The Rest Of The Story
By Jack A. Eckert
One of the first stories I posted on Jack's Joint was written by Floyd Stormer about "Monster Maggie of The Mackinaw." He stated no one knew where she came from and where she went. Al Landry contributed a follow-up story about Maggie telling of her end in a Vets office.
At the Mackinaw Reunion held at the moorings in Cheboygan a picture was posted showing a very cute Labrador puppy in one of the sailor's arms. During our conversation he said that it was Maggie and that everybody on the ship just loved her.
What happened that made a cute, lovable pup into a mean and cantankerous older dog that everybody hated? Dogs don't usually get mean unless they are trained to be mean.
There were almost 200 former Mackinaw crewmen and officers at the reunion and they represented all of the eras since 1944 when the ship was commissioned. I made several inquiries of crewmen who were aboard during Maggie's residency on the ship which was in the mid to late 1950's. Most of the men remembered her. Two of them told me in separate stories how a first class engineman (who later made chief) continuously tormented the dog and taught her disgusting actions. She would go around and hump the leg of someone sitting down. She did the same thing to a foul weather jacket teepee'd for her trick. The tormentor continually cursed her and spread tales about her and her alleged escapades. He evoked many a laugh from his own crowd for his antics and thought himself quite the hero.
No animal, particularly a ship's mascot and pet should ever have to endure that type of abuse. It is regrettable that during that era there was a greater division than normal between the officers and the crew. Obviously some of the officers were vaguely aware of what was going on and took no action just as none of the tormentors peers and juniors failed to step in. The man was an intimidator and in those days juniors did not question the actions of seniors to their faces.
The name of the man shall go unmentioned in this brief article but his identity is known.
I love the "Old Guard" and miss many of it's traditions. But, a senior petty officer that is so ethically and morally challenged as the tormentor described would never be tolerated in today's "New Guard."
And now you as well as I know the rest of the story about Monster Maggie of the Mackinaw, the once loved ship's mascot everybody hated.
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