In October of 2004 former crew members of the fast attack submarine USS Permit SSN 594 came together in Houston, Texas for a reunion. The reunion was primarily for those who had served together during the 1960s during the height of the Cold War and the Vietnam War. During that period I served with and was close friends with Danny Smith and John Nisbet, all members of the weapons division on Permit as well as John and myself serving as the shipboard divers.
During the time between 1968 and 2004 our contact had been very limited as I live near Kansas City, Missouri, Danny in Southern Arkansas and John in League City, Texas, south of Houston. Other interests and attending to jobs and families kept us from searching each other out. We had not seen each other in all of those years until we began planning the reunion. At the reunion we discovered a common interest, Harley-Davidson motorcycles. At the time I owned a Road King, Danny had a ‘78 FXE Super Glide, which he still has, but John did not currently have a bike. We began making plans anyway to see each other more often and to begin riding together. John jumped in and sold his sail boat and bought a 2005 Ultra, I traded the Road King on a 2005 Ultra and Danny found a 1999 Ultra, in pristine condition, and he and I drove to the Chicago area to bring it home.
Our motorcycles have truly brought us back together. Since then we have ridden the gulf coast of Texas, the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee, been to visit the submarine Razorback at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum in North Little Rock, and ridden the Pig Trail south out of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. John and I just returned from a 3700 mile round trip where we met in Abilene, Texas and rode to San Diego to another Permit crew reunion. I now have over 20,000 miles on my Ultra and plan many more. Danny, John and I and our Harleys just seem to go together naturally on the road.
Our next trip is already planned for this June of 2007. We plan to ride to Glacier National Park and ride the Road to the Sun then return through Bear Tooth Pass and the Cody, Wyoming area.
By Tom Berry