Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ft. Devens, Massachusetts, 1960




Ft. Devens, Machussetts was the location of the Army Security Agency Training School.

I joined the Army in January of 1960.  After I completed my eight weeks of basic training at Ft. Dix, New Jersey (which was a LOT of fun in the dead of winter), I was assigned to attend the Army Security Agency Training School at Ft. Devens, Massachusetts.

After a week's leave at home with my family, I got on a train in Philadelphia, PA and traveled BY MYSELF to Parts Unknown to this young and innocent (and naive) 18year old soldier.

My arrival at Ft. Devens was much less traumatic than my arrival at Ft. Dix, which was a relief.  After eight weeks of basic training I thought my permanent name was "You Dumb Fucking Trainee!"  God, if I had a quarter every time I was call that name and invested it in Apple stock I would rival Bill Gates in wealth today.  Well, maybe not THAT much money but I would have a lot more than I have now.

It didn't take me too long after my arrival at Ft. Devens to make friends.  The photos on this blog were taken by me on one Sunday day in spring when most of my fellow soldiers had left for the weekend.  I usually went home too but this weekend I decided to stay on the base for a long forgotten reason.

A few of my friends were still around, drinking beer and smoking which is what most of we soldiers did on our off time.  I didn't smoke or drink then, I was still innocent.  As I said, this was a LONG TIME AGO.

So here for better or worse are those photos I took that long ago Sunday.

The barracks where I lived - the second floor of the middle building - home sweet home

Somebody had a sense of humor.  We used to get in formation on these daisies.

One of my buddies.  I forget his name but I know he had red hair and lived in Massachusetts but never went home on the weekends - which I thought was very strange but he never explained - nice guy though

Here is another picture of "Red."  We soldiers spent a lot of time polishing our shoes and boots.

Guess who?  Yep!  It's yours truly...young and innocent and naivet√© personified. 

My buddy "Red."  He was cute but I'm pretty sure he was straight.  We were just buddies.

"Red's" again.  We lost touch after I was moved to a different company on the base.  He was a pretty nice guy.

Oh I remember this guy's name.  It was Bob Merritt.  I got into trouble once by thoughtlessly patting him on his ass once.  He angrily turned to me and said "What are you!  Queer?" As I said earlier, I was very naive.  I dodged a bullet on this one but we were never friends again.  He stayed clear of me.

Another photo of Bob.  This was before the Ass Patting Incident.  We were still friends.  He did have a nice ass though.

This was another buddy of mine who lived in our cubicle (four to a cubicle).  I forget his name also but I knew he was a Mohawk Indian, which I thought was pretty cool.

Another picture of "Reds" doing what comes naturally to soldiers who are left alone on the weekends in the barracks.

Some of the other guys just hang out on their bunks.  Looking at these photos now it looks like I was concentrating on their behinds.  I didn't realize that until just now.  Wow.

Another one of my buddies giving a Peek Show.  Reds is too the left.  I guess we were pretty good friends.  

I took a walk around the base taking random pictures.  I probably wouldn't be able to do this these days in the Age of Terrorism. 

The base church where my friend Big Bob and I used to attend on Sundays.  I went because they didn't rant again homosexuals, it was a real Christian church.

A street where the officer's and their wives (and families lived).  Quite a bit difference from our barracks.  I envied them.

The new barracks that Big Bob and I had to move too when our MOS was changed.  This was F Company.  We were in C Company before we failed to qualify at school for Morse Code Intercept.  I guess this was the Losers' Barracks.  I left a lot of friends behind in C Company who I never saw again.  But I made new friends in F Company, even though we were all probably losers.

This was the Army Depot.  I never went into this place.  I wasn't a Truck Driving Soldier.  I was a Paper Pushing Soldier.

The base PX.  This was our store. Man oh man, we got all kinds of bargains here.  Who needs Walmart when you have access to a PX?

More of my Sunday afternoon walk.  Ft. Devens was pretty big and a great place to take a walk.

In the distance are the buildings where we went to school daily.  We would march from our barracks in formation to go to school every morning and march back in the afternoon.  I almost always had a hard on by the time I arrived at school from marching behind all those fabulous behinds of my fellow soldiers.  I've forgotten a lot but I can remember trying to deal with my "aroused state" by the time I arrived at school.  I didn't want any of my fellow soldiers to notice.  So you see, it's not easy being gay in the service.  So much eye candy.  

Me (kneeling on the left) and my new buddies in F Company.  And yes, I remember all their names.  From the back Bob McCamley, Duane Osten, Hagerstrom (forget his first name) and in the front kneeling me, Bill Allen (sitting and he was from St. Louis, Missouri) and Dick Egan.  Big Bob, Dick Egan and I used to hang all the time.  Great friendships! Funny thing, after I got out I discovered my BF Big Bob was also gay!  I never had a clue nor did he of me.  We're still friends and he is the reason I moved to Delaware, where I live now.  
Bob (center) and me (on right) in Provincetown, Mass many years after our time at Ft. Devens.

Me (on the left) and Bob (on the right) at lunch at a local Delaware restaurant 
Two old Army Buddies - lots of stories here

5 comments:

  1. Before the sun goes down over 2011, before the net goes down due to overload, before I lose my mind, before I go too drunk and lose my phone - Happy New Year! I wish you the best 2012.

    Love
    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  2. Happy new year to you too also Daniel.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous1:16 AM

    Ron... I have a Fort Devens Facebook group at:

    http://www.facebook.com/groups/388029141264122/

    I invite you to join the forum.

    -=Glenn K. Fannin Jr.=-

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was there, too, a few years later. The course was hard for me and I feel a sense of kinship with you and others who share that experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spotter,
      I don't think anybody is alive who was at Ft. Devens when I was there. No one has contacted me from that period (1960). I will always remember my six months I spent at Ft. Devens during my formative years. Best time of my life.
      Ron

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