First, I was early. I always like to note that.
Jen and I got there about 5:30, a half hour early, so I could scope out a good spot for the two video cameras I brought. I had my Flip video camera that Danny gave me aboard the USS Kearsarge. I also had my sister Grace's video camera which I had NO idea how to use, lol.
I checked in with the person setting things up and asked about placement of the cameras. I was apparently free to put them where I wished and settled on what I thought was an excellent spot just in front of the most forward mast. There was a solid thick rail & I settled the little Flip & it's tripod there. At first I assumed the podium would be centered in front, but it was actually off to the left. When I finally get the videos up, you will see at one point I adjust the angle. I thought about stay in the little cordoned off area behind the video, but Jen & I thought it wasn't necessary. Bad call number one! LOL I couldn't quite see the display so when I did adjust the angle, I stopped just short of the guest of honor! Of course!
The ceremony was just over an hour and I am hoping to grab pics from the others who were present. I am told that CDR O'Malley's sister Jayne is an excellent photographer and I know I want those pictures. Jayne totally rocked a awesome white dress, Jen noted that Jayne "knew the rule" and pointed to her beige shoes. Are Bostonians the only ones who adhere to the white shoes after Memorial Day rule anymore? LOL, we get it.
After the ceremony we went over to the Coast Guard Station in the North End for the reception. We were hanging out with CDR Bullard, his wife Sarah, CDR O'Malley when I decided this was when I wanted to give my gift. It was small and silly, but I liked it. Plus, if you looked at all the gifts he got, you would have immediately picked out mine. They were personalized M&Ms that read "Bravo Zulu" and "US Navy Huzzah!" Cool, huh?
Then CDR O'Malley decided this would be a good time to present CDR Bullard with a gift from the Stephen Decatur House. CDR Bullard is one of my favorite Navy History buffs. After admiring the gift, I told him that it was worthy of a blog post for the Naval History Blog....I've always got my hand out on someone's behalf!
I got to spend some time hanging out with Bill & Sarah, which was very nice. Jen liked them immediately. We really are the same person sometimes.
I gave CDR O'Malley a "Thank You" card instead of a "Congratulations" card. I know a lot of people look at it as something to celebrate, and certainly 31 years of Navy service is quite an accomplishment. But there is no way that guy is happy to be retired from the Navy. So my card just said "Thank you for your service. Fair winds and a following Sea, Sailor!"
Anyway, I am playing with this video and learning in stops and starts. All or part of it will be up as I can do it.