The Navy, Me, and Donuts – 1968 – William Golden

William David Golden, 1968
William Golden, 1968

When I was 12 I lived several houses over from the Price family, a Navy family. The father served on a destroyer at Mayport Naval Base, Jacksonville, Florida. He was one of the ship’s barbers.

Each year they would have family day. The whole family was welcome to come aboard ship as they sailed several hours out to sea and then back. It was long enough that you got a full meal and lots of snacks out of it. They snuck me aboard as a ‘son’. I was best friends with their son Jo Jo Price.

We were allowed to wander most of the ship without adult escort, to include wandering in and out of the messhall.

I grew up eating very basic food without hardly many frills.

The ship messhall had trays of donuts of all kinds and you could drink all the chocolate milk that you wanted — things which were unknown at my house. That was almost enough to convince me that the Navy offered opportunitie … and the white uniforms. The uniforms were sharp looking.

When the day came however to join the military I chose Army. No donuts. Not once did the Army serve donuts that I remember in 21 years of service.

— William D. Golden, 1956-still drinking coffee in 2014