Square Sails & the Apprentice Boys: The End of an Era illustrates one young sailor’s journey over a century ago
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jennifer Simpson, firstname.lastname@example.org
ALBUQUERQUE, NM, September 19, 2017—Writer Jennifer Simpson has transformed a re-discovered journal written by her great-grandfather, Commander Ludwig Gumz (USN, Ret.), into a book documenting U.S. Navy history at the turn of the Century.
In 1901 Lud Gumz joined the U.S. Navy’s Apprentice Boys program. He was 14 years old. Square Sails documents training cruise aboard the USS Monongahela, taking “The Boys” from Newport, Rhode Island, to Gibraltar, the south of France, and the Caribbean.
Shipboard life was monotonous and challenging especially for a young farm boy growing into a sailor. Young Lud journals about the routine tasks of daily life aboard a ship like holystoning the decks and scrubbing the cloths. Readers also get a real feel for day-to-day life onboard. Meals, for example were a hot topic—if you can count a half cup of beans and a piece of hard tack a meal.
In one entry, Lud wrote that the meat “…smelled like a dead cat does when it lays about a week.” The real problem, he noted, was that there just wasn’t enough food.
“You can’t imagine how a small piece of rye bread and a piece of meat or cheese would of tasted,” he wrote.
Of interest to Navy history buffs and sailors alike, Square Sails and the Apprentice Boys will be available for purchase on Amazon.com on October 15, 2017.
Jennifer Simpson is co-founder of a subscription box for creative writers, Plume, and a marketing consultant. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of New Mexico. and is the executive director of DimeStories, where authors share their 3-minute stories online and at monthly open mic events in San Diego and Costa Mesa, California and in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
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Detroit Publishing Co., Publisher. U.S.S. Monongahela. [Between 1890 and 1901] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/det1994012884/PP/>.
Detroit Publishing Co., Publisher, photographer by Hart, Edward H. U.S.S. Brooklyn, apprentice boys. [Between 1896 and 1899] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/det1994013633/PP/>.
ABOUT THE MONONGAHELA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Monongahela_(1862)