The U.S.S. New Jersey, BB-62 U.S.S. Providence, CLG-6 History of the Bugler. Pictures, news media and souvinirs. Items that may be of interest to you. Call the Bugler: contact information.

 

Bertrand Raymond Trottier, Jr.
Bugler USN           Part I

Here I offer some insight into my life, outlining events that lead up to my becoming the Bugler on the U.S.S. New Jersey, BB-62 and a little there after. Please keep in mind these pages are intended more for family consumption than that of the general public. However, you may find the copy, if not the pictures, interesting to explore.

 

1968  On the New Jersey, BB62, 1968.  Note distinctive 'Bugle' patch on sleeve.  Bertrand R. Trottier, 2003 2003

 

I've been dreading preparing this page. What ever happened to that handsome young man on the left? Now he's an 'old fart!' My only redeeming attribute is having two wonderful children; one in her junior year at University of Southern California (where I studied), the other finishing up high school on his way to college next year and the very lucky husband of a wonderful, smart, understanding and beautiful wife. Otherwise, there is nothing really special about me except for my bugle gig on the New Jersey.

Trottier Family, 2003. Linda, Bert, Miguel and YiYi.
The Trottier Family, 2003. Linda, Bert, Miguel and YiYi.

The Present
Linda and I met through a mutual friend four years after my dear past wife of fifteen years, Bertha Estrada, passed away in June of 1994 in a tragic auto accident. Linda's husband passed away one year, one month and one day before Bertha. I should note that Linda, Miguel and YiYi are from Mexico which is not too obvious. Her trip from China and that of her husband to Mexico is an un-nerving tale of courage and perseverance. However, let it be known that this is my wonderful family and I'd have life no other way.

Professionally Linda is an accountant and manages the front office for a large import firm in Rancho Cucamonga (yes, there is such a place), California and I run a small multilingual advertising/graphics/web design firm. Our daughter, YiYi, all 89lbs of her, is a junior at the University of Southern California majoring in International Relations, with a double minor in cinema and languages (she's learning Italian on the side, Ugh!). Miguel is planning on pursuing a complimentary career in International Security after graduating high school in 2005. The whole family reads and speaks Spanish, English, Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese. Linda speaks several additional dialects including Taiwanese.

When Linda and I met, she spoke little English and I knew no Chinese except a few complimentary words. Our common language was Spanish which, too, is spoken by her brother and sister-in-law who also live here in California. Compliment that with my French and you'll understand why we have eight television sets in our home!

YiYi spends her summer breaks either working as a librarian at USC or providing Spanish/Chinese/English interpreting for the California State court system. She was certified in Spanish through California State University San Bernardino while in first year in high school. Miguel is a normal kid who's into Internet games, Cowboy Bebop, WWII history, militaria and loves shooting from his gun collection. We're NRA members and I've made a point that everyone in the family learns gun safety and know how to shoot all our weapons. Also I enrolled everyone in Karate so as to be able to defend themselves. Miguel should have his Black Belt soon. He recently won two gold medals in Tae Kwon do at the 2002 California State Championships.

At home we eat primarily traditional Chinese with an occasional mixing in of Mexican meals. Linda and her past husband owned and operated a chain of Chinese restaurants in Mexico for fifteen years and is a food expert. It is important to note that the children have their U.S. citizenship and Linda is scheduled to have her's by the end of 2004. Our love of traveling includes family trips to parts of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, parts of Mexico, Northern California, New Jersey and Washington D.C.

Some Early 20th Century Trottier History

1946: The Trottier Family Heads West
My parents, Bertrand R. Trottier and Rebecca H. Trottier along with my father's four brothers, Arthur, Richard, Treasor and Joseph and their sister Amy and their families moved out to California in 1946 to get away from political corruption in the New York/Massachusetts/Rhode Island/Connecticut area. They also moved the whole plastering business to start anew in a new paradise by the sea called San Diego, California. They landed in El Cajon where they nearly froze to death during an unusually cold winter as they threw away their winter clothes upon arriving at the "Sunny California" border!

While driving to California in a Lincoln Zephyr with my two older sisters and the rest of the family of some ten cars and trucks in tow it seemed my younger sister, Joan, always had a lot of money and nobody could figure out why. One day she was caught picking up the tips my father had left behind at the restaurant after feeding whole family. By this time we had already crossed the State Line to California. The damage had already been done!

So here and now, on this web site in front of the world, I apologize to all those hard working waitresses who helped feed some twenty people and never got their tips to help feed their families; I'm so sorry for your lost income. I hope the Good Lord took care of you. If I had any way of knowing who you are I'd send you all check with 65 years of compound interest.

