Last Monday at Battleship Cove

We were on vacation last week.  I’d claim internet savey caution that I didn’t post about it until now, but really, I was too busy to post about it, so it’s more like fortuitous ditziness.

The bridge into Fall River goes over the cove, sometimes the noise of the maintenance gets loud, but since we drive over that bridge, it’s also comforting.

I need to find the print of me sitting in this gun when I was 15, and scan it.  On some of the guns, the back and forth and up and down cranks still work, so you can aim at imaginary Zeros.  We usually aim at the bridge or the buildings though, because you can see them, not because we owe them any malice.

On one of the guys’ visits with Uncle Warren (a visit where I stayed home to catch up on laundry and dinner, and to keep K out of tiny, dangerous spaces) they found the open hatch to go inside one of the turrets on the rear deck.  How did the men ever get into that tiny space quickly?  A training film plays showing how to load the gun, how did they fit so many men into that small, hot space filled with giant moving gears?

I guess they weren’t watching a 4 year old while they did it,

And they had to.

We climbed higher up the superstructure than I’ve ever gone – at this point my foot was reminding me that I had surgery on it two years ago and I had a tight grip on K’s hand.  Sometimes Dan had  a tight grip on her hand.  Sometimes both of us did.  Looking at this photo, I want to hold her hand now!

See K’s new haircut?  Bangs to keep it out of her face, but long enough to put it up in a pony.

Even obsolete battleships are impressive.  Some of the screwheads were as big as K’s head.  Some were larger.

I don’t have a photo of the barbet, but I do remember remarking to my father on that trip when I was 15, that I was surprised at the soda fountain build around it, and the ships newspaper.  Daddy laughed at me and asked if I thought sailors only drank whiskey and played cards in their spare time? (Yeah, I did. I couldn’t imagine John Wayne sipping an ice cream soda.) Dad continued laughing and said that many of the sailors were only 18.  That seemed pretty old to me then, so I didn’t get it!

Down in the magazine, there were lots of vintage notices about attention to duty.  Some of those notices used duty as both a noun and a verb.  Yeah, keep your wits about you while moving those tons of powder!  I wonder why duty seems like a vintage word – it’s still important even if you aren’t shifting powder and ordinances.

It was strange to be down so low in the ship, where the spaces could non-rectangular, or  even cylindrical, and the ships ladders were so steep.  I was thankful for the yellow stripe on the floor to guide us to the exits.  I wonder if new sailors got lost?

Eventually I got so nervous about K in those tiny, dangerous spaces, I took her back to the car to eat cookies and draw in her notebook while the guys ran through the destroyer and Soviet missile boat.

We did save some cookies for the guys.



One thought on “Last Monday at Battleship Cove

  1. Glad to see your family enjoy Battleship Cove. I took my parents and my first-grader there in fall last year. My folks experienced the Pacific War as children growing up in the Far East. The war ships, and the memorial all together, was very meaningful for them. Needless to say, my son had a wonderful time exploring the ships too!

    Recently I wrote a blog post “Three Ways to Enjoy Boston’s Ocean Gateway” and talked about Battleship Cove. Just wanted to share this with you as I think we parents are fortunate to have these experiences with our families.