The lockouts, they’ve been many. Those I remember, few.

Going through the government lockout now going on 15 days — as a part-time employee — it sort of amazes me that I recall very few of the past 17 times a shutdown has happened. I suppose I shouldn’t be totally surprised.

Even though I have long been a student of politics I didn’t always give newspapers a thorough study in younger days.

The first of the 17 happened, literally, on my watch. A detail of each shutdown is profiled in this “Wonkblog” piece in The Washington Post. During the 10 days in late September and early October of 1975 in which the government ceased operation I was a young Navy sailor and Gerald R. Ford was in the White House. The cause was a budget showdown in Congress over funding the then-Department of Labor, Health, Education and Welfare. Thank heavens they eventually took Labor out of that bunch. I suppose that even as callous that the American public was during those days about the military — the Vietnam War aftermath — Congress must have seen fit to keep the military up and running. At least, that’s how I remember it.

I was at sea, mostly poking around New Zealand and Australia, when a series of shutdowns took place in the fall of 1977. I don’t remember those. Can you blame me? Also, unlike these days of email, we received very little news from the U.S. during the time I was overseas for those seven  months.

Maybe I recall a bit of the funding gap during the next year since it was over funding for an aircraft carrier. But I don’t remember what fully transpired.

For those Reagan years during which some five or six shutdowns happened I was going to college and living la vida grande. I read newspapers and watched TV news somewhat during those years and was a journalism student. But my life in the Navy had kind of soured me on following the antics of government. So I probably knew what was happening, but I just sort of let much of life go in one ear and out the other.

A couple of one-day shutdowns happened in the late 1980s. I don’t remember much about the one over abortion. But I do vaguely remember the kerfuffle over Contra funding for Nicaragua. I was interested in the whole Contra scandal involving Poppy Bush, Oliver North and others. I thought we, our nation, was headed headlong for a war in Central America. I didn’t want to see another Vietnam for a number of reasons.

Finally, the two Clinton-Gingrich era shutdowns were memorable. I was a reporter by then and i likewise highly amazed how the Republicans had a blinding hate for President “Bubba” Clinton and the First Momma. Maybe the rage that was heaped upon the Clintons subsided a bit in more recent years. There was a logical reason over this. First, another Republican Bush was in office during eight years that time. The wars that George “Dubya” Bush began also captured our attention. And, of course, the first black “Kenyan Muslim” was elected president. I am joking about the Kenyan Muslim, in case you for some reason didn’t figure it out.  I never though the Republicans and ultra-right could “out-hate” Bill Clinton. But with, President Obama whew!

So here I am, working part-time for the government. Involved a bit in a public employee’s union. And I have been furloughed 15 days and got a check for the first time today. A partial paycheck with a grand total of $430. I’ve got rent covered for a little longer. But it’s time to re-evaluate the other bills. Oh and my TV is on, watching the drivel on TV that passes as governing.