I think a lot about the fact that I had a pretty solid set of running mates while on Conserver. I rented an apartment with a group of guys in Salt Lake — 1128 Ala Napunani — to be exact, not too far from the Hickam gate with easy access to alpha docks.
EM2 Scott Gossler and I were the anchor tenants sharing that three-bedroom, two-bath apartment. EMFN Mike Cone of Baraboo, Wisconsin rounded out the trio for a while after we moved in, but was soon replaced by MM3/DV Roy Sykes. Even though we enjoyed having the younger Mike as a roommate, it seems Roy, Scotty and I, being closer in age and petty officers, just had more in common.
Roy and I shared a home town (St. Louis), and I adopted Scotty’s love for sports cars early on, and the three of us just loved partying and relaxing in our comfortable and clean bachelor pad that allowed us to live like civilians when we were in port, not working or standing the dirty duty.
Underway, on local ops and Westpac cruises, the three of us also hung together along with the likes of MR3 Barry Shooltz, SK3 Russel Wiitala and occasionally others. My other favorite shipmates were QM3 Paul David Muller and YN1 Bob Castro.
My point in all this is that out of all the enlisted men to choose from — the ward room and goat locker seemed to be classes in and of themselves — most of us seemed to choose our running mates and that was it. What makes this interesting, considering the total time the old girl was in the fleet, is how even though we had our cliques and circles of friends, we all share a common allegiance in having been assigned to that vessel, knowing that we worked hard, played hard and all can look back and say, “I’m proud to have served aboard the USS Conserver, ARS-39.