Yeah...I was late. I wasn't reading closely enough and I thought it was 6:45 pm and that my 6:37 arrival was perfect. I was pretty pleased with myself until I got there and saw it in full swing, lol. Then I looked at the invitation more closely.....well, come on, what did you expect?
I worked today, then squeezed in a manicure and pedicure with Jen...she asked so nicely, I couldn't say no!
Then it was off to Charlestown. I made great time into the city...everyone is headed out, lol. Then as I drove down Chelsea Street, there was this huge spot really close to the last of the public parking. How lucky was that? I banged a U-ey and pulled right in. A regular Steve McQueen move.
I brushed my hair, touched up my lipstick, put on the perfect shoes and I was off!
What's the worst that could happen? The ship is full of people, laughing, eating and drinking. I will just sneak aboard.....right? Yeah....no. The Master Chief was at the top of the brow. Bagged. It was slightly reminiscent of trying to sneak in past curfew.
The weather, the ship, the company....you absolutely couldn't have asked for anything more.
I met a friend of CDR Cooper's who is friends with the Ogre. He mentioned drinking with him and I said "I have and it damn near killed me!". But, better than that.... now I know secrets. Sshhhh!
I got to say hi to CAPT Kelley and meet his wife. Hey, Phib, I talked to him about MIDRATs...you guys are going to love him as a guest.
It's always fun to see my fellow Townie, CDR Gillen, USN (ret), 59th in command and I found out something new about him...he was a Mustang! You know how I love the Mustangs!
I always enjoy talking to the Sailors, the guys that have been aboard a while, the new girl from Ohio; the Sailors headed off to school or new billets; the ones who have just arrived from "A" school. All so proud of the ship and their service. I love hearing what Boston looks like through their eyes. Now I have to go visit Stanza and smoke a cigar...the young Sailor who likes it there encouraged me to start out with an "Illusion88". She said it was mild and a good for a beginner. She's headed for Great Lakes and mentioned it was a short train ride to Chicago.....look out Matt!
Another aspect that I get to enjoy at functions such as tonight's is the spouses. You know many times, what someone achieves in the Navy is due to the love and support of their family....particularly spouses. The spouses of Old Ironsides Sailors are no less proud of the ship, the crew in general and their Sailor in particular......than the I am...and that's a lot of pride.
I got to congratulate LCDR Brawley on his interview earlier in the day on WRKO. I teased that I had to call in and rescue him, but you know that wasn't the case at all. He was handling all the questions very well. I just called in to make sure he got a friendly call. Paul is one of my essential connections for finding out what is going on with the Navy in Boston. He's very good to me....when he isn't threatening to have me flogged. He's from Somerville....I'm a Townie....but we make it work.
So, now, what are the two ways to shut me up?
One, tell me that you read me. It's a total conversation stopper, cause it's just too ridiculous! Anyway, I am really glad I didn't just walk away red-faced, because it was a very interesting conversation.
Two, do something nice for me when I am not ready. CDR Cooper and his crew couldn't be nicer to me....or so I thought. But tonight, he caught me off guard and "coined" me. He.....was thanking me.
Where else can you be doing something you absolutely love....and have someone come up and thank you for it and tell you they appreciate you? I just blows me away. I didn't let go of it all night. It's right beside me as I type.
So, what's the best part, you ask? The best part is...it's not over! Tomorrow I will be on Boston's City Hall Plaza at 0900! If you have the chance join me. #NavyWeek continues!