Riggins with little brother Charlie and little sister Sadie.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursday Thoughts.

Was up and at em at 04:30AM and had my coffee with my bride. I know this has probably happened to all of you out there especially AL of the Bayfield Bunch who is a great  lover of music of most types. Anyway last night when I was sleeping a song popped into my head, Dancing Queen, it was a real catchy bouncy song that went to number one and I new there were a couple pretty girls in the group but for the life of me I couldn’t remember the name of the group. Luckily when I woke up at 04:30AM I asked Donna if she remembered the song and what group sang it, and after a short time she said yes it was ABBA and they were from Sweden not America.

That’s where the memories came back. In my Navy days I was in the Med on a cruise on the USS Shangri-La which was a veteran WW2 carrier of the Essex class. During those times there were always two carriers in the Med (6 th Fleet) and the other was the USS Independence a nice newer, bigger, and cleaner ship. Naturally at Christmas time, When the Bob Hope USO show came out, The Indy was selected  for the show. Did I mention the Admiral was on the Indy too. and not on our little carrier. We were like a redheaded step child and spent Christmas at anchor in Naples Harbor. Not really the best liberty port especially when your homesick for Christmas. Fast forward a few months and we find out the USO wasn’t going to let us down so when we made a port call in June or July in Palma De Mallorca. The USO scheduled a concert and dance on our hanger bay. All the groups performing, including ABBA, were European Rock bands, Just prior to arriving we had spent 35 days at sea due to one of the many crisis in the Eastern end of the Med at that time. What we didn’t know was that they had flown two plane loads of college girls from Sweden to attend and provide dancing partners.

As luck would have it the day of the concert I had drawn the duty crew so in order to see the show a couple hours before we went to the hanger bay and saw that one of our helo’s was facing the stage and right next the dance floor. Me and the other crewman grabbed the front seats and waited for the show to begin. We were dressed in flight suits since you had to be ready in case they had an emergency and had to  launch a helo. The uniform for the show was Dress Whites. We were dressed in our flight suits which were tan or orange at the time, about half way through the show I noticed two gorgeous blond obviously Swedish looking girls looking our way and pointing at us, I had just enough time to tell my fellow crewman OH OH. when they came over and pulled us from the helo, and took us on the dance floor with them. After several dances we convinced them we better go man our aircraft, which was really our det hanger queen. Sure enough the Officer in charge of our Det. called us in the maintenance office the next day and  wanted to know what the hell we were doing on the dance floor in flight suits. Naturally we told him we were kidnapped and that we didn’t want these fine young ladies from another country to think we were rude so we had to accept their request for a dance. He just smiled and said At least now I have something to tell the ships Captain when I get my ass chewed. I don’t think he ever heard a word about it.

About ten years later I met a skinny blonde who was every bit as beautiful as those girls at the dance. and guess what , I married her, now almost 34 years later Donna and I are still married and she always was and will be a Dancing Queen.

Hey I hope I didn’t bore you with my story, now if I can just get that music out of my head, How do you do that Al?

Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.


  1. That's a sweet memory, Sam. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. You're such a softy, Sam. Great story!

  3. Russ usually gets to the blogs quicker than I do, so he had to tell me your story, after he read it. He got choked up when he was telling it and I got choked up again reading it. Wonderful story. True love does exist.

    1. Sorry didn't mean it to be a tear jerker, but Donna always was a terrific dancer, it is a shame that now due to her heart stents and my neuroapathy we can't stay out on the dance floor like we used to. But we due get out as best we can, After all you live longer if your a dancer. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna...

  4. Fantastic story and thanks for reminiscing. Loved it that got to dance and meet the ABBA stars. Congrats to you and Donna on 34 years together.

  5. Great story,,,, I'll bet the Captian knew,,,,,,and didn't say a word....