Tuesday, June 20, 2017

“Sigonella Red Wings”

Every once in a while Ol’ Preacher Owyn Bradford sends me a good one I just can’t pass up! Now I was a West Coast Sailor true & blue for Twenty-Three years!! Anybody ever stationed or TAD in Sigonella?!?  Here’s one of the Preacher’s famous escapades in the Sicilian country side!!!

Now shipmates this just ain’t no shit!  No Sirree, not at all!! One warm summer night when I was at NAF Sigonella with my squadron, I got on the rickety little bus to Catania!! We stopped at the Stella Azura for beers and pizza, then walked down to Tina Catwoman’s!!!

No and then they had an exhibition, locals called it “exhibeesh,” with guys on girls, girls on girls… you name it!  You got a free bottle of Peroni beer and after that they sold the stuff!! I was pretty much liquored up and this one gal got me going on grappa!!!

For those of you who have never drank grappa, think of turpentine, avgas, skunk vomit and monkey snot all mixed in to one and I reckon that’s pretty gauddamned close to the mark!!!

Anyways, it was strong stuff… strong enough that the time between the fourth drink and when I woke up with a blind’n headache is lost in the dim mist of time! Puked three or four times, washed up, shaved my hairy face, and got over to the shop in the morning!! Don’t ask how I got to chow in time… but got a Coke outta the machine which was about all I could handle!!!

So there I was mates, gingerly drinking my soda, and the Chief waddled out of his office, saw me, arched an eyebrow, and gave me the…


… finger wiggle!!!

I walked in…

“Shut the door behind you and sit!”

So I shut the door and sit! Chief takes a deep breath, grins, opens his desk drawer, and takes out a little box and slides it over to me…

“Here, this is yours!”

I opened the box! All gleaming and shiny, was a glowing set of Red Wings! 

“What the fuck?”

… I stuttered …

“I ain’t earned these Chief!”

His eyebrow arches again…


He opens the drawer again, gets out an envelope, take out four Polaroid’s and hands them to me!  Yep, that’s me!! And that’s Rosa Maria … the fountain of Trevi but with ketchup, and I’m right down there yodeling the ‘Red River Canyon!!!’

Chief takes the pics back…

“Earn them you did, Lad! I ain’t gonna say what came later! Chances are you don’t remember and maybe it’s better that way! And say, you look like frigging hell! Why don’t you finish that Coke and take the rest of the day off!”

Chief wouldn’t give me the photos! Hell, he wouldn’t even give me one for a souvenir… wouldn’t even sell to me either!!  Say’s they’re proof for a couple of good Sea Stories of his own… That Fucker!!!

And that ain’t no Shit!!!


  1. I got my pictures ,

  2. I've told this here tale half a gajillion times but this is the first time it's been in print! Hope the Skipper Above preserves my memory so's I can spin these yarns until I slip my cable!

    - Preacher