NAS Miramar Acey-Ducey Club
By: Robert “Okie Bob” Layton
It was a rope yarn Payday Friday we were given the rest of the weekend off with a pocket full of cash. An old-fashioned 72-hour Liberty.
We were all single hardcore first class liberty hounds, ADJ1 “Sleepy” Sam Wright, AMH1 William “Red” Jordan, and myself ADJ1 Robert “Okie Bob” Layton.
We were hanging out at the Miramar Acey-Ducey Club watching the Topless Go Go Girls!! Yes, you heard me right. Back in the “Good Old Navy” Before PC, real sailors like to watch naked women WOOO HOOO!!! Hell the clubs on base were all called “Enlisted men’s clubs” Let me repeat that “MEN’S CLUBS”.
The manager of the Acey-Ducey was a First Class Petty Officer RM1, this was his shore duty. He only had one right nut; he had given the left one to get this duty assignment.
Beer cost 50 cents a bottle, 25 cents a draft, cigarettes 30 cents a pack, Happy hour drinks were half price. The club had food, drinks, live entertainment, pool, pinball and shuffleboard.
Yes, sir, it was a single “Man Cave” deeeeeluxe!!, just chock-full of hard dicks——-hardly any women.
The drinking of cheap booze and watching Puppies play was a precursor warm up for better liberty down Mexico way where the “buy me drink, I love you no shit” kind of ladies we fleet sailors were used to subsided.
As we were enjoying the show, a first class at the table next to us was trying to sell his car to another shipmate. Overhearing his asking price [200 dollars] I leaned back and asked: “Where is the car located?”
He said “The parking lot”
We walk outside where he had a 1959 Ford Galaxie 2 door hardtop with brand new tires and mag wheels. I bought it right-on-the-spot put the keys in my pocket went back inside.
About that time the “Mammary Matinee” was wrapping up and it was time to pull chocks.
Sam spoke up “Hey Okie let’s go down south and see some Senoritas”
“What you got in mind,” I ask
“Well I know of a little bar in Puerto Santo Tomas Just South of Ensenada,” Sam said
Red added “Yeah come on Okie let’s go to Saint Thomas”
“Ok let’s go” I said and with that, and one more picture of beer we were on our way!
Sitting next to us was a shore duty boot second class with a football jersey on “Number 82.” He asked if he could go and we said sure no problem. We didn’t even know his name; Sam just started calling him Number 82.
So out the door, we four went. Red had ridden in with me in my TR3, Sam owned a ‘57 Chevy station wagon on its last leg and Number 82 didn’t own a vehicle at all. Having just purchased the ‘59 Ford and not knowing a frigging thing about it, I thought what better time to take it for an inebriated test drive.
We all piled in my two tone Green and white Ford. Red and Sam never questioned my driving proficiency or my ability to repair any broken Auto-Mo-Bill. What they usually did was fight for that grand “Shotgun Position”, which Sam won this time by being the self-appointed Navigator for this trip. The old Ford fired right up, we stopped at the navy gas station, filled her up, checked the oil and headed out for Mexico. Number 82 had fallen in with “Bad Company.”
There always was that sense of “wild party” on entering the Republic of Mexico. However, this time in my ‘59 Green Tank it felt more like invasion/liberation as I passed through the back streets of Tijuana. We pulled up to an old familiar bar: The Chicago Club. Sam and Red were gone before I could lock up the Tank, Inside, awaited the alluring Senoritas that Sam loved to romance about.
After a quick “Buy me drink protocol” the rental price for sex was negotiated and off to the rooms the liberty party went. Thirty minutes later we were loading up again headed for Ensenada.
Comparing notes on our latest escapade it was revealed that Number 82 had failed to get serviced!
Red pipes up “Hey 82 if you’re going to be a hanging out with us you need to get with the program”
82 replied, “Well fellows I have never been to Mexico before…”
We all kind of sat there in silence looking at one another thinking “Have we got a cherry boy on board?”
Sam spoke first “you like girls don’t ya?”
82 “yes, yes I do”
Sam “You got money don’t ya?”
82 “Yes I just got paid”
Sam “Well dive on in and get your feet wet”
82 “What do I say?”
