Gurr,  Pat
15 Jan 2006
~~I was born in 1939 at Immokalee, Florida, near the Everglades, where my dad drove a
log truck. In 1941 my family moved to Trenton, FL, then Apalachicola, FL in 1943, then to
Greenville, FL in 1944, then to St. Augustine, FL where I begin first grade in 1945 and 4
weeks later we moved to Ocala, FL where we settled. I graduated Ocala High School
class of '57. I signed up with the Navy and left for boot camp about 2 weeks after
graduating. Attended boot camp at Great Lakes, then home for leave and back to Great
Lakes for 3 months class "A" Machinist Mate school. During MM school I volunteered for
submarine duty and after graduating I was sent to New London Submarine School. After
graduating from sub school in 1958 I was assigned to the USS Thornback SS-418. A
diesel boat, stationed in Key West and later it was transferred to Charleston in 1959. Just
before the boat left for the Charleston Navy Yard in 1959 I was sent to diesel engine
school back in New London. After completing diesel engine school I rejoined the boat in
the yards.

~~While on the Thornback I made two trips across the Atlantic visiting the countries on
the northern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Also made stops in the North
Atlantic at Ireland and Scotland. Made several trips to Cuba and Jamaica. I discharged in
1960 as MM2 (SS). During those years the Navy would discharge you on your 21st
birthday if you joined while still 17 (kiddy cruiser). When I graduated high school I was
about 3 months shy of my 18th birthday, so I served 3 years and 3 months. The highlight
of my Navy service was when our Thornback executive officer, Lt. Cmdr. Stephen
O'Leary, nominated me for the Naval Academy. I passed the on-board interview and
passed the physical but flunked the written entrance exam. Guess I skipped too many
classes at Ocala High School. After I discharged I returned to work at the Ocala
Star-Banner, where I had worked in the circulation and the pressroom during my junior
and senior school years through the high school DCT program. During the next 3 years I
was also an instructor in the Navy Reserves completing my 6 year obligation. I was sent to
Charleston in 1961 for 2-week reserve active duty to attend Instructor Training School and
the following year I spent my 2-week tour in Key West helping with the overhaul of the
midget submarine Marlin which was in drydock.

~~In 1961 I left the Star-Banner and purchased half interest in a gas station. A year later I
sold out my half interest and attended linotype school in NYC during the day and worked
in a print shop at night. After completing linotype school I again returned to work at the
Star-Banner in the composing room. There I served my 4-year apprenticeship to become
a journeyman printer.

~~After 4 years of courtship, in 1964 I married Virginia Sims, a friend of my sister. We had
a son born in 1966 and named him Ty Patrick. He is a draftsman, married, has no children
and it looks like we will never be grandparents. My brother Joe, 2 years older than me,
made the Navy his career, retiring as a DCC and now lives in Melbourne, FL. My sister
Judy was killed at age 21 in a car accident in 1965. My dad would later pass away in 1974
at age 60. My mom passed away in 2005 at age 91. Ginger's folks are 87 and live in
Ocala. Ginger's older brother, Larry, retired from the Navy as a MMCM after a career in
the nuclear submarine service.

~~I worked at the Gainesville Sun in 1966 and later newspapers in Georgia, Tennessee
and Illinois. Returning to Florida I worked at newspapers in Starke, Bradenton and then
St. Petersburg in 1969. I spent 26 years with the St. Petersburg Times, retiring as
production manager, at age 55 in 1995. I then vowed to never work again or care what
time it was. Ginger also retired at the same time from her career as a hairdresser.

~~Since we both were from Ocala we wanted to retire back here, so in 1989 while still
working, we purchased an acre lot between Ocala and Dunnellon, off SR200. Starting in
1991 we spent all of our spare time for the next 3 years building our retirement home on
this site and that's where we now reside since 1995. We are real home bodies and enjoy
our country living. We travel a little, I like to bass fish, learn the computer, lunch with old
friends, and do gardening. I set out 100 dogwood trees and 100 azalea plants on our little
acre. Ginger likes to collect recipes, go shopping and learn the computer.

~~Hope this didn't bore you.