In 1970 I was stationed at Vint Hill Farms outside of Manassas, VA. We would work days and get 24 hours off, swing shift and get 48 hours off and night shift and get 72 hours off. I had a red Triumph Spitfire with an eight track player and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Green Album with
Bad Moon Rising ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BmEGm-mraE ). I could go to New York City and meet Rob Blank or go to his base and drink in abandoned missile silos or visit Washington D.C. for the afternoon or spend time wandering around the battle field of the Battle of Bull Run. I did all of these, but my favorite thing to do was come home to Mt. Carmel.
When I was homesick, which was often, and my 48 hour or 72 hour pass would be on a weekend I would head to Mt. Carmel.
Let me describe a 48 hour pass.
I would get off at 11:00 PM and drive all night. The speed limit was 65 or 70 all the way and I would go 10 miles over the speed limit with the Green River album blasting all the way. I could make it in about 10 hours. So I would get home with about 38 hours to go. I would have breakfast with my family and then sleep until about 5 or 6. 32 hours to go. I would then visit not so close friends and hit the Pier 312 about 8 or 9 o’clock Saturday night. We would close the Pier and go to the Walnut Street Dinner. I would go home, sleep a few hours and then head back to Vint Hill Farms. If I left at noon I could get back by 10 PM, change into my uniform and work the night shift. If I was lucky, I could even make the swing to night shift meal.
I was busy at Vint Hill Farms, but I was lonely when I returned to Mt. Carmel for the weekend. My close friends had moved away or were in the military. No girl waiting for me. I was lonely, but I had Mt. Carmel to greet me. It was worth the trip.