One of the strangest things about dementia is that while Grandma can't remember 30 seconds ago, she can clearly recall World War II. "San Diego" seems to be the trigger that launches her onto this story. So, with Southern California floods making headlines she has been talking a lot about her time at the naval base.
The other day at dinner she mentioned living in San Diego for six months while my grandpa served in the Navy. She worked on the base as a switchboard operator in the hospital.
In her words, "I was lucky to get the job, but I had worked at the telephone company back home. The switchboards used to be on the top floor, but they had to be moved to the basement to protect them. Can you imagine that? In the basement! It was a nice building and we were stuck in the basement! You had to watch out for the rats! They had a bar under the table to put your feet on. So the rats wouldn't get you! And when you got off the tram the sailors would whistle when you walked by. I used to laugh. You know how those damn sailors are. Oh, you would have liked it on the base."