Amateur Working Girls
By: Garland Davis
The mothers of young girls within a large radius of any stateside Navy base knew that pool shooting, beer swilling, line handling, paint chipping, butterflying sonuvabitches were not hot prospects for marriage. The fair damsels of Navy towns were more inclined to bright young lads who could use a slide rule for something other than stirring a picture of Mojo.
So, if you were stuck in CONUS and couldn’t wrangle a way back to WestPac, you had to accept a life of self-imposed celibacy and self-abuse or dabble in the world of commercial relationships. It was either that or go queer which was frowned upon, back in the day. In today’s modern, more diverse Navy, you could probably be awarded a Navy Achievement Medal for “coming out.”
Now the mothers of many of the oriental girls working in Asian ports were happy their daughters had found a sailor boyfriend. Often time these relationships meant the family could eat more often. But we are talking stateside here. The girls on the far side of the Pacific are for another story.
By commercial lovemaking, I am not talking the pimp sponsored whores, or the, “My husband is at sea this week” hobby whores. I am speaking about the barmaid or the country girl in from the Central Valley or from Nebraska looking for something she couldn’t find on the farm. The girl who would drop her drawers when she needed a few bucks to make the rent payment. The girl who would sometimes give you a “freebie” just because she liked you.
“Hey Dave, I have a special tonight. Fifteen bucks just for you. Can we go to your place, that Snake Ranch you call it? My roommate’s boyfriend is in for the weekend, and I gotta find some place to stay. The fifteen is good for the weekend.
They weren’t sophisticated or ladylike, but any history of the Navy that didn’t include their contribution to the Cold War victory would be seriously flawed. Anyone compiling such a history missed a beautiful part of the service or is a despicable hypocrite.
They dressed in the J.C. Penny’s or Sear’s sale fashions with black bra and panties and would sometimes give you a quick tantalizing peek as part of their sales pitch.
Their names were “Peggy,” “Penny,” “Helen,” or “Dixie.” We bought them beer, gave them jukebox coins, and danced with them. We told them our tales, necked a little, and fondled them a bit. They took us in like stray cats.
They weren’t old mercenary whores who had become cynical and heartless. They were full of life, bouncy kids who really liked the idiots they encountered in the “Sailor Bars.” They would hang around a short while, un-laundry until they accumulated enough money for their dream and then move on to a normal life.
They knocked the edge off being a single WestPac sailor in a stateside port. They provided warmth and taught you the value of female companionship. Sometimes, right before you fall asleep, you will recall one of them and wonder. You may not remember their names, but you remember what it felt like for a young sailor to shrug off the loneliness for a while.
Girls, I sincerely hope you found that which you were looking for and that your life was as good as you made it for us. You are a part of our screwball history.
Amateur Professional Girls, a crucial part of a young sailor’s history. An excellent part.