R.A. Johnson

A short sea story that develops itself....

Captain Ernie Cassini was the new CO on BIBB in 1958. Arthur White, SD1 was the cabin steward and was a fine cook. It didn't take Captain Cassini to long to realize that he was enjoying the food too much and was putting on weight. He called White into the cabin and remarked that his cooking skills were fine, but that things would have to change. He inquired if White understood about calories and such. White assured him that he did and that re would adjust the menu.

Sometime later Captain Cassini particularly enjoyed something he was served. He called the stewardsman and asked if there might be seconds. The stewardsman went out into the pantry and returned shortly to report that, "White say you can not have any more!" "WHAT??" bellowed Cassini, "you tell that ..... to get in here RIGHT NOW!" The stewardsman dashed out and soon Arthur White came in wiping his hands on his apron and innocently inquired, "You want to see me Cap?"

Cassini lit into him telling him in no uncertain terms who told who what on a ship which he was the commanding officer. White listened attentively. When Cassini's face returned to it's normal color and he stopped talking, White figured it was safe to speak.

"Cap, you are my responsibility and I take my work seriously. I have to take care of you. The last time you called me in you told me you were getting fat and to cut back on the quantity and richness of your food. You are still too fat. You ain't going to get seconds, and that is that."

How do we know this story? Certainly Arthur White would never tell it. Good stewards do not tell tales. The truth is that Ernie Cassini was a good story teller and was willing to tell them on himself. He could hardly wait to get down to the wardroom that evening to tell the story. When he told it he added, "You know, he's right. I'm still too fat."


Reprinted by permission from "This - *?#!@*? Was The Coast Guard" by Esther Stormer 1985

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