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My First Five Years at Sea

Updated: Sep 10


By mid afternoon Saturday we arrived in Boston at the North station. High up on the train platform I had a birds-eye view. I never saw a place more busy in my whole life; people rushing from one end of the platform to the other; some running to meet people, some rushing to catch other trains, some in a hurry to get away from all the other people in a hurry; or, perhaps for no good reason. I looked out at the tall buildings and streets clogged with trolley cars and automobiles. Standing there I felt a little overwhelmed by all this animation and it made me feel small, kind of like I felt in Kansas at night looking at billions of stars overhead. Then I saw it…the ocean. Until that day I had never been further east than Topeka and no further west than Wichita. The biggest body of water I had ever seen was in our bath tub…this was much different. The Atlantic stretched beyond the horizon, who knows what that means? Waves rolled in a perpetual phalanx, no two alike. White caps kicking up foam and spray to make you believe the sea was boiling. I wondered how anybody could survive out there, or why you would even try. What terrible things lurked beneath its surface. I stood there in a trance staring, too scared to look and too scared to turn away, mesmerized and terrified all at the same time. Then I felt papa grab my elbow, “come on boy, we got to get mama to the hotel to have a lay-down before we go to dinner.”

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