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Battleship Texas and Work


hatch coverA week into the New Year

Work seems to occupy entirely too much of my time and art takes not just the backseat but is left behind at the station. My creativity requires a certain amount of time to day-dream and certain chores must be under control, and then there’s sleep. However, even with just a couple hours of sleep, I can still look and take photos.

I met my husband at our youngest son’s worksite where he was dropping off a car; we visited for a short time with our youngest son, and then decided to tour the Battleship Texas and take the ferry home. For me, taking a ferry anywhere is almost as much fun as watching a train or standing underneath a freeway listening to the cars and trucks go by.

Battleship Texas served in both World Wars but was refitted before World War Two. It is now anchored southeast of Houston and is lovingly maintained and in the process of restoration by a group of volunteers. There are no formal tours; visitors are allowed to wander about the entire ship.

As a battleship, there are guns of various sizes all over. A huge crew was required to run each gun. In the center was the trigger man, two men on either side operated the sights from a bicycle seat and a set of winch handles. Two men stood behind each of the sighter to load the shells and behind them was a huge line of men passing shells from the deck behind them. Underneath was another group of men moving the shells to the elevator to send them topside.

Below decks were the engines, some of the work areas, and the crew quarters. Row after row of hanging bunk-beds were arranged between the frame-work of the ship. Stuck in nooks and crannies were small square metal lockers for personal items. The admiral of the ship, though, had a small suite topside with his personal cook and attendant.

I stood for awhile watching the clouds float overhead and tried to imagine the incredible amount of noise, not to mention the swaying of the ship or the spray or wind or the idea that other ships might be shooting back. I imagined running up and down the narrow stairs in high seas and standing at battle-stations for nearly three months.

How can I complain about my work circumstances?

I did get some wonderful photos and the ferry ride back was too short.

 The photo is one of the Hatch covers and painted in a blue intended to blend with the ocean waves. More photos of the day can be seen at

http://ysr612.smugmug.com/gallery/4143082#241813859

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