USNA55 Plates

Ray Medeiros

This is for the record.

Back when Dan Butterfield left California for Virginia he ran a history contest, with the winner getting his"USNA55" plates. I was lucky enough to win the contest, with the help of Barbara, and ended up with the blue and gold plates (that was the color of plates at the time when Dan got them). Because the plates had been on his Dune buggy and had considerable damage, I went to the DMV to order a replacement set; unfortunately the new official colors were now blue on silver so I elected to hammer out Dan's plates and repaint them. I did a reasonable job of repair and Barbara did a great job of repainting the gold numbers on the blue background. The blue paint that I elected was "slightly bluer" than the powder blue on the original plates. On two occasions I was informed by the police that tampering with plates was illegal: but after hearing my explanation, each smiled and said no more. After having to make the same explanation to a "Reg" gate guards at the base, I received the same comments, but as time passed I have noted a more brisk salute and smile when I go through the gate.

Ed "Breeze" McHale has often looked at those plates with envy in his eyes. He also has informed me that longevity runs in his family, and after numerous discussions at dinners with Barbara and Celina as witnesses, I allowed that Ed will be first on the list; and have informed the executor of my estate accordingly. Only problem is that over the past two years I've had a few health problems and visits to the hospital. Each time that Breeze visited me, he had that look in his eye that he was winning the race and getting a little bit closer to getting my "USNA55" plates. At our last dinner when I informed him that I would be out on the golf course shortly, he didn't exhibit the exuberance that I would expect from a classmate. Fact of the matter is I have been known to switch wineglasses when we visit the McHale's for dinner and I'm seriously thinking of inviting a food taster when we go out to dinner.

God bless you Ed; only problem is if we both get hit by a lightning bolt out on the golf course, I haven't given my executor instructions for the disposition of the plates.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Ray Medeiros 55

Later Addendum from Ray to Ed McHale

Ed - As the potential inheritor of the above plates, I feel it incumbent to inform you of the following:

Recently, I was proceeding down Rte 101 at flank speed in my Buick Cruiser. Naturally, with the blue and gold "USNA55" markings properly displayed on my bow and stern, indicating ownership and background of the vessel, and the Captain in charge. While proceeding, I noted another craft overtaking me on the port side. I heard two blasts of his horn and responded with two of my own. Upon arriving abeam, he gave me one toot on his horn, and as I looked over at him, he popped me with a salute; to which I promptly returned along with a toot and a smile on my face. He responded with two blasts, and proceeded on.

This is to inform you that whoever is in charge of the vessel adorned with "USNA55" plates shall always respect the Inland Rules where ever possible; and the honored military tradition that " military salutes are rendered and returned with pride" on said vessel.


BBC: to my Executor

( Had a Little help from Charlie Plumly. on the Rules of the Road - otherwise very true)( Shortly thereafter I passed a parked Cop with his red light flashing to starboard, so I guess I was returning--- from somewhere).