The story begins!

by The Boatswain | November 7th, 2005

Ellen and Jacque

Ellen and Jacque

Here it is the second day of November already and I’m still recovering from my birthday in April! Sheeeesh! — Since Westy posted that picture of her Mom and I taken after our wedding 63 years ago, thought I might tell how we met. I was earning a Lordly $36 a month after being promoted from Apprentice Seaman to Seaman Second Class, and couldn’t afford too much in entertainment. There was a roller skating rink only about 12 miles away, and, since hitch-hiking was easy, I’d go there about once a week and pay my 15¢ admission (This INCLUDED the four-wheel skate rental! No ‘inline’s’ in those days.) and meet some gals and skate around to organ music.

One Wednesday evening I spotted a girl that I had met a week or so before, with a group of friends, so decided to go talk to her and, maybe, have a partner for skating. (In those days, October of 1941, there were still places that had signs outside that read “Dogs And Sailors Not Allowed!”, but that’s another story.) Meanwhile, Ellen, who was in the group, turned to a friend and said, “See that sailor? I’m going to marry HIM!” We hadn’t met yet, but my doom was sealed! We spent the evening skating together and made a date for further meetings!




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The United States Navy rating of Boatswain's Mate is a designation given to enlisted members who are rated as a deck seaman. The colloquial form of address for a boatswain's mate is 'Boats'.

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