(author unknown)

Contributed by Dolly Juhlin




Back in the “Old Guard” there were a lot of rough, tough, guys who had their way of life. They were a prideful lot. This little essay by an unknown author depicts the Coastie of those times……..


Between the security of childhood and the insecurity of a second childhood, we find a fascinating group of humans called Coasties. They can be found anywhere on ships, at shore stations, in bars, on live, in love, and always in debt Girls love them, citizens and towns tolerate them, and the government supports them.


A Coastie is lazy, sharp with a deck of cards, born with a tattooed arm, and a protector of the world always with a copy of Playboy.  He has the energy of a turtle, the slyness of a fox, the ingenuity of a con-man, the stories of a sea captain, the sincerity of a liar, the aspiration of a Casanova, and when he wants something it's usually connected with a liberty card.


Some of his likes are women, girls, females, dames, and the opposite sex. He dislikes answering letters, wearing his uniform, superior officers, chow, getting up at reveille, and being called a "Hooligan"


No one person but a Coastie could put in one sock a little black book, a pack of crushed cigarettes, a photo of his girl, a comb he doesn't need (because his hair is usually to short to comb), a church key, and what's left of his month's pay. He likes to spend his money on women, some on poker games, and the rest foolishly.


A Coastie is a magic creature You can lock him out of your home, but not your heart You can scratch him off your list, but not off your mind. You might as well give in, he's your "Long-away-from-home-lover,” and your one and only good for nothing barrel of joy.


All your dreams become insignificant when you Coastie looks at you with those weary, bloodshot eyes and says, "Hi ya honey.....I'm home!"


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