Note from Joe DiPietro: While it is true that this has no direct connection with the USS Chicago, it is a cool story, and shortly after this incident I did join the crew of CG-11.
X-From_: firstname.lastname@example.org Sun Aug 17 23:56:09 1997
Date: Sun, 17 Aug 1997 23:53:43 -0400
From: George Fredlund
Organization: Nathan Detroit & Company, Inc.
X-Mailer: Mozilla 3.01C-BLS20 (Win95; I)
Subject: Big Red Bus and The Cavalla
My name is George Fredlund. Sometime in 1974 or 1975 I was involved with
selling and operating some antique London Double Decker Busses here in
Fort Lauderdale. My friend Joe DiPietro had just enlisted in the Navy
and was looking for something to do before he had to report.
I decided that this would be a stellar oportunity to teach Joe to drive
the busses so I could get a break. We go to Port Everglades where I
figure if we hit something, while Joe is training it would be like a
ship or something and we could'nt hurt it too bad.
On our second lap I notice there is a sub at the warf so we stop. I love
subs ! It's the USS Cavalla ! Great! A freind of my dad's serveds on the
WWII sub of the same name. What luck! Did I tell you I love subs. I even
have a depth gauge out of the USS Shad SS235 another Fleet Boat.
Anyway the aft hatch opens up and like 60 sailors pop out and see this
Big Red Double Decker Bus, that says' BAR on the side! " KISMET". They
say like how's this bar? I say it's like OK. They say like, lets go!
I have just shanghai'd the crew of this sub. My head is swimming. Just
what the hell have I got us into? Well its a quiet thursday afternoon at
the Speakeasy, that's the name of the place I sold the bus to. We pull
up, I ask the guys to wait outside for a minute while I go in. I tell
the owner I have a little present for him. He says what? I open the
door and all these guys pile in. The owner's head explodes. His eyes
roll back itos his head , he blinks again , this time he just sees
dollar signs. He says thanks you.
After a couple of hours the guys decide it's time to move on. We pile
back into the Double Decker and head off in search of The Famous
Freddy's Anchor Bar. We made a fast stop at a 7-11 and picked up a
couple cases of beer for the drive. All goes well until Joe reaches into
the cab and says " hey look at that sheriff over there, see he's looking
up at something" . I say in my inimitable style " yup". Joe says "ya
wanna know at what ?" I say "yup".
Now this sheriff has one of the most perplexed looks on anybody's face I
have ever seen. Joe says there's four guys Mooning Him right now from
the second floor. By now I don't whether to shit or eat a banana... So I
smile at the sheriff and pull across the intersection and drop of the
lads at Freddy's. He doesn't follow.
Friday afternoon the guy at the bar wants to give me the Bar equivalent
of the Nobel Prize for conspicuous lunacy above and beyond the call of
duty. I says thanks. He then gives me a list of every navy ship due in
for the next month. I politely decline to perform any more missions, as
this was not a career choice I had in mind. I just like subs.
If anybody remembers this caper, I would like to hear from them again.
George Fredlund addr. Gfredlun@bellsouth.net