Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Old Habits Die Hard

My daughter had the pleasure of meeting her great-grandparents a few weeks ago, along with her aunt, uncle, and 3 cousins from my geographically far-flung family. You may remember my grandfather from this post on Lex's site a few years back.
Lest you think I'm posting another pic of the kid just because I'm a proud dad (I am), I ask that you check out this pic and look closely at what her great grandfather is wearing.

Yup. Those are, in fact, US Navy issue dungarees. For those of you who follow such things, that uniform was phased out and unavailable by 2000 or so. He's worn them as a "civilian working uniform" ever since he retired in 1966, and he returned to the family farm in rural Rhode Island. He plants about an acre-size garden every spring, and chops enough wood to keep their wood stove burning from late October to early March or so. The whole time, he's been wearing those dungarees. When he heard that they were being phased out, he headed down to Newport (or maybe it was Groton) to buy as many sets as he could.

I caught a lot of what it meant to be a good sailor from him. I say "caught" because he never said "to be a good sailor, do...". He did what all great Chiefs do; they teach by example, and help you figure it out.

I also learned the single most important thing that any JO in the Navy should know: The Chiefs run the Navy.

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