May 17, 2018
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need your sea stories.
A few of your FS Key shipmates have been putting together some of our ‘sea stories’ about our experiences on the Key and organizing them into a book. The working title for the book is currently “Key Memories”. But we’re mostly from just one department of the Blue Crew, and from one small span of time in the life of the Key. We want memories from anyone and everyone who served on the Key, from either crew and from officers and enlisted alike, spanning the 27 years the Key was in commission.
Why are we doing it? Because we think our kids – your kids and Grandkids and Great-Grandkids – deserve to hear the story of the Key from you and every other man who served aboard her.
What was it like to be a sailor back then? What was it like to be a submariner, an exclusive branch of the Navy in which pride truly did run deep? What stories do you tell your friends and co-workers about your time aboard the F.S. Key? Which stories about the off-crews and the up-keeps and the shore liberties and your shipmates and the tedium of patrols hold them spellbound or make them laugh? Which stories do your families and your loved ones listen to, time after time, without interruption, even though you’ve told them a thousand times before?
What was it like to sail on a ship that carried more destructive power than all the ordinance dropped during WWII?
No one deserves to answer these questions more than you.
The plan is to publish the book ourselves through a ‘vanity press’ publisher, covering the initial expenses through donations, then marketing it through the SSBN657 web site. We feel the web site should benefit from any profits, also.
We’ll take anything you’ve got, any way you want to write it. We’re making up the ‘rules’ as we go, but right now we feel that profanity just to add ‘punch’ (as Gen. Patton would have put it) is out, but when profanity is an integral part of the story, be prepared to field questions from little Susy or Grandson Jimmy! But they’re your stories, and we want them the way you tell them.
Another ‘ground rule’ we’ve developed is to leave individual names out, other than the originator’s, unless we have email confirmation from people mentioned (or their families if they are on Eternal Patrol) that they don’t mind having their names used. Many stories tend to be less than flattering for some individuals, yet their stories are integral to what life aboard the Key was really like. We’ll change their name to “a shipmate” if necessary, but after all these years maybe they deserve a break. And what we rewrite we will send back to the originator for approval. Nothing gets printed without the written approval of the man who’s name is at the bottom of it.
On the 657 web site, under About Us, it says there are currently about 900 former Key shipmates on the Crew List. That’s a LOT of sea stories! But send them anyway and we’ll try to sort out the ones that best tell it the way it was. Please forward your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll take it from there and get back to you.
Ken McCracken 68 - 71