in Key West as an OT but I was there as a dependent husband for 4 weeks! Was kind of fun hanging around the barracks and club with hair to the middle of my back and a beard about 3 inches long in 1976 waiting for my wife to get out of school. :-)

By the time I was active duty in 1977, the school had moved to Norfolk and my wife was stationed at Hatteras.