Tag Archives: Seabees

How My Dad Taught Me Courage under Fire . by Alice B. Clagett

Filmed on 7 July 2016, revised 25 September 2019

  • VIDEO BY ALICE
  • SUMMARY OF THE VIDEO
  • MORE INFORMATION

Image: Sprinkler and Sunlight Rainbow 1, by Alice B. Clagett, 7 July 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: Sprinkler and Sunlight Rainbow 1, by Alice B. Clagett, 7 July 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Dear Ones,

A video with a story from my childhood, about fishing on the Chesapeake Bay, and about my father’s experience on Normandy Beach on D-Day. An edited Summary follows the video …

VIDEO BY ALICE

SUMMARY OF THE VIDEO

Hello, Dear Ones, It’s Alice.

I have a very short story to tell you from my childhood, and a lesson that my father taught me when I was about 13 years old.

In the summertime he used to take my siblings and me … whichever of those had arrived by then … out on the Chesapeake Bay in a motorboat. The mission of the day would be fishing, right? And so, that’s a pretty serious endeavor.

First we would learn how to navigate, because, if you go in the wrong place in the Chesapeake Bay, you run up onto the shallows, and foul up your propeller. Or else, you are in danger of being run down by the speedboats that go up and down the channel.

So you have to learn about the signal buoys, and what they mean about the channels that you can go in, and which side of the buoys you need to be on, to avoid other water traffic.

So that was the first lesson. And we got to a place that looked likely for fishing, right? The Chesapeake is a little choppy, and so the boat would be rocking back and forth. And then, when we would cast into the bay with our fishing lines, there would be a movement of the boat that would push it in a direction that frightened me, because it seemed likely that we would capsize … especially when my dad cast.

He was heavier than I, because he was grown, and so he would cast, and the boat would shift sideways, plus there would be the waves, and if there was another boat coming along, usually they went pretty fast, and so they would create that … I do not know what you call them … it is that wave front that goes along with them, and is much larger than the normal waves of a quiet bay.

I had all these things to contend with, because I was basically a landlubber. And I was about 13 years old. Even in those days, I always wore glasses … reading glasses, especially … and I carried them with me all the time, because I was an avid reader, right?

So I had my glasses, but I did not need them at the moment when I was fishing. I had my hands full, trying to figure out what to do. Plus, I was holding onto the edge of the boat. [chuckles]

The long and the short of it is: I sat down on my reading glasses. And I broke them in the middle. It was the first time I had ever done anything destructive to my reading glasses, ever … My father found out, and he was grimly angry about it. In those days, we did not have the money to put out for another pair of glasses.

So I got an explanation about how, even if we are in fear of death, because of the rolling of the boat, and the commotion of the predator/ prey relationship that was going on with regard to the fishing and the other boats going by, and so forth … no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in, we need to exercise neutral mind. We need to know where we are, and we need to avoid actions that will cost us in the future. In this case, it had to do with replacing the glasses.

I thought about that today, and I thought about my father’s life, before he had a family. I thought about how he was a member of the Seabees, and he was in charge of one of the barges that ferried the equipment and the people into the Beach of Normandy on D-Day.

And when all was said and done, for his entire platoon, no one survived but he. I think that the reason for that was that he was very cool under fire. And under life-threatening circumstances, he kept his head and his neutral mind, and preserved what he could … whether it was, hopefully, the lives of his crew … because I know it cost him, all his life … the thought that everyone had passed on but he … or whether it is just your own life, if that is all that you can do.

That was the same lesson that he was trying to teach me, when I sat on my reading glasses in the Chesapeake Bay.

So there you have it: My thought for the day. My thought about my father, who was so courageous under fire. And who bore with him, all his life, the sadness of so many deaths on that day.

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars

This blog has been added here … Link: “Compendium: My Childhood and Family, and Later Years,” by Alice B. Clagett, compiled and published on 21 March 2020; republished on 29 March 2020 … https://wp.me/p2Rkym-haj ..

