On Friday, I too leave from work to attend a memorial service for an old friend, Doug Gubbs who passed away in February. I have known him since I started working at the submarine squadron. He had been there for may years before I arrived. When I first met him, I was busy with my own life, and didn’t really spend time with him outside of work until he was dying of cancer. It reminds me that it is important to connect with one’s friends – even if it is easy at time to focus on yourself your own life.
I remember walking around the Submarine Museum with Doug. He was able to explain in detail the inner workings of the Mk 14 torpedo that they have cut open on display there. He told me a story about how as weapons officer, he was given a handful of the gyro unlock pins from his chief. That way if when they fired one and it failed to operate normally he would have one in his pocket. The first thing the captain would ask is if he was sure that the gyro unlock pin was removed. He would be able to say, “Yes, sir. I have the pin right here in my pocket.”
I also remember him complaining about forgetting his glasses at home, and not being able to see the computer screen. I would laugh. Of course, last week I forgot my glasses and couldn’t see the computer screen. I guess we all are getting old.
I also remember getting to work and him telling a story about how he was very angry that morning because the he didn’t think the north gate was open at the right time – but once he got to work, he realized he was at work several hours before he normally gets there. He had apparently set his alarm and forgot to change the clock back to displaying the actual time (so it displayed the alarm time instead). He got up in the middle of the night, looked at the clock and thought it was time to get up. So he got up, got dressed and headed to work without ever checking another clock. Needless to say, the north gate wasn’t open at 4AM.