is for Frank and Louise.
I met Frank and Louise while I was in the Navy. The ship I was stationed on was at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington. Frank was an electrician in the shipyard. Frank and my shipmate, Bill, became friends while I was away on a temporary training assignment. One Saturday afternoon, after I returned to Bremerton, Bill and I were out driving around. “Let’s stop to see my friend Frank,” Bill said.
Bill introduced me and we hit it off. In no time, I was living at Frank and Louise’s. They had three sons. The two younger boys were still in school and living at home. As I was between their first and second sons in age, it seemed right to Louise to expect me for dinner with the family. Nights and week-ends when I didn’t have duty, I was there.
Saturday nights, Frank, Louise, Bill, and I would go out, starting the evening at the Outside Inn. When the Inn closed at midnight, we’d go over to the Enlisted Men’s Club at the shipyard. It stayed open until 2:00 a.m. The club had a band and Bill loved to sing. He had a Dean Martin-like voice and the band let him sing with them. We’d end the evening at the only Chinese restaurant in Bremerton. Frank and Louise introduced me to their favorite dish: pork noodles. I’ve never found pork noodles as good anywhere else. Those were fun times filled with happy memories.
Frank and Louise were a part of my life for many years. Their deaths left a great void. I was one of their boys. They loved me. And I love them.