Although I lived in Oxford Pennsylvania
when I joined the Navy and was only 15
miles from Bainbridge the Navy thought it
wise to send me to Norfolk Virginia for
Class A Radioman School.
My darling Betty had asked her parents if
we could marry when I came home on leave
and she would continue her Senior year at
Oxford High. The main reason was that she
would be able to follow me to my duty
station. Her parents said no. So what did
she do? She ran away from home but
notified her parents as soon as she arrived
in Norfolk. We were married soon after she
arrived with her parents consent.
I graduated fifth in my class from "A"
school. Three billets came in for shore
duty. Two for Panama and one for Gtmo. As
luck would have it the first guy chose the
Rhine River Patrol, Second chose submarine
duty out of Connecticut. The fourth guy
chose Gtmo then lucky me I got the first
When I arrived at Headquarters they said
there was no use in giving me liberty as
they just shot the President of Panama.
After a few days I was transferred to
As you all know this was great duty and I
couldn't have been happier as my darling
Betty joined me a month later. My son was
born there so he holds duel citizenship.
It was a great honeymoon for us and we
enjoyed Farfan very much. We lived off
base in Cocoli in a nice little apartment.
Just wanted to fill in the background on
Farfan before I launch into the life after.
So here goes.
My discharge date came up in October 1958
and was assigned transportation aboard the
USNS Gothels. The President of the Fleet
Reserve Association called me the night
before we were to leave and asked if I had
my cabin assignment. I told him yes that
it was on C deck. He said okay. I didn't
think much of it then but after boarding I
found out that I had a cabin with my wife
and son with private bath and port hole. I
had done a few magic shows for the Fleet
Reserve and I guess he pulled some strings
to get me that choice cabin. I only had to
wear my uniform at evening meals and no
duties to perform. I did feel a little
guilty being on the same deck with all the
officers - but not for long.
Word came to us the next morning that
travel across the Isthmus might be
difficult as the President of Panama had
just been shot. Wow! What can I say about
I was discharged at the Brooklyn Naval
Shipyard and headed home to Oxford PA. I
got my old job back at J. J. Newberry's
5&10 as stock boy. It paid $35 a week.
The same as I would have gotten if I taken
I knew this was a dead end job but after
all I had a wife and son to provide for.
I applied for a job with Western Union and
was accepted. They sent me to Washington
NJ for schooling. This was worse than the
military. You could not have your car
there, you were assigned to a room in a
house ruled by a little old lady that would
squeal on you for any infractions of the
rules. You could also not go into any bar.
Wow! Not used to that one. I was half way
through schooling when I received an offer
from the Navy to work at NSS Cheltenham MD.
I jumped at that and left Western Union
before they gave me a bus ticket and a
I worked at NSS for six years as a service
clerk reworking messages and was at this
dead end job again. No room for
I heard that the Federal Communications
Commission was looking for Federal Agents
with experience in communications so I
applied and got the position. I was sent
to Fort Lauderdale Florida for training and
later transferred to Puerto Rico for duty.
I spent fourteen months in Puerto Rico
Working out of the Federal Building in Old
San Juan. Later I worked at the Naval
Direction Finding Site at Sabana Seca. I
worked there for fourteen months then was
transferred to Chillicothe Ohio for duty.
I was there for ten years until its closure
in 1976 and then transferred to Livermore
CA. I spent sixteen and a half years at
Livermore until I took retirement in 1992.
It was either stay In Livermore and work or
retire and move out of California. I chose
to leave and we moved to the Pensacola
I had always done some magic and was bitten
by the bug when I was 10 years old so it
was easy transition for me to make it my
profession in retirement life. I am still
working as a professional magician and
can't believe people will pay me to do
something I like to do so much.
My wife, Betty, passed away on April 6, 2014, so my
magic has given me that much needed
something to do. If you like you can go to
my website at
for a look see.
This is my story.