Saturday, January 23, 2010
Rick and His AC/DC Mama
I’m here to tell the story of a nephew and a friend
Eastern Maine Tech College is the school he did attend.
He always made the dean’s list where he’d matriculated.
And then he found an awesome job, post-haste, once graduated.
He went to BIW, the shipyard down in Bath.
They wanted men with welding skills who, too, were good in math.
And in a nutshell—that was Rick! That boy could make a weld!
He was an expert at the skill of making metals meld!
His foreman soon discovered—having Bessey was a perk.
He had a great work ethic and was sent to Arleigh Burke.
These warships were the most advanced to sail around the world.
And Rick was proud to build a ship where Stars and Stripes unfurled.
He tested out his talents, those skills he’d learned in class…
Ox-y-a-CET-y-lene for pipes, (you know…that is a gas!)
For much in building frigates, this gas would take no part,
For it was really suited more for brazing and for art.
When over-lapping metal--that weld was called a ‘spot’.
Because Rick was proficient, his expertise was sought.
And, too, he was quite handy at welding with resistance.
It was more complicated, sure! But Rick, he had persistence.
Forge welding was the oldest kind—all welders will concur.
Rick heated metal, pounded it… ‘til bonding did occur.
But Ricky had a fav’rite; t’was welding with an arc!
He got a ‘charge’ when that electrode made an awesome spark.
As much as Rick loved welding, as good as his career…
He had a little worry that was turning into fear.
He hadn’t found a woman. Most weren’t up to snuff.
He simply hadn’t met a girl who offered him enough.
He dreamed of getting married. He owned a nice new house.
But it was pretty lonely there without a loving spouse.
But Rick, he worked both night and day! He had no time to meet
A lady who was charming, and was pretty and was sweet!
He pondered his conundrum as he welded up a joint,
Then through his mask he saw a hand. And then a finger point.
‘That joint is not done properly. That weld is an abortion!
‘I can CLEARLY see from here--rotational distortion!
‘You’ve got residual stress, there! No! Shrinkage will not work!
‘Remember, kid! You’re working on the class of Arleigh Burke!’
Rick quit what he was doing. His visor he did flip.
‘Just who the hell are you, girl? Don’t give me any lip!’
He spoke the words in anger, for he knew that she was right.
He’d been more concentrated on his lonely wife-less plight.
But as he scowled across the haze of flux-created smoke
He got his first long look upon the bossy girl who’d spoke.
My God, she was a beauty! In tight jeans and a tee
That said, ‘I melt quite easily with AC or DC!’
Blond hair up in a pony-tail, strong arms with welder’s tan…
She glared right back at Ricky, and said, ‘My name is Fran!
‘Look, I won’t go too hard on you. But clamp the two in place!
‘We’re building for our country, and that joint is a disgrace!’
Rick bit back his excuses. It seemed he worked for her!
And in his heart young Ricky… he really did concur.
‘Yes ma’am, I’ll get right on it!’ (He wanted to salute!
But if this babe was now his boss, that might get him the boot.)
He didn’t want cold-cracking, so the pieces he off-set,
And made the weld ONE OF THE BEST the US Navy’d get.
And later on that evening, Rick wandered into town.
To get the girl struck from his mind, her memory he’d drown.
‘I’ll take a rum and cola,’ he ordered from the lass
Who tended bar that evening and was wiping dry a glass.
The barmaid turned her eye to him, and Rick, he felt a start.
It was the bossy welder girl! Be still, his beating heart!
‘I’m sorry! Do you work here? Or over at the docks?’
She swept him with a scathing look and tossed her golden locks.
Rick couldn’t really help it. At legs and bust he glanced.
He’d known already she was technologically advanced!
But she sure had a body! Her face was fine of bone…
And Rick, well, he responded in his ‘heat affected zone’.
‘Why is it that you men-folk all seem to be such jerks?
‘Why is it that a GIRL can’t fabricate down at ‘The Works’?’
Rick felt his face go rosy. Now, sexist he was NOT!
He’d welded with a few great girls who’d learned all they were taught.
It seemed that Fran and Ricky were destined to butt heads!
But rather than rise to her bait, he gave a smile instead.
‘You’re right! We men are naught but cads! The lowest of the low!
‘But I, for one, would LOVE to see you make electrodes glow!’
Her pretty lips, they barely twitched, but then she gave a smirk.
‘Yup, there’s no doubt about it! Each one of you’s a jerk!’
She placed in front of Ricky a glass of Coke and rum.
‘Are you of age to drink this? Or should you ask your mum?’
‘I’ll show you my ID card, to prove I’m not a fraud!
‘I know it’s in here somewhere… down by my braising rod!’
At this Fran gave a raucous hoot. ‘You’re suffering exposure!
‘When next you weld make sure you stay in posi-press enclosure!’
The two young welders hit their strides. They bantered to and fro.
And like the alloys, melded with coalescent glow.
And just one short year later, they stood upon the deck
Of the ship wherein the lovely bride had given Rick such heck.
The USS Stockdale was launched, stamped with their fabricaton.
And took the happy couple on their honeymoon vacation.
I wrote this story/poem to read to my nephew Rick at his college graduation party.
If you have a special occasion for which you would like a custom poem, please go to www.karenbesseypease.com for details on how to contract my services. Sample poems are on that site, and scattered here and there on GAG, too.