I can just imagine the anger my family left behind. Oh, my.

My grandfather's plastering company did large projects all over the East Coast including railroad stations, public buildings, hospitals and the Empire State building. He brought his family down from Canada just after the turn of the century after his grandfather came over from Paris, France. My grandpa Trottier and my family had a troublesome relationship with a "rum-runner" (one who transported illegal liquor) during Prohibition named Joseph P. Kennedy who is the father of President John F. Kennedy. Joe Kennedy used to try to bribe the family and others with coal in the winter to "encourage" election votes for certain political candidates. This illicit activity quickly affected the family's business so the whole family was literally forced out.

Here's a history note for you; when Franklin D. Roosevelt became President in 1933, he made Joe Kennedy Secretary of Transportation. Figures. Now you know where the Kennedy famous wealth comes from. Joe Kennedy should have been in prison for all the damage he caused ours, other families and the valiant"cause" of Prohibition as well.

Here are some pictures and some stories that may be of interest. Some of the photos get larger with a Click and have more information. Enjoy!

 

Little Bert, Christmas 1948
I was a little charmer even at 9 months. old.

Christmas 1948
What good is a web site without a baby picture of yours truly? This was taken New Years Eve 1948 when I was 9 months old. How cute! I'm glad I was dressed for the occasion. My family was living in La Mesa, California in a home my father built into the hill side with a stand of orange trees in front; both Valencia and navels gave us fresh oranges year-round. The home is situated on Mt. Nebo facing due east where a couple miles across the valley we can see Mt. Helix which has a wonderful gigantic white cross atop of it. As members of the First Congregational Church, my mother played organ and directed Easter Services every year during the late 40's through the early 60's at the 1,000+ seat outdoor Mt. Helix amphitheater.

Someone had made an impromptu top-hat for the picture. I remember the big house parties my parents used to have into the late 50's. Everyone from the town's mayor on down would come by. Of course all of the Trottier family would show up with lots of music and food. As I grew up my hair became less blond but still curly. I remember women standing in front of me pointing their fingers through the curls on my head. How I hated that!

My hair starting blonding out again after I reached 30. I don't know why. Seems that's the only significant physical feature about me I can talk about. And look, my first bugle!

The photo at the right was taken in 1949 a little after I was a year old. What a cute kid! And my sisters Charlotte and Joan, well, they're kinda cute, too. My dad was a handsome Frenchman with early graying hair and my mom a very petit and pretty lady of English extraction. Ours was a very popular family in the 1950's in La Mesa. I still think the kid is cute with beadie little eyes!

The Trottier clan in 1949.  My dad holding me, mom/Becky,  Charlotte and Joan.
Trottier family around 1955.

St. Andrews Episcopal School 1954
My parents used to hold big Thanksgiving Dinners for the whole Trottier Family and "Open House" parties on Christmas Eve and New Years. These were always exciting. The house my dad built at the end of WWII had a sunken living room, huge fireplace and large areas of glass in one foot squares looking our at Mt. Helix. It was my job to wash all those little windows. The home was featured in a double page spread in the San Diego Union newspaper as the living room, dining room, music/library room opened out onto through French doors to a very nice, covered, patio. It was here I did a lot of my early playing as I was easy to watch through all those glazed doors.

By 1952 Charlotte was married and Joan was still in high school. Both were signers, dancers, and played piano and other instruments. They were involved with my mom in USO and American Legion shows during the 50's.

Around 1954 I was placed in St. Andrews Episcopal School La Mesa. The 1950's in La Mesa was your quintessential California small town with annual parades, holiday decorations such as Easter and especially Christmas where they always have a Santa House on one side of the railroad tracks that ran through town and a Nativity Scene on the other. The whole town seemed to get involved in everything. My dad was very active with the city and the local Kiwanis club where he became president for several years. I grew up with many friends around the neighborhood including Allen Brown whose home is now a local historical landmark on Palm Avenue. Right: Bert at St. Andrews.

Bert at St. Andrews Episcopal School, 1954.
Bert Trottier at Brown Militray Academy, 1956

Brown Military Academy 1956
My mother's plan was to have me go to Karate school and learn how to protect myself from the neighborhood gangs that were around those days. None used guns or knives but picked fights, one on one using their bare knuckles. As freightening the kids were to me, I have to admit there seemed to be more honor then. My father insisted upon sending me to Brown Military Academy in Pacific Beach (a suburb of San Diego, California) so I can learn military behavior and structure.

