Friday, May 31, 2013

Hot and Humid

After I left the Navy, I joined the Coast Guard. I was stationed in Maryland for quite a while and holy hell, it is cold there in the winter. That’s why I loved Orlando, it was warm! Ok, so it was blazing hot and dripping humid almost year round, but I will take that over the cold any day. Overall, I think Orlando was my best duty station.

To R Settle - I forgot how often you two used to drive my car! Your wife loved that car, I have no idea why - it was a horrible car . . . but it had air conditioning which I guess is the number one requirement for a car in Florida in the summer.



Chapel (after base closing)

Friday, February 04, 2011

In the Beginning

It's been about two years since I started this blog so I thought I would post a brief update. It seems tons of people have visited this blog over the past few years searching for pictures of the Orlando base. I think that's awesome. It would also be great if you have any pictures you would like to share on this blog. Please let me know if you do - my email is on my profile. I would love to compile more pictures in one place here on the web. Otherwise leave a comment, share a memory or two, or participate in the poll to the left. Thanks for stopping by and I'll leave you with a picture of the beginning of things.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

NNPTC Close Up

Click on image to enlarge. Let me know if you recognize any of the structures.

Share your thoughts, memories or whatever, I would love to hear them. Also if you have any pictures you would like me to share

NNPTC Orlando - more pics

A few more pictures of the base that someone was nice enough to send me (thanks Bill!).

Navy Housing - these houses were near the airport. I had friends that lived in one of the duplexes on Neptune Street (all the streets had water-related names). They always had a roach problem in the duplexes. Always!

The base before/after demolition. What a difference!

Nice shot of the base:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

NNPTC Orlando

Sign at entrance to Naval Training Center Orlando. Second sign
View of RTC

I believe this is the sidewalk leading to the Nuclear Power School. The A school would have been off to the right. I think this is where we all gathered when it was announced that Admiral Boorda had committed suicide.

Ok, THE McDonald's. Whenever we were dismissed early for lunch, this is where we would go. If not, it was off to the E-Club for some frozen pizza.
This is the front gate I used to drive through in my 1992 Ford Tempo.
View from what I believe is Lake Baldwin (correct me if I am wrong).
Boarded up guard house.
Not sure what this building is, any ideas?
Bennet Boulevard
Bench at Lake Baldwin
Barracks? Not like any of the ones I stayed in.
Recruit graduation and below that a picture of the barracks. These are the type of barracks I stayed in from 1996-97. There were three single beds, so three girls per room. One bathroom. There were four units on each floor (12 girls total) with a shared common area which was never used.
Not too long ago I had the chance to go back to Orlando, Florida. I really wanted to see the old base (I had not been back since 1997). Driving down Colonial Boulevard, everything seemed familiar. The gas station I always went to was gone, but Fashion Square Mall was right where I left it. . . and then? Suburbia. NTC, NNTPC, everything is gone and replaced by houses and condos. It's so weird that a place that is so very clear in my memory is just that - a place in my memory and nowhere else anymore. Poof, gone, no more!

I started searching for pictures online and these are all I came up with. . . wish I had taken a few more pictures while I was there! I would love to see some pictures of when the base was still alive and thriving. Although I appreciated finding even these pictures, it was a little sad to see the guard house boarded up and a lonely deserted McDonald's. I prefer the way it was in my memory, alive and bustling, full of young sailors. Even so, when I was there from 1996-1997, the base was on it's way out. Only the Nuclear Power School, Officer's school and A schools were still open. The RTC had recently been closed - coming from a winter at Great Lakes RTC, I really wondered why the Orlando base had been chosen for closure.

Ok, so here are some of my memories of A School and Power School:

The E Club: This is where we all hung out and smoked (it seemed like everyone smoked back then). You could smoke indoors or out back on the patio. They had pizza that was pretty disgusting, but everyone bought. There was a pool area (of course), but I never played, just hung out on the patio with my friends.

The Barracks: When we first arrived, we were sent to this 7 story building with two wings. The females were on the seventh floor (west wing??). Females had just been allowed into the nuclear program so there weren't too many of us at this point. These barracks were set up just like boot camp (but nicer mattresses and storage areas) with bunk beds. We still had inspections every morning and could not wear civilian clothes during the week. We were here for . . . I want to say about six weeks? Then we moved into the three story barracks. These were set up like dorm rooms (but spacier than any dorm I ever had). More freedom here, could have our own blankets and pillows, but still subject to inspections.

There were these buildings where enlisted spouses stayed on the base. They were dark wood . . . durr, all I remember is we used to have to run past them at 5:30 a.m. in the morning when we had to run around the base TWICE. Then we would wind up back at the track and continue running until every one finished their two laps around the base.

A School: This was loooooong because I was an ET (class 9633T). They sold bagels every morning under the tent and I would always buy one (cherry or blueberry) with a packet of cream cheese. We spent a lot of time in A School between class and study hours.

Nuclear Power School: Even more time spent in here since you could take nothing out of the building to study. Fun times.

Galley: Oh they had the best omelets. Very greasy and you could have whatever you wanted. Lunch was usually at the E Club which was kind of stupid of me since the galley was free. Ah to be young and have disposable income again.
The NEX: This place was always busy. There was a breezeway/courtyard in the center with things like a travel place (this was a few years ahead of the internet and self-travel), a barber shop, dry cleaners/alterations and probably a few others. Also I used to use the pay phones here a lot (a few years ahead of cell phones as well) because it was always cool and breezy. I would buy these 60 minute phone cards and talk away. I was always buying something random at the NEX like lip gloss or nail polish - I always seemed to have a NEX bag in my hand. A lot of retired Navy personnel and spouses shopped here.

What else, what else? I don't know, this was just such a fun time. I mean, very difficult with school, but I still look back on it and smile. Maybe I am romanticizing it a bit too much, and maybe it is a time that I miss and not a place? Being 22 and having my whole life ahead of me - ah yes, good times!! Regardless, I wish it were still there, but maybe it is better this way - that I can remember it the way it was through my rose-colored glasses. Nostalgia!

If you have any photos you would like to share, I would love, love, love to see them. In particular the NEX (I wasted so much money at that place), the E Club (also wasted a lot of money on crappy pizza!), etc., but really any pictures would be great. Also please comment on any memories you have of the naval base in Orlando!