22 September 2013

Washington, D.C., Navy Yard Security, 1974.

In early 1974, set up an audition for the Navy music program. Since I lived in suburban Washington, D.C., I was told to report to the U.S. Navy Band at the Sail Loft in the Navy Yard.

The bus dropped me off in Southeast D.C., and I walked a few blocks to the Navy Yard. It was morning rush hour, and a Marine was standing outside the guard shack, busily saluting uniformed personnel and waving pedestrians and vehicles through the gate.

I walked up to him and told him I was going to the Navy Band.

"Are they expecting you?" he asked.

"Yes, "I have an appointment."

"Okay," he said. "This is Gate One. To get to the Sail Loft, you have to go to Gate Two."

I walked through Southeast Washington, D.C. to Gate Two.

A Marine was standing outside the guard shack, busily saluting uniformed personnel and waving pedestrians and vehicles through the gate.

I told him, "I have an appointment at the Navy Band. The guy at Gate One said I had to come here."

"Do you have a pass?" he asked.

"No."

"You can't get on base without a pass."

"Where do I get a pass?"

"Gate One," he said.

I walked through Southeast Washington, D.C. back to Gate One. The first Marine was saluting uniformed personnel and waving pedestrians and vehicles through the gate. I looked straight ahead, picked up my pace like I was in a hurry and strode through the gate, past the guard shack and all the way to the Sail Loft.