Image: Sprinkler and Sunlight Rainbow 2, by Alice B. Clagett, 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: Sprinkler and Sunlight Rainbow 2, by Alice B. Clagett, 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

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MORE INFORMATION

Chesapeakewatershedmap

Image: Map showing the Chesapeake Bay drainage basin, by Kmusser, from Wikimedia Commons … https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chesapeakewatershedmap.png … CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported

Image: Map showing the Chesapeake Bay drainage basin, by Kmusser, from Wikimedia Commons … https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chesapeakewatershedmap.png … CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported

Link: “Seabees,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seabee ..

Link: “Invasion of Normandy,” in English Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Normandy ..

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Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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stories by Alice, courage, neutral mind, predator-prey relationship, Normandy Beach, Seabees, survivor guilt, coolness under fire, Chesapeake Bay, D-Day, stories, photos by Alice,

Pencils and Other Highly Consternational Things . stories by by Alice B. Clagett

Filmed on 24 August 2013; published on 25 August 2013; transcribed on 23 July 2018
Previously titled: Pencils and Other Highly Consternational Things . by Alice B. Clagett
Location: Florida Mesa, Colorado

  • VIDEO BY ALICE
  • OUTLINE OF THE VIDEO
  • SUMMARY OF THE VIDEO
    • Pencils! Oh No! Alice’s Story of the Consternational Pencil
    • Alice’s Story: The Rules of Life
    • Alice’s Story: Sleep is a Dangerous Thing?
    • Alice’s Story: Pencils Are Dangerous!
    • Subconscious Conclusions that Do Not Suit Us Well
    • My Dad’s Awful War Story
    • The Measure of Manhood
    • Reprogramming the Subconscious Mind with Images
    • The Measure of Womanhood
    • Conclusion
  • FOOTNOTE ON THE SEABEES

Dear Ones,

Here’s a video about all kinds of consternational things, including pencils, war, manhood, and womanhood. Also, reprogramming the subconscious mind and vital body when their Rules of Life don’t suit us all that well. There is an Outline after the video, followed by an edited Summary of the video …

VIDEO BY ALICE

OUTLINE OF THE VIDEO

  • Pencils! Oh no! The Story of the Consternational Pencil
    • Story about my father, who was an architect, his drafting table, and the horrifying story he told me about the dangers of having No. 2 pencils that are sharpened at both ends so as to save time in drafting
  • The Rules of Life
    • How I tried to formulate the Rules of Life and the Laws of the Universe in early childhood
  • Sleep Is a Dangerous Thing!
    • How my father’s pencil story resulted in this rule: It’s dangerous to fall asleep. Maybe it would be better to stay awake all the time, or I might die!
  • Pencils Are Dangerous!
    • This rule proved to be false in a physical sense (although I found it useful in the context of seeking enlightenment. So then I formulated this rule: Pencils are dangerous! This sunk into my subconscious mind permanently. Even today, I prefer pens to pencils.
  • Subconscious Conclusions That Do Not Suit Us Well
    • This is an example of how rules that don’t fit the facts of life can sink into our subconscious minds and vital bodies and influence us all our lives. So, I’m on a quest to find those rules and change them a little, so that my life becomes more flowing, more in the Now, and more happy. So that it doesn’t get stuck in those little childhood traumas.
  • An Awful War Story
    • Another story my dad told me during my early years: His awful World War II war story: He was in the CBs, and was in charge of a barge used to haul supplies into the beach at Normandy. Everyone he served with died, over the course of his service, except for himself.
    • Now, in my majority, I wonder how deeply his Soul might have been wounded by this experience; although he was a loving father and a good teacher about life. If the pencil story, which involved just one death, had such an influence on me, I wonder how that terrible wartime catastrophe affected my father’s life.
    • What are the consequences of war on the families that veterans go back to? I think it’s far more far-reaching than we suppose.
  • The Measure of Manhood
    • Amongst young men, there’s a great emphasis on size of sexual organs. That not-too-important thing has a tendency to stick in their subconscious minds throughout their lives, because there’s such an identification with that act of manhood.
    • It would be easy for me to say it’s not that important; but the problem is, for them, it might be super important.
  • Reprogramming the Subconscious Mind with Pictures
    • The subconscious mind and the vital body are greatly influenced by pictures. You could talk to it all day long, and that wouldn’t make as much difference as just one picture.
    • So I thought, why not … if there’s an issue that’s coming up in our subconscious mind and our vital body, such as the pencil … or maybe the size of one’s sexual organs, if you’re a man … why not do an internet search, and get some pictures, and re-evaluate the situation: It could be that most people are pretty much the same. This might have a far greater effect on self-assurance than any other approach.
    • Because we’re not really dealing with the rational mind here. We’re trying to reprogram the subconscious mind and the vital body, which are like a little child, no matter how old we get.
  • The Measure of Womanhood
    • You could say, about women, that the size of our breasts is a major issue in the society of today. But, there are plenty of supermodels that are small breasted. It’s not such a big deal, when you come right down to it.
    • So, for ladies that have an issue about size, you could do something like that: Print out pictures of ladies that are famous and beautiful, who are also small breasted (or large breasted, or whatever the problem is regarding our own self-esteem).

