CRAZY MARY: A TALE OF MY FATHER’S STALKER
©2009 All Rights Reserved
My father’s greatest danger came when he jumped from the deck of the USS Noa during the dark of night while enroute to the Palau Islands inWorld War II. A United States’ destroyer’s clumsy maneuver had causedthe debacle. Dad’s active duty -- after having been in “ten operationsagainst the enemy in the South, Southwest, and West Central Pacific”(according to a scrap of type-written paper signed by H.W. Boud, Lieut-Comdr. Commanding) -- effectively ended although he did have the pleasureof attending the ramming captain’s court-martial at a later date. The womanknown, belatedly, to our family as “Crazy Mary” had just one dangerousmoment in her life: when my mother tracked her down with a doublewarning.Growing up, none of us had any inkling of this lost, self-appointed oldlover’s existence. I doubt my father could have recalled her with any precision, although he later applied the blanket term “old flame” after her carryings-on, begun late and at strange intervals, began to annoy my mother.My parents were wed in 1950. By estimation my father, born in 1922,most probably encountered the unfortunate Mary after his return from theservice. By then he was ripe for the optimistic celebration of his generation,a period when twenty-something fellows were “gay young dogs” (as he putit back then) in the full flourishing of young males’ attractiveness, andthrusting forward into the Eisenhower years. Flush with new jobs andmoney, Dad quickly got himself a new car, one he sold at a few hundreddollars’ profit within six months.