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A pipe story, a ship story, and a story about my dad ...

JCinPA

The Lather Maestro
So, when I was a boy, my dad had about a dozen pipes in a rack in the living room. I actually never saw him smoke a pipe, he gave them up in the Navy because they were too hard to fiddle with on board ship, he took to smoking cigars. He smoked cigarettes, but had his very last one on his wedding day, the last photo in my folks' wedding album was the last photo of him with a cigarette. When I grew up I'd have a cigar with pops from time to time when we visited. Pops died last December at the ripe old age of 92, he had a good run. Here's a shot of my dad, my son, and I at Grandparents Day at Valley Forge Military Academy when my son was a High School freshman there. He's 28 now, but what a photo memory this is. Navy, Air Force, then my son went Army, I guess my grandson will be a jarhead. We are all wearing leathers, by the way, no plastic shoes for our military family. :D


2021-11-02_200730.jpg


So, this is a story about a pipe. And a ship. A fancy yacht, really. My dad worked summers in high school as a coal passer on a liberty ship in the Great Lakes, then became a fireman on oceangoing ships to work his way through a physics degree in College. He joined the Navy to avoid being drafted into the Army in the Korean War and served three years at sea on the USS Waldron DD-699.

So, the pipe. It was a lion head briar bowl with an Ivory stem, and I've never seen one like it before or since, so no pictures. My mother tossed it when they left the home I grew up in, never realizing what it might mean to me or my son. :( But the story that went with it is what this is about.

So during one summer when dad was in college he set out from San Franciso on The Corsair, IV a former yacht of J. Pierpont Morgan, later sold and turned into a swanky small cruise ship. Here she is, in all her glory ...

proxy.php


Pops was on her crew when she met her ultimate demise, in 1949, when she ran aground in Acapulco after hitting a rock. No loss of life, but she was on her side and half-submerged when they got all crew and passengers off. Dad had that pipe in his crew quarters, and actually went back the next day and waded to his cabin in waist deep water to get some belongings, among which was the pipe. You can read about the Corsair IV and her demise here.


The story was a bit short, as she was not completely written off, at least at first. According to my dad, they had sent a floating dry dock out of San Francisco immediately, hoping to bring her back and fix her up, but while the dry dock was enroute, he said a storm set in and in the surf the ship was simply pounded into bits before the dry dock arrived.

A funny part of the story was that none of the crew had passports, as they lived aboard ship and were not expected to go ashore. They did not need passports while aboard ship, but with their ship now gone they were in Mexico without passports and Mexican authorities arrested them and jailed them. One of the crew was a retired Naval Officer who got hold of the U.S. Consulate who came and bailed them out and put them up in a posh hotel where according to dad, they got into quite a bit of trouble. They were not, um, as refined as the passengers, and some alcohol and fighting were involved, and the embassy folks barely got them out of Mexico, apparently, he never told me any of the details.

But that pipe was in his rack the whole time I grew up in our house and I would have loved to have it now, but he had not smoked it in years and mom tossed it with so much other junk from a 5-bedroom house when they moved into a downtown Chicago apartment. Along with about 40 years of National Geographic magazines from about 1966 to about 2006. Every one of them, no missing issues. What I would not give to have that collection today.

But this was about a wonderful pipe, with quite a story to tell, and its remarkable owner, my dad. I wish I could show her to you. Hope you don't mind this martini-fueled story. Kevin (my boy) and I never tired of pops' old ship stories. I miss him terribly.
 
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Marco

B&B's Man in Italy
Dear John @JCinPA what a TERRIFIC story, it almost brought tears to my eyes... And thank you so very much for contacting me privately in order to read it. Absolutely touching, emotional and full of remarkable memories.

P.S. Via PM I told you that I do not smoke, but I promise that the day we finally meet we'll have a cigar together to honour our long standing friendship.
 
