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 for details on how to contract my services. Sample poems are on that site, and scattered here and there on GAG, too.


  1. are brilliant!!!!!!
    totally superb poem. I am in awe!

  2. Awe????


    How sweet of you to say so, Ali g. Thank you.

    It is rather clever, isn't it? But let me tell you what! The subject of welding is a DRY one when you know nothing about it, but you need to LEARN in order to write a decent poem! (Kind of made me want to try welding, though!)

    Thanks for the pick-me-up first thing in my morning. You are the best, and always manage to make me smile!

  3. Well what can I say Karen as a teacher once told me when it comes to writing some people have it and some don't well you most definitely have it , you do have a gift,and poems I think are the hardest! great job ! I know that after 18 and a half years at the yard I have a few choice words to say ,but ..... well I don't think they could be published. lol Hey don't get me wrong lots of great people there and made a damn good living ., but some of the storys I could tell ! You keep writing and I ll keep reading .!

  4. Hiya Wally!


    I'd forgotten you worked at Bath Iron Works. Did you ever cross paths with Ray Lewis? Or Ron Lobdell?

    Like every place of employment, I'm sure it had its challenges. Look at me. I own a business which my parents started and built... and now THEY work for ME. (Yeah... right!) Talk about a challenge! If I say something they don't like, they ground me and send me to my office!

    (Where I sulk and mutter things under my breath...)

    Thanks for reading, Mr. McK!

  5. ground you and send you to your office do they?...that's so funny

  6. From your perspective, perhaps...

    (mutter, mutter, sulk, sulk)


  7. You Know I get asked all the time if you know this person or that person ,Well I probly do But not by their name mostly by their nickname :bonehead ,Ole number 7 , Or worse. and we all looked alike with safty glasses and hardhats. i have run into ray , but domt know ron ,atleast i dont think so .LOL

  8. know what you're saying girlfriend says ..'OK sh*t for brains,,got your hardhat on? If so then let's get with it. she's a rough tart but wtf....

  9. Trev, sweetheart... as dangerously as you live, you NEED a hardhat.

    Wally... I'm trying to be generous, here. Women do like a man in uniform, but I'm not sure hardhat and safety glasses qualify. Were they designer glasses? And what about earplugs? Were those a standard part of your daily attire? You know by now I have a definite aversion to earplugs...

  10. designer glasses LOL your too funny girl! more like birth control glasses And yes ear plugs where a standard. But I still ended up with hearing aids ,I had to surcome to them after the wife got tired of yelling at me lol.I can get you some ear plugs if you want some.

  11. Birth control glasses...hehe. Yeah, getting caught chewing your own (used) ear plugs is my own brand of man-repellent! Quite effective! (Dammit.)

    Good news here! I just asked my professional-welder-nephew Rick, for whom this poem was written, if he would teach me how to weld. He grinned before he realized I was serious, and then he scowled. A serious scowl!! Hehehe. He told me I'd hate it and wouldn't be able to breathe. Told me welding wasn't fun. Told me it was hard work. And then... he said, 'Sure!'

    So. I'm going to learn a new skill! What should I make first? I'm thinking-- a weather vane in the shape of a 1949 Forn 8N! Or maybe I'll build a trailer wide enough to haul Lena II on...

    Whatcha think?

  12. Back In the day women welded alot during ww2 and are even today concidered better welders than men . its true I wouldnt lie .

  13. I know you wouldn't lie, Wally.

    And even though I'm sure many women are superior welders, I'm not going to get my hopes up... I'm not artistic, not patient, and not mathmatically inclined. I have the feeling most good welders are.

    But I'll give it the 'Old Bessey Try'. Surely I'm not too old to learn something new?

  14. good one old bessie.Having seen some of your comments on other blogs maybe you would be adept at welding rear ends closed. as they say girl..never to old to learn something new go with the flow..

  15. Hey Trev! So... you'e seen my comments on other blogs...

    Hehehe. Wasn't her 'quick comeback' to someone who is rude or insulting an absolutely priceless one? If only I was that sharp-witted.

    'I hope your bum grows closed!' Snort. That's so cute, so acerbic, and so unlike anything we Americans would think of! I simply adored it.'ve seen my comments on other blogs...

  16. I dont know. thought the expression a little undignified and vulgar but then I suppose that's me. cant help being a gentleman I guess

  17. I can't believe it!!! TREV!!! Hehehehe. I've been taken to task by the infamous Trev, who has delighted and horrified me innumerable times on GAG! Hahaha. You, sir, are a BRAT!!!

  18. It was just a wisecrack.....

  19. Gah!!! A STELLAR pun, Trev!! Snort, snort, snort! (Excuse me... hard to get a good laugh across with my typing!)

    Hehehehe... a brought smile to my morning, just like always. Can I import you? And thank gawd you were being a wise***! I don't feel quite so crass, now. (You must needs be crasser than I am, okay? It's how this thing works...)