George’s iron grip dug into my shoulder while his other hand crushed mine in a hand shake.
“Hey, Frank, great to see you, buddy. Come on in and join the party.”
I looked back to see if Marie might be following me. She wasn’t.
“Come on, come on,’ George said tugging my arm. “Don’t be shy. You know everyone here, don’t you?” His southern accent reminded me of home as he led me into a sea of Chief petty officers. I waded through the crowd shaking hands and exchanging greetings, and took a seat next to George at the head table.
“It is so good to see you,” he said. “How you been? We’ve missed you something fierce. Hey, someone get Frank a San Miguel, will you? Stan, be a good fella for once and sound the bell. Thank you, shipmate.”
Stan tugged the rope dangling from the ceiling and…
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