Kevin Basil (signature)

Personal Update

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Written by Basil on 07/10/2005 4:52 PM. Filed under:

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Portsmouth is a wonderful little community. Downtown is full of these great little shops and eateries. I haven’t been into the shops yet, but the eateries are way too expensive. Oh, wait. I have been into a little independent bookseller. Very nice, but small. It was good to talk again to people like the folks I used to work with at Joseph-Beth.

I’ve been attending the local Greek parish. All I can say is that it’s Greek. Curiously, the Lord keeps sending me to parishes named for St Nicholas, who is the patron saint of sailors. (If you’re ever wondering what to get me, there is a beautiful icon of St Nicholas, Help of Mariners from St Isaac of Syria Skete. They had one at boot camp, and I nearly wept the first time I saw it.) They have some beautiful icons, too. Someday, I’ll get some photos. The parish priest (what do they call them in Greek? Proistamenos? Whatever.) has been away for the last month. He should be returning this week. I’ll try to squeeze in an appointment to talk to him soon.

The first year on a sub for a submariner is spent learning about the boat and being initiated into the crew. Although hazing has been officially forbidden, the crew still tries to see how much a newbie can take. Once a submariner has qualified, he is given the coveted “Silver Dolphins,” which means he has a thorough understanding of the boat from bow to stern. Most significantly for his shipmates, he means he knows the right thing to do if there should ever be a problem, like fire or flooding. It means they can count on him to save their lives if necessary.

So, the next year of my life is going to be pretty demanding. Of course, we’re in the yards, so it’s not as demanding as it would be if we were at sea, but it will still be a pretty tough year (give or take some; hot runners can get their dolphins in as little as six months). Keep me in your prayers.

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5 Responses to “Personal Update”

  1. Johanna Says:

    Basil, there used to be a great little boxcar-type diner on a back street, kind of in the blocks behind where Common Grounds (coffe house) is located. It was inexpensive & nice…a lot of old curmudgeon locals hung out there. Ugh, $18.95 for a chicken dish…I suppose that was an organic hoity-toity-type snob chicken, right?

  2. Basil Says:

    Not sure if it was organic, but the place was definitely hoity-toity. I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t go all out and get the $27 tuna steak. On the up side, the chicken was the best chicken I’ve ever had, bar none. Very juicy and tender.

  3. Andrew S. Damick Says:

    Proistamenos glosses roughly to rector.

    Are you at Norfolk now? My dad was there a couple times (he got out in ’83 as an MM1). There’s also an Antiochian mission parish in that area, named for your patron. The priest there, Fr. Gregory MacGregor, is a big Scotsman with a Brooklyn accent who plays the bagpipes and is a former NYPD beat cop. Great guy.

  4. Chris J. Davis Says:

    Good to hear that you are adjusting to your new digs in Portsmouth. The surroundings look beautiful and right up my alley.

    Might need to fly up and visit sometime… after the baby is born that is.

  5. Basil Says:

    Andrew: no, I’m in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. My boat is in the yards for the next year or so. Then, out to sea trials and eventually down to Norfolk. I will probably attend the OCA parish in the area. It’s in the same deanery as my home parish, and I’ve found in my travels that OCA/Russian customs make a parish feel like home to me. Of course, many Antiochian parishes adopt Russian customs, especially when they serve a multi-ethnic or a large convert congregation. But since I will be back in my bishop’s jurisdiction, it only makes sense that I attend one of his parishes. However, how could I not at least make a visit to a church named for my patron and namesake, St Basil the Great? If they have relics, then a pilgrimage is a done deal!

    Chris Dmitri: you are welcome anytime.