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The Lie: Evolution


Stores on the Pier

By Karl C. Priest June 27, 2020


I tried to ignore the blaring words coming over the ship’s 1MC (equivalent to a civilian public address system at a stadium).

I had been in my rack for about two hours and was sleeping soundly.  The rack was a thin mattress laying on a piece of canvas which was strung inside an aluminum frame.

But, after a hard and hot night shift in the ship’s laundry, my rack made a magnificent bed that I did not want to leave.

Too bad.

Someone came into the berthing compartment yelling “Stores on the pier!”  I had to roll out and head outside.

When my ship, the U.S.S. Wright (CC-2), was in our home port (Norfolk, VA), all available crew members had to “turn to” and go out on the pier to carry in huge stacks of supplies that trucks had brought.  The supplies were mostly cartons of food about 24 by 15 by 15 inches, weighing at least 20 pounds each.  If the ship had mechanical means to move the items on board, we never saw it.

The weather was irrelevant—in sun, rain, or cold, we toiled. Like ants, dozens of us, for hours, would carry the cartons up the gangway (a long incline equal to about three flights of stairs in height) to the hangar bay.  Someone was assigned to check our names on each trip up so no one could get out of doing his share.

After we had the hundreds of cartons stacked high in the hangar bay, we lined up facing alternately on the ladders (stairwells) to pass the cartons, deck by deck, way down below the water line into the cargo holds.

We were just unskilled enlisted personnel, but the specialists, technicians, officers, and Marines would have had trouble surviving without us.  The U.S.S. Wright was one of two National Command Posts which stood by as a possible re-location for the president and Joint Chiefs of Staff had the Russians launched a nuclear attack during the Cold War.  So, one of those cartons I carried could have been part of the Captain’s chow and had the president been aboard—the same for him.  More details of the ship, including photos, are in “Ghosts of the East Coast: Doomsday Ships” at

I was not a Christian at that time.  Looking back, had I been a Christian then, I could have reminded my shipmates that the Bible is full of names of many more peons than names of popular people like David, and Paul.

Doing “Stores on the Pier” duty was something I did not enjoy, but memories of it brings to mind this Bible verse:  And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. (Colossians 3:23)

We should all keep that in mind as we go about our daily, usually mundane, tasks.

NOTE: This was published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail on July 3, 2020 (pg. 11B) under the title “Mundane Tasks Should be Done ‘Heartily’