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Radm. Stephen Rochon

U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Stephen W. Rochon was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and enlisted in the U. S. Coast Guard in 1970. He received a commission as an ensign in 1975 from the Officer Candidate School at Yorktown, Virginia. He then was assigned to Marine Safety Office (MSO) in California as assistant port operations and intelligence officer. In 1979, he served in the Coast Guard Reserve while attending Xavier University of Louisiana and graduated from there with his B.S. degree in business administration. Rochon then graduated from the National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF) in 1999 with his M.S. degree in national resource strategy. In 2002, he also completed the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Program for National and International Security, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Management.

In 1984, Rochon returned to active duty and served as Chief of the Reserve Training Branch of the Ninth Coast Guard District in Cleveland, Ohio. In this capacity, Rochon organized the Coast Guard’s first combat skills course with the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia and served on temporary duty in the Middle East to train the Royal Jordanian Coast Guard. Rochon served as the Coast Guard's director of personnel management in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita in 2005 where he provided support for Coast Guard personnel and their families. In 2006, Rochon became the Commander of Maintenance and Logistics Command at the U.S. Coast Guard’s Atlantic Headquarters; and, in, 2007, he was named Director of the Executive Residence and Chief Usher at the White House for former President George W. Bush. The first African American to hold the position, Rochon ran the executive mansion for four years for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, executing all major events at the White House and preserving the nation’s most historic home.

His military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, three Legion of Merit Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, two Department of Transportation 9/11 Medals, two Coast Guard Achievement Medals, two Commandant’s Letter of Commendation Ribbons, among twenty service and unit awards. His civilian awards include the 1989 Coast Guard Equal Opportunity Achievement Award, the 1990 United Negro College Fund Leadership Award, the 1997 Port of Baltimore Vital Link Award, the 1998 Vice President Gore Hammer Award, the 1998 NAACP Roy P. Wilkins Renowned Service Award, the 2001 World Trade Center New Orleans C. Alvin Bertel Award, the 2002 Greater New Orleans Barge Fleeting Association Maritime Person of the Year, the 2007 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and the 2009 Spirit of Hope Award.

U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Stephen W. Rochon was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 8, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.184

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/8/2013

Last Name

Rochon

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Wayne

Occupation
Schools

Blessed Sacrament School

St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory Academy

Xavier University of Louisiana

National Defense University (ICAF)

University of Maryland

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Stephen

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

ROC02

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas, Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Find The Good And Praise It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

3/7/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Shrimp Po' Boy

Short Description

Rear admiral Radm. Stephen Rochon (1950 - ) served as director of personnel management in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita in 2005, and went on to become the first African American director of the Executive Residence and usher at the White House where he served under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Employment

Delete

Unites States Customs and Border Protection

White House

United States Coast Guard

United States Coast Guard Marine Safety Office

United States Coast Guard Ninth District

United States Department of Transportation

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Stephen Rochon's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Stephen Rochon lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Stephen Rochon describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Stephen Rochon describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Stephen Rochon talks about his maternal grandfather and his job as a Pullman porter

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Stephen Rochon talks about his mother's growing up in Baltimore, Maryland and New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Stephen Rochon describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Stephen Rochon talks about how his parents met, his father's success as a pharmacist, his parents' divorce and his relationship with his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Stephen Rochon talks about his siblings, his similarities to his mother and his maternal grandfather, and his step-father's name

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Stephen Rochon describes his earliest childhood memories of taking trips with his mother and brothers in his mother's car

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Stephen Rochon discusses racism and segregation in the South, and contrasts this with his trip to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Stephen Rochon talks about the schools that he attended in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Stephen Rochon talks about his elementary school in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Stephen Rochon describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Stephen Rochon describes Mardi Gras in New Orleans while he was growing up, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Stephen Rochon describes Mardi Gras in New Orleans while he was growing up, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Stephen Rochon talks about the practice of throwing coconuts in the Mardi Gras parade

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Stephen Rochon talks about his interest in chemistry in grade school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Stephen Rochon talks about his high school in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Stephen Rochon talks about his interest in music and his family's musical inclinations

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Stephen Rochon talks about running for student body president and playing sports in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Stephen Rochon talks about his interest in music, Xavier University's pharmacy department and joining the U.S. Coast Guard

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Stephen Rochon recalls Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Stephen Rochon describes his experience at Xavier University, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Stephen Rochon describes his experience at Xavier University, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Stephen Rochon discusses his decision to join the U.S. Coast Guard

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Stephen Rochon talks about joining the U.S. Coast Guard in 1970

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Stephen Rochon talks about his early experience in the U.S. Coast Guard and his promotion after three years

