The best duty station the Shelly family enjoyed was when the Navy sent Dick to Hawaii in 1968. We were assigned quarters on Ford Island in the middle of Pearl Harbor.
We were able to move with approximately 100 families into old but lovely living quarters on the island, of which 35 were senior officers’ quarters. We had many activities to keep all the families busy since we were confined on the island with only a ferry to transport us to the mainland.
Our quarters were close to the pool, golf course, and Officers Club. We had a wonderful group living on the Island and became close friends. We all looked after each other and each other’s children as we participated in activities. I even joined the Ford Island Hula Troupe. We would meet ships returning from a deployment and give the sailors a taste of Hawaiian friendship.
One incident I remember well happened when Dick was away on a trip for a week. A party was to be held at the Officer’s Club that weekend. Those parties were always so much fun with the Aloha spirit and the dress of Aloha wear but since Dick was away I decided I would not attend this party. However, just as the party started the Catholic Chaplin came to our door and suggested that he be my escort.
Since we were close friends, I accepted and the Chaplain returned to the party. I ran into the bedroom, threw on a muumuu and a newly purchased wig since my hair looked awful. I was excited to have been invited and off I went to the Club. We were having a fun evening when after dinner one of my friends from Hula Troupe suggested that we girls perform. I was shocked to see them deciding to dance on the beautiful long bar that had bar stools all around it, but I didn’t want to be a spoiler, so I joined them. I had had a couple of cocktails and was feeling pretty gutsy so jumped up there with the other five ladies.
We were doing our regular dance routine when I decided that my hubby probably would not approve of me dancing on the bar and made the bad decision to step off the bar onto a bar stool. The bar stool had a swivel seat which twirled me around in a nice whirl and threw me on my back, knocking the wind out of me and throwing my lovely new wig off my head. There I lay embarrassed and my left arm in pain. The next thing I knew I was being taken to see the medics and was returned home in a nice cast. Now I had to try to explain my injury to my family.
The kids were home and they had a good laugh but when Dick returned a few days later, he frowned and asked, “What were you thinking?”
How could I answer that one?