We had a reporter from The Amarillo Globe News paper call us the other day. He wanted to do an interview with Charlotte because she had been playing with the Amarillo Symphony for over 50 years and she has been there the longest. She has been talking about retiring so before she talked with the reporter she notified the Symphony that she was retiring. Well last Friday it was finely published in the paper. The Link below will take you there. I don’t know if you can tell but I am very proud of her.
My ship left Pearl Harbor right after sun rise, going through the narrow channel and out too open waters. It was a beautiful day and we all were getting into our routine of workday and standing or watches in four hour shifts. I knew this was St Patrick day March 17th but I gave no thought about it being a special day in my life. I cant remember the exact time that I received the message but I was paged over the ships intercom to report to the radio shop on the double. I made my way through the passageway and up the three steep stairs too the deck that the radio shack was on.
When I arrived at the radio shack doorway the radio operator said you Harbin? I said yes, he had this grin on his face and he said sign here, he noticed I had this confused look on my face wondering what was this all about. He gave me a telegram from the Red Cross saying congratulations I was the proud farther of a baby girl. I was so excited I told him thank you. As I stood there reading how big she was and that she was healthy, I thought back to the phone call that I had made the night before and the way Charlotte was sounding on the phone. She was in labor but she didn’t tell me because she did not want me to worry about her.
Several weeks had passed since I had received the news about my daughter being born. Finley we were at a port where the mail could catch up to us and sure enough I received a letter from home, there was a picture of my new daughter so I finely got to see what she looked like. Charlotte told me in the letter that she was sorry for not telling me that she was in labor, but she knew I had enough on my mind with us being so far apart and she just did not want me to be worried on how she and the baby were doing. Now every one knows how old she is. Charlotte told me that CeAnne would be mad at me by telling everyone how old she was. But I have been teasing her that she was 50 or even older than that, but now that I have told her real age maybe she want be to mad at me. Happy birthday to mt sweet St Paddy days baby.
I was on board the USS Monticello and we were in port at Pearl Harbor. We were on what was called liberty call, which simply means we did not have to work on the ship so we were free to leave the ship and go sight-seeing. Honolulu is a beautiful island so a few of us rented what is called a Volkswagen dune buggy to drive around and see the island. This was our last day before leaving to head back toward Vietnam. It was starting to get late and we were kind of lost. It was getting closer to time that we had to be back to our ship. We made it back in time so just before I boarded the ship I made a long distance call back to Texas, I was supposed to have called Charlotte earlier than this. It took a little bit before she answered the phone and when she did it sounded like I had woke her up. I had forgotten that there was a 5 hour difference in the time. This has been 45 years ago so I do not remember the exact time it was, I am thinking it was like 9:00 pm HI. time which would have made it 2:00 am Texas time. I noticed that she was keeping the conversation short so after a bit I told her I had to get back aboard ship so we said our goodbyes. I was thinking that i must of hurt her feelings and that she was mad at me. I will finish this tomorrow in part two and you will find out why Charlotte was acting the way she was.
She was a Thompson Class Ship her Keel was laid on my birthday in 1955 I was nine years old. She was launched August 10 1956. Commissioned in March of 1947. She was built: by Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Miss.
I served on board from 1968-1970. Even though I was already married to Charlotte and I missed her every second that I was gone. I did enjoy serving on this ship.though I could not have asked for better officers and crew mates. I was able to see parts of the world that I would never have seen if it was not for the Navy. Even though I never had to see any of the fighting on land I lost some friends there in Vietnam. We hauled a lot of troops and their equipment in and out of there. The Mo boat as we called her had a crew 18 officers and 330 men and we could carry 330 troops plus their equipment.
The Monticello was decommissioned in September of 1985 and she was taken out and sunk in July of 2010 off the coast of Kauai HI. She was used as a target and was sunk after being hit by two Harpoon missiles. From the HMCS ALGONQUIN (DDG 283). I was lucky enough to get a peace of the helo platform deck after they had stripped her down to be sunk.