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Stephen Rochon talks about his early promotion, working in the U.S. Coast Guard recruiting office and his decision to stay in the service

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Stephen Rochon talks about the end of his first marriage, his parents' support, and raising his son

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Stephen Rochon talks about raising his son in California, resigning from active Coast Guard duty, and his father's business going bankrupt

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Stephen Rochon talks about working in real estate, returning to Xavier University and going back into active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1984

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Stephen Rochon talks about his tour as Chief of the Reserve Training Branch of the U.S. Coast Guard's 9th District in Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Stephen Rochon talks about his tour as Chief of the Port Security Branch at the U.S. Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Stephen Rochon talks about his tours as Chief of Officer Recruiting and Chief of the Officer Programs Branch, and his promotion to lieutenant commander

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Stephen Rochon talks about the Haitian migrant crisis of the early 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Stephen Rochon talks about his first day at the U.S Coast Guard headquarters and Alex Haley's significance in the Coast Guard

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Stephen Rochon discusses the absence of an African Americans in the U.S. Coast Guard when he joined in the 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Stephen Rochon discusses his interest in black history in the U.S. Coast Guard, his mentor, Alex Haley, and dating and marrying his second wife

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Stephen Rochon talks about his service as deputy commander of MIO/Activities in Baltimore and attending the National Defense University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Stephen Rochon describes his experience as the commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office in New Orleans, and becoming a rear admiral

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Stephen Rochon talks about becoming the second African American rear admiral in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard, after Erroll Brown

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Stephen Rochon describes his service and experience in the U.S. Department of Transportation

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Stephen Rochon recalls the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Stephen Rochon talks about the Department of Transportation and becoming the acting director of the Office of Intelligence and Security

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Stephen Rochon describes his experience as the acting assistant commandant for Intelligence in the U.S. Coast Guard

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Stephen Rochon reflects upon the communication between U.S. Intelligence agencies

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Stephen Rochon discusses his assignment as the director of Personnel Management, his command in Norfolk, Virginia, and Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Stephen Rochon talks about being recruited as the Chief Usher of The White House, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Stephen Rochon talks about being recruited as the Chief Usher of The White House, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Stephen Rochon describes the history of the role of the Chief Usher of The White House

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Stephen Rochon talks about demographics of the White House staff members, and their longevity of service, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Stephen Rochon talks about demographics of the White House staff members, and their longevity of service, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Stephen Rochon describes his responsibilities as the Chief Usher of the White House

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Stephen Rochon describes how the White House transitions between presidents, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Stephen Rochon describes how the White House transitions between presidents, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Stephen Rochon describes his experience in the White House with the Obama family, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Stephen Rochon describes his experience in the White House with the Obama family, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Stephen Rochon talks about picking a swing set for President Barack Obama's daughters and the basketball court in the White House

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Stephen Rochon talks about working in collaboration with the Secret Service at the White House

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Stephen Rochon describes his experience at the White House State dinner for the Queen of England in 2007

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Stephen Rochon describes his experience during Pope Benedict's visit to the White House

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Stephen Rochon talks about the differences between the Bushes' and the Obamas' stay in the White House

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Stephen Rochon talks about his family's reaction and support of his service as the chief usher of the White House

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Stephen Rochon talks about his decision to retire as the chief usher of the White House

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Stephen Rochon talks about the subject matter for his book, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Stephen Rochon talks about the subject matter for his book, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Stephen Rochon talks about the film, 'Lee Daniels' The Butler', pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Stephen Rochon talks about the film, 'Lee Daniels' The Butler', pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Stephen Rochon reflects upon his life

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Stephen Rochon reflects upon opportunities in the U.S. Coast Guard

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Stephen Rochon talks about The Rochon Group, LLC

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Stephen Rochon describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Stephen Rochon reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Stephen Rochon talks about his family

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Stephen Rochon talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Stephen Rochon describes his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Stephen Rochon describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