SUMMARY OF THE VIDEO

Hello, Dear Ones, It’s Alice.

Pencils! Oh No! Alice’s Story of the Consternational Pencil

Look at this, there is a ray of light coming out of the clouds here. [Shows ray of light coming from dark clouds] … There are grey clouds all around; and here the Sun is sending its beautiful rays down towards the Earth. It is right pretty.

I thought I would talk for a little while today about pencils and other entirely commotional things. So I will start with pencils … My father was an architect. And when I was very small … five or six years old … I was very interested in what he did, because I liked drawing. And so at night, he would come home with a project that was not finished, and he would be working at his drawing board, in a spare room, finishing up his architectural projects.

And for that, he would use a drafting board. A drafting board is sort of like a table, except that it is set up at an angle, so that it is easy to draw. And you sit up on a high stool, and you do your drafting. And so, I would follow him into this room, and try to interpret the drawings he did … the architectural drawings.

He had a pencil drawer in the table … in the easel  … and in it he his pencils for drawing. I was very interested in that drawer also. And so I opened the drawer, and I pulled out a pencil … a No. 2 pencil that was sharpened at both ends. This was just as a young child.

The reason it was sharpened at both ends was that it would save the architects time. So the pencil would get a little bit worn down, and then they would just flip it around, and use the other side. And then when they went to sharpen it, they would sharpen both sides. So it was twice as fast, or nearly so.

So I picked up this twice-sharpened pencil, and he grabbed it out of my hands. And he told me a story about a young man at the architectural place where my dad worked, who, like my dad, had a family. And this young man had stayed there late one night … recent to the story, apparently … and had fallen asleep while drawing. And he slumped over the table, and hit the pencil. And the pencil pierced his heart and killed him, just like that.

Well, needless to say, I was horrified. My mouth fell open. And I said something like this: Are you sure he was dead? 

And he did not say anything. He just took the pencil away from me, and started working. And I had plenty of time, in my young childhood imagination, and during that formative time, when I was trying to figure out the Rules of Life, and I was trying to set the example for myself of the rest of my life … I was making Rules …

Alice’s Story: The Rules of Life

I was thinking about this horrifying experience that my father had shared with me … Oh, it is going to start raining. Ok, to be continued in a minute. I will talk to you all in just a second. [walks from cemetery to an old, one-room country church, which is locked up, and sits on the small, roofed porch] …

Well, so this big storm cloud has blown up, and it is, for sure, going to rain in a minute or two. So I am seeking shelter in a little church. And right here on the porch I am hoping to weather the storm. I hope that the rain is not too driving. We will see what happens. Oh, goodness!

