First Foreign Liberty Port


My first Foreign Liberty port was Kingston Jamaica, that is if you don’t count the weeks we were in Brooklyn NY. We did get a foreign port orientation lecture before we tied up in Red Hook for a yard period. Any way back to Kingston.

I left the ship and became engulfed in the heat and poverty of a third world country. The touts and pimps were everywhere, offering everything from hand carved bamboo vases to a promise of a good time with a women of every nationality known to man.

I was eighteen and a little intimidated by the crush of humanity. In my whites I felt like a snowball in a coal bin. I experienced a minority since of uneasiness. The buildings around me were ancient looking and run down, everything appeared to have a century’s worth of dust on it.

I walked through the city and found myself in a community of small equally run down frame houses. As I past a little white clap board house I heard my name called and looking to my right I saw Farley, a third class Machinist Mate and a Boilerman I had seen on the ship but didn’t know his name. They were seated at a small round table with two light skinned very attractive Jamaican women. They motioned for me to come in. I stepped in and sat at the table with my back to the door.

Farley ordered a beer for me and a warm bottle of (Hautueh the one eyed Indian) was set in front of me. I sipped it slowly as it taste horrible. A mixture of how old socks smell combined with a light cleaning solvent. One of the Jamaican princesses kept rubbing my leg and saying My sister will be here soon she will love you. She has very good personality. I had not been out of high school long enough to forget “good personality” in blind date speak means she’s fat and probably ugly.

At about that time the light streaming in the open door way dimmed. I turned in my chair to see a plus sized women blocking the sun light. She was dressed in what appeared to be an Aunt Jamima look a like costume with bandana and gold tooth. She probably out weighted Aunty J by at leased one hundred pounds.

I stood up knocking over my chair and moved like a frightened rabbit toward the door. I fiend left and did a perfect juke right. I made it to the threshold when I felt a tug at my uniform collar. A couple of laws of physics took over at this point. Moving objects in motion tend to stay in motion and an at rest objects tends to stay at rest. My feet were still moving while the upper half of my body stopped. The force of gravity took over then and I found myself flat on my back looking up at three hundred pounds of quivering flesh moving toward me at mach speed. I rolled to my left and when she hit the ground it sounded like the relief valves on both boilers popped.

I only slowed down long enough on my run to fleet landing to buy one of those carved bamboo vases that still graces my office. A stark reminder of one of many adventures in the peace time NAVY