Writing Challenge: day 33

Yeah for day 6 of the Armchair Genealogist‘s writing challenge. Today’s assignment was finding the conflict in the story. There are four basic types of conflict:

  1. man vs. man
  2. man vs. nature
  3. man vs. society
  4. man vs. himself

I think for my Dad’s story it is mostly about him vs. himself.Though their is an aspect of man vs. nature in keeping the students safe.

Next question from today lesson is what did my Dad want or desire. I know from his letters he really wanted to have a family. He felt alone and saw others with family and yearned for that. The problem with that is that he doesn’t want this story to be about his personal life. The purpose of this book is to tell the story of his Navy life. So I need to focus on another want. In thinking I came up with a twist on the wish for a family. I think one of the reasons he wanted to have a family was to be part of something important, something that matters. I believe being part of the setting up of the Underwater Swimmers School was important and it really mattered to the Navy and helping their men be better prepared for their jobs.

Last question for today: what is at stake for my Dad? I think he was at a point in his life where he wasn’t sure about his future. Did he want to stay in the Navy or get out and do something in the civilian sector. His future was at stake and his confidence was just starting to grow in his abilities and worth as an individual. He went on to greater confidence and success. He stayed in the Navy for another 10 years after the Underwater Swimmers School.

Lynn has a free writing exercise as part of today’s challenge. I found myself doing way too much editing as I went along. So I have room to grow in really being free in my free writing. The assignment was to writing about a tense situation. I chose to write about my Dad being challenged by a couple of fellow sailors just after he got back to Key West in 1956 after being in Maryland for a refresher course.

Finally back from Maryland? I bet your all soft and flabby after all that classroom work.

Yeah, bet we can bet you now, after 3 months of hanging around in D.C. We have been practicing the mile. Maybe we’ll give Banner a run for his money in a little while.

Let me get settled in for a few days and then I’ll take a run with you guys.

That out of shape, are you Red? Too much time at the submarine races?

Come one fellows, I just got back after a long drive. Give me a break.

You’re just scared that you’ve gotten old and fat with all that civilian cooking.

We have a course all laid out, were heading out now for our run, come on old man.

All right fellows, we will see who is slow and flabby. Just let me change, give me a second.

Out on the street the three of them line up for the race of the century.

What exactly is your mile course?

Aw, you can just follow us, there is no way your going to keep us with us.

No, I want to know the route.

OK, we go straight down Southard street until we get to Simonton, turn left there, then on to Caroline then back to Front street, take the curve onto Emma and then back down Southard to here. But you will be eating our dust.

Ready, Set, Go.

The three young sailors take off without too much jocking for possition. There stay pretty even through the turn onto Simonton but then Ray starts to inch ahead.

(There is no way I’m letting these yahoos beat me, no matter how much it hurts.)

They aren’t too worried though sure that Ray is pushing too hard. They know this course and just how to pace it to come out strong at the end. But to their surprise by they time they round the corner onto Carloline he is continuing to pull ahead.

(They aren’t near as good a milers as they thing they are. I just might be able to really show them up.)

He should have petered out by now.

By the time they cross Whitehead, Ray has rounded the corner onto Front Street. Now they know that they are in trouble and try to pick up their pace, but they just don’t have it.By this time all three of them having burning muscles and their legs want to quite but their pride is at stake.

Half way down Emma, Ray decides it is time to kick it to the end and puts on and extra burst of speed.

Time to really push it, Don’t let them think they have any sort of chance to catch you.

He reaches the starting point way ahead of the other too. While his lungs are hurting and his legs are jelly his heart is joyous. He showed those two fellows who is soft and flabby. As Bob and Dick straggle in their bluster is gone and they have new found respect for Hoglund and his speed. But in their minds they are also plotting for a rematch after harder training. over the next few weeks. But the other part of their brains realize that they are no match for Ray and his speed and stamina.

Good job guys, better luck next time.

Yeah, they mumble, good race between gasps of breath.

Ray walks off trying not to show how hard he had to work for that win.


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