And with that question Number 82 was properly schooled by the fleets finest during the 107 mile drive down to
On arrival in Ensenada, I park the Tank, pay a Mexican Kid to watch it, and away we wandered, drawn to the Mariachi Music and high-pitched laughter of Senoritas. We were pulled toward the festivity like a mosquito to a bug zapper. We enter the first Cantina.
Our primary mission at this first stop was to get Number 82 “Balls Deep in Bugger.” The Cantina had a small stage made for some kind of show. We were seated at a square table next to the stage with 82’s back to the stage and the lights turned down really low. The saloon had a few locals but mostly Gringos.
The Juke box started–the curtains parted–and out stepped “Consuela the veiled princess of Baja”. As she went into her belly dance gyrations it was apparent to us three Westpac sailors Consuela was packing too much gear for our taste in women. Old 82 being the boot that he was, just ate it up.
Having come out of his shell after our pep talk and braced with shots of Tequila and Tecate he was in with both feet interacting with Consuela. Sometimes you just have to let something fail for people to learn, and for 82 this was one of those times. After the dance, Consuela slipped behind the curtains leaving 82 alone.
Red turns to 82 “Hey 82 what do you think about the dancer?”
82 “She’s pretty neat”
Red “She’s a dude man”
Sam “Benny Boy”
82 “What’s a Benny boy”
Red “Boy you’re about a boot camp mother fucker”
Sam “Consuela is a man”
It took a few minutes to sink in before 82 got the arrangement! We were drinking our beer when Consuela comes out of the curtains and heads straight for 82. Consuela had changed into a long nightgown she pulls up a chair and sits next to 82. Old 82 sits frozen stiff, has a beer in his hand and with pleading eyes, he is looking straight ahead at Sam.
Sam bails him out
Sam “Consuela go on now our boy’s not interested”
Consuela “He no buy me drink?”
Sam “No he is broke. Nooo Money”
We drink up and head for the next saloon, 82 is getting the education of a lifetime.
The next place was a straight up “buy me drink, I love you long time” clip joint. Time for lesson two for the “Green Gringo 82” We sat down and were waylaid by a bevy of over the hill seasoned lady hostesses. 82 immediately bought his Bar girl a ladies’ drink [a 5 dollar watered down tea] that she slammed down then pressed herself against him and cooed “Buy me another” In record time he had broken all hardcore liberty hounds code of conduct by buying 2 watered down ladies drinks in a matter of just a few minutes.
We three had turned down all offers of buy me drink and the Bar girls still remained. It was a game played out worldwide in all ports of call, “you buy me drink?” or I’ll stay here until you do, bugging you, which they would. Until you told them to leave, you were not going to buy drinks. We finished our drinks and departed for greener pastures.
Outside Number 82 got a good drilling about don’t buy drink after Bar drinks for the Girls. The next Bar was a lot better it had younger girls that had not yet exceeded their expiration date. But this time, our lesson was taken to the extreme as he failed to buy a very good looking gal a drink resulting in her departure. 82 possessed not an ounce of cool. His failure to negotiate a Mexican bar hooker put him in the Hayseed bin. Sam and Red once again came to his rescue.
Sam “Hey 82 what’s with the girl”
82 “Well you said not to buy em any drinks!”
Red “Yes but she’s a keeper”
82 “Yes she was pretty”
Red “So what’s the deal?”
82 in his best Gomer Pile mode “She was a lot better looking than the last ones just like Consuela was, I just didn’t want any Surprise Surprise”
Sam “She’ll do–she is a good girl–I know her sister”
Sam locates the girl from across the room and waves her back over to our table. She sits down, 82 buys a drink for her, and phase two of “Operation Balls Deep” commences.
There is an old saying in the military “You grab-em by the balls and their hearts and minds will follow.” That night in Ensenada Mexico Number 82 experienced the old saying literally when his bar girl took the situation in hand and led him up the stairway to heaven. 10 minutes later 82 was sitting before us fleet sailors a duly initiated world sailor!
Satisfied with the outcome of “Operation Balls Deep” Sam, Red, and Myself commenced to enjoy our own individual undertakings. I wound up in a room upstairs down the street, Red was in the same Hotel somewhere, Sam left with a Senorita in tow someplace and Number 82 was sitting at the table with his new found love. It was all agreed upon to muster at the bar in the morning.