1$7

DATitle
Stephen Rochon talks about joining the U.S. Coast Guard in 1970
Stephen Rochon describes the history of the role of the Chief Usher of The White House
Transcript
Okay, so [U.S.] Coast Guard, you met a brother in bell bottoms (laughter)?$$Yeah, yeah, 6'2" [height]. I'll never forget him, SK-1, Henry Dillsworth, D-I-L-L-S-W-O-R-T-H. And he was the first one when I walked in that office. And I said, God, that's an impressive man, tall guy in these bell bottoms, and got this flack tie, kerchief around his neck and white piping, you know, coming down here, and I said, man, that looks pretty sharp. And so we started talking, and I said, my cousin told me I should check this out, you know. And he said, Ah, Rochon, you know, it's a good outfit. And I says, well, tell me what those stripes mean on your arm. He had an arm full of stripes we call hash marks, and each stripe means four years of service. But the rank was up here, and I said, what is that? He said, I'm a second-class petty officer. And I said, oh, okay, that sounds impressive. I says, what's the next step from there. He says, you become a first class. So I said, well, how long does it take to become a first class? And he says, well, you won't have to worry about that Rochon because you have you--you have to wait till your second term, your second hitch. He said, I've been in, you know, a good fifteen years, and I'm second class. So I says, well, how quickly can you make first class? And he says, well, there're some people that make it in under four years, and we call 'em "slick arm first." In other words, they have nothing on this arm 'cause they don't have enough years to have even one stripe representing four years. So sometimes people make it in less than four years. He said, but don't worry about that. That doesn't happen. I said, but is it possible? And he says, yeah. And I said, okay, great, not realizing he gave me my first big goal in the service. So to make a, to make it short, I signed up. Two weeks later, I told my mother [Ursula Bernice Carrere] good-bye, and my buds, gave my drums away to the church and went off to Alameda, California.$$Now, how did your mother feel about you joining the Coast Guard?$$Well, she knew it was either that or the [U.S.] Army. And she says, the lesser of two evils in her mind. And she said, my son might come back alive, if he's on a patrol boat. Now, there was a waiting list in the Coast Guard to get to Vietnam 'cause we had these patrol boats, and they, we had some significant casualties over there. But there were so many people that wanted that duty on the river that I thought my chances of going over there were kind of slim. And I was right.$$Okay, okay, so this is 1970?$$1970--$$And--$$November 21st.$Okay, okay, give us some little history on the origin of that position [Chief Usher of The White House] and what it entails?$$Well, it, the way it started, it was not a job titled "chief usher." There were ushers, and they actually, during the time of [President] Thomas Jefferson and other presidents, they--and [President] John Adams, people would be able to come knock on the front door of The White House and say I'd like to have an audience with the president. And so the person that answered the door would usher them in to the sitting room, and they would wait their turn to speak with the president. Now, there would be a few million people knocking on the front door, but that's the origin of that job. And then over time, it grew as the requirements of the house grew. It needed someone to run the staff, the chefs and the butlers and the housekeepers, and then the physical plant. And it was around 1886 that that title "chief usher" was given. I'm trying to think of the, I know J.B. West was one of them. The one just before me was Gary Walters, behind him was Rex Skalton (ph.), J.B. West, Dens Moore, you know, there were a couple other ones. But as years progressed, and after the Truman [President Harry S. Truman] renovation, and after the executive residence became an official ceremonial place, not just the home of the president, but where you would entertain heads of state, with state dinners, and entertainers, the staff had to grow to keep up with that. So that position now is the director. It's like the general manager of a five-star hotel, except you have some pretty important guests. And it does require a full team of engineers and carpenters and painters and butlers and chefs and florists and housekeepers and curators to preserve that house for hopefully, two--400 years from now. So it was a major responsibility, and it was a 12-14 hour days often, average, 11, 11-hour days for eight hours pay, by the way.$$Okay.$$But the house was riddled with loyalty and you just stayed. Not everybody got overtime, certainly not the ushers or the chief usher never got overtime. But you had a job to do, and it was putting a face on America that, when you have a foreign minister or foreign head of state, you wanna make sure the president and this country--that head of state leaves this country realizing that everything ran perfectly. And it was a great visit, and it facilitated maybe some major decisions in the Oval Office because of the whole experience of being there. So we took the job very seriously.

Gen. Vincent Patton, III

Master chief petty officer Vincent Patton III was born on November 21, 1954 in Detroit, Michigan. Patton attended Cass Technical High School where he became an Eagle Scout and joined U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps (NSCC) James M. Hannan Division before graduating in 1972. Patton earned all of his college education while on active duty. He received his B.A. degree in communications from Pacific College Angwin, California in 1976 and his B.S. degree in social work from Shaw College in Detroit, Michigan. After graduating from Loyola University in 1979 with his M.A. degree in counseling psychology, Patton earned his doctorate in education degree from American University in Washington, D.C.in 1984. Patton’s advanced military education includes the U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Academy, the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy (with distinction), and the Department of Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute.

In 1973, Patton graduated from U.S. Coast Guard Radioman (communications) School and was assigned duty on board the USCGC DALLAS at Governors Island, New York. He also served as a radioman at the Coast Guard Group and Air Station in Detroit, Michigan and as a recruiter at the Coast Guard Recruiting Office, Chicago. In 1979, Patton changed his occupational rating from radioman to yeoman (personnel) and was assigned to the Ninth Coast Guard District Office in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended American University as the first enlisted member selected for graduate school where he earned his doctorate degree and wrote his dissertation on developing the Coast Guard Enlisted Performance Evaluation Program. After graduate school he served onboard USCGC BOUTWELL homeported at Seattle, Washington and later returned to Coast Guard Headquarters to become the first Coast Guard enlisted training manager. Following this assignment, Patton became the Command Master Chief for the Coast Guard Atlantic Area, based at Governors Island, New York where he was the senior enlisted advisor to Joint Task Force-160 deployed to Haiti and Guantanamo Bay Cuba during Operation Support Democracy.

