All too often we take things for granted. We are busy with our own tasks and forget "it takes a crew to run a ship". This past week was a great example. It was hotter than blazes out yet our faithful and hard working volunteer crew didn't let anything stop them from their work. Jerry Howell melted the bottoms off his shoes on the hot decks! I don't have space to list everyone here, but I did want to mention a few of the many.
We owe a lot to our galley crew. Pete Smith was there every morning serving up our food to get us off to a great start. He had nice lunches out for us too as well as tasty deserts. Thanks for those home made cookies! That pork roast was oh-so good! I learned a few new recipes from him too. His humor was wonderful and he kept us smiling as we endured the heat. Jim Voelker came in to help later in the week. Working in a hot galley can be a thankless job at times but we all know the ship can't work if its crew doesn't get fed. I really appreciate the fine work our galley crew does to keep the crew fed and supplied with cold drinks. And those cookies...did I mention them?
John E. is also someone who goes above and beyond. I don't know how he does it. John and Wanda have their own trials and tribulations in life yet they manage to come in every day and take care of us, setting aside their own issues to concentrate on the ship and the crew. They don't get enough recognition for all they do.
Ad, he's the real slave driver of the bunch! He always has a long list of jobs and no matter how much we do he always has more to add. Ad really gives a lot of himself to keep this ship running. We all owe him a lot. We listen to him as he teaches us so much that is not in any book.
Dee Churchwell is another. Dee goes above and beyond for the ship. He makes or repairs parts that can't be bought or found. He ignores the pain in his knees and pushes on to get the job done. His work saves the ship thousands of dollars.
Terry and Larry...the Dynamic Duo. They don't make a lot of noise, they just work, work, work. No job is too hard or dirty. These guys keep plugging away as long as they have their ice cold Diet Pepsi! Terry keeps a cool head and Larry always gives us a reason to smile, they are both unflappable. They keep me smiling.
Brian and Bill. What can I say about those two? They spent several days in the darkness of the bottom of the ship dragging around heavy pumps and hoses and making sure our sea chests were cleaned and fixed. Not a pretty job down there but it had to be done. Dan the Welder was down there two, ready for action. Dan is new to some but trust me, he is a valuable crew member. He is another one who starts early and works late. He is a skilled welder and never stops, even when he should! The inside of the chests were full of mud and junk but this trio got them cleaned up and the piping fixed.
Jack Stevenson. All I can say is that I hope when I am Jack's age I can still keep up the pace he does. Jack is everywhere lending a hand. And, if you have spent any time around Jack you know his sense of humor. I have learned a lot about life from Jack. He reminds us all to enjoy each day.
Brian Kolb took off work to come down and help. Brian takes vacation days off work to come and sweat with the rest of us. I am sure he had plenty of other, cooler, things he could be doing but he loves our ship and gives his time to help keep it running. Brian has worked hard to make sure we all stay cool on those hot days.
There were many others there, some for more or less days, but I am out of time and this has gotten too long. If I missed a name its for lack of time and space, not lack of appreciation! I just want to thank our engineering crew who holds several "Work Weeks" a year, beyond the official work week, just to make sure the Lady is ready to sail come September. There are lots other too who show up on weekends and other times and never get the credit they deserve. Some of our crew are only there during Spring or Fall work weeks and never get to see all the effort so many give year round. Our electricians, Harry and Dave, come in most every Tuesday to work. There are far more than I can mention here.
Thanks to all for keeping our ship running and cruising.