Discover more from Three Minute Fiction
The Pastry Chef
Dedicated to Mitchell E. Hackney
Note: a member of our chorus, Mitch Hackney, passed away last week at the age of 90, and I wrote a story based on his telling of something that actually happened to him while he was in the Navy in the 1950s. The sentiment of the Captain at the end is real as was the pie. The details it took to get there is fictional.
With only two months left on his three-year stint in the Navy, Seaman Mitchell Grover was just plain tired of the Navy, the vast ocean, and ships in general. The galley crew had all the equipment and ingredients they needed to make nutritious and delicious food for all 1600 of the ship’s company aboard the World War II cruiser, but as the ship’s tour neared its end, the freshness of the ingredients was lessening each passing day.
Seaman Grover himself delivered the ship’s command staff their meals and desserts near their quarters so he couldn’t let the frustration show as he needed to be at the top of his game in their presence.
When he returned to retrieve trays, the ship’s Commanding Officer, Captain Knox, stopped him.
“Seaman Grover, you make this pie?” Captain Knox asked.
Standing at attention, Grover said, “Yes sir I did. Does it not meet your quality standards?”
“Funny you should ask that, Grover. I’ve got to say that this is the absolute best pie I’ve ever tasted in my 32 years in the Navy, bar none! Great job, Grover. Please relay my compliments to the entire galley staff, will you?”
“Aye aye, Captain.”
Mark Twain once said, “I can go for a full month on a good compliment.”
The Captain’s words to the pastry chef would certainly last for two.