So, when I was a boy, my dad had about a dozen pipes in a rack in the living room. I actually never saw him smoke a pipe, he gave them up in the Navy because they were too hard to fiddle with on board ship, he took to smoking cigars. He smoked cigarettes, but had his very last one on his wedding day, the last photo in my folks' wedding album was the last photo of him with a cigarette. When I grew up I'd have a cigar with pops from time to time when we visited. Pops died last December at the ripe old age of 92, he had a good run. Here's a shot of my dad, my son, and I at Grandparents Day at Valley Forge Military Academy when my son was a High School freshman there. He's 28 now, but what a photo memory this is. Navy, Air Force, then my son went Army, I guess my grandson will be a jarhead. We are all wearing leathers, by the way, no plastic shoes for our military family. :D


View attachment 1356659

So, this is a story about a pipe. And a ship. A fancy yacht, really. My dad worked summers in high school as a coal passer on a liberty ship in the Great Lakes, then became a fireman on oceangoing ships to work his way through a physics degree in College. He joined the Navy to avoid being drafted into the Army in the Korean War and served three years at sea on the USS Waldron DD-699.

So, the pipe. It was a lion head briar bowl with an Ivory stem, and I've never seen one like it before or since, so no pictures. My mother tossed it when they left the home I grew up in, never realizing what it might mean to me or my son. :( But the story that went with it is what this is about.

So during one summer when dad was in college he set out from San Franciso on The Corsair, IV a former yacht of J. Pierpont Morgan, later sold and turned into a swanky small cruise ship. Here she is, in all her glory ...

proxy.php


Pops was on her crew when she met her ultimate demise, in 1949, when she ran aground in Acapulco after hitting a rock. No loss of life, but she was on her side and half-submerged when they got all crew and passengers off. Dad had that pipe in his crew quarters, and actually went back the next day and waded to his cabin in waist deep water to get some belongings, among which was the pipe. You can read about the Corsair IV and her demise here.


The story was a bit short, as she was not completely written off, at least at first. According to my dad, they had sent a floating dry dock out of San Francisco immediately, hoping to bring her back and fix her up, but while the dry dock was enroute, he said a storm set in and in the surf the ship was simply pounded into bits before the dry dock arrived.

A funny part of the story was that none of the crew had passports, as they lived aboard ship and were not expected to go ashore. They did not need passports while aboard ship, but with their ship now gone they were in Mexico without passports and Mexican authorities arrested them and jailed them. One of the crew was a retired Naval Officer who got hold of the U.S. Consulate who came and bailed them out and put them up in a posh hotel where according to dad, they got into quite a bit of trouble. They were not, um, as refined as the passengers, and some alcohol and fighting were involved, and the embassy folks barely got them out of Mexico, apparently, he never told me any of the details.

But that pipe was in his rack the whole time I grew up in our house and I would have loved to have it now, but he had not smoked it in years and mom tossed it with so much other junk from a 5-bedroom house when they moved into a downtown Chicago apartment. Along with about 40 years of National Geographic magazines from about 1966 to about 2006. Every one of them, no missing issues. What I would not give to have that collection today.

But this was about a wonderful pipe, with quite a story to tell, and its remarkable owner, my dad. I wish I could show her to you. Hope you don't mind this martini-fueled story. Kevin (my boy) and I never tired of pops' old ship stories. I miss him terribly.
Did it ever bother your dad that as an 0-4 (LCDR), he had to address you as Captain, even though to the Air Force, a Captain is 0-3 and to the Navy, a Captain is 0-6? :lol1:
 

JCinPA

The Lather Maestro
Hahahaha, no, we got the rank thing, but there is a funny story about my commissioning.

Air Force follows Army tradition, and we are never covered (wearing head gear) indoors, but will salute uncovered at a 'military formation'. For you who have not served, a 'military formation' is basically any formal military meeting of from two people to large groups, so from reporting in to your commanding officer first thing in the day, to group formations of various sorts. My commissioning ceremony was a military formation. The only time an Army (or Air Force) person is covered indoors is if they are armed. The Navy, on the other hand, will happily remain covered indoors for any military formation, but they won't salute uncovered.

So, as you might expect, my dad flew to Texas to administer my commissioning oath, during which we would exchange salutes. So my dad and my OCS instructor get into a big pissing match over my dad not wanting to salute me when I'm uncovered. My instructor was respectfully trying to convince my dad he should also be uncovered, since it was an Air Force military formation. I, of course, having been there three months, wanted it in my rear view mirror, STAT. Finally, I interrupted them both.