Patton served as the 8th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard from 1998 to 2002. He was the first African American to reach that rank in the U.S. Coast Guard. As the service’s highest ranking enlisted member, he served as the principal advisor to the Commandant of the Coast Guard, his directorates, the U.S. Secretaries of Transportation and Defense and the Commander-in-Chief. In 2002, Patton retired from the U.S. Coast Guard after thirty years of active service. He became an assistant professor at University of California Berkeley before working for Monster Worldwide as director of Government Partnerships and Alliances. Patton was later named vice president for Homeland Security Programs at AFCEA International.

Patton’s military honors include the Distinguished Service Medal; two Meritorious Service Medals, three Coast Guard Commendation Medals, three Coast Guard Achievement Medals, the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation Ribbon, eight Meritorious Team Awards, and eight Coast Guard Good Conduct Awards. He also has earned the Cutterman’s Insignia and the Parachutist Jump Wings Badge.

8th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Vincent W. Patton III was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 25, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.146

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/25/2013

Last Name

Patton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

W.

Schools

American University

Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley

Loyola University Chicago

Pacific Union College

Shaw College

United States Army Sergeants Major Academy

Cass Technical High School

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Evenings, weekends. Available on weekdays provided his work schedule allows

First Name

Vincent

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

PAT09

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Youth, teens, adults

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Only necessary travel expenses

Favorite Season

April

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

New Zealand

Favorite Quote

It is all good.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

11/21/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hamburgers

Short Description

Master chief petty officer Vincent Patton, III (1954 - ) became the first African American selected as the service’s senior-most enlisted ranking position as the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard in 1998.

Employment

AFCEA International

Military Advantage (Monster Worldwide)

Halley's Comet Foundation

University of California, Berkeley

United States Coast Guard

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Vincent Patton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Vincent Patton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Vincent Patton describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Vincent Patton talks about his mother's education and how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Vincent Patton describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Vincent Patton describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Vincent Patton talks about his father joining the U.S. Army

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Vincent Patton shares his father's war stories and tells how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Vincent Patton talks about his father's career after the army and his oldest brother, Gregory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Vincent Patton talks about his younger sister, Viola

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Vincent Patton discusses his younger brother, Frank

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Vincent Patton speaks about his older sister, Stephanie

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Vincent Patton speaks about his younger brother, Francis

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Vincent Patton talks about his younger brother, Robert and his sister, Mary

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Vincent Patton discusses his younger sister, Catherine and brother, David

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Vincent Patton describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Vincent Patton describes the neighborhood he grew up in

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Vincent Patton describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Detroit, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Vincent Patton describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Detroit, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Vincent Patton discusses his elementary, junior high and high school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Vincent Patton recalls significant teachers and mentors from his elementary and junior high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Vincent Patton talks about being a boy scout

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Vincent Patton talks about the people who influenced him in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Vincent Patton remembers his high school teacher, Ms. Musson and the Detroit riots

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Vincent Patton talks about his maternal grandmother's involvement with the civil rights movement in Detroit

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Vincent Patton recalls two incidents of police harassment he experienced in Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Vincent Patton remembers attending the March on Washington in 1963, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Vincent Patton remembers attending the March on Washington in 1963, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Vincent Patton describes how he worked part-time for a jazz radio station

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Vincent Patton talks about notable musicians from his high school and his favorite subjects in school

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Vincent Patton discusses black book stores, his senior year of high school and his graduation

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Vincent Patton explains how he joined the U.S. Coast Guard

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Vincent Patton discusses his change in interest from the U.S. Navy to the U.S. Coast Guard

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Vincent Patton explains what drew him to joining the U.S. Coast Guard

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Vincent Patton describes his parents' response to him joining the U.S. Coast Guard, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Vincent Patton describes his parents' response to him joining the U.S. Coast Guard, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Vincent Patton talks about his interest in becoming master chief petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Vincent Patton talks about his interest in becoming master chief petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Vincent Patton discusses his training at radio school and his first assignment in the U.S. Coast Guard

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Vincent Patton explains how his surveillance of Soviet spy vessels in the U.S. Coast Guard led to a personal commendation

