By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

The Great Destroyers

Bivouacked in a cove on the Italian coast we were preparing for an invasion of Southern France.

The German army was in retreat, for sometime we have been providing supplies for the Allies at points along the coast. We were being watched by Axis Charlie, a German spy-plane that stayed just out of range of our biggest guns.

Having been through some scary encounters a shipmate and I went ashore into the Italian village and found a tavern where we began forgetting about the war with a jug of rum. The effect of rum is insidious. As with most intoxicants, you do not know your mind is being damaged until it is too late.

Returning to ship with our brains dulled, we cranked up the diesel and ran the ship into a seawall. We were considered for court martial but excused because of having been overseas too long. My entire future had been placed in peril by rum.

In 1946, when decommissioning my ship on the St. Johns River, a shipmate and I went to Ocala. He bought a bottle of Southern Comfort. Sometime later we were involved in a brawl which put me in sickbay for recovery. Again, an intoxicant triggered trouble.

Eight years later I purchased a fur salon in Muncie, Indiana. The staff arranged a press-party for the newspaper and television representative and others. I have no idea who mixed the punch or what it contained. I drank some punch.

Two days later I awakened in the Drake Hotel in Chicago, 200 miles away. To this day I have no idea how I got there. That was 65 years ago. I have not abused my brain since then.

Party-time, gaiety, beer bashes, down-the-hatch, vodka, marijuana, rum, tequila, cocaine, opium, Rohypnol, methamphetamines, moonshine, vermouth, anisette, chug-a-lug, heroin, sake, scotch, gin, champagne, LSD, bourbon, crème-de-menthe, brandy, uppers, downers, ecstasy, steroids, home brew, spice, K2, Ak-47, blonde, standard, blaze, red dawn, green giant, citron, wicked x, ninja, caution, red giant, kekhe kole, flakka, geeked up, absinthe, margarita, stout, vino, Jager-bombs, speed, grog, Tooheys, crack, mescaline…and always one more for the road…always.

The consequences of partying with drugs and alcohol; venereal diseases, spouse abuse, infidelity, AIDS, alcoholism, drug addicts, impoverishment, child molestation, automobile accidents, mind impairment, mangled automobiles, disfigurement, imprisonment, promiscuity, abortions, divorce, vehicular homicide, rage, jealousy, fist fights, insanity, unemployment, immorality, pregnancies, cirrhosis of the liver, violent acts, child abuse, crime, reckless driving, suicide, hepatitis, murder, heart failure, physical disablement, random shootings and even death.

Great civilizations have faded into the annals of history as a consequence of sedated behavior.

You can email Bill York at: Sioux2222@gmail.com