Sigh…this truly ISN’T my Navy anymore…

Under the Navy’s new Departure & Separation Program, sailors on six surface ships were provided access to licensed counselors and specially trained educators during their first two to six weeks of deployment.

Full article, HERE.

I literally have no words for this… none…

In the True/False question of the day, was this character based on a real person or not?

Answer below the fold-


His real name was Frank “Rocky” Fiegel. He was born in 1868 in Poland and, as a child, immigrated to the United States with his parents, who settled down in a small town in Illinois.  As a young man, Rocky went to sea.  After a 20 year career as a sailor in the Merchant Marines, Fiegel retired.  He was later hired by Wiebusch’s Tavern in the city of Chester, Illinois as a ‘Bouncer’  to maintain order in the rowdy bar.

Rocky quickly developed a reputation for always being involved in fighting ( and usually winning)..  As a result, he had a deformed eye (“Pop-eye”). He also ‘always’ smoked his pipe, so he always spoke out of one side of his mouth.  In his spare time as a Bouncer, Rocky would entertain the customers by regaling them with exciting stories of adventures he claimed to have had over his career as a sailor crossing the ‘Seven Seas.’

The creator of Popeye, Elzie Crisler Segar, grew up in Chester and, as a young man, met Rocky at the tavern  and would sit for hours listening to the old sailor’s  amazing ‘sea’ stories.’  Years later, Segar became a cartoonist and developed a comic strip called ‘Thimble Theater.’  He honoured Fiegel him by asking if he could model his new comic strip character, ‘Popeye the Sailor Man,’ after him.  Naturally Fiegel was flattered and agreed.

Segar claimed that ‘Olive Oyl,’ along with other characters, was also loosely based on an actual person.  She was Dora Paskel, owner of a small grocery store in Chester. She apparently actually looked much like the Olive Oyl character in his comics.  He claimed she even dressed much the same way.

Through the years, Segar kept in touch with Rocky and always helped him with money; giving him a small percentage of what he earned from his ‘Popeye’ illustrations.





YGTBSM!!! — 22 Comments

  1. Giving Rocky a ‘touch’ was the mark of humility to me. When you help out someone who helped you, it’s a good thing.

  2. Awesome ! I grew up watching Popeye bust Blutos butt . It was traumatic when they changed Bluto to Brutus .

  3. Jeez, the Navy’s getting as bad as the Air Force!

    Just kidding, kinda…

    And great story about Popeye – I had no idea. Thanks!

  4. The way I understand it, this counseling business was usually handled by an older non-commissioned officer or someone similar. Truth?

    • Back in the day it was, in the mid 60s it would have met with suck it up buttercup, you think your problems are worse than anyone else…by the late 70s I would confer with my colleagues in the Goat Locker and determine the optimum solution, whether it was an opportunity to work in another department, or get an evaluation of immature personality disorder with a medical discharge. Training and operations momentum leave little room to hold someones hand. This problem is a direct result of lack of parental discipline, nuclear families, participation awards, etc.

      • I was in from 70 to 76, and we never got counseling, nor was any needed. As the man said, we were told to get your ass to work and no slacking off! The kids that joined in that time and era were no strangers to work whether hard or soft. The kids nowadays have to have a permit to work.

  5. Hey Old NFO;

    Dang, I had heard something about that and didn’t know any details. Thanks, Thought he was actually in the U.S Navy.

  6. I’ve watched a number of Popeye cartoons. Thanks for the background.

    I’ve spent 8 years in the underground Air Force as a “mole man”, and it was usually quiet. Wandered into a store one day, saw a water-color of a mole down in his hole, and bought it.

  7. All- Thanks for the comments, yes MJ, the ‘counselling’ was as described by the Senior Chief… sigh

    Sam- That’s a neat find! Y’all were a ‘bit’ different… 😉

    Posted from my iPhone.

  8. Times change. Perhaps methods need to change. I don’t know but I do know my NCO’s (Army, early 60’s) focused on the job at hand and you did the job. If you didn’t, they had ways of encouraging you and your tender feelings weren’t of concern to them.

  9. Hate to see what they’ve done to celebrations for crossing the Equator and other notable nautical ‘landmarks.’

    What, is everyone now issued with a woobie, a pillow, a box of kleenex and some tampons or manpons depending on what sex they are at the moment of issue?


    First they throw away the Marine’s tanks and heavy lift choppers, now this.

    To make everyone really pissed off, the House is now investigating Reparations for Slavery. GAAAHAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Many years ago when I was heavily into genealogy and researching the Fiegel surname, ALL Fiegels because of many similar spellings, we visited and cleaned up Frank “Popeye” Fiegel’s grave. He wasn’t in our direct line, but it was a worthwhile endeavor.

    Regarding the Navy, and the rest of our present and future military, I hope the leadership won’t be tooooo busy doing social justice and touchy-feelie work to actually provide national defense. I retired 1/1/93 and saw things changing, but never in my wildest dreams would I have seen this coming.

  11. Strong to the finish, great story. And good man, to share the bounty.

    Eat yer spinach, and not in feta-tofu quiche. No counseling needed, then.

  12. Isn’t this what chaplains are for? Or does our ‘modern’ Navy not have those either?

  13. I grew up with and loved Popeye, but I *hated* spinach. Still do.

    Even to this day, I’ll still use the occasional “Popeye-ism”, like calling an escalator an “escelevator”.

    “That’s all I can stands, cause I can’t stands no more!”

  14. From Roy above:

    “That’s all I can stands, cause I can’t stands no more!”

    Sums up my attitude towards what’s going on these days…

  15. I think the counseling is also chicken-shit.

    However, before I totally dismiss it? I’d like to see some measureable objectives established and see if they are met.
    1. Divorces
    2. Money problems
    3. Suicides
    4. Alcohol related incidents
    If this program reduces problems? Then maybe it should be kept.
    If it doesn’t? Deep six it.

  16. We ARMY Aviation Commanders had a list of events that were assigned a number, ie: death of an immediate family member was a 10. Loss of a pet might be a 5. Any sum of events that equaled 10 required a temporary flight grounding. I think that system was a good one.
    Chester, IL is 30 minutes from where I reside. There is a statue of Popeye at the visitor’s center on the Illinois side of the the Mississippi there, and many Popeye cartoon statues festoon the town. I was under the impression that Rocky was a river sailor, so I learned something today.

  17. I never knew Popeye was based on a real person. Tidbits like that are interesting.

    As for the counselors during deployment, is not that what the Chaplain’s are for? That is who I spoke with when I was having issues in my first deployment.

    How soon until each rack has a mobile that plays lullaby’s?

  18. I’m with Ray. Wow. Are they betting on never having to fight a war again or just trying to be Star Trek Next Gen IV?

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