Collison, Phil
27 Oct 2007
Graduated Anacostia High School in Washington D C, 1954. Family moved to
Philadelphia and I went to work for Bell Telephone of Pa. Volunteered for the draft and
had plans to try for paratroopers. Astonished to be drafted into the Navy and went to boot
camp in Bainbridge Md. Extended for a third year to attend sub school in New London and
graduated April 1956. Chose Key West as a port and was told to report to Charleston S C
where the Thornback was in the last stages of major overhaul. Left Charleston and
arrived at Key West by way of Newport and a stop in Norfolk. During enlistment, made two
tours at Gitmo and two Atlantic crossings with the stop in Londonderry in June, 1957. I
remember well because we sighted Ireland on my 21st birthday after a rough crossing.
Stood weekday duty at all possible times to swap and have weekends off to go to Ft.
Lauderdale. Oh the trips up and down the keys on Friday evenings and Monday after the
bars closed at 2:00 a. m.

After discharge, married Alita Clement who was one of the Ft. Lauderdale group.
Transferred to Wash D C and settled in suburban Md. Had three sons and started college
working nights and school during day. Worked various craft jobs splicing cable, central
office and outside installation. Promoted to management and held various different
supervisory and staff jobs in D C and Md. Divorced and Alita moved to Syracuse N Y with
Chris, Steve, and Dale. After many starts and stops, finally got a degree in 1974. As
teenagers, my sons came to live with me in Annapolis, Md. Married Gladys in 1982 and
retired from Verizon in March, 1988. Gladys retired from A T T in 1990 and we headed
south in our 34 foot sailboat which I had since 1979. Spent the next nine winters sailing
the Caribbean from the Bahamas to Trinidad and all Islands in between. Left the boat at
various locations when we returned home to Annapolis in the spring. In 1997 we bought a
motorhome and since 1999 have done extensive traveling throughout the east and
southwest including Baja. When home during the summer and fall, I have been busy doing
construction projects and painting as part time employment.

Built a house across the river from the Naval Academy in 1984 and still live here with
many neighbors who are Navy retirees and academy alumni. One of my neighbors was
just appointed the chairman of the joints chiefs of staff, Mike Mullen. What irony. My three
sons and Gladys's daughter are doing well and we have a close continuing relationship.
Three have master degrees in different fields and are married with children while my
middle son is single and lives near his mother. One daughter in law from Italy, one from
Belarus and a son in law from Virginia, all foreigners. I have visited with Glenn Keller three
times, Homer Coulter twice and Pat Gurr just last winter. Anyone in the area, stop for a
visit.