Animal House To Naples
From Jon Easley:
I joined the Navy in 1958 after a year in "animal house", the college requested that I not return.
The Navy tried to make me an aviation electronics tech but I wanted to be a plain electrician. After 18 weeks of a 32 week school, they finally decided that I wasn't happy and sent me back to San Diego in May of 1959, where I caught the Bennington as she returned from a west-pac cruise. She was CVA - 20 with FJ's, AJ's, AD's, and F9's, with a few A4's. I was sent to V-2 Division as I was an 'airdale' designate and was assigned to the port catapult where I stayed my entire tour. I worked in the machinery room for the first 8 months. Got caught skipping a commisary working party and did a tour of mess-cooking. The ship went to Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard is San Francisco in December '59 and came out as CVS - 20. We then had S2F's and AD's for ASW work. After the yards, I went to the best duty onboard the ship, the flight deck, until my transfer in September 1962.
I went to see her in Bremerton and cried. The Bennington was my "home" for almost 4 years.They had let her grow old and rusty. I have and always will have very fond memories of her. I spent almost 22 years in the Navy. My other duty stations included Point Mugu, CA; Uss Lexington CVA / CVT - 16 Pensacola, FL, where I broke and ankle and later lost a couple of phalanges (toes) to the barricade (you ought to see Jon in sandals!!) I became a blackshoe with school at Bainbridge, MD; FltComputerProgCenPac San Diego; BUPERS; Corry Field, Pensacola, FL; NAS Keflavik, Iceland; NTC Great Lakes; and finally NAS Pensacola where I retired.
In 1964 while at Point Mugu, I met and married my wife of 34 years, Phyllis. She has put up with me and the Navy without to much whining. This is typical of Navy wives. We have three children, Peggy of West Palm Beach, Mary of Naples, and Tom of Naples. They all decided that dad and mom really did know the best places to live after all. Phyllis and I are condominium managers here in Naples. We live in a furnished apartment within 50 yards of the Gulf of Mexico and get paid for it. Just ask Bill Copeland and Bobby Quinn for the details. The Lord has been good to us and we are thankful for our health and family.