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Memories of Thomas Simonson '49 - '51
Si Simonson says " What's this Marilyn Monroe got that I ain't got?"   George Gambel says " Ain't sure, Si, but some how it's different".    ("Si" Simonson, 1950,
in Santiago, Cuba)

About any stories that I might have to tell about Panama or other ports, well, as I was usually the one who tried to set an example for the others (George, Rodney, Pete and others).  I'm afraid that I won't be able to help much. In those days I was usually referred to as "Saint Si".  I do recall one time when we left the Panama City side to go to the East end of the canal. It seems that some of the guys got some turkeys from the boat and took a cab back to Panama City to some lady friends of theirs to cook for them. I also recall that on several occasions, some guys went back to my home town with me and Massillon, Ohio still has people who are able to do a perfect imitation of the Panamanian Love Call.   My folks were almost asked to move after that one. But I would bet that George, Pete, and Rodney (being much more rowdy than me) will have much more interesting stories to tell.


Upon hearing these comments, George Gambel wrote:

That's the truth Mike, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I wasn't a Catholic so there was no need for Si and I to locate the nearest R.C. Church. We did manage to stumble on the Barcardi distillery, but you know, they wouldn't give away the same drink twice so after the banana flavored drink we left in search of the YMCA but got distracted by asking a couple of young ladies for directions. There was a most unfortunate language barrier so we ended up somewhere else. Si won the $600 anchor pool upon arrival at Panama City which he promptly donated to the betterment of mankind and his fellow crew members. When I went to Massillon with him, we actually attended church on Sunday morning (Which for me was difficult because I had apparently contacted a flu virus the night before leaving me with a headache, dry throat, queasy stomach and all the symptoms that might be mistaken for a hangover). If Si wants to be known as "Saint Si", I'll swear to it. Si was indeed a guiding light to us wayward shipmates.
In all sincerity.

I D Williams chimed in:

What's so hard to believe? We were models of behavior and saintly submarine sailors. If you don't believe me, just ask me.

editor's comments:   The first liar doesn't stand a chance!   He was a TM3 for goodness sakes!

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