Some of the happiest memories of my naval experience are from the spring of 1969 when both my brother, Mark, and I were serving on board ships homeported in Long Beach, California. He was on board the amphibious-warfare ships Princeton (LPH-5) and Talladega (LPA-208), while I was assigned to the battleship New Jersey (BB-62).
Our ships were moored at the naval shipyard’s huge Pier Echo along with a refugee from Britain’s Cunard Line, the retired ocean liner Queen Mary. My recollection is that the liner was painted with a brownish preservative. A nearby billboard promised she would be open for business as a tourist attraction in 1970, that date having replaced a more optimistic one.