Your Obedient Serpent (athelind) wrote,
Your Obedient Serpent
athelind

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My Celebrity Name-Dropping Story

thebitterguy asked his readers, "Tell me a story that involves dropping a celebrity's name.  Even a minor one; like, award winning fanfic writer counts."

Here's mine. I've told it before, but never here, I think, and never quite so well.

Back in 1988, I was in the United States Coast Guard, stationed at Coast Guard Group Monterey. One of the regular duties of a Coast Guard small boat station was to conduct burials-at-sea for local veterans of the US Armed Forces -- when time and personnel allowed.

At one point, time and circumstances did NOT allow, for a period of, oh, several weeks. It was the height of sailboat season, and that meant that the duty crews were running almost non-stop, as people who probably shouldn't have been trusted with boogie boards were out playing sailor. During this time, everyone at the station knew that a container with the ashes of some local author was sitting in the XO's office.

Finally, we hit a lull. I wasn't on duty that evening, but I was hanging around the barracks when a friend of mine who was came running up the stairs to pound on my door and get into my dress uniform.

"That writer we're burying tonight? It's that guy you were talking about the other day -- Robert Heinlein!"

Heinlein was, of course, a Naval officer in his youth, and thus eligible for a military burial.

I wish I could say that I was together enough to have read the opening of Heinlein's "Requiem" or the chorus of "The Green Hills of Earth" as we scattered the ashes, but, instead, we scattered them in silence -- while Earth herself, as if on cue, provided skies that can only be described as "fleecy", and cool green hills on the horizon.

The dolphins playing nearby were a deviation from Heinlein's script, but not an inappropriate one.
Tags: celebrity, coast guard, fandom, heinlein, sf
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