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Vincent Patton describes the difficult time he had with a racist chief in the Coast Guard, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Vincent Patton describes the difficult time he had with a racist chief in the Coast Guard, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Vincent Patton talks about taking college courses in the U.S. Coast Guard

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Vincent Patton speaks about Chief Wood's apology for his racist behavior

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Vincent Patton discusses his assignment at the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Vincent Patton talks about how he obtained two degrees while in the U.S. Coast Guard

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Vincent Patton describes meeting African American writer, Alex Haley

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Vincent Patton discusses the autograph he received from African American writer, Alex Haley

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Vincent Patton discusses his recruiting duties in the U.S. Coast Guard and enrollment in graduate school

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Vincent Patton talks about developing an enrichment program for the U.S. Coast Guard

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Vincent Patton talks about being asked to revise the U.S. Coast Guard's enlisted evaluation system

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Vincent Patton describes the U.S. Coast Guard's enlisted evaluation system

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Vincent Patton discusses his mentors and teachers from graduate school

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Vincent Patton talks about his family and politicians, Harold Washington and Marion Barry

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Vincent Patton recalls the pressure he received about becoming an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Vincent Patton talks about his decision to return to sea and his assignment to the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Vincent Patton explains why his best tour of duty in the U.S. Coast Guard was on the Boutwell

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Vincent Patton describes going on a drug interdiction, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Vincent Patton describes going on a drug interdiction, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Vincent Patton talks about his training management position

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Vincent Patton discusses his experience at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Vincent Patton discusses "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and his advocacy for gays in the military

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Vincent Patton discusses women and gays in the military

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Vincent Patton discusses his involvement with Operation Support Democracy and promotion to Command Master Chief for the Atlantic area

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Vincent Patton talks about being selected Master Chief of the U.S. Coast Guard

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Vincent Patton shares highlights from his career as the 8th Master Chief of the U.S. Coast Guard, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Vincent Patton shares highlights from his career as the 8th Master Chief of the U.S. Coast Guard, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Vince Patton talks about the U.S. Coast Guard's assistance with clean-up after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Vince Patton talks about the U.S. Coast Guard's assistance with clean-up after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Vincent Patton reflects on his accomplishments as 8th Master Chief of the U.S. Coast Guard

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Vincent Patton discusses his teaching position at the University of California, Berkeley

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Vincent Patton talks about working part-time as the executive director for Haley's Comet Foundation

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Vincent Patton discusses Monster Worldwide, Inc.'s involvement with helping transitioning military personnel find jobs

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Vincent Patton discusses working together with Monster Worldwide, Inc. to help transitioning military personnel find jobs

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Vincent Patton talks about APCEA and his role as vice president of the association's Homeland Security department

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Vincent Patton discusses volunteering in Haiti after the 2011 earthquake and his community service focused ministry

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Vincent Patton comments on his retirement goals and APCEA's STEM scholarships for students

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Vincent Patton shares his thoughts on running for office and reflects on his regrets

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Vincent Patton talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Vincent Patton reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Vincent Patton talks about his son from his first marriage

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Vincent Patton talks about his daughter from his second marriage

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Vincent Patton talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Vincent Patton describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

