This brilliant piece of skullduggery should appear in "Ripley's Believe It Or Not." Wait till the Admirals see it, but they know the power of the press and will say nothing. Some may recall me.
Photo by Jim Stapleton.
by Oscar Roloff
As a retired nautical correspondent, I've served with many a man who later has had ships named in his honor. Most for deeds of courage and daring dash.
One was the late Captain Don Ross for his Pearl Harbor bravery. His ship is now "manned" and afloat. Since I had known him for a long time, his widow had invited me to the commissioning ceremony, but I was ill with leukemia.
Over the years, I've seen many a new warship slide down the ways being named after heroic sailors long since deceased. I always thought it would be nice to have the heroes present, but wars sidetrack them.
My own thought
Shucks, though I wasn't exactly a hero, it would be nice for me to have a warship named after me, and I'd be alive to enjoy it.
One day I mentioned my thought to Jim Stapleton, an old square dance friend of mine and a retired federal man. He moved fast and pulled strings. The following day, Jim and his wife Sal dropped by to pick me up with my wife, drove to a spot, and pointed.
Good heavens! My thought had borne fruit! There was "USS Oscar Roloff" painted on the bow of an old rickety rowboat (warship?) now being used as a flower planter. It was a pleasant poignant sight to behold. I love flowers.
Jim had recalled seeing the old warship (?) and contacted owner Barry Banks of The Crab Cracker. Apparently he told Barry about my desire to have a warship named in my honor and thought I would apparently settle for less, so Barry caved in.
It's all decked out in flowers and I'm free to wander down anytime, sit in the vacant thwart, and enjoy the fulfillment of my desire to have a warship (?) named in my honor and have a place to smell the roses of my nautical success as well.
It's better than those who pass on, then are praised with a warship in their name. I hope no one else copies my hair-brained scheme and looks for another warship such as mine. They are hard to find and in such excellent condition.
Pleased with his success in honoring me with a new warship (?) named for me, Jim said, "Oscar, I wish you smooth sailing and fair winds and following seas for your ship."