Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cardinal Sins

There are things in this life you just don’t do, In the words of a song from earlier in my life:

You don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger,


You don’t pull on Superman’s cape,


You don’t spit into the wind, and

you don’t mess around with Jim.

My first mid-watch aboard the USS Independence,  I was assigned to guard the hatch that leads into the Ships Intelligence center. I was okay until about 2am, when I looked at the ‘Coffee Mess’. It consisted of two 25 cup pots, rules were “There will always a pot of coffee.” Then hanging on the bulkhead were rows of my shipmates coffee cups. I might add ‘filthy looking cups’.  I am in some ways a neatnic. ‘I will clean this up’, thinks me. I dumped the black syrup out of the pots.

I scoured the pots (that were filthy inside). I took them apart and cleaned the sight glass. I still had time so I washed and cleaned EVERY CUP!  I made two fresh pots of coffee. Looked am my work, tasted the coffee and said that is good!

The leading chief was first thru the hatch the next morning, reached for his cup and yelled at no one in particular, but I knew he was talking to me.

“Who in hell messed with my cup, sixteen years of seasoning down the $hi—er.” he turned and looked at me. “ This coffee is terrible, what happened to the good mid-watch coffee?”

I am the new seaman in the shop so I did what any smart seaman would do, I lied, “I have no idea Master Chief, it was like that when I came on watch.” (He knew better)

I learned a lot my first few days aboard ship. LOL

Most of you  do not remember the treadle sewing machines. That treadle was designed to go just close enough to the floor to mash little boy’s fingers whilst mama is sewing. You commit the sin of putting your fingers in the wrong place, you suffer.

You don’t mess with mama’s tension settings on the old Singer Sewing machine.

Paula mentioned her mama could look at a dress and go home and make one. Mama could do that. I have done a little sewing, but I have never been able to adjust the thread tension to keep from breaking the thread. Amazing what some of the older ladies could do. I imagine it can be done today, but most folk get the store bought clothes.

Thanks for coming by the Log, I appreciate your time.

Nite Shipslog


You cannot look at a human, and know what talent lies within that person.



The top one look like a forerunner of the Crosley.

The bottom like a Morgan.


betty said...

LOL with the coffee and the cups; I would have thought it was a good thing to clean things up like that, but I guess that is a lesson you learned not to repeat again. I think so many of the skills from the "olden days" are lost these days with all of our conveniences we have. My grandmother could make a loaf of bread without measuring the ingredients; nowadays I wonder how many can do such a skill....same thing with making a dress seen on display.


Dar said...

I'd say that was right nice of you to clean up the coffee center...Mom cleaned off Dad's workbench you see, I said ' once.' It seems he couldn't find anything after that. lol
Darcie would pick out a dress or outfit she liked in the catalog, show it to me and I'd whip it up for her. I was always surprised she wanted me to do that rather than purchase it, but I sure appreciated it and was proud of her request.
About filling cho. covered cherries. It's pretty simple really. Put Cho. in the form. let it set, add a bit of creme filling, the cherry, more filling, top with cho, chill. Done. The juice from the cherry comes out naturally. When ya bite it, it gets all over ya just as
Hey, thanks for showing Sy putting the frog to sleep. He was just tickled to show you that.

Elizabeth said...

Love this post !

shirl72 said...

I straighten Dad's Study one time
and he couldn't find anything. It
is funny people have things the
way they want them although messy.
I guess we are all creatures of
habit. I am tidy and orderly.

Jackie said...

I,too, loved this post.
I'm proud of you for cleaning up the mess with the coffee pot/cups. I would have denied it too!

Louis la Vache said...

Great Navy story, Jack!


My dad was a Navy man. LOVED the story.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

My grandmother taught me how to sew on her treadle sewing machine. Yes, things had to be done just so as she was very fussy about the way things were done. Somethings we can change and others you just don't mess with. Hard to believe it is Friday already. This has been a busy week. We're down in the deep freeze here with temps in the 20's for the weekend. Hope you all have a fantastic Friday!

Jackie said...

P.S. Just wanted you to know that you have me singing/humming that song now...:)

Chatty Crone said...

Okay funny - I just got a sewing machine for my birthday - but it is nothing as good as the older ones. And I can't look at something and make it. But I can thread the machine! So far so good. sandie