[Mark] We all know why we're here, because we all have fond memories and a special closeness to the Tullibee, a special closeness to all our shipmates. And, certainly, whether the Tullibee was our first boat or our last submarine, it was probably the most significant life experience most of us have ever had. I know it was for me.
I could tell you a lot of stories about things -- good things and bad things -- that happened to me on the Tullibee. But, the most important thing that happened to me on the Tullibee is -- I was surrounded by, trained by, and worked for many people that were extremely, technically competent. And because of the people that I worked with, I was able to make the Navy a career and found it very rewarding. And I'd just like to say there was a couple of people that aren't with us today -- one is Jim Ash and one is Skip Blankenship.
Skip Blankenship is still with us, he's still here today. He still lives up in the same place, north of here. But, at one time on my second submarine, there were four of us ex-Tullibee rag-hat sailors that were in the Goat Locker on the USS Snook: Art Barry, Jim Ash, Skip Blankenship, and myself. And, believe me, anytime all four of us were in the Goat Locker at one time, and the Tullibee came up, we would always get ribbed or razzed about the old T2. And we used to hear those old, tired stories about the Tullibee being welded to the pier. And, certainly, back in the time I was on it, I don't remember it being welded to the pier.
But, I'm just glad to be here today.
I have my oldest son, Matthew, with me today and I also want to give an attaboy again to Paul. He's got a first-rate web site and that's how I came upon the Tullibee Reunion -- is by going on the Internet and finding your web site. So, my hat's off to you.