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Sun Sep 13, 2020, 03:20 PM

When the bell tolls, it can toll *unexpectedly*

What set this off on the *unexpected* side of bells was Soph0571's thread https://www.democraticunderground.com/10181403983 , wherein she touched on it. But best vibes to her SO and her, and admiration for both and for her stalwart humor under the circumstances.

******** So nostalgia grows fonder ever the further back in time it reaches, and a decade after my 4 yrs stint in the Navy I started to get misty about it forgetting how I counted the days while in it. Details here and there looking better. One was about the Ship's Bell, especially on my smaller first ship where it was more prominent, and then at a flea market or second hand “antique” store, there was a small brass bell with a figure or animal of some kind as a handle, and that started the collection mania going. And going and going. And a few people would bring me one from their tours. I like only brass or other metal ones, and I graciously accepted glass and China ones until the benefactors departed when I would re-gift those.

Anyway, I don’t even have a count of how many there are, at least fifty, and several years ago reached the point of NO MORE BELLS, but Collectors out there know that there’s always ONE MORE MUST HAVE.

First up here is the *actual* ship’s bell that inspired my craze. The Popeye shows how I used a bell I didn’t like to put a Popeye PIN on it. Then there’s the clapper-LESS bell, for use in *striking* it with a mallet or soft drum stick. And as for the outside big ranch bell, I haven’t rung it since SHITLER took power and expect to ring it starting, hopefully, on November 3 or thereabouts.

**********BUT the theme is the *UNEXPECTED* side of bells, as Soph0571 broached. As can be seen from the dust on them in the pics, my bells basically just sit on the shelf. But when the collecting was new, I was focused on the WELCOME side of bell ringing, thinking everybody felt that way, until these three episodes taught me something.

EPISODE 1: For a short period I took one or another of the bells with me to Happy Hour and when the bartender was at the other end of the bar or otherwise slow to come around, I would ring my bell and for a few times at different places, everybody laughed and had a cheery old time. Until at this one place, where the bartender was originally from another country, after the first couple of times came to me politely yet deadly earnestly to ask me not to ring it. She said that in her country of origin, a bell was used at school, that she hated school and bells, so please stop. I didn’t take it seriously, and a bit later an elderly customer took up the place next to me and waited overly long for the bartender to come, and I took out my bell and said to him, “Here, ring this!1” He did. And boy did the bartender respond!1 She rushed over directly to me and I thought she was going to jump over the bar to strangle me, saying “If you ring that damned thing ONE MORE TIME…!1”

EPISODE 2: So when I first acquired the big ranch bell and hung it in the tree, a friend visited and I was showing her around and when we got to the bell, I rang it smartly, the way it should be rung, smartly with disciplined vigor. Then suddenly the neighbor fellow next door came *TEARING* from around the corner of his house like with his hair on fire!1 When he saw us just standing there, he pulled himself up short, let his hair fire go out and walked back, head down pondering.

EPISODE 3: In one of those browsing stores full of miscellaneous goods and knickknacks and whatever, there were only the sales clerk busy in a back corner and me in the place. I browsed and browsed and finally found something and went to the front station to pay. The clerk didn’t notice me standing waiting. There was a DESK BELL on the station. But I had learned my lesson about bells, so just kept waiting for the clerk, who finally saw me and came rushing up, saying, “Sir, why didn’t you ring the bell?!1” I said, ruefully, “No, no… no problem!1”








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Response to UTUSN (Original post)

Sun Sep 13, 2020, 03:26 PM

1. K&R, but the link to Soph's thread doesn't work. Here's a working link:

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 13, 2020, 03:35 PM

3. Yip, that's it, same as mine but mine had the comma next to it. Thanks. Did you like the bells?

Last edited Mon Sep 14, 2020, 10:58 AM - Edit history (1)

I think that decades ago some businesses used to give out souvenir bells as promotions. I have one that cost me fifty cents that has a Harley Davidson eagle handle.

