I spent the day sailing with friends on Mistral. It was our (now) annual outing of just the four of us for a late season afternoon and it just happened to be Veteran's Day. Last year when we did this it was also Veteran's Day and the year before that, the first annual, it was Halloween. Kinda cool huh? Anyway, one of the people aboard, Covey, the guy sitting in front of the flag, was a former Marine via the Naval Academy and while he did not see action, he did his part and served as did his father. This is Covey's father's story.
Tad Stanwick started at the Naval Academy but unfortunately failed a class in English and got kicked out (no forgiveness back then). He moved on and went to Lehigh University at night, where he also coached lacrosse and worked at Bethlehem Steel in a lab doing metallurgy. Doing all this, he found time to write the first ever book on lacrosse which was published in 1940 and of course he sent it to the Academy to piss off the English teacher. Then Pearl Harbor happened and he was approached by the Academy and offered the rank of Ensign, graduated with his class (three years after being kicked out and strangely enough never taken off the rolls), and served. He eventually got into sailboat racing, owned Miss Wick a 48 foot Swan (the picture was taken in 1983) and because the Navy had turned out to have been so good to him, even after the kicking out thing, he donated the boat to the Academy in 1979. The boat was renamed "Constellation" and went on to win the St. David's Lighthouse trophy in the 1992 Bermuda race. Covey was long since retired from the Navy as was his father, however the Academy called the family back for what he said was the biggest celebration the Academy had ever put on. Rightfully so given the long and storied history of the Bermuda race and how the Academy won.
I am constantly amazed at the small world that sailing is and how you meet some of the most incredible people and hear some of the best stories. I have been egging Brad on to talk to some of the older and former sailors he's known or met in order to add to the library of stories that are already out there, but to link it to Annapolis and the great history of naval and civilian sailing. I'm making a small entry into that world each and every day I own CALIX. Sounds like something you want to be a part of doesn't it?!