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DAStory

4$3

DATitle
Vincent Patton remembers attending the March on Washington in 1963, pt. 2
Vince Patton talks about the U.S. Coast Guard's assistance with clean-up after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, pt. 1
Transcript
I just remember the adults who were walking were very much complaining and worried and things like that. My grandmother she kind of kept telling everybody to shut up and just walk (laugh). So we get to the mall area and so we miss the actual march because of the walk. So we get to the mall area where Dr. King is about to speak. When we get down to that area the first thing we try to do is inch our way as close as we could. So somewhere along the reflecting pool and my grandmother and the crowd that we were with said okay this is about as close as we are going to get. So we kids take off for the reflecting pool thinking that's a swimming pool and we are going to jump in. There was somebody out there telling everybody to get out of the pool. Of course, we jumped in the pool, kids were-they quit yelling at us, they gave us because there were too many of us. Right about the time when the event started, this is the thing that I remembered most. We got out of the reflecting pool quickly and with the how many thousands of people that were there. A hundred thousand or whatever number it was, but what I remember most is that it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop when Dr. King spoke. Now, again I couldn't tell you anything that I paid any attention to other than the fact that I looked about me and realized how everybody was just so quiet, how they were all facing in the direction toward the Lincoln Memorial and there were speakers out but we were so far back that we didn't--there weren't any speakers back--but you could hear almost as if you were right up there on the steps. Because today when I walk--I remember taking my kids to that very spot--somewhere around that spot many years ago and at the time that I did that, I was telling my kids the story, I looked down and saw how far away it was to the Lincoln Memorial but I felt at that time when I was kid that I was no more than ten feet. It just made me feel that way because of the just the energy and the fact that you know--his voice. To my dying day, I will never forget that moment. How magnetic it was and getting everybody really tied into the listening of that speech. And I feel honored to be one of the hundreds of thousands that were there although at that time that age I didn't quite understand it then but has time has gone on I grasp a little bit more about it. But that's a moment that I will never forget was being there.$The, probably the biggest thing that I think about the most is 911 because I was Master Chief of the Coast Guard during the time of 9/11. And within a couple of days after the, the Twin Towers were hit, Admiral [James] Loy, myself, we were in the Secretary of Transportation at the time, and, which was Norm Manetta and a few other people, we got on a plane. Well, of course, nobody could fly out anyway, except us. And we went up to New York. And this was like Day Three, I think. And, and I got to see the destruction of Manhattan. You know, it was still smoldering. It was, I remember the cloud, you know, just clouds of smoke were still there. And, you know, ash all over the place. I mean it was, I mean it was several feet of ash. I mean there were parts of Manhattan that was up to your knees of ash. And it, and it--when I walked the Ground Zero area there, and I mean as I tell the story, I can still smell it. I could still smell how it is, and, you know, and of course, I was stationed there twice before. So I, so I'm going into familiar turf here, and I know where such and such place was and so forth. In fact, I reenlisted in the Coast Guard on top of the World Trade Center. So, you know, so I knew a little bit about it. But here's a story that I don't know if many people talked about, that I keep in my head, is within a few blocks of the World Trade Center, stands this little church called the Trinity Church. It's located Rector Street, Rector and I think it's Broadway. I'm not sure, but Rector Street is the East-West street. And it's a few blocks from the World Trade Center. Now, everything around the World Trade Center was demolished, completely gone. It was rubble, it was piled--and it was literally piles of ash. Trinity Church, which by the way is--the graveyard of Trinity Church has the grave site of Alexander Hamilton, the father of the Coast Guard, lays and rests there. Admiral Loy went over--and I went over there. And we looked around and saw all the destruction of everything. And the graveyard certainly had debris as well as ash and so forth. And we took a look at the church. The church stood like nothing happened to it. It had one broken window as a result of a tree falling up against it. And, of course, it was covered with ash, but the church stood like nothing really happened to it.$$It's one of the lowest structures though in the area, right?$$Yes, yeah, right, it's one of the lowest structures. So you know where it is. So we, first of all, I remember looking at that in amazement, and I walked into the church and talked to the Vicar there, and he was, you know, of course, they--the church became an aid station as well 'cause there were people still in there that were being treated, firefighters and so forth. And as I walked out, Admiral Loy said to me, he said, he said, "Master Chief, why don't you get some people to clean up this church, okay?" And I said, "No problem." So I, I contacted my Command Master Chief for the New York area, and I said, "I need some volunteers." Get me some volunteers to come up, and I want the, I want the churchyard cleaned and do as much as you can around the church and so forth.

Capt. Avis T. Bailey

Nonprofit chief executive, captain and ship pilot Avis T. Bailey was born on May 19, 1949, in Washington, D.C. to Roosevelt and Dorothy Bailey. He was raised by his mother after his parents separated when he was four years old. The youngest of eight children, Bailey was a precocious child, who learned American history through self-guided tours of Washington, D.C.’s monuments and museums. As a student at Banneker Junior High School in Washington, D.C., Bailey was selected from a citywide pool to participate in the First Scholastic Honors Program. His participation in the program continued until his graduation from Cardozo Senior High School in 1967.

Bailey was one of seven students selected from 450 applicants to compete for a military academy scholarship. Despite early dreams of becoming an astronaut, Bailey won a scholarship to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. The Merchant Marine Academy was Bailey’s first introduction to integrated education. One of only four African Americans in a student body of 1,000, he was often the object of racist jokes and harassment. As a midshipman at the Academy, Bailey visited more than twenty-three countries and ports of call and studied three foreign languages. In 1972, Bailey earned his B.S. degree in nautical science, becoming the twentieth African American to graduate from the Merchant Marine Academy.

Upon graduation, Sun Oil Company (now SUNOCO) hired Bailey as third mate, making him the company's first African American officer. In 1979, Bailey earned his pilot’s license with the Association of Maryland Pilots and became the first African American in the nation to receive a state-issued pilot’s license. As a ship pilot, Bailey traveled thousands of miles up and down the Chesapeake Bay. He became known by colleagues as “the singing pilot,” who would belt out Johnny Mathis tunes from the helm.

