Paul "PEP" Perris' Article to Jim Davis of the Fresno Bee
Subject: Outstanding Article

Mr Davis;

I'd like to commend and thank you for a job well done writing your article on Gary's Bash at the Ranch. I'd just like to take it a little further tho. I filled 5 floppies worth of pictures. While I'm sitting here trying to sort and prepare them for upload on my web page and it is impossible for me to do so without watery eyes, both from the joy of the total experience and the sadness the pictures trigger. I can't begin to express to you the magic that began to encompass everyone there. My wife of 20yrs could not believe what was happening. She wasn't around during my Submarine days of my youth. She only knows what she has been exposed to for only this last 4 yrs since getting on-line. For 30+ yrs I haven't given Submarines a thought, except when I look in the mirror and see Dolphins tattoo'd on my lower arm and DBF's (Diesel Boats Forever) Dolphins tattoo'd on my chest but I can honestly say that she now has an understanding of the brotherhood I belong
too. She was accepted into our circle because she is a part of me, regardless of her belief's, status, race, whatever, she could be an alien and would still be accepted for who she is. She has shared my sadness as with the closing ceremonies of "Tolling of the Boats" lost at sea during WWII, the Thresher and Scorpion disaster and my old home, the USS Bonefish when on April 23, 1988 had a battery explosion that killed 3 sailors off the Florida coast, or when the Russian Submarine the Kursk went down last year, how it brought tears to my eyes knowing what it must have been like for those 9 men trapped in compartment 9 for 2 days before their
terrible end finally came.

Mr. Davis, this gathering was something so much more than just a get together. Oh yes, so much more that I can't begin to find the words to adequately express my true feelings toward Gary & Sue especially and my friends and shipmates who were there. The common link here I believe is the fact that everyone there at the bash who wears the Submarine Qualified insignia has at one time in their life, had an experience just like the next guy or 4 or 5 or 10 experiences exactly the same only different, who has trusted his life in the hands of someone else completely and they in turn also. It didn't matter if you were a Commanding Officer such as Capt Peters or a newly qualified Seaman, the common bond here is "Qualified in Submarines". There isn't a thing within my means that I wouldn't do for anyone who wears Dolphins because I absolutely know for sure that it is the same for me.

Mr. Davis I thank you for caring enough to take the time to help spread the word about the Silent Service. To remind people why we are a family. To maybe make someone stop and
think just what some men and families went thru to ensure everyone can enjoy the freedoms we have that so many take for granted. My hero's are the men who went to sea in the old boats during WWII. Now that took guts. The Cold War era like myself got hairy at times but can't compare in the slightest to what the guys who made a combat patrol did back then. Those are the unsung hero's!

On that note, I bid you a good day sir.


Paul E. Perris (aka PEP) EX-RM1(SS)
Submarine Qualified 68-77


Bash Memories