I awake, roosters crowing, car horns beeping. I go on down to the last bar we were at, no one there. I sat and have a Tomato beer. Red arrives he drinks part of my red beer and orders us a bloody Mary–now that hit the spot! We leave and go looking for Sam and 82. We check in the bars, pass by a hotel and holler in the street for Sam or 82—
Nothing! A few streets down as we were walking next to a café with a big picture window when we hear Sam yell out “Look at the Gringos” we slip inside meet up with Sam and have a Mexican breakfast “Menudo with hominy” the cure for a hangover that didn’t work! After our meal, we three split up to canvass the town looking for 82. We all meet back up no one had seen 82. Having walked about 5 miles and partly dehydrated we started back on our liquids. Afternoon time we call off the search and rescue put 82 in the MIA list and make preparations to get underway.
We stop at a roadside store on the south of town to get some beer for the supposed short trip to Puerto Santo Tomas. Now this was back in the day when roads south of Ensenada were fairly rough and the road signs were scarce. Our turn off should have been about 42 miles south of Ensenada, I had never been there, Red had never been there, Sam claimed he had been there and knew the way, we possessed no map and GPS had not come about in 1974.
I ask Sam “Hey where is the turnoff”
Sam replied as we left the outskirts of Ensenada “It’s just around the corner”
20 miles later I ask again “Where is the Turnoff”
Sam “Don’t worry Okie It’s just right around the next Bend”
At the 30-mile mark “Where is the Turnoff”
Sam “It’s just right around the Bend”
Sam had given me the false impression that it was just right out the city limits of Ensenada when in reality it was 42 miles south and 25 west of Ensenada. I just kept trucking and drinking that Tecate.
I continued asking Sam for the turn-off and he just kept on saying “Oh it’s just right around this next bend”
Sam was getting sleepy and was living up to his nickname.
Sam relinquished his navigational duties and retired to the back seat for an afternoon Siesta. About the 80 mile mark we pull into San Vicente, we stopped at a gas station for a fill-up. It was there Red and I felt we had gone too far for the locals wanted Pecos instead of American greenbacks. We exchanged some American money with a local, Iced up the beer and headed on south still looking for Sam’s mythical Puerto Santo Tomas just “Balls deep” lost in Mexico!
Another 100 miles later we pulled into San Quinton it was getting near dusk, time for us to “Bar up” again. We find a small local Cantina that served food and beer and made an evening of it just relaxing and soaking up the colloquial ambiance. We spent the night sleeping in the Ford, awoke early and started driving back. 250 miles into Mexico! By the time we backtracked to the USA it will become a Baja 500!
It was a long hung over drive back we would stop now and then at a roadside bar and consume some liquor. 42 miles south of Ensenada Sam spots the turnoff to Puerto Santo Tomas having gone about 300 miles out of the way we take the turnoff, it was 25 miles of “Bad Road” no payment just a ungraded trail across the rocks and dirt. The whole 25-mile trip took about an hour and a half. At the end of the road, there really was a Puerto Santo Tomas. A sleepy little fishing village with grass hut cottages, an open grass hut bar and a boat rental for deep sea fishing the villagers still remembered Sam! We spent the rest of the day until late afternoon and departed several hours before dark.
We get on federal highway 1 and head north. We stop by the bars in Ensenada once more looking for Number 82, no luck. In Tijuana Sam wakes up and wants to be let out, Red and I once again in-chop the USA and retire to our old watering hole “The Jet Center” for a wine cooler!
The next week Red and I are at the Acey-Ducey Club for a noon beer… in walks 82.
Red jumps up and hollers “Hey 82!”
The guy pays no attention to him—he must have forgotten his name! “82”
Red goes over and grabs the guy by the arm pulls him back to our table
Red quizzes “Hey Mother fucker where did you go last week?”
82 “After Y’all left I went upstairs again with the girl”
Red “Yes but you were supposed to meet us back at the bar in the morning”
82 “I didn’t have enough money on me to keep going up and down the rest of the night”
Red “You dumb fuck! you were supposed to arrange a long time not keep paying for a short time over and over, Jesus H Christ”
82 “I didn’t know that, so I hopped on a bus back to Tijuana”
82 “Then I walked across the border and got a bus back to Miramar”
Red ‘We spent a Day looking for ya”
82 “I’m sorry”
Red hands him our meal ticket “Here take care of this”
And we get up and walk out— back to work— for we were “Balls Deep in broke-dick planes” —-another story!!