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Grapevine : July 2011
T he other night, a group mem- ber brought a large stack of old Grapevines to the meeting. I was able to latch one from October, 2005, which featured a story by Da- vid of Oregon entitled, "That Should Tell a Person Something." Reading that story triggered a memory, long forgotten, that happened to me dur- ing World War II. The war was in full action, and our freighter had just come back from delivering a cargo of food and ammunition to the port of Vladi- vostok in Russia. We docked at the port of Gourock on the Clyde River in Scotland, loaded a cargo of wool- en goods (uniforms, blankets, etc.) destined for our armed forces. The crew watched, wide-eyed and drool- ing as the stevedores loaded case af- ter case of various brands of famous Four sheets to the wind A World War II vet recalls how a ship full of whiskey got his captain sober OUR PERSONAL STORIES scotch whiskey. Back in the At- lantic and heading for the States, the captain asked the chief mate to check on the whiskey cases stored in hold num- ber four. We'd just passed through some stormy seas and we needed to make sure our precious cargo was undamaged, you see. Later that night, I strolled on deck for some fresh air and saw the two of them, sitting on the hatch cover, each waving a bottle of whis- key, swigging and laughing, obvi- ously both already four sheets to wind (an old sailor's phrase for "ex- tremely well lubricated"). It didn't take long for the rest of the crew to hear the raucous party- ing and, when they found the hold's door unlocked and all those cases of 38 July 2011