This story is true and a bit long. A foundation must be set to appreciate my situation completely.
When I was a young man of twenty, I joined the Marines. This eventually brought me to NAS Memphis for aviation electronics training.
Today it is considered politically incorrect to call a woman in the Navy a wave, but back then, it was commonplace. We had a woman in our class, and to say she was outspoken would be a bit of an understatement.
To utilize the training equipment, during lab assignments we worked in pairs. Thinking back over it, I guess I was fortunate not to have her as a lab partner until the last unit of the school, RADAR.
I suppose I should explain that the situation was made somewhat worse by the fact that she was attractive. Other than her outspokenness, she also had a pleasant personality.
During the RADAR unit, we had assignments that required us to get close to a display to count dots on it. By both of us getting close to the display, we had to get close to each other, in this case, the sides of our heads were almost touching. The only alternative was for us to take turns which we did for a while.
At first, I felt awkward about it and I think she did too, but as time went on, we didn’t even think about it. As the instructor was walking by, he noticed it and asked, “All right. What’s going on back here?” I’m not sure, but I don’t think anyone in the class heard his question.
It was a joke. He knew it. I knew it and she knew it. We all just laughed but she just had to add her two cents, “Don’t you know? He’s my necking partner.”
Though a bit awkward, it still didn’t really bother me. It was a joke, and the instructor knew it.
A couple of days later, while we were in the classroom, the instructor made a remark about me. I can’t even remember what it was, but it was less than flattering. It might have had something to do with my large ears.
At any rate, the wave apparently didn’t like the remark. So, for everyone to hear, she said, “Don’t knock my necking partner!”
Now it wouldn’t have been that bad if all the others heard the previous conversation, but none of them did. That information was known only by the three of us.
Experience told me that trying to explain would only make the situation worse. She and the instructor were the only two that laughed. The rest, I know, were looking at me. I kept thinking, “Where’s a good foxhole to hide in when you need one.” Not finding anywhere to hide, I smiled and said nothing. Right then, I thought it was the most prudent thing.
I went on to another advanced nine-week school before leaving Memphis, as did she. Hers was in training devices, mine in radios. Once I finished the school, I started the check out process.
As I walked along the street to my next destination, I heard a voice behind me. “There’s my necking partner!”
I don’t guess I need to explain who I saw when I turned around. If she’d been much farther from me, I don’t think she could have yelled loud enough for me to hear.
Beside her was a bewildered woman marine. Needless-to-say, there were a few others that looked over, first at her, then at me. We talked for a while after that. Then, we went our separate ways.
We haven’t seen each other since, but for some time after that, I lived in fear of meeting her again, especially if she saw me first.
Please take a few minutes to look at my books on my author’s page at