Pat Waugh left us in June 1961. The reported death in Shipmate of Captain Ned Snyder '53 who as a lieutenant commander was the Eighth Company Officer our Youngster year brought back some bitter sweet memories to Pat. His story is amazing. Read on.
Pat Waugh and Grandchildren
The following Winter break, the said female, now 18 years old, left Maryland for Chicagoland to live with my folks and eight brothers and sisters much to the consternation of her parents who wanted her in their new home in Severna Park. She came back for the Spring dance with a Red, White, and Blue gown that my mother had sown. She stayed with her parents in Severna Park under a white flag, but her mother found some letters that we had exchanged during those dark days between New Years and Easter and the fan got clogged. She left her parent's, moved to 52 Maryland Avenue, and the drum began to beat again. Just before final exam week, I was Class A'd again for something close to "alienation of affection." The parents were threatening Congressional investigations, blah, blah, blah.
By being restricted up to and through June Week (former name of Commissioning Week for you newbies), I was able to study enough to avoid reexams, etc. We actually all had a party when my name turned up on the TRAMID cruise list for Little Creek. In fact, I was designated as a Company Commander (not Brigade mind you, but not a slick sleever either.)
When we finally got to Little Creek on those $%#^&* empty ships, I actually sported the two bars on my collar and got my picture taken in one of those $0.25 booths (Steve '86 has a copy on his hallway wall.) About the third day that we formed up, as luck would have it, LCDR Snyder showed up and inspected my company. After awhile, he came back and said, "Mr. Waugh, what are you doing here/" My reply was , "following my orders, Sir!" He promptly had me shipped back to the Academy on one of those flying boats, complete with a LtJg who counseled me on how to dump my OAO to skirt the impending disaster.
Days later my Congressman from Illinois, Derwinski and some unnamed CWO cut a deal that they would allow me to stay if I would agree to never see this young (now 19 yrs old) maiden again. There was no crime or real infraction, but they did not want to deal with these pesky parents and their threats. I was told by the Commandant that could they not discharge me on the Class A, but that they would give me enough demerits so that I was no longer eligible to remain, if I would not resign. This offer pre-dated "The Godfather" by a number of years, but it had the same effect. I was too young and idealistic to cave into "PC" just yet. In those days, in all the movies, the guy told the establishment to get screwed and took the gal. So I ended up with my old Seaman stripes and orders to Anacostia.
Wait, there's more.........
As luck would have it, this young maiden now lived at 2 Maryland Avenue, just outside of Gate #3, definitely not with her parents. She oft visited me in my jail..err room at the end of the 2nd Wing while the matter was adjudicated. She had to jump the moat, but what the hell, we were younger then. In that summer, I knew most of the '61 guys who were hanging around with their butter bars, and we had no OOD problems. They liked home cooked meals.
Jumping ahead, we were married that July at St. Mary's. Probably one of the few Seamen that had a full military honors wedding complete with swords. The son of the Secretary of Health and Welfare and the future Attorney General of Ohio (our classmate Tony Celebreese) was in the wedding party. The picture got big play in the Evening Capital since said maiden's Uncle was the editor. I've got it somewhere and will put it up on Snoopy someday.
Anyway, we became a half-way house at 2 Maryland Avenue. Got to know Joe Belino and his wife and we attended many of the key Class functions. We went to the Sadie Hawkins dance when said wife, no longer maiden, was reasonably pregnant with number one son. The Reef Points for the incoming Class of 1965 had my new wife listed as a staff member, C.J. Fitch, likely the first female staff member listed in this historic publication. Check it out, Murph, its there!
But let's get back to LCDR Snyder. A really nice man, but a little slow on the uptake. The Class of 1963's Ring Dance was a very special occasion.
Remember, as part of my previous John Wayne impression, I had to cancel my Ring order. That was the most symbolic thing that I have done in my life-to-date. As you who wear the Ring, or who have let your three-year olds drop it down the bathtub, it is the crystallization of who your are, what you have done, and what you promised to do.
Anyway, an anonymous Classmate (from the Bronx), arranged for Cathy and I to attend the Ring Dance. Appropriate dress whites were furnished and Cathy wore her Red, White, and Blue gown from the good old days. My former roommate also arranged for his buddy, the son of the aforementioned Congressman, to attend. Joey was a disaster, what with his haircut and slouching demeanor, anybody could have picked him out as a non-Mid, but they didn't. Cathy got her tiny miniature as part of the deal. After the Dance, several of us strolled out back behind the pond. Lo and behold, here comes LCDR Snyder and his wife in the opposite direction!
There really was no choice but to bluff it through. "Good evening Mr. Snyder", said I. "Congratulations, Mr. Waugh", said he! We just kept on going and so did he. To this day, I'll never know, if he knew, if he later remembered, or if it just passed him by. I'd like to think that he knew, and that he really knew.....
BTW, she was my wife for 28 years, the mother of my three sons. I grew to love her father as my own, and I talk with her aged-mother weekly. It is somewhat romantic to yearn for what might have been, but I have a son who is a practicing psychologist (not on me, mind you), another who is an XO of a VMA, and still another who teaches marketing to Gateway nerds. There were no drugs (that I detected), not too many illegitimate children, and they all do their own laundry. What else can you ask of life?
Ned Snyder, you hardly knew me, but you were an important part of my life. I hope that you were blessed, as I have been, and that the wind is at your back and you have smooth sailing from here on.
19 July 2001
Pride & Tradition