Raymond Trottier, Jr.
Bugler USN Part
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.
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.
Family, 2003. Linda, Bert, Miguel and YiYi.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Early 20th Century Trottier History
The Trottier Family Heads West
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!
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!
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.
just imagine the anger my family left behind. Oh, my.
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
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.
some pictures and some stories that may be of interest. Some
of the photos get larger with a Click and have more information.
I was a little
charmer even at 9 months. old.
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.
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!
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!
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!
Andrews Episcopal School 1954
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.
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
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.
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.
"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!
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.
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
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
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
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
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????"
the right I'm at summer camp in Alpine, California. That's Peanut
Butter, "my" Shetland pony. I became a fairly good horseman.