The Reluctant Sailor is a collection of delightfully funny and thoroughly entertaining remembrances of coming of age in the Navy during WWII. And it's all true!
Bud's notice to report for active duty was delivered to the wrong house so he was AWOL almost immediately. Were it not for my great-grandmother parking herself between two burly shore patrolmen and the front door, they would have taken him away in his pajamas—and covered in measles!
During mess hall duty, Bud accidentally sent 40 pounds of golden fried chicken airborne after colliding with a directionally-challenged server coming in the "out" door. Naturally, the chicken (and sailors) landed in the mud. To avoid eternal KP duty, Bud learned the Navy way to return the chicken to the serving line: 10 minutes under a garden hose!
Grabbing a chocolate bar while waiting in line to see the dentist wasn't the best idea. The dentist mistook an errant morsel of chocolate on Bud's pristine pearly whites for a cavity and filled it. True, he apologized for his error, BUT THEN HE DID IT AGAIN!
Arriving 10 minutes late from liberty, Bud was AWOL again. His punishment? Guard duty all night long. Having run out of things to guard (and guns to guard them with) he "guarded" a dumpster—with a broomstick!
Trying to escape scrape-and-paint detail, Bud hid in the paint locker—a great idea until the door slammed shut. With no handle on the inside he was there for quite a while—more than enough time for the captain to think he had fallen overboard. They turned the ship around to look for him!
You'll smile all the way through this book, guaranteed!
Watch this 2003 television interview. The reporter butchered Uncle Bud's last name every single time she pronounced it, but you'll be able to see Ami in a sailor hat and her Mom (Beebe) similarly attired, trying to sing for the camera crew. Oh yeah...and uncle Bud says some pretty cool things, too.
Watch a new 2008 video of Uncle Bud talking about his book, The Reluctant Sailor.
What Readers Say About The Reluctant Sailor
My name is Dick Walsh. I am a retired MMCS-USN and I have just finished your book…I am going to be forthright and come to the report of my findings on your book, hold on to your socks, shipmate. "It is too damned short!" I have laughed at every chapter in it. Your chapter on seasickness was wonderful. I worked for a MMCS on the USS Mississinewa during my first tour and old SCPO Pickard was just about equal to your Chief Reale. I had to go up and scrub the longitudinals in the engine room with two buckets also and the reason was the same as your Chief Reale had. I was so angry and hated the mans so much I forgot just how bad I felt. Your book is now in my cabinate alongside of ones autographed by Tom Clancy and W.E.B. Griffin. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading of your oddesy. I did 24 years and have a few tales locked in the old thought locker. Well done, shipmate, and thank you for your service to America.
Richard J. Walsh
Virginia Beach, VA
I recently read your book "The Reluctant Sailor," and I am writing to say how much I enjoyed reading it. Your amusing accounts of life on the ocean wave keep me laughing all the way through. My grandfather served in South Africa during WWII in the Signals Corps (I am British), and many of his stories have the same ring to them as yours. Once again, I congratulate you on your book.
Just wanted to let you know that I finished your book and found it to be excellent! A funny, moving account of a naive young man thrust into the military and soon relieved of his naiveté. Truly an enjoyable read. (And, unlike most such memoirs, well organized and edited, too.)
Rod Scher, Editor
Smart Computing Magazine
Your Uncle Bud's book should be required reading for anyone thinking of volunteering for the military! It is going to be my Dad's Christmas present, he is retired military (11 years Navy, 9 years Air Force) and a WWII veteran. He will love the stories and I'm sure he will relate to the insanity of the military.
Mountain City, TX