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(4/1/01 6:39:08 am)
I spoke with Barbara for just a few moments----it took a little while for her to figure who I was, after all it
had been 36 years since her husband Glenn and I had transferred from our duty station in Rhode Island. He went
east to Rota Spain and I westward to the Pacific Island of Okinawa. We had served 3 years as staff instructors
at the Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Glenn and I believed we had been
transferred due to the Cuban Missile Crisis. We never served together again nor did we stay in touch---we both
had growing children and the heavy responsibilities of our military rank We were shipmates and friends and I
often thought of those days gone by---thought about them but never did anything about them.
Late in 1997 I called the only SHERWOOD listed in the Davisville Rhode Island directory as I had
remembered that Glenn lived there for many years.--really it was just a shot in the dark but I wanted to talk to
Glenn about the time we rode the Jamestown ferry boat across the bay to Newport. I wanted to pose a
profound question to him regarding an event which occurred that day. How long do you keep one--a pledge, an
oath, a confidence---maybe it could even be called a secret. Wanted to ask him if he’d ever told anyone or even
if he remembered the event after all the time that had passed.
Yes, Barbara and I did speak for just a short time because when she told me that Glenn had passed away nine
years earlier I became too overwhelmed with grief and I had to excuse myself---- I had to hang up and I never
did call back---thought of it many times---just could’nt. Since then I’ve remembered the times we had cut each
others hair to save money or exchange shoe shines and when either of us would rush off to work and forget
noon lunches, we’d share our ‘brown bags.’ Times were good then---the feelings run deep and recalled
memories come slashing back with a vengence and I resort to the ‘I should have’ syndrome and knowing in the
deepest recesses of my being that the eternal sleep does indeed wrap up the ravelled sleeve of care---that it is
truly the balm of hurt minds and great natures second course .I would have hassled him, good naturedly of
course, if he’d have told of the oath we had sworn to that eventful day so many years before.
Glenn, I’ve decided to tell the story---I’ll bet there are those out there who will declare ‘no big deal’ while
others may exclaim accusingly, ‘you dummy, ya should’nt told’ and maybe even some who may tell you in a
conspiritory sounding voice, ‘wow, ya oughta send it to Reader’s Digest’.
Dear Friend, as I tell the story, I’ll place credit where credit is due--- recall the dialog as accurately as I can
and bring no discredit to anyone, any place, or anything. this time in my life I’m compelled--- no, in fact
driven, to write. As old and boring as I have become as a conversationlist, it is sometimes difficult to find a
listener....I hope I find a reader. It may have been more important to me in keeping a confidence than it was to
others...I have no way to measure any backlash from telling this story; I hope there will be none. Glenn
Sherwood, please permit me to dedicate this story in your memory.
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