"Look, I want to get out of here, I'm sure my instructor would like to see me out of his hair, Dad, you wear your $%#& cover, I'm not wearing a cover, your tradition, our tradition. I'll salute you at the proper time, you return the $%#& salute, OK? Let's get this done!"

He grumbled that he would, but he still didn't think it was right. Sheesh, you'd think he never went to any indoor mixed military affairs. Maybe he hadn't spent almost all of his time at sea. Probably not a very interesting story for the civilians, but I thought you might get a smile out of it, Phil.
 
Hahahaha, no, we got the rank thing, but there is a funny story about my commissioning.

Air Force follows Army tradition, and we are never covered (wearing head gear) indoors, but will salute uncovered at a 'military formation'. For you who have not served, a 'military formation' is basically any formal military meeting of from two people to large groups, so from reporting in to your commanding officer first thing in the day, to group formations of various sorts. My commissioning ceremony was a military formation. The only time an Army (or Air Force) person is covered indoors is if they are armed. The Navy, on the other hand, will happily remain covered indoors for any military formation, but they won't salute uncovered.

So, as you might expect, my dad flew to Texas to administer my commissioning oath, during which we would exchange salutes. So my dad and my OCS instructor get into a big pissing match over my dad not wanting to salute me when I'm uncovered. My instructor was respectfully trying to convince my dad he should also be uncovered, since it was an Air Force military formation. I, of course, having been there three months, wanted it in my rear view mirror, STAT. Finally, I interrupted them both.

"Look, I want to get out of here, I'm sure my instructor would like to see me out of his hair, Dad, you wear your $%#& cover, I'm not wearing a cover, your tradition, our tradition. I'll salute you at the proper time, you return the $%#& salute, OK? Let's get this done!"

He grumbled that he would, but he still didn't think it was right. Sheesh, you'd think he never went to any indoor mixed military affairs. Maybe he hadn't spent almost all of his time at sea. Probably not a very interesting story for the civilians, but I thought you might get a smile out of it, Phil.
Interestingly, the 2009 Defense Authorization Act has allowed Navy veterans authorization to salute not only uncovered, but also in civillian attire. Good for me because I can now salute the flag during the National Anthem!
Also, wouldn’t I be “Mister” usually? Unsure of your traditions.
Mr. so-and-so is used, as is Captain so-and-so. The former being less formal than the latter.
 
So, when I was a boy, my dad had about a dozen pipes in a rack in the living room. I actually never saw him smoke a pipe, he gave them up in the Navy because they were too hard to fiddle with on board ship, he took to smoking cigars. He smoked cigarettes, but had his very last one on his wedding day, the last photo in my folks' wedding album was the last photo of him with a cigarette. When I grew up I'd have a cigar with pops from time to time when we visited. Pops died last December at the ripe old age of 92, he had a good run. Here's a shot of my dad, my son, and I at Grandparents Day at Valley Forge Military Academy when my son was a High School freshman there. He's 28 now, but what a photo memory this is. Navy, Air Force, then my son went Army, I guess my grandson will be a jarhead. We are all wearing leathers, by the way, no plastic shoes for our military family. :D


View attachment 1356659

So, this is a story about a pipe. And a ship. A fancy yacht, really. My dad worked summers in high school as a coal passer on a liberty ship in the Great Lakes, then became a fireman on oceangoing ships to work his way through a physics degree in College. He joined the Navy to avoid being drafted into the Army in the Korean War and served three years at sea on the USS Waldron DD-699.

So, the pipe. It was a lion head briar bowl with an Ivory stem, and I've never seen one like it before or since, so no pictures. My mother tossed it when they left the home I grew up in, never realizing what it might mean to me or my son. :( But the story that went with it is what this is about.

So during one summer when dad was in college he set out from San Franciso on The Corsair, IV a former yacht of J. Pierpont Morgan, later sold and turned into a swanky small cruise ship. Here she is, in all her glory ...

proxy.php


Pops was on her crew when she met her ultimate demise, in 1949, when she ran aground in Acapulco after hitting a rock. No loss of life, but she was on her side and half-submerged when they got all crew and passengers off. Dad had that pipe in his crew quarters, and actually went back the next day and waded to his cabin in waist deep water to get some belongings, among which was the pipe. You can read about the Corsair IV and her demise here.