Plus, the colorful ones like the Tiffany lampshade, I found over different years in different places, but clearly they were made in the same place with the stained glass motif. They don't have any markings at all.






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Response to UTUSN (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 13, 2020, 03:36 PM

5. I found them fascinating. nt

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Response to UTUSN (Original post)

Sun Sep 13, 2020, 03:31 PM

2. Fun and interesting.

Thanks.

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Response to efhmc (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 13, 2020, 03:35 PM

4. Careful ringing bells!!!1

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Response to UTUSN (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 13, 2020, 04:00 PM

6. Glad they gave you so much pleasure over the years

but, yeah -- I can really see where there are instances ....
Major irritant (and alarm factor). It's a wonder you didn't receive a number of severe drubbings down through the years. ----- -----

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #6)

Sun Sep 13, 2020, 04:08 PM

7. Yeah, the bells & I just sit silently!1

No, but when there are visitors, I sometimes ring a welcome aboard honor for them.

I have a common gate bell in front, but hardly anybody uses it, just stand there at the gate until I notice them. Except the Jehovah's Witnesses, who ring it ever so gently/quietly defeating the purpose.






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Response to UTUSN (Reply #7)

Sun Sep 13, 2020, 04:17 PM

8. and a sense of humor

And -- there's a boat load (my own poor attempt) of symbolism regarding every feature and aspect .... As I'm sure you're aware. Interesting subject.
(bell, signals, alarms, language ...)

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #8)

Sun Sep 13, 2020, 10:00 PM

12. A most perceptive reader (probably writer) - thanks!

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Response to UTUSN (Original post)

Sun Sep 13, 2020, 04:44 PM

9. My crazy grandma had a bell.

After she had to have her foot amputated the assisted living place where she'd been living wouldn't take her back, not because she'd had her foot amputated but because she was crazy. That wasn't the first time she'd been rejected by nursing homes or assisted living places. So she moved back in with my parents, again, displacing them from the "master" bedroom because that had the easiest bathroom for her to navigate by herself.

My parents gave her a bell...



My wife and I were grandma sitting once while my parents were taking a break, a few thousand miles away in Central America, and I remember my grandma ringing the bell furiously because she was out of cigarettes. We were sure it was something worse when we heard her furiously ringing it and went rushing in.

That was the first and last time I've ever bought cigarettes, a twenty mile round trip to get "her" brand.

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Response to UTUSN (Original post)

Sun Sep 13, 2020, 09:43 PM

10. I knew every hour's strike with the Campanille in UC Berkeley

I worked there for 20 years and the sound of the campanille’s 65 bells tolling on every hour was our day’s heartbeat. It’s one of the many things I miss about the university. In recent years a family of Peregrine falcons moved into the belfry and every year has seen all their eggs hatch and their chicks thrive. They’ve became the unofficial university pets, watched and loved by everyone.












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Response to lunatica (Reply #10)

Sun Sep 13, 2020, 09:57 PM

11. Yea, keeping the hours, heard underway at sea! Here's my pome from '73, 2 yrs after Navy:

Last edited Mon Sep 14, 2020, 12:54 AM - Edit history (1)

I have heard knell
a shipboard bell
the hours on a glass blue sea

And I have heard yell
sailors swabbies and swells
with pitching 'twixt fish and fowl free

Oft had had quelled
my sun sweat smell
by salt spray bare burned back to lee

Have let alone dwell
a green eyed belle
as I skipped to my mates with glee

For I have heard knell
a shipboard bell
the hours on a glass blue sea






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Response to UTUSN (Reply #11)

Sun Sep 13, 2020, 10:12 PM

13. That is so beautiful!

When the chime of bells signify the marking of the arrival of time it’s a beautiful thing. It’s music.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #13)

Sun Sep 13, 2020, 11:11 PM

15. Speaking of music: The Crystal Ship (The Doors) - we had a storm at sea

After R&R at Subic Bay (Naval station), Olongapo City, The Philippines, en route to Guam, we hit or were hit by a storm for a couple of days. The ship was an LST (Landing Ship Tank) built in 1945 in use in 1967, all rusted and leaky. Plus, LSTs are essentially long (football field), hollow tubes (used for carrying cargo or troops), some of which were known to snap in half. Also called "large, slow targets." So most regular routines don't stop for things like storms, especially not standing Watch around the clock.

