I once had a dream of standing on a stage before a screaming multitude...I woke with a start and a serious question. Not as to how I came to be standing before thousands of people, curious as though that was, but perplexed as how I came to possess knowledge of the things I was sharing...speaking about things I had never before known.
Yesterday, SAM and ME were stopped on the roadway while out for our walk. Naomi, shading her eyes with her hands, wrapped in an expensive cashmere winter coat, would not have been out of place in Hollywood... peering between spread fingers, asked if I was the same person she read about...was I that person who was walking all over America pushing SAM.
I assured Naomi that this was indeed SAM...say HELLO SAM...and that she may have come across some media effort written in the past few years. Naomi shared that she and her daughter once walked across America...she part way...and her daughter all the way to Washington D.C.
Naomi also shared that she, over the years, traveled much of the world...including some years as a dancer in a CAN CAN troupe from the MOULIN ROUGE touring southern Europe during the mid 1950's.
Did you now, I exclaimed; I too toured Italy for many weeks as a member of a MOULIN ROUGE troupe...all 13 girls and me, performing in Naples, Rome, Venice, Milano, and, and...
Naomi reached out for me, swept me into her arms,...I would like to hug you...as she squeezed me tighter and a bit longer than she probably should. You must stop in - I am in apartment 203 over there (pointing at my next door building). I think we have much to talk about; but, not right away as I have appointments this week to have operations on both my eyes...nearly blind you see.
A couple days ago I came across a very upsetting news item...seems the U.S. Navy wanted to divest itself of one of it's oldest Aircraft Carriers...namely, the USS FORRESTAL. The FORRESTAL is an historic ship in that it was the first SUPERCARRIER built in early 1950's. The FORRESTAL was "sold" last week to a company in New England...sold, in that the US Navy gave to the company the sum of $0.02...to take the ship away and cut it up for scrap.
The FORRESTAL saw service during the Viet Nam War, during which it was nearly destroyed by a fire storm set off when one of the fighter aircraft on board loosed off a live rocket which exploded in a group of other aircraft waiting to take off. USS FORRESTAL was rebuilt, but never again fired a shot in anger.
The FORRESTAL was also known (to few, to be sure) for playing host to a MOULIN ROUGE Troupe. The entire troupe, including Yours Truly, gave a memorable performance inside the Hangar Deck while the ship lay at anchor in the harbor of Naples, Italy. (A video was made of our performance, which was later broadcast to the Carrier's Task Force...would love to obtain a copy of that video!).
and what, you may ask, has that to do with anything...
It was on board the USS FORRESTAL...in the cavernous Hangar Deck that I, mike in hand, together with 13 gorgeous CAN CAN dancers and fully nude girls gave our memorable performance before 5,000 screaming Sailors.
My prophetic dream was realized.
and, yesterday, Naomi walks into my life, once again bringing distant memories to life.
Today is Thanksgiving Day. Sitting alone in my apartment, recalling the many moments for which I have been so thankful, I felt like sharing a moment or two with you.
Happy 2013 Thanksgiving Day.
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All Alone In This Huge Dome,
The Sea – Stars In The Sky,
My Tiny Ship… Silent… Sails On,
Memories Of Days Gone By;
Rich And Poor, Those Young And Old,
Have Been Mine To Share,
Hurt And Pain – Loss And Gain,
Often Lay My Soul Bare;
Faced With Love – Anger – Hate,
So Confused By It All,
Stars Beam Down A Ray of Hope
And Strength To Stand Up Tall;
Despair … My Partner,
Takes Me By The Hand…
And Guides Me Through
This Not So Promised Land;
I Struggle Up…I Face A Wall…
Again Lay My Soul Bare,
By The Grace Of God, I Make It Through …
Proof At Last…Proof I Care
What Becomes Of Me And Others Too
Is My Priority Number One,
To Leave This Place With Lightened Heart,
And A Job, I Pray - Well Done.
Composed February 1954
On a cold and stormy night on the
North Pacific Ocean,
huddled between Fore-Deck Machinery
of a Stinking Crowded Troop Ship
For and Dedicated to SAM