Baltimore: the Zoo, 1987
We were in Baltimore and I was an EN3 working in the machine shop for ENCM Kelly. Master Chief Kelly had sent me and EN3 Hebert on a parts run with a government vehicle. It was something that was needed and it had been shipped in to the supplier. We left the ship at about 1030 to make the parts run and the direction took us past the Baltimore City Zoo. Being from Kentucky I had never been to a Zoo in my life. I mentioned that to Hebert and he said he had always wanted to visit one as well. So we turned around and went back. We were in dungarees and in a government vehicle but we were only going to stay a few minutes. It was wonderful! I was seeing stuff that I had only seen in books.
How it got to 1600 so fast I will never know! I think we panicked somewhat but we made it to the suppliers warehouse just before closing. We were able to pick up the crate but it was after our normal working hours when we got back. Now those of you that remember Master Chief Kelly will also remember that he can chew butt really good. He was waiting for us and I remember his red face, flat top style haircut and a cigar. He dressed us down really good and demanded to know where we had been. I told him the truth. ―Master Chief we went to the zoo and just forgot the time‖. For some reason he refused to believe the story. We suffered some sort of minor punishment and for months after that the Master Chief would press me for where we really went that day.
I communicated the story to him last year and he emailed back. ―Did you guys really stop at the zoo?‖
Arthur (Artie) Kelly ENCM 82 lost his wife Anne in September of 2008 and said that he lives alone now with his dog and plays golf five days a week. He retired from the CG after 24 years and then retired again in 1989 from the City of Newport, R.I.
Baltimore Ship’s Party!
Another experience that I had under ENCM Kelly was right after our arrival in Baltimore we had some kind of special ship party. The wives were invited and it was a dress up affair. I was young and single at the time and perhaps a little wild. The Master Chief told us that this was a semi-formal party and that we had to try and dress up. He specifically turned to me and said ―Henderson‖ don‘t bring any of your girl friends off of The Block. Try and get a nice girl. Now I did not really know any girls from ―The Block‖ at the time but I caught the jest of it.
I had just met a sweet attractive Italian girl by the name of Marie and invited her to go. Marie was a quiet shy girl and she made sure that I was properly introduced to her parents before we could date. They were the true Italian first generation family and quizzed me pretty good. Now, I‘m thinking that I‘m going to be ―looking good‖ with Marie. When I told her we had to dress up she said she did not own a real nice dress. We went shopping and I helped her pick out a really sharp blue dress and new shoes.
The night of the ships party I was one proud sailor with this cute well built black haired beauty on my arm. It was great to be there with a ―nice girl‖ and I made it a point to make sure that the Master Chief met her.
Things went down hill after that. We had had a few drinks and I could tell they were having an effect on Marie as her words were a little slurred and she was getting real talkative. Marie also seemed to undergo a definite character change. She would look at other women and say ―look at that‖ or