In 2004, Bailey founded the Captain Avis T. Bailey Mariner’s Foundation, a non-profit organization designed to mentor inner-city youth and to educate them about maritime careers. Bailey married Tamara Allenette Durant, a former flight attendant, in 2000. He has three sons, Christopher, Jason and Jarrett Bailey, and two stepsons, Luke and Shannon Durant. Bailey retired from the Association of Maryland Pilots in 2006 after a career that spanned thirty-four years.

Captain Avis T. Bailey was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 28, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.217

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/28/2007

Last Name

Bailey

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

T.

Occupation
Schools

Walker Jones R.H. Terrell Elementary School

Benjamin Banneker Academic High School

Cardozo Senior High School

United States Merchant Marine Academy

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Avis

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

BAI06

Favorite Season

Spring

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Don't Stick Your Nose In Other People's Business.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

5/19/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Miami

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Corn

Short Description

Captain Capt. Avis T. Bailey (1949 - ) was the first African American officer in the SUNOCO fleet and the first African American to receive a state-issued pilot’s license. In 2004, he founded the Captain Avis T. Bailey Mariner’s Foundation to educate youth about maritime careers.

Employment

Sun Oil Company

Association of Maryland Pilots

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Capt. Avis T. Bailey's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers his neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls the gangs in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes Walker-Jones Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls his father's departure from the household

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his household

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls visiting historic landmarks in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his early experiences as a student

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes segregation in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers his early influences

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his commitment to education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers the summer program at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his activities at Francis L. Cardozo Senior High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers Principal Bennetta Bullock Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls his decision to attend the United States Merchant Marine Academy, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls his decision to attend the United States Merchant Marine Academy, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his experiences at the United States Merchant Marine Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his history professor at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers his English professor at the United States Merchant Marine Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his first year at the United States Merchant Marine Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey talks about the U.S. Merchant Marine

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls the riots of 1968 in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers his return to the United States Merchant Marine Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers traveling abroad with the U.S. Merchant Marine

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey reflects upon his experiences abroad

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes the countries he visited with the U.S. Merchant Marine

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls the initiation process at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his graduation from the United States Merchant Marine Academy

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers protesting the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls working for Sun Transport Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers meeting his first wife

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls his decision to become a ship pilot, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls his decision to become a ship pilot, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey talks about his role models

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers his experiences in Venezuela

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes the role of women in the U.S. Merchant Marine, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes the role of women in the U.S. Merchant Marine, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey talks about his political beliefs during the 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls his experiences as a junior ship pilot

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls his rapport with foreign ship captains

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his community in Reisterstown, Maryland

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey recalls his return to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his experiences as a ship pilot during the 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey talks about his musical interests

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey talks about his love of music

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Captain Avis T. Bailey talks about his second wife

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes the Captain Avis T. Bailey Mariners Foundation

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Captain Avis T. Bailey talks about the importance of education

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey remembers Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey shares a message to future generations

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his organizational memberships

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Capt. Avis T. Bailey narrates his photographs

