As was obvious to all who attended, the Pre-commissioning Banquet was, in the vernacular, a howling success. Several promising dramatic artists were discovered in the audience (either under the influence of the famed Currie School or other influences of the moment), and many of the faculty members surprised all with their well-chosen but informal bits of advice.
Bob Grinaker's dissection and rendition of "Iron Dick" was perfect to every last flick of the glasses and every draw on the jaw--only the indispensible pole was missing. (Speaking of Professor Merriam, whom we have now bequeathed to Company 4, we might advise those boys to notice and appreciate his ties and to compliment him on his sparkling Monday morning appearance, since these things have always made him "happy" as everyone in the second term wants to be.)
Disproving the theory that whatever is learned in this school can never be forgotten, Dick Ayers' wonderful spiel on IBM procedures went over most of the fog-bound heads in the audience that night. But we did notice bright-eyed Professor Bliss taking a few quick notes on the back of an envelope; perhaps something that he had forgotten or perhaps just something else to smile at and to see how "surprisingly" well the boys next term can do.
"Shorty" Joyner's portrayal of Professor de Haas in three languages, influenced no doubt by the first course, which was served as we entered the banquet hall, was gesticulating and twinkling enough to be convincing; it appears as though we have one man at least who was kept awake during "Stawtees-tics" for a term.
The Dean might be interested to know that no one has yet taken his newly won laurels seriously enough to fraternize in Sherman Hall in the manager he suggested; but if anyone does, we shall be glad to report the results and place the blame.
P.S. What happened to Artie and his Stanley Steamer that night? Professor Merriam and others were greatly disturbed at his absence.
After allowing one day for recovery from that ordeal, up came the commissioning ceremony: brief (25 minutes) but effective (134 new, gold-gilt Ensigns). Most of the boys took practical advantage of the situation immediately. J. Morgan Dester appeared at the next muster in full regalia with all his stripes and complete allowance of brass fully displayed. Felix Locke reputedly spent the afternoon on the docks, looking for a little salt spray on his uniform no doubt, while others, following Lt. Beckham's subtle advice, got their saltiness directly from Cowie Hall. "Pop" Kellogg was walking down the street with a copy of Navy Regs in hand, memorizing that article on saluting in case any unwary Apprentice Seaman or above should cross his path without due formalities; at last reports, he was having quite a bit of difficulty down around Boston Common.
The future for us now holds nothing more than ten days of bliss--at home for those who live in the region served by the Boston Weather Bureau, on the trains for those who live in "sunny" by distant California. Of course, now is the time when Professor Hanson's prediction of a dire fate for 60 percent of us will be put to the acid test. Those far away lights in the eyes of B. A. Johnson and "Dreamer" Dye, Ensigns, SC, portend something to those who know. We've also noticed a few wistful glances on Archie Aiken's face recently; could it be that he also is planning to surprise us with something hitherto unheard of in his rigorous life? All in all the prospects look so pleasant all the way from the banks of the Passaic to the shores of Oakland that all we can do now is to wait until the eighteenth for the happy boys, happy stories, and new acquisitions to roll back into Boston