Building A Perfect Life

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All through school and even before, Don Brown and Tammy (Tamara) Stone had been a pair. From the first day of school when their mother's had put them on the bus together they had sat with each other, played with each other and, later, learned about the opposite sex with each other. Unfortunately, Don had a dream—a dream that not even the love of Tammy or the needs of the family farms could dissuade him from following.

Don had fallen in love with the sea when he began reading history in school. Don, like his mother was a voracious reader and one day in the school library he found a book that would change his life—Carry on Mr. Bowditch—a book about a young boy that had ran away to sea and learned navigation.

He read about the clipper ships sailing across the pacific to China and he dreamed. Of course, it didn't hurt too much that his father was a little bit hard for him to live with. Young Donald was like many young men. He liked to play and screw around.

He knew what his chores were on the farm but he would rush through them so he could read more history, historical novels or science fiction. Oh, yes, he fell in love with the works of the old school Sci-Fi writers too like Robert Heinlein, Poulson, Pournelle and many others. He would rush through his chores and many times do a poor job so he could get back to reading or down to the river that ran through their farm and fish or swim.

The summer he was 18 his parents were building a new house and his father always gave him a long list of work to do during the day while he was occupied with a part time job in town or with more pressing farm work. Of course to Don this work was not as pleasurable as reading or spending time on the river or with Tammy so he either didn't complete his jobs or did them in a haphazard manner.

One day Don had spent much of the evening rereading about WWII submarines in the book 'Down Periscope'. He read about the Wahoo and her cohorts during the battles in the Pacific. The next morning his father told him he had to carry bricks up onto the scaffold so they could brick the new house.

Don started the work but. . . well, about 9 a.

m. he quit to go to the local town for a drink. While he was there he saw a sign about the Navy Recruiters office in the next large town and began dreaming about the sea once more. Somehow, when he left to return to the farm his car turned toward town and the rest is history.

He found the recruiter in the office and bought the spiel. Before lunch he had signed on the dotted line and had even been taken to the local MEPS for his testing and physical. At 3 p. m.

Don returned home to his very angry father who was doing the work he had assigned to Don. When Don got out of his car Howard came down from the scaffolding and started for Don. He said, 'Where the hell have you been son? I told you to get the bricks up on the scaffold so we could lay some this afternoon and when I got here you were gone.

We'll have to work until dark to get the work done I had scheduled for today. ' Don's mother walked up behind Howard and looked at Don. Her face seemed worried and she cringed when Don opened his mouth to speak. He said, 'I joined the Navy today.

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