Memories of an Old Man

I was reading an article which referred me to a post on Youtube. On the right side of the screen were the usual suggestions for other videos to watch. Immediately, my eye was drawn to a clip from “Picnic”, a movie released in 1955, starring William Holden and Kim Novak. I was 18 years old when I first saw it, in a movie house in San Diego.

I was in the US Navy, recently having completed training as an electronics technician at the (now defunct) Naval Training Base on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. I had been assigned to a ship, USS Bon Homme Richard, CVA-31 (‘Attack Aircraft Carrier’, now scrapped) which was then being upgraded at the (now defunct) Naval Shipyard at Hunter’s Point, San Francisco.

To prepare us landlubbers for real sea duty, we had to undergo reasonably rigorous ‘sea training’ in San Diego.

When given liberty to leave the base and explore San Diego, several of us bought some whisky and went to movie to sip on the bottle while watching it.

I remember the foregoing well. What happened as I entered an alcoholic haze is less well-remembered, but I do remember falling in love with Kim Novak.

As I see her in profile from the above screen-capture I am struck by how much she resembles the woman I was to marry four years later.

Patricia and I parted from each other after twelve years of marriage and after having produced two children, both of whom are now over 50 years old. Patricia’s gone now, having died an early death in Tennessee.

Hers was a troubled and often sad life. I prefer to remember her as above.

It may be instructive to read of her life and last days, here.