Mister B was an enigma to the Executive Department that spanned two Naval Academy classes and four academic years. It was fairly well known in the Brigade that the Superintendent's wife, Mrs. Davidson didn't like the flat black appearance of the midshipmen's blue winter uniforms. It is rumored, and may be true, that she persuaded the shift from blues to whites several weeks before it was really warm enough to be wearing white. It gets cold in Annapolis and outdoor morning meal formations in early spring 1961 were often cases of the shivers.
John Arthur, '62 was on watch on one such nippy morning
and rigged his stereo system in a window of Bancroft Hall with a microphone
and pointed the speakers into Tecumseh Court. When the morning meal
formation stabilized he called out in a booming voice:
"Good morning Brigade of Midshipmen! My but you look cute in your little white sailor suits! My name is Mister B, husband of Mother B, and subconscious of the Brigade."
We often called the Bancroft Hall dormatory "Mother B". John's effort was laudable but he was apprehended and disciplined for it.
Bill Kennedy, '63 became intrigued with the concept of poking friendly fun at the Academy administration with special emphasis reserved for the Executive Department. His delivery method, however, was quite different. His weapon of choice was the public address system in the midshipmen's mess hall, normally used for instructions and announcements. Starting shortly after John Arthur stopped being Mister B (John was still running off extra duty) Bill made his first morning meal presentation. It, and the many that followed, began shortly after the Brigade was seated and led off with a theme song, a rollicking parody of Nancy Lee (Sailing Sailing Over the Bounding Main) and the now infamous "Good morning Brigade of Midshipmen! My name is Mister B". Another "feature" often heard in a presentation was a perfectly disgusting audio clip of vomiting and wretching accompanied by vigorous splashing sounds that added authenticity. This was Mister B's special way of expressing how he felt about some things.
These presentations were made somewhat at random until September 1963 when the introduction changed slightly to "My name is Ensign B". The content ranged from complaints about the morning menu to dirty tableware but the most entertaining for the Brigade and irksome to the Executive Department were when someone had done something sufficiently bone headed to be celebrated with a Mister B presentation. What probably made them as entertaining as they were was that every midshipman knew that Mister B was in no way affiliated with or controlled by the Executive Department and how it nettled the officers that they couldn't catch and punish him. The pieces have been called irreverent, amusing, and sometimes boring. The persistent thread, however, was that the authorities were powerless controlling or stopping them.
The spirit lives on! The Log Online
Last modified: Sat Oct 28 13:03:28 CDT 2000