So, we were talking about this pencil. And I was formulating plans for my life, because at that age I did not have many plans, and I knew I had to have some. I was trying to figure out the laws of the Universe.

Alice’s Story: Sleep is a Dangerous Thing?

So the first thing I thought about this terrible incident, was that, it could be that it was dangerous to fall asleep … Maybe I had better just stay awake all the time, or I might die … That proved to be short-lived, and not too practical. [laughs]

Alice’s Story: Pencils Are Dangerous!

So then I reformulated the plan, and I decided that the problem was pencils … Pencils were dangerous! [laughs] And this sunk into my subconscious mind … my vital body … at that early, impressionable age. And I have to say that, even today, I do not like pencils. I really do not! … sharpened or not sharpened! Any kind of pencil, mechanical or regular … I do not care. I do not care for pencils. And so I do not have any pencils around, to speak of … lots of pens, but no pencils. [laughs]

Subconscious Conclusions that Do Not Suit Us Well

And so, this is an example of how we can formulate plans or come to conclusions, in early childhood, and through our vital body and subconscious mind … or all during life, for that matter … that may not fit the facts, or suit us too well. You know? I mean, pencils are ok, when they are used properly, do you not think?

But I cannot help it: I just do not like pencils. I mean, I could probably work it out, but it is not as important as some other things, right? Right now, it is low priority.

I have to figure that there are a lot of other things that I learned during my childhood … and all during my life … that are not serving me well. And I am on a quest, right now, to find those things and change them a little bit, so that my life becomes more flowing, more fluid, more ‘in the Now’, and more happy. So that it does not get stuck in those little, childhood traumas, and in those adulthood traumas.

My Dad’s Awful War Story

So that is the first story in the story of the consternational troubles. [laughs] And the second story has to do with another thing that my father told me when I was young.

I was just a few years older. And he had been in World War II … and apparently had a very traumatic experience there. So he told me about how he was in the Seabees … That is the  the Naval Construction Force (NCF) of the United States Navy. And he had been on one of the barges that they used to haul supplies into Normandy Beach. He was the person that was supposed to be in charge of that barge.

And there were maybe … I forget how many … 50 people? … that were working on the barge, right? And over the course of the Normandy invasion on D-Day, everyone on the boat died but he. (2) And that is all he ever told me about it. But in my majority … in my adulthood … I have to wonder how that affected his subconscious mind.

Men are supposed to ‘buck up’, you know, and see their way through all these sorts of difficulties. But if the pencil incident … which involved just one death … had that much of an influence on me, I wonder how that terrible catastrophy in his life affected him.

I have to wonder about the results of war on men, and consequently, on the families that they go back to. I think it is far more far-reaching than we suppose … And that is consternational incident number 2.

The Measure of Manhood

I thought I would close with a final incident that does not affect me directly in this lifetime, as you will soon find out. But I have run across it amongst children, and sometimes adults. And that has to do with manhood amongst men and young boys. I am not sure why it is … peer pressure, I guess … but amongst young men there is a great emphasis on size of sexual organs.

And I think that, for youngsters, that not-too-important thing has a tendency to stick in their subconscious minds and their vital bodies, because there is such a role identification with that act of manhood. It would be easy for me to say it is not too important, but the problem is: For them it might be super important.

Reprogramming the Subconscious Mind with Images

So I had a notion that, since the vital body and the subconscious mind are so influenced by pictures and images … much more so than by words: You could talk to them all day long, and it would not make as much difference as just one picture. So I thought: Why not … if there is an issue that keeps coming up in our subconscious mind, such as the issue of the pencil … or maybe it would be the size of one’s sexual organs, if you are a man … Why not just do an internet search, and get a bunch of pictures that show different sizes, and print them out …

And you may find that it is not such an issue as you thought. It could be that most people are pretty much the same, you know? But the pictures printed out, and looked at, once a day, for a little while, I think will have a far greater in improving self-assurance, than anything else.

