Daylight-saving time became official at 2 a.m. yesterday, but few people were up to enjoy this ceremony, and I'm sure that no one sets the alarm for that time in order to get up and move the clock ahead.
When to lose that hour has always bothered me, whether it would be the night before or the next day. Of course if it were a rainy Sunday you could always kill a quick hour, but on bright sunny day you hate to see it disappear.
The outside clocks on the business firms we pass daily are usually a little behind, getting around to moving the clocks about Tuesday.
The U.S. Navy was extremely timeconscious, and a sailing around the Pacific Ocean on a submarine while trying to keep up with the time changes almost drove me batty.
The watches we stood lasted four hours, but when you were headed toward Asia and crossing the time change zones, the quartermaster would come into the engine room, smile and move the clock back an hour, meaning that you were now standing a five-hour watch.
The people who handle this moving of the clocks say that you gain it back again.
In some instances it is not true, because inevitably on the return trip to the states I would be tapped on the shoulder during a magnificent dream and told it was time to go on watch, and by the grin on the face of the guy I relieved I knew he had only stood a three-hour watch.
He had gained extra sleep on the way out, picked up a few hours or more on the way back, and somehow I was out several hours of my life.
If this loss of a quick span of life confused me, there was another time when I would lose a day and regain it about 20 minutes later, only to lose it again.
My duty at the time was to keep a running log of how many hours four main engines were used. We would run two in the forward engine room while the two in the after engine room were idle, then reverse the procedure.
There was a thing the helmsman followed called the "course clock," attached to the compass that would set us off on a zig-zag trip through the ocean, designed to confuse the enemy and destroy my mind.
One dingy Monday, the main course we were on was straight down the International Date Line with Monday on one side and Sunday on the other. We would zig for a period off to the port side, return to main course, then zag for another period of time off to the starboard.
Monday, the day we left, I could handle, but cutting into Sunday became a problem.
At some ungodly hour of the morning I would wake in a cold sweat, knowing from the vibrations that the forward engines had been cut off and the after engines were now running.
Grabbing my clip board (there was no trouble with dressing as I hadn't removed my dungarees for days), I would run to the control room and with heavy-lidded eyes seek out the quartermaster.
"What day is it?" I would ask.
"Tuesday," was his answer sometimes.
"When did one and two engines cut out and three and four start?" was the kind of insane question that I needed an answer to.
"Let's see," peering at his log, "It was 2200 Monday and 2300 Tuesday." Then he would look at the big clock that he liked to change all the time and say, "at 2400 we will be dealing with Wednesday."
It took several days before I was totally confused and blew the assignment, not caring about what day it was. But I worried that if caught, I might be sent to Portsmouth Naval prison. There the loss of an hour or two or even a whole day did not matter.
So the clocks have changed again, making catching trains, planes, and buses confusing in some areas.
Except for Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Arizona, every state will adopt the schedule.
In Indiana, people in most of the state will reach for the clock, but not in six counties around Evansville, and six around Gary.
A person living in Lake County Ind., and but working across the road in Chicago, can still have his soft-boiled egg and coffee at the real 8 a.m., and not be stopped at a red light at the daylight-saving 9 a.m. with his tomach growling, as most of ours will be.
It would make a friend or some clergyman sound dishonest saying, "He led a full life," as you peered from somewhere above screaming, "I lost an hour."