Editor’s Query: Tell us about a time when you felt at home in an unexpected place

October 17, 2012

I was a chief petty officer in the Navy, with orders to report aboard the USS San Diego in the Mediterranean Sea. Catching up with her was difficult. I missed her in Naples, Italy, and again in Sigonella, Italy, after a “crazy” Naval Reserve Training Flight there. I say “crazy” because of a loud argument that boiled out of its open cockpit door as the pilot and co-pilot argued, “I’m not going to land the plane this time, because I did it last time!” When I caught up with the ship, at anchor, off the coast of Cannes, France, I rode out to her in a whale boat, climbed up her hull on a Jacob’s Ladder, and stepped onto her quarterdeck.

The petty officer of the watch led me to the chief’s mess (lounge), where I saw a large picture of a sailing ship hanging on its bulkhead. It was then that I felt at home, because an identical picture was hanging on our living room wall back in Virginia Beach!

Gary “G” Morstad,

Falls Church

***

While in the aviation industry in the mid-1990s, I visited other countries to work with their governments. On my first visit to Japan, I spent a week in Tokyo. The city was intriguing; I saw and experienced much in a short time period. Still, with a culture and language so different from my own, I was homesick. As I strolled down a busy street one morning, I heard a familiar voice, deep and honey-toned, growing excited as a crowd cheered in the background. It was coming from a sidewalk radio. It belonged to Jon Miller, longtime announcer for the Baltimore Orioles. He was calling a night game in Baltimore, and I was hearing it the next morning in Tokyo!

I suddenly felt transported home, listening to Miller’s play-by-play while getting ready for bed. My homesickness evaporated, and I was comfortable for the rest of my stay.I’ll never forget the surprise and satisfaction of that moment in a city half a world away.

Jim Reagan,

Herndon

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