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On AD-26, in late 1978, everyone had gotten out or transferred. I found myself standing in the shop wondering. Here I was, by myself. Unknownst to everyone the ship was going out of commission in late 79. I called the detailer and was told that there was a ML3 on the way, and should be there at any time. A few vdays later the CMC brought down a ML3. He was not the one I expected. This young man had been working in the tech library, did the courses, took the test, and made it!!. He had never laid eyes on a mold. Now this was a challenge! We began having school time all day. Every day I complained to my boss about not having any bodies. Short time later the ML3 transferred in. Then I turned the training over to him.We had 4 months before we were leaving for the Med.I went to the CMC and told the situation was becoming serious. The safety manual stated that there had to be 4 people to pour metal. The very next day he came down to the shop and told me that he had a body for me. He'll be down the next morning. He said the the young man had been thrown out of every dept. on the ship. He had a real bad attitude and was close to being discharged.This young black kid showed up the next morning.I told him "Welcome to my world. What I say goes here,and want goes on in this shop is our business only."I had one of the other molders to go down to our storeroom and get a new riddle and shovel. When he brought them back up, I took a black marker and put his name on it. I told him that soon you were going to be married to there two items.I showed him how to use the riddle properly. I told him to return after lunch, because I had a project for him. He did have a sour attitude. I figured that I had to do something about that. I decided to break him. After lunch I turned him over to the other two. I said that I wanted him to remove all of the petrobond sand out of the bin onto the deck. Then he was to riddle all of it back into the bin, making sure he found all of the fines.I told the other two that they could take turns watching him, and to come get me when he was done, no matter what time. Also if there was a problem. I told him to take 1 hr. break for dinner, but not to stop. until it was finished. There was about 3 tons of sand, so I knew it would be awhile.At midnight they woke me up and said he was done. When I got to the shop, he was very dirty and sweaty. I told him to nwash up and go eat midrats. I said to return soon as he ate. I half way thought that he would not be back, but he did show bock up. I had the ML3 instruct him on the use of the sand muller. I went into the office and put on a pot of coffee. I said that I wanted the Olivene sand mulled with the right amount of water, dumped on the deck, then riddled back into the bin. I told myself that this is it. Either he'll make it or not. I stayed till around 3, then went back to bed. The next morning I excused him from quarters because he was still working. He finished just before noon. I told him to go shower eat lunch and go to bed. Told him to be at quarters the next morning. He couldn,t hardly stand. That man ended up being the hardest worker that I ever had. In 1988 I was on the Hunley and we were in Charleston for 6 months. The OOD called one morning and said that I had a visitor. He said he would escort him to the office. I almost fell out of my chair. It was him, as a ML1. He said that when he left the ship he went to A school. And what did my heart good is when he told me" I have spoken about you to my wife a lot. How you were the one that saved me from myself. Who knows where I would be now if it wasn't for you."
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