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Out of Step Paperback – October 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: A&M Books; First edition (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983796106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983796107
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,637,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This book could not be more timely. (It s) a tender, fragile love story about a family of young women..."growing up" in the military, to the beat of a different drummer, and making decisions with lifelong consequences. --Col Grethe Cammermeyer , author of Serving in Silence

About the Author

New Jersey native and retired journalist, Lee is the mother of a 40 year old son. She worked for the Atlantic City Press, a large daily newspaper, in the 1960s, as a general assignment reporter, feature writer, and entertainment columnist. She then joined the Citizen News in Waldorf, Maryland, winding up her career as a staff writer with the Herald Tribune in Sarasota, Fl. She also spent time as a singer/guitar player in the entertainment business during both the 60 s and 70 s. She currently resides along the Delaware Shore, near Rehoboth Beach, with her partner, a retired Army Captain.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
J. Lee Watton in OUT OF STEP has written a book of celebration - and that is one of the aspects of this well written and, yes, entertaining book that makes her voice resound throughout a country that has been slow to mature. Instead of writing an angry memoir of the abuse and humiliation she and her fellow lesbian WAVES suffered as the hands of the armed forces prior to the recent lifting of the ban on gays serving in the military, she has the gracious and generous spirit to simply tell us of the trying times she endured because of her sexual preference with just the right amount of respect for those who suffered with her but at the same time concentrating on the overdue freedom that now, hopefully, will change the history of her past.

Introducing her life before the military gives the reader a picture of a well-adjusted woman with a genuine desire to serve her country in the US Navy. This, too, is a coming out story and ultimately a beautiful love story between Watton and her special person as well as the camaraderie of like-minded WAVES who became 'The Family'. In 1965 there was a witch hunt, as unjust and as cruel as those of Salem of the past, but this witch hunt was held in Bainbridge, Maryland where a group of young, spirited, naïve WAVES were stationed in the US Naval Training Center. In the worst kind of 'intelligence' probe this group of WAVES underwent scrutiny, being spied upon, and investigated for being gay. The result was a trial without representation resulting in the discharge of five WAVES from the military, simply for being gay. J.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By burkeeDE on December 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
I found myself so completely engrossed in the story Lee Watton had to tell. It was as if it were a high school history lesson and trust me, I never paid as much attention to high school history class. As I read each chapter, I wondered if these ladies had any idea how their story and journey would impact the generations of young homosexual women who came along behind them in the military. The comradery that these women showed for one another goes way beyong anyone's sexual orientation...it speaks loud and clearly to the integrity of a group of very proud women who just wanted to serve their country...but not at the cost of ruining anyone else's career in the process. It was so clear that these women loved their country, but not even their country and the military's bigotry could reduce them to selling out to save themselves. It is a heartwarming story of young love, love of country, and tough lessons that life can throw at you in an instant. Buy the book...read the book...read it again...and be proud to be a woman!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bob Lind on December 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
Long before the recently-ended "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy clarified the military's policy toward gay and lesbian individuals, periodic "witch hunts" were common in the service, looking to identify (correctly or not) such individuals to be discharged, through whatever ways possible. This was the situation in the summer of 1965, when the author was a new WAVE recruit at the US Naval Training Center at Bainbridge, Maryland, and this is her riveting memoir of that experience.

Mindful of the need to be careful, the author and a few similarly-minded friends banded together as "the family" off base, and covered each other when any suspicions seemed to be turned their way. It wasn't enough, and they were brought before the Office of Naval Intelligence, an intimidating and tricky procedure designed to take away their chance of remaining in the service.

In the forty-five years since her unexpected discharge, the author relates the incidents involved, provides incisive background into the political and legal mindset of the times, and reconnects with some of "the family" to get their take on what it has meant to their lives. The book is a revelation and - no matter what similar books you have read before (including Col. Cammermeyer's "Serving In Silence") - a shocking look at the blatant damage done to young lives in that era. Outstanding, and a full five stars out of five.

- Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MCole on October 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished Lee Watton's book for the second time. It was more spell binding the second read than the first. Having served in the Navy for eleven years I know the constant fear Lee so adequately expressed. It is a book not only for those of us who served our country, but a great read for any woman that has lived through the male dominated business world. Simply put, "woman" read this book to learn about survival.
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By Arthur N. Mayers on May 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a nice personal account of consequences of being a lesbian in the Navy at that time. I was hoping for more insight in the process in which the Navy was able to gather intelligence and then root out suspected gay people. I have some personal knowledge into that and it isnt pretty.
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