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May 17, 2016 Navy, Sailboat charter, Sailing, York River, Yorktown

Sailing with Zeus

Sailing with Zeus

On an otherwise calm day with fluctuating winds, two couples from the Midwest got to watch as the USNS Zeus came in the York River on the way to its home port at Cheatham Annex. They saw the Coleman Bridge swing both spans open to let the big ship transit. The Zeus looked beaten up as it passed us near Yorktown, with the ports showing rust marks down the hull. The ship plies the Atlantic to lay 1,000 miles of cable up to 9,000 feet deep. The cable is used to spy on Russian subs, which are still active.

Sailing with Zeus

Sailing with ZeusJan and Dan Richter are from the St. Louis area. Bob and Sue Bowker are from the Chicago area. In a remarkable coincidence, their respective daughter-in-law and daughter both went to the same nursing program at a Chicago hospital and wound up in neo-natal care units.
Bob Bowker made a living years ago writing jingles for radio and TV spots. “Do you remember ‘You deserve a break today’? That was McDonald’s.” He also worked on Wrigley’s and other memorable jingles. “You don’t hear jingles much these days. They took a long time to develop with the writing and the studio time. Now an advertiser can download six versions of something from iTunes and adapt that. Things have changed.”

Sailing with ZeusLater that day the news reported the death of Bill Backer, the famous jingle writer who came up with the iconic tune for Coca-Cola, “I’d like to teach the world to sing.” It was another coincidence.

Today Bob is artistic director for Lakeside Singers, two dozen people who do concerts in Evanston and around Chicago. Their motto sounds like a jingle: “Celebrating music from Renaissance to Rock.”  I asked if any of them were divas, and he paused. “That, sir, is a given.”

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Sailing with Zeus

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