Navy Tales

Too much of a good thing!

When I first got to boot camp (sometimes known as recruit training) we were housed in some very old buildings from probably the WWI era. We were in those for several weeks, and mostly did some pre-processing stuff.

This base was called Great Lakes Naval Training Center. It did have other things, but it was, and is the main boot camp for the Navy. It is located on the west side of Lake Michigan, a ways north of Chicago. This area is known for cold, and wind...a bad combination! As if that wasn't enough, I picked early January to join. Tip: NEVER go north for the winter!

These were old, brick buildings, with drafts, ill fitting windows, and I don't think insulation had been invented yet when they were built. The windows were constantly fogged up from all the people's breath. BUT...they did have steam heat via large somewhat rusty iron radiators. At times, they seemed to glow from the heat. Unfortunately, the heat didn't go far, so folks tended to cluster around them.

At one end of the floor we were on, was the "HEAD". This is Navy for bathroom. There was one room with sinks, one room with toilets, and one room that was the shower room. By the way, there is NO modesty in boot camp.

In the shower room, one side had a bench along the wall with a shelf over it. On the opposite wall, there was a row of about six shower heads on the wall, with valves below. In the middle there was a curb like thing along the floor to keep the water on the shower side. At one end there was a window (don't ask me) and a rather large radiator that was turned up high and tried to heat the room.

Obviously, the people who were drying off were clustered around the radiator, trying to dry off, and dress, before the water on them froze. All of a sudden there was a blood curdling scream, and one of the guys was dancing around all over the place! When he turned around, we saw that he had a number of bright red vertical stripes across his behind! He had apparently been drying his legs, and bent over too close to the radiator!  He eventually healed up, but didn't sit down for a few days, and dried off at the other end of the shower room.

The moral of this story is: be careful what you wish for...you might get too much in the wrong place!

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