George Worthy
George Worthy

I believe it is time to take a few days off and take a trip. I can’t even tell you the last time I went to town, much less a trip of more than one day. I go downtown to Gonzales just about every day, but a trip where I have to watch out for other drivers and carry my pitiful fortune in a front pocket seems to be too much of a problem.

I think I have become a recluse. Of course, it is difficult to generate any income with an attitude like that, but it seems that almost all the business I have to carry out can be done with a phone and email. Even as I sit here stabbing my two forefingers on the keyboard I can hear my blushing bride mumbling about not being able to get anyone at Sears to come and fix our refrigerator.

It seemed so cool to pay in advance for any house call when the salesman was holding out his hand, but I guess he has been fired since the present folks at that historic department store can’t find my name on any piece of paper at their location. It is truly hurtful that I have to be treated this way as I learned to buy from Sears as a young man because my folks always said, “Buy your underwear at JCPenney’s and appliances at Sears.”

“But wait!” I was just told by my roommate that she has a surprise. She wants to take me on a cruise. It seems she has made a reservation for us to take a cruise to Catalina and Ensenada, Mexico, on a huge ship out of Los Angeles. 

“But what about your mom,” I ask. Since her mother is in her ninth decade, I worry about her staying here all alone. “Oh! Don’t worry about that,” she retorts. “I have that all taken care of. Our sons and daughter will be staying here while we are learning how to party again.” 

Well, I thought. That is a good reason to have children. I sent a silent prayer to Our Heavenly Father. So, we are going to expand our knowledge of the world and get three or four days to rest from our labors.

While I was writing this and feeling very excited about our trip, I remembered the other time I took a sea voyage. I was 19 years old and had just re-enlisted in the army, right after I got orders for Germany. I was to report to Fort Dix, N.J., and embark upon The Maurice S. Rose. 

This was a troop ship that had carried troops to fight in the Pacific during the Second World War. It had been decommissioned by the Navy and handed over to the Army to deliver troops to Germany for the occupation. To say it was an old boat is a misnomer. It looked exactly as you would imagine a boat that participated in the War.

I have read about the trips that were carried over to Bremerhaven, Germany. I don’t remember how many troops it carried, but it had a bunch of us on this trip. It was a 10-day crossing and I had read about how sick the troops would get during the storms on the North Atlantic. I supposed I was lucky or smart, I can’t say which, but I hid up on deck every morning so I wouldn’t be found and have to do KP (Kitchen Police).

We were kept below decks in bunks that were stacked six high. There were about six holds on the ship where we were supposed to stay and eat and play poker or something to keep our minds off the up and down of the ship. I wasn’t the only guy that hid, but I must have been a little smarter because I never got caught. The really bad part was the up and down of the ship caused their tender tummies to rebel about the food. If you were on the bottom bunk, all that food went right by your bunk. This was not a pleasant thing to be involved in, so I just hid a lot.

I have been on big boats since then, so I’m not worried about getting seasick. Besides, there will be a lot of medical alcohol being consumed if I start to feel the roll of the ship. I’ll take copious notes and report back to you the good and the bad. I’m not sure of the final cost because my personal secretary handles all that. I asked a couple that I knew had been on a cruise and found they had been on 12 cruises. I hope I enjoy it as much as that.

God Bless.

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Gonzales columnist George Worthy may be reached at [email protected].


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