Of the Lifelong Civilians Who Have Driven An Active Duty Aircraft Carrier Club, or LCWHDAADAC Club for short, I am a member.
Yes, that means I have driven an aircraft carrier. The USS Enterprise, the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, was the vessel. Yes, that is probably one of the coolest things I've ever done.
There was only one problem. I could not stop grinning like a monkey in a banana grove long enough for my daughter to get a picture of me looking cool. Oh, I wanted to be cool. I just could not get over that I was at the helm of a carrier!
You see, I am a boat builder in my other life, my day-job life. I build luxury sport fishing yachts, for the rich and famous, for money. I build rugged work boats, for missionaries working in Haiti, for love. And as a boat builder, to be at the helm of a 95,000 ton warship was akin to holding the Holy Grail. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
These seemingly random dots connect at my daughter, Irene's, Navy service. I have this vivid memory of being on my daughter's ship for three days. They call it a Tiger Cruise. I think that is Navy lingo for “bring your parents to work for a few days.”
Irene has just finished her tour of duty, or contract as they call it, with the Navy, and Gepetka, Prince of Gypsies is dedicated to her.
Really, I am just having a moment of reminiscence here. I hope that all made sense. I also hope you all enjoy the book.