On a warship there are few times that anything without a strict mission-related purpose is permitted aboard ship. Of course, this does not necessarily mean trinkets the crew buys in a foreign port of call have to be shipped home. After a visit to Turkey, there were many nooks and crannies aboard the Proud Pete that were stuffed with oriental carpets, leather goods and other swag. Another time, after a port visit in the Caribbean, many crewmen had Cuban cigars. And all sorts of goods from stops in the Mediterranean.
The oddest thing to be brought aboard the PETERSON were the temporary port-a-potties welded to the forecastle. But none of the crew wanted “that”. It was ordered from the naval authorities during staging for our Haitian interdiction operation which might result in taking aboard refugees. However is was my tenure’s last Commanding Officer who introduced something I could only guess was some private joke with those who knew him when he was an Ensign – aboard the PETERSON – fifteen years earlier. It may now sit at the bottom of the Atlantic.
“It” was a park bench the my Commanding Officer, CAPT. Edward Zurey authorized to be installed (welded) in the athwartships passageway near the Ship’s Store. A corner that during his tenure became known as “Broadway and Main” (for the Main Deck).