The story was a bit short, as she was not completely written off, at least at first. According to my dad, they had sent a floating dry dock out of San Francisco immediately, hoping to bring her back and fix her up, but while the dry dock was enroute, he said a storm set in and in the surf the ship was simply pounded into bits before the dry dock arrived.

A funny part of the story was that none of the crew had passports, as they lived aboard ship and were not expected to go ashore. They did not need passports while aboard ship, but with their ship now gone they were in Mexico without passports and Mexican authorities arrested them and jailed them. One of the crew was a retired Naval Officer who got hold of the U.S. Consulate who came and bailed them out and put them up in a posh hotel where according to dad, they got into quite a bit of trouble. They were not, um, as refined as the passengers, and some alcohol and fighting were involved, and the embassy folks barely got them out of Mexico, apparently, he never told me any of the details.

But that pipe was in his rack the whole time I grew up in our house and I would have loved to have it now, but he had not smoked it in years and mom tossed it with so much other junk from a 5-bedroom house when they moved into a downtown Chicago apartment. Along with about 40 years of National Geographic magazines from about 1966 to about 2006. Every one of them, no missing issues. What I would not give to have that collection today.

But this was about a wonderful pipe, with quite a story to tell, and its remarkable owner, my dad. I wish I could show her to you. Hope you don't mind this martini-fueled story. Kevin (my boy) and I never tired of pops' old ship stories. I miss him terribly.
Thanks for sharing, John 👍🏽
 
Great stories! I can picture that pissing match and you just trying to get through the whole thing!:lol:

My father was in the Air Force during the Cuban Missile Crisis stationed at Loring AFB in Maine.

He NEVER spoke of it and absolutely FORBADE my older brother and I from even considering military service.

Being an old school Italian family we did not argue or question him on it.

I don't know what the Old Man did or saw during that period but something sure happened.

He died 15 years ago at age 64 and I miss him terribly. Tearing up as I type this.
 
Great stories! I can picture that pissing match and you just trying to get through the whole thing!:lol:

My father was in the Air Force during the Cuban Missile Crisis stationed at Loring AFB in Maine.

He NEVER spoke of it and absolutely FORBADE my older brother and I from even considering military service.

Being an old school Italian family we did not argue or question him on it.

I don't know what the Old Man did or saw during that period but something sure happened.

He died 15 years ago at age 64 and I miss him terribly. Tearing up as I type this.
There is horror in the world.
 

Conduct During the National Anthem​

Here is the wording of 36 U.S. Code § 301 "National anthem"

(a) Designation.—The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.



(b) Conduct During Playing.—During a rendition of the national anthem—

(1)when the flag is displayed—

(A) individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note;

(B) members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute in the manner provided for individuals in uniform; and

(C) all other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and

(2) when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.
 

JCinPA

The Lather Maestro
^^^^^
Makes sense. I just know the term Mister for company grade officers was common in the Navy going back to English times. Army has always called folks by rank, Lieutenant or Captain or Sergeant. Company grade officers who knew who could keep them out of trouble, teach them, or have their backs (like me) would never use first names for NCO's. It was always Sergeant. I had the good sense to know a career NCO who I treated with respect and relied upon would have my back, so I was always careful about that.

My dad schooled me on that well. When I was a butter bar, I'd always have a one-on-one meeting with my NCOs and tell them I was looking to hear their counsel, and they always watched out for me. I watched other butter bars trying to throw their rank around and then watched the NCO's get out of the way and just watch them self-immolate when they f'd up. Good times!

Work hard. When your rotation (I worked a lot of 24 hour jobs, like NORAD, 7 days on 3 off, 7 on, 4 off) was over, buy a case of beer for your troops, have one beer with them, then LEAVE. Treat them right, give the hard workers good reviews, make sure the slugs were not rewarded, and I found they always took good care of me. I attribute much of my success as a CG officer to my good, mutually respectful relationship with my good NCOs.
 
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