Greetings to all “Fighting Saint” shipmates.
I will never forget the time the USS SAINT PAUL went on a goodwill cruise to Portland, Oregon. It was during the famous Rose Festival. It was amazing how the roses would be in full bloom during the winter season. It was more amazing to see and be a part of the navigation done through the Willamette River. I thought it would really be impossible for the USS SAINT PAUL to navigate and much less, sail through a river. However, much to my amazement it did. More amazing was how all the crew was treated once we tied the ship to a tree in Portland. The pier was filled with people of all ages welcoming the ship and its crew to the city of Portland, Oregon. When got off the ship the people, especially the girls, wanted our autograph.
It was then that I knew how a movie star feels when surrounded by fans. My friend and I had not walked three blocks when we got a ride with two girls driving a brand new car. They treated us to fried chicken and french fries. They gave us a tour of their proud and beautiful city. After night fell on us they took us to what looked like a very dark park with not a single light. We had a picnic and ate the rest of the left-over-chicken. In the early morning when the sun started showing its rays of light my friend got up screaming. I woke up and next thing I know he is next to me asking me if I knew where we were. I looked around and found out we had spent the night in a cemetery. I will never forget Portland, Oregon; the girls that gave us a ride; the chicken and to say the least, the cemetery.