Christmas Memories

Christmas Memories

By Ken Ritter

Just sitting here tonight, deep into the “sauce”, and reminiscing of other Christmases when I was a young Sailor… Some spent at sea, and others spent in the “Sailor Bars” and ”Pleasure Palaces” of various “Ports Of Call” throughout Asia. Many of us, I’m sure, have spent Christmas in some of these more infamous dens of iniquity…

Marilyn’s in Subic City
Whisper Alley in Okinawa
Tanpopo’s In Yokosuka
4 1/2 Street in Yokohama

plus others to numerous to mention… and have stories to tell of the various “weird and wonderful” places we’ve been, things we’ve done, and “presents” we’ve received on Christmases when we were young, that only another Asia Sailor will understand, or even believe… Hell, I’m not Catholic, but one Christmas I even went to Mass with a little College girl in Angeles that I was particularly fond of at the time, but as they say, that’s a whole ‘nother story… I will say there were a lot of young girls there, many were undoubtedly Bar Girls, and I spent the entire time watching them and the Priest, and trying to imagine what it would be like sitting there hearing the confessions of these Ladies…

Anyway, it was a great life, and I’m sure every one of us would do it again in a heartbeat… Ahh… to be a young Asia Sailor again, in the Navy and Asia as we knew it… but as the Chris LeDoux song goes… “…son, it was great, but it ended too soon
Now I’m just an old man with nothin’ but memories…”

MERRY CHRISTMAS SHIPMATES, hoping Santa is good to you and brings you sweet dreams of your more memorable Christmases past…

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7 thoughts on “Christmas Memories

  1. EARL KNIPE says:

    In all the time since I left the Asia Fleet I have had to watch how I related to other people, especially women. It wasn’t that Asian women were abused, but there was an understanding between Asian women and sailors. We needed each other. It’s well known that Asian women make great wives, usually not all the drama you might get from American women. I’ve also had a few porters and some port wine. I did more in a four year hitch in the Navy than in any other four year period since. Merry Christmas, shipmates.


  2. From what Chris LeDoux song do these lyrics come “…son, it was great, but it ended too soon
    Now I’m just an old man with nothin’ but memories…”?


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