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Who were "The Fields?"

During our time on Guam my parents were regulars at the softball fields and the nearby Enlisted 4-5-6 Club on NCS/NAVCAMS. My dad played softball with his team from work and afterwards the gang usually gathered at the club. In late 1981 my parents’ group of close friends included Bob and Holly Youngren, Pat Bowen, Mike Michelle, and Mark and Marty Heuser. Youngren worked with a guy named Benningfield who apparently made his share of mistakes. Well it became commonplace when someone made a mistake, did something silly, or just plain messed up to say, “You’re a real Field” or “What a Field you are!” The saying quickly caught on and my parents and a small group of friends soon fashioned themselves “The Fields.” They hung out together like a fraternity of sorts.

The phenomenon really kicked off during the NAVCAMS Toad Race and Softball Tournament, an event my parents organized in early 1982 to benefit the Navy Relief Society. Prior to the event Youngren and another guy Gene gathered at my parents’ home to come up with numbers and nicknames for all the Fields. My dad was #1 and dubbed “Headfield” because he was in charge. My mom was #1.5 and became “Mrs Headfield.” Youngren and his new wife Holly were #2 “Newlywedfield” and #2.5 “Mrs Newlywedfield.” Senior Chief Pat Bowen became #3 “Seniorfield.” Others got their nicknames for various reasons and became “Shortfield,” “Infield,” “Forcefield,” “Amazonfield,” “Busfield,” “Ralphfield,” “Waldofield,” “Weatherfield,” and “Pineapplefield.” The group was small at first and centered around the softball team entered into the tournament. My mom went downtown and purchased blue and white baseball jerseys - which became the trademark of The Fields. Each jersey was numbered and had the nickname of the person across the back.

The Fields team, organized by my mom with a combination of Fields and non-Fields, won the softball tournament and I am sure they celebrated later that night! Anyway, the group started wearing the jerseys EVERY DAY to the softball fields, to the 4-5-6 Club, to picnic outings at NAVFAC beach, to my baseball games, to NAVCAMS football games at Anderson AFB, etc… The outgoing Fields were always together and gained a lot of notice. You could not miss them! At the 4-5-6 Club my dad would yell, “Dead Field,” and they would all fall to the ground. The girls would all dance around the pool table when a Hook on Classics tune blared over the jukebox. Some people thought they were downright odd, but most folks were envious and wanted to join up. They did initiate many new members in coming months, often in crazy initiation ceremonies.

When we left Guam in June 1982 the gang gathered and took the NAVCAMS bus to the airport. Most of the Fields were on hand to see us off and say goodbye. I’m sure the Fields survived a while without my parents, but slowly died out on Guam as folks transferred out. A reunion was scheduled for early 1984 at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana, and many of the Fields including my parents were there. Back in Maryland I also remember being reunited with some of the Fields including Pat Bowen, Mary and Marty Heuser, and Mike Michelle. The Fields phenomenon on Guam was relatively short-lived, but I think most of the members had the craziest time of their lives!

Farewell Card & Signed Money