IOW, you can’t just stay in your “rack” (bunk), have to observe regular hours perhaps with make-work/busy-work and depending on the schedule liable to be woken up for Mid Watch (midnight to 4 A.M.), and have to climb “ladders” (straight up and down stairs) while the tossing and slamming of the ship in the giant waves pulls leaden you with gravity or sucks you up in the absence of gravity.

So when we finally escaped, the Captain (actually a Lieutenant on this small ship) gave us a rare reward, declared “Holiday Routine” (day off from work), which aboard a ship with nowhere to go amounts to lounging around sort of sun bathing on the deck. So she sea was calm, sky was clear, sun was sun. And the Captain sent out crates of ice cold oranges from the Officers’ stockpile (we didn’t know they had). And somebody had a (cassette?) player and the song below wafted over us. To this day I have zero idea what the words said, just heard the sort of plaintive singer and the intoxicating keyboard interlude.


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Response to UTUSN (Reply #15)

Mon Sep 14, 2020, 06:01 PM

18. Sounds like the perfect time to get high too!

Though your Lieutenant/captain probably wasn’t that cool.

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Response to UTUSN (Original post)

Sun Sep 13, 2020, 10:40 PM

14. Your ranch bell reminded me - when I first bought my farm I bought a farm bell

And also a herd of goats to help clear the underbrush on this long neglected property. The guys helping to set up the farm for horses got in the habit of ringing the bell when they arrived and the goats quickly learned that the bell meant people and possible treats.

Sometimes we'd get visitors that would ring the bell, expecting to alert us or our workers that someone was here - not nly would people arrive, if any were here, but they would end up with a herd of goats expecting something for their trouble in responding to the bell. It made it hard for those visitors to leave without letting the goats out the front gate.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #14)

Sun Sep 13, 2020, 11:17 PM

16. Hah!1 Am hearing the WTF bleating and seeing the head butting that should have occurred!1

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Response to UTUSN (Original post)

Mon Sep 14, 2020, 12:47 AM

17. The Lone Sailor

**********QUOTE*******

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lone_Sailor
The Lone Sailor, a 1987 bronze sculpture, is a tribute to all the personnel of the sea services. The sculpture was created by Stanley Bleifeld, for the United States Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Rear Admiral William Thompson was the first president and CEO of the Navy Memorial Foundation, which raised the funds to create the Navy Memorial. As a tribute to Thompson's work to bring the memorial to life, sculptor Stanley Bleifeld placed Thompson's initials and last name on the sea bag.[1] The model for The Lone Sailor was Dan Maloney.[2][3][4] Maloney modeled in 1984 or 1985 when he was a Petty Officer First Class assigned to the submarine USS Alabama.[5] The Navy Times published Maloney's first person account of his selection and collaboration with Bleifeld on The Lone Sailor and Liberty Hound statues.[6] The Liberty Hound is located on the Jacksonville, Florida waterfront. There were several earlier designs for The Lone Sailor but the versions created from those sessions were not approved.[7] After the failed attempts using Navy Ceremonial Honor Guard models, Bleifeld asked New London Submarine Base for someone more typical.[8] As part of the casting process, the bronze for The Lone Sailor was mixed with artifacts from eight U.S. Navy ships, provided by the Naval Historical Center.

There are other copies of The Lone Sailor in memorials around the United States.[9] ....

**********UNQUOTE*****

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