I was standing in the mess hall line at the Marine Base in 29 Palms. I noticed a black widow spider on the collar of the Captain next to me.
"Captain, don't move." I said and tried to brush the spider off of his shirt with the brim of my cover (cap). The spider deftly dodged under the brim and ran down inside his camoflauged shirt.
"Hold on," I said and slowly unbuttoned his shirt, which probably looked odd to the rest of the Marines in the chow line. When I unbuttoned the last button he did a war dance, slapping every inch of his body to get rid of or kill the spider.
Then the captain said "Next time, don't help."
The ingrate. See if I ever help him again, after all I did.
We had lots of black widow spiders at the Marine Bases in 29 Palms, CA and Yuma, AZ in 1967-68. I had many of them under my desk. I would periodically beat them down with a broom and burned them out a couple of times with a torch, but they always came back. But they were nice and never bit me. I suppose I should be sorry for being mean to them.
One time I was laying on my back in the floor of a room, with my head slightly under a desk. And there was the red hour glass of the spiders abdomen inches above my large and long nose. Startled me a bit.
Another Marine Spider story. One of our Marines really liked tarantulas. He captured a large hairy one in 29 Palms California and brought it back to his apartment in Berwin.
Tarantula got out of the box and moved to another apartment. When they discovered spidey in their cupboard the residents convened a hasty kangaroo court and quickly evicted our spider loving Marine and his tarantula.
Craig Hullinger MPHS Jan 66
Marine Corps Regular and Reserve 66 to 99
I also have a childhood memory of Marlin Perkins from Zoo Parade holding a large tarantula in his hand and saying, " as long as I don't make any sudden moves he won't bight."