Because we are not really dealing with the rational mind here. We are trying to reprogram the subconscious mind and the vital body, which are like little children. No matter how old we get, that is just what they are like. [laughs] Anyway, those are a few thoughts that I have.

The Measure of Womanhood

You could say the same thing about women. You could say: The size of our breasts, for instance, is kind of major in the society today. But there are plenty of supermodels that are small-breasted. It is not such a big deal, when you come right down to it.

So for ladies that have an issue about size, you could do something like that: Print out a bunch of pictures of ladies who are famous and beautiful, who are small-breasted … or whatever the problem is, about us. You know? We may find other people … just pictures of other people that are highly successful and very creative and very happy in the world, who have similar features to us, physically.

Conclusion

And that is it, on the terrible, horrible, consternational problems for today. I am hoping you do not have any. Talk to you later.

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars

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FOOTNOTE ON THE SEABEES

(1) Link: “Seabees,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seabee … See especially the subheading: “Naval Combat Demolition Units: NCDUs – Underwater Demolition Teams: UDT” … [paragraphing mine. –Alice] …

“In early May 1943, a two-phase “Naval Demolition Project” was directed by the Chief of Naval Operations ‘to meet a present and urgent requirement’. The first phase began at Amphibious Training Base (ATB) Solomons, Maryland with the establishment of Operational Naval Demolition Unit No. 1. Six Officers and eighteen enlisted men reported from NTC Camp Peary dynamiting and demolition school, for a four-week course … Those Seabees were immediately sent to participate in the invasion of Sicily …

“Naval Combat Demolition Units (NCDUs) consisted of one officer and five enlisted and were numbered 1–212. After that first group had been trained Lt. Commander Draper Kauffman was selected to Command the program that had been set up in Camp Peary’s ‘Area E’ close to the Seabee Dynamiting and Demolition school. Six classes were graduated from Camp Peary before the program was moved to Fort Pierce …

“Another reason for the initial NCDU location being at Camp Peary was that the Joint Army Navy Experimental Testing (JANET) site, for beach obstacle removal Project DM-361, was located at Camp Bradford temporarily late 1942-43. Later, despite the move to Fort Pierce, Camp Peary was Kauffman’s manpower source. ‘He would go up to Camp Peary’s Dynamite School, assemble the (Seabees) in the auditorium and say, ‘I need volunteers for hazardous, prolonged and distant duty.” … Fort Pierce had Construction Battalion Unit 1011 assigned to the school. Its job was to construct and maintain the various obstacles needed for the demolitions class to practice their training.

“The men in those first classes referred to themselves as ‘Demolitioneers’ … The NCDUs had 34 teams in England for the invasion of Normandy.(all told they suffered 53 percent casualties on Normandy) …

“While waiting for D-day the NCDUs trained with the 146th, 277th and 299th Combat Engineer Battalions … Each NCDU had 5 men from a Combat Engineer Battlion attached to the team. In the beginning the first 10 NCDUs were split into 3 groups …

“The whole thing was a bit ad-hoc as they had no Commanding Officer, but the Senior officer was the leader of group III, Lt Smith (CEC). He served in that capacity unofficially for the entire group … His group III did a lot of experimental demolitions work and developed the Hagensen Pack … As more teams arrived a NCDU Command was created for the invasion.

  • “Naval Combat Demolition Force O was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (United States) while Naval Combat Demolition Force U was awarded a Navy Unit Commendation for Omaha and Utah beaches at Normandy.
  • “The NCDUs at Normandy were numbers: 11, 22-30, 41-46, 127-8, 130-42 …” –from LInk: “Seabees,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seabee … CC BY 3.0 Unported

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Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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manhood, reprogramming the subconscious, vital body, war, womanhood, stories, stories by Alice, subconscious mind, unconscious mind, subconscious symbolism, Seabees, Normandy Beach, story about my father, courage, nobility, fear, PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychology, psychiatry, behavioral conditioning,