I originally wanted to go to San Diego but the Navy chose the college for me  and I got DelMar College in Corpus Christi. Wow, what a great deal for me. I was excited about it and we looked forward to two years of college with full pay and benefits. I took a quick trip to Corpus and found us a rental house in a neighborhood called “Sherwood Forest.” The street we lived on was “King Richard.” Maid Marion was the next street followed by Friar Tuck. I’ll let you make the appropriate associations.

I officially reported to the Naval Air Station but had very little to do with them. My only responsibility was to attend college full time and maintain adequate grades. I truly enjoyed my time at DelMar and had some great experiences near the gulf. I worked very hard at School and spent hours learning how to study appropriately and how to write and how to read, etc. After barely graduating from High School I was so elated when I truly found out I could do college work. I wasn’t sure. The courses at Furman University helped me, but they were one at a time and take your time. Could I handle 15 semester hours a semester? Yes!! I could do it. I got straight A’s in every class and came out as cocky and arrogant as you can imagine.

With Zumwalt as the new CNO (Chief of Navy Operations) things lightened up a bit and a new uniform was offered to E-6 and below. After centuries of wearing the Navy white hat and 13 button-up-the-front pants, he approved a dress uniform that was more like a suit. I enjoyed wearing it at DelMar. As part of the Adcop program we had to wear our uniforms one day a week. They had chosen Friday for that day. That was OK with me, I was always proud to wear my uniform. Along with my contact lenses I made a pretty handsome young man, don’t you think? (Never mind!)

I did real well at DelMar and graduated Summa Cum Laud, but I’ll talk more about then when I discuss the “education” section. We enjoyed living that far south on the gulf coast and took advantage of it by fishing OSO bay a lot. I’ll talk more about that under the “Interests” section.

My Navy Time here was all education. I had nearly no military responsibilities and that was a huge blessing. I let my hair grow too long and I wore stylish civilian clothes and just took advantage of the whole situation.

But a new regime came to power and the higher ups didn’t like the idea of sending enlisted men to college so we began to get a lot of flack from one Admiral on base specifically. I wish I could remember his name, but he made it clear he wanted us to finish our degree program and graduate as soon as possible. I had organized my schedule so I could spend two years in school, but that ended up being only three semesters. They did something to guaranteee I graduated in May 1974 instead of December. I had intentionally scheduled some English classes that were required for later so I’d have to continue, but all of a sudden that was waived for me and they were graduating me. I was disappointed, but didn’t make a fuss about it. I took I degree and accepted my new “Haze Grey & Underway” orders to the USS RATHBURNE (DD-1057) out of Pearl Harbor, Hi with great enthusiasm.