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Tacoma, Washington, United States

Friday, October 21, 2016

Treasure Island

The next morning, I woke, of course, with a lovely hangover.  After muster and morning chow we headed for the one great service of the Treasure Island base—a real barber shop.  I settled myself into a chair and told the barber, “The works—shampoo, haircut, singe, and shave—the whole bit!” then I promptly fell asleep as he went to work. I was to regret falling asleep.  I dimly recalled later that the barber touched my beautiful handlebar mustache and asked, “You want that trimmed?”  I do not recall my answer but when I woke he was finished and he turned me to face the mirror I saw to my horror that he had indeed trimmed my mustache—to an asinine thin line on my ussper lip!  I did not look like either David Niven or Clark Gable.  The few haris he had left on my upper lip were so sun-bleached that they hardly showed.
My temper asserted itself.  I read him off royally—informing him that I had not even had time to get a photography taken.  He had ruined my mustache and I was not going to pay him one damned dime for what he had done!  He insisted that I owed seven dollars for the shampoo, haircut, singe, and that he would not charge for the mustache trim.  I acidly told him what he could do with his bill, that he could fine me at the transient barracks, and I stalked indignantly out of the barber shop.  (I heard no more about it.)
It was that night and the next morning that Oscar Hook repaid me in full for the long ago night that I got him back to Ford Island from Waikiki.  After noon chow, we packed our toilet kits into our ditty bags and headed for San Francisco.  There we got a double hotel room then headed for the fabled Barbary Coast.
In retrospect, we started drinking too early and the entire night and the following twenty-four hours are a bit of a blur in my memory.  I vaguely recall that there were several bars and night clubs in some of which, when the patrons learned that we were returned veterans from the South Pacific, they would not let us spend any of our money.  (We were well heeled.  I had four or five hundred dollars that I had no sent home.)
There was music and dancing.  At some point there was a table and some women.  One brunette, quite a good looking woman as I recall, was particularly attentive to me.  I told Hook that I was going to need the room for a couple of hours and took her thee.  Later, I could only dimly recall that I called room service for some drinks and the next time I was aware it was the next morning and Hook was holding me up in formation for morning muster.
As best I can reconstruct it, when Hook came to the hotel room in the wee hours of the morning he found me passed out on the bed, obviously the victim of a “Mickey” slipped to me by the brunette and the room service waiter.  I was dead to the world and mu wallet was empty.  I was still fully dressed.  Hook got me into a taxi and back to Treasure Island.  His debt for the night in Waikiki was paid in full.
After muster our orders were distributed.  Mind were to NATTC in Chicago with eleven days delay enroute.  My problem was that I had been foolish enough to go ashore the night before with all my money in my wallet and now I was broke and could not buy a train ticket to Portland.  Still have comatose form the drugging, I took my baggage and went to the Market Street office of Western Union in San Francisco.  There I called my mother and asked her to wire some money from my bank account to that office, then I sat down and went to sleep.  They woke me when the money order arrived and I managed to find my way to Oakland, buy a ticket, and board the next train for Portland.  I slept most of the way up the coast and was finally halfway back to normal when I arrived home.

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