So there I lived for several years with my parents taking me home once in a while on weekends. I was shy at first but soon made friends with everyone. The staff at the school were nice. This was indeed an adventure as I took to the military environment quickly earning numerous "ribbons" for scholastic achievements. The picture at the left shows me in full dress uniform, first year..

The school had three large and one small barracks. The buildings were divided up according to age groups and grades from second to fourteenth. I lived in the smaller barracks on the upper right.

Our "house mother" watched over us diligently. I soon learned to count in from 1 through 10 in German as this was her favorite method of ensuring we did something she wanted. Every morning we'd all line up in the hall way at attention after brushing our teeth and she'd spray our mouths with mouthwash. Her delightful little dog also lived in the barracks.

I began learning trumpet with the "old colonial" and joined the marching band. Before the end of the year I was played Evening Colors in the quad as older classmates lowered the flag. Before long I'd be sounding Taps as well. I was praised highly as dignitaries would come by to watch us.

I played reveille at 6:00am a couple times in my barracks. Otherwise we were woken up with whistles. My classmates preferred my poor rendition of reveille, however.. At least it made them laugh!

Brown Military Academy near San Diego, CA.

After a couple of years I was promoted to sergeant and had my own platoon of "men." I was always in front of people, no matter what I did and I liked the sense of adventure and responsibility that went with it. The military, I'm afraid, was agreeing with me.

Francis W. Parker School 1959
Around 1959 Brown Military Academy was closing and planning to move to Glendora, California. My parents felt it was time for a change so I was sent to Francis W. Parker School. A restful place, 'Parker' was built in the early Mission style overhanging a scary cliff over an arroyo just East of San Diego in Mission Valley. This was a drastic change for me. No more barking orders. However, I was glad to be there with my friend Haige Arkalian who also attended Brown Military Academy.

Here I had my first crush (at last, girls!) which was dismal. I won a kite and a Halloween contest as a clown where I did my own makeup and won science fairs with my plastic and wood model kits. They had music class (no marching bands) and signing, both of which I did well in and wood shop which was my favorite. I continued private trumpet lessons.

My French teacher used a real antique Edison, crank-up, phonograph. She'd have a fit on Mondays as I'd always come back to school with a new accent. We were being taught modern, 20th Century French and my father spoke old 16th Century French. His help with my homework wasn't. My poor dad.

I remember the bird pooped statue of St. Francis of Assisi and fellow student Barbara "Butterball" Butterworth who was pretty with blond hair and blue-eyes. It was nice for my mom to pick me up once in a while as the bus ride was over 2 hours long!

I also remember the school contest for a new logo in 1960. You can see my accepted design to the right. I don't remember what I won, but I didn't care, the teachers and the school were a joy. 'Parker' proved to be an enriching experience. In the picture above I'm the runt in the middle.

At home it was the idyllic 1950's and I'd build plastic and balsa models, play with my huge Lionel train set (I had a bedroom the size of a garage), practice my trumpet, ride my "super bike" that had two headlights on it, build fancy "race cars" with my buddies to scoot down the hill in front of the house; just like the Little Rascals.

Also, when my friends and I weren't building "roads" in the ravine near the railroad tracks, I'd be drawing up "blueprints" for new "forts." These I built out back next to the garage which had a large walled-in, concrete patio. This was my space to build and it was my passion; I wanted to be an architect. To the right is one of my 2-story architectural masterpieces that includes a "telescope." My designs were always challenging to build.

My dad would bring home scrap lumber and nails. One day he bought me a new hammer, which I still use today, to help exercise my intense desire to build things. And build things I did. I'd drive my little friends crazy because as soon as we finished one multi-room project I would be wrapping up another design on the drawing board for another. It was always an "improved" design; poor fellows. We'd argue because they were tired of building and wanted to enjoy the fruits of our labors while I wanted to tear it all down and build another! Watch-out Frank Lloyd Rip!

The fire department quickly solved that argument. Just after we hoisted our bed sheet and "Crayola" French flag above my latest two story architectural achievement, the firemen politely notified my mom that it had to be torn down. That was OK because I had just finished a new set of 'blueprints.' "OK, gang.....where'd you go????"

To the right I'm at summer camp in Alpine, California. That's Peanut Butter, "my" Shetland pony. I became a fairly good horseman.

Bert's buddies, circ. 1958

FWP logo I designed in 1960.

Bert's "fort" 1959.  My Bauhaus influence is quite evident!

Bert at Alpine with Peanut Butter, 1958..

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