Nigh on to 46 years ago today I was relaxing with the morning paper and a cup of coffee in the wardroom of my ship, moored in Boston harbor, when my best friend and shipmate came running in, in a state of panic.
"Jim, help, he exclaimed!" Bud's distressing tale was that he had a date that night with a good-looking college chick, and his fiancee, Martha, just called to say that she was arriving, unannounced, in an hour. "How about I get sick, call my date, and suggest a blind date with a fine young man?"
After Bud explained that the "fine young man" was me, I was on the spot. Shipmates do anything for a shipmate, particularly where girls are concerned, so I had to reluctantly agree.
Cocktails, a candle-lit dinner, followed by, to further date this tale, the premier of "South Pacific," more cocktails, and I walked Ann home to her dorm, arriving as the curfew gong sounded. It was a lousy evening, as it usually was in Boston at that time of the year -- raining buckets-full. Having recently read a biography of Sir Walter Ralegh, I carried Ann across a very muddy Boston Common.
That did it -- just too darn romantic. We were married next summer, and off I went to sea, as you might expect of a sailor. I was home 8 weeks of our first two years of marriage -- when I met my eldest son he was 6 months old.
But Ann held in there, she was indeed "a good-looking chick," and it will not be all that long before we celebrate our 50th with our 5 grandchildren.
If you take a quick peek at the photo below you will see that Ann is still a good-looking chick.
PS Ann and Martha are best buddies.