Monday, August 25, 2008

Out of the Blue: Another Viking Achiever

The search for our 1958 classmates continues. Sometimes we find them. Sometimes they find us.

Recently I received an email from James Davis (JT or Jim), who is living in Cambridge, England. At the time he first wrote, he was unaware of our reunion but he had found my email address on our blogsite. Seems he's been reminiscing about his high school days and wanted to know if I could supply any details.

Here are some very interesting details he has shared in our continuing correspondence: He left us in our junior year to join the US Navy. When he retired from the Navy, he was recruited by Texas Instruments and moved to England. While he was in the Navy, a fire at his St. Pete home destroyed items such as his freshman Viking Log and his 1958 class ring that was sent to him when he received a graduation certificate from the Navy (after 2 years of Electronic Computer School).

He recalls being in classes with Rena Counts and with Connie Counts. He remembers topping by the gas station that Rena's family owned and where she worked. He also remembered a good friendship with George Siemers, and said he wondered whatever happened to him.He remembers George as a "really good and caring friend...he loved to play the piano."

Jim recalls when he was sent to "some newly established base called Port Canaveral...had many a fight with alligators, armadillos, snakes, sharks, rays and jellyfish." He recalls the days of the Polaris Project when "it was in its infancy." For several years, Jim had a house in Norfolk, VA on a tributary of Chesapeake Bay.

Jim, who like Dave Larson, has a talent for writing, belongs to a writer's circle in his community. Here's a sample of how he describes the current state of England (which blew my romantic concepts all to pieces): "Gone are the sleepy villages, the polite rural life, genteel coffee mornings at the local church, and living where the most heinous crime was that someone has stolen Mrs. Brown's milk again or someone rode off on Archibalt's bike and left it next to the fence on the square."