DASession

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DATape

5$6

DAStory

8$1

DATitle
Capt. Avis T. Bailey describes his experiences as a ship pilot during the 1990s
Capt. Avis T. Bailey talks about his love of music
Transcript
Any highlights in that period in the early '90s [1990s]?$$No, just--the highlights one of my favorite stories is is sailing the, the motor vessel Proof of Gallon [ph.] which was a spirits carrier. It carried scotches and bourbons whatever and small ship under two hundred feet long and I went to the ship and the--and I saw there were no tugboats around. I said so I asked the captain, I said, "Captain are you gonna undock it?" He said, "No you undock it." So I looked around and said okay well the wind was blowing off the dock so I said captain, I said, "You have to pay extra for me to undock." He said, "Okay you undock." I said, "Okay." So I put out a security call and said, "We're ready to undock here," and so I asked the captain one more time I said, "You know you're gonna pay for this? You sure you don't want to undock?" He said, "No you, you undock." "Okay." I said, "Let go all lines." So he let go all the lines and the lines were coming in the wind blew us off the dock about fifty feet. I said, "Pull ahead," (laughter). I said this was the most easiest undocking I've ever done you know. Okay. So they paid for it so. Okay I started not to charge him but I said no this is what what you have to do.$$Wow.$$But then again you have other things that are much harder to have a nine hundred eighty foot ship and the captain turn to me and says, "Captain can you un- can you dock it?" When he tried, he was gonna try to dock it but the fog shut in and you know we're pretty close to the dock this time and I said we did and I turned the ship around to go along side and he and then the fog lifted just when we were about twenty feet off dock. He says, "Well I got you now," but I said, "You're still gonna have to pay me for what I did so." Yeah.$$That's exciting stuff.$$Yeah sometimes it is exciting but sometimes it's a little hair raising. Had the Hyundai New World, a brand new ship on its maiden voyage and it was a coal ship (unclear) thirty-six feet I was taking it out and I just happened to leave my handheld radio in the office. I said well they got radios on the ship. But it was a brand new ship and they didn't have time, they didn't really charge the batteries for the backup and everything like that so, no communication. The ship everything stopped, blacked out and so we were in the main channel and the tugboats had left and so I went out there trying to flag them down to come back because there was only one other ship on the anchorage. And there's five anchorage sitting in Baltimore [Maryland], one ship on an anchorage and of course we're heading towards that ship. So I dropped the anchor at short stay and you know try to hold on with anchor and it's still going, still going so I dropped the other anchor and finally we stopped about seventy-five feet off the other ship and so.$$Close call.$$Yeah, so the engineers got the steam back up or the engines running, pulled up the anchors and the tugboat pushed us back into the channel and we went down the bay [Chesapeake Bay] and I got off at the mid bay station. We had mid bay station at this time, so in Solomons Island [Solomons, Maryland] so I got off there and Captain Hope [ph.] had come on. He was Kings Point [United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York] graduate also. He took the ship the rest of the way down the bay without incident but then he read when that ship was going into Brazil I believe it ran aground and broke in two. Lost the cargo, lost the ship too, brand new ship. Same thing happened everything went out.$$Millions of dollars.$$That can happen (laughter).$$Unbelievable.$So you were talking about music and your love of singing. Who were some of your influences?$$Johnny Mathis (laughter). Yeah, yeah. I like, I like singers that can pull up a chair and just entertain you with their voice. Sam Cooke was one and I used to love music because when back when I was a kid actually in I guess '59 [1958], '58 [1958] I used to sell glossies there at the Howard Theatre [Washington, D.C.] with a Mr. Gaffney [ph.]. Glossies are pictures of the acts that are there and I got to see a lot of the, you know, the James Brown revues and [HistoryMaker] Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, The Coasters, The Moonglows you know. People that and also my, my brother-in-law my--Earline's [Earline Bailey] husband used to fill in for the some of the guys if they were missing a guy you know with The Moonglows or, or The Clovers, he would fill in for them.$$Did you get to do any performing outside of the Merchant Marine Academy [United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York]?$$No, not I mean other than you know doing karaoke and stuff and like I seen at the Hotel Del Lago [Maracaibo, Venezuela] but professionally no. I might--I guess my biggest thing was singing at the, what is it the benefit there in New York City [New York, New York] at the Madison Square Garden, we sang there. Mickey Rooney introduced us and of that so. It was, it was nice.$$When was this?$$This is back in maybe '71 [1971], '70 [1970], '71 [1971].$$And aboard the ship who listens to you when you were singing aboard the ship?$$The, the quartermaster, the captain who was up there, whoever is up there on the bridge you know. 'Cause I'd be singing on, on the ship there. I guess it stems from when I was with Sun Oil Company [Sun Oil Company, Inc.; Sunoco, Inc.] because Sun Oil we, at that time a radio was not allowed on, on the bridge, radio for music that is. And I didn't need it because I knew most of the lyrics and just sang when I felt like singing and had this one quartermaster that he, he liked to sing too. So he used to sing in a country western band. Well I wasn't that keen on country western sung on my bridge so I told him he'd have to go out on the wing of the bridge to sing. But he said that's unfair so I challenged him to a sing off and said that, "I know more country western songs than you do." And I proved it. And so.$$Well what did you sing?$$Well see the thing about it back in 1963 [sic. 1962] Ray Charles came out with an album called 'Modern Sounds in Country Western Music' [sic. 'Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music'] and I know every song on the album so it was a no brainer for me.$$Are you a tenor?$$I've sang first tenor, second tenor, baritone and bass.$$Can you give us a bar or so of Ray Charles or Johnny Mathis?$$(Laughter) Let me see Johnny Mathis, (singing) "Arianne's an April morning that come slipping through my window, she's a smell of coffee brewing on a quiet rainy Sunday and the purring of a kitten that has made my neck a pillow for its bed." How is that?$$Lovely.$$That's "Arianne," that's one of my favorite by him.$$Thank you.$$Yeah.$$So that helped you as you traveled up and down the bay [Chesapeake Bay]?$$Yeah (laughter). I mean it you know it, it keeps you awake and cause see like I say it's a long bay I mean we've had that's why we have a mid bay station now down in Solomons Island [Solomons, Maryland] so the, the pilot can get relief if he needs to because it takes anywhere like I said from eight to sixteen hours to get up the bay depending on the speed of the ship. It's one hundred fifty-one miles. It's the longest pilotage for one pilot in the U.S. so.