The Soul Captain Chronicles

Chapter Four

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The Master of our Destiny,
      Captain of our Soul
With eyes upon the map
      Hands on the control
Will not cut us any slack
      Unless that's what
We've come here for.

~ 1971 ~

As the mist began to clear, the Captain and I were on a wide residential street. It was curbed on both sides and the houses were close together. Dark green vines covered the fronts of the yards where one might expect a sidewalk to be. The only entrance to most of the yards was a double wide driveway into a double garage. This was definitely a place where people drove instead of walked. It was also sub-tropical or the vines would not be lush and exuberant in their growth. The Captain noticed my puzzlement, but offered no clues. I was getting the hang of these vignettes of my life. My amnesia for my life was as strong as ever, but I had been given glimpses of me as a child of one, as a young boy of eleven, as a young man of twenty-one, and now I was going to drop in on Bobby as a grown man of 31. And I didn't have a clue as to what I would find. Just these curious small front yards with vines where sidewalks should be. We walked in the street and turned right at the corner of Garden and Judith Lane. "Look," I said, pointing the street sign out to the Captain, "it's the name of Bob's wife." He gave me the usual perfunctory nod with an enigmatic smile.

The second house from the corner was a low ranch with casement windows and stucco sides covered with a bright pink paint. "Look," I said, chuckling, "a pink house!"

"Yes," the Captain said, "this is our destination for today. It's Bob's house."

"Holy cow!" I blurted out. "I can't believe I bought a pink house!"

On the street under an overhanging tree was a beat-up old Chevrolet Bel-Air, a faded tan color that was covered with stains of bird droppings. In the driveway was a new Ford Crown Victoria, green with a dark leather roof. A blaze of dark red bougainvillea flowers covered the area above the double garage door. I looked at the front yard and noted how small a patch of grass was there a fifteen foot swath of dark green vines covered the yard from the edge of the curb over a low fence into the yard leaving about a 25 X 25 foot patch of actual grassy area between the vines and garden border of the pink house. Another thought filled my mind "How could I have bought a pink house?" was supplanted by "What a small a patch of grass to cut."

The Captain and I went into the backyard and there was a large kidney-shaped pool with crystal clear water in it. Its baby blue bottom was edged by dark blue tiles. On the large end were steps into the shallow area of the pool and on the other end was a diving board for diving into the deep end of the pool. A large palm tree at the left end of the pool began the landscaping which filled the outskirts of the pool all the way around to the other side of the yard. "Now I understand why the small patch of grass," I told the Captain. "He's got this pool to keep clean each weekend." The sky was clear and had this curious pink hue to it. Seemed to be an effect of the sun reflecting off the pool because I only noticed the color change since we had come into the pool area.

We heard some voices inside the sun porch whose glass jalousy windows were mostly open. The windows ran from the cemented patio to the roof and filled it on all three sides. A young man in his early thirties wearing horn-rimmed glasses and a swim suit came out and walked around to a bench area alongside the deep end of the pool. He raised the cover and adjusted some valves and took out a large canvas bag and began to invert the bag. He pulled the shopping bag-sized, heavy-canvas sack through an opening just large enough to get his arm into. This took some doing, in fact, we marveled that it was even possible. In turn he removed and inverted two more identical bags and sprayed them all with a garden hose until all the accumulated dirt and gunk had been removed. Then he inverted the bags to their normal condition and re-installed them in the pump mechanism. Apparently the bags were reusable pool filters. Then he got a tray of pool chemicals and tested the pool water. He added chemicals to the pool and turned the pool filtering system back on. He lifted a thermometer from the side of the pool and it read 86 degrees. "Pool temperature's just right for swimming," he said loudly to a woman who was fixing breakfast for a whole bunch of children in the kitchen on the other side of the jalousied sun porch. "Great!" she called back, "we're going to have Santa Ana winds today and I want to get some sun out by the pool."

Bob dove into the pool and swam back and forth a few times. Then he got out of the pool and stretched out on a chaise lounge. The outdoor temperature was about 90 and still climbing. A strong breeze was blowing and the humidity was so low that in about ten minutes Bob's swim trunks seemed to be completely dry. "Boy, it's great out here. I love these hot, dry winds. Never have to use a towel to dry off when I get out of the pool." We looked around and this tall blonde in a bikini came out to the pool area.

"The kids are playing with the neighborhood children in the front yard, so we have some alone time," she said as she bent over, gave him a kiss and leaned back on the lounge next to Bob. She was wearing a knitted red bikini. One could see her bare skin through the open-weave of the knit, and Bob began to breathe a little slower as he watched her walk out to the pool-side chaise lounges. She seemed as tall as Bob, with a voluptuous body resembling Europa in Titian's famous painting The Rape of Europa except for her ankles which were as petite as those of a graceful dancer. "Check that the doors to the breezeway and garage are locked, I'm going to take a dip in the pool," she said to Bob, as she sat up and took off her bikini and entered the pool. Keeping his eyes on her as she entered the pool, Bob got up, locked the side-door to the garage, checked on the kids who were playing in the front yard with their friends, and then locked the door which led from the breezeway to the pool. He took off his trunks and dove into the pool.

He swam underwater to where she was and rose out of the water in front of her. They embraced passionately alongside the other side of the pool. Like two otters they playfully dove and swan around each other, returning to embrace on the side of the pool. Their playfulness seemed to be getting more and more amorous in nature as the Captain and I watched the scene unfold. "Who is this woman?" I asked him. "Obviously this is not Judy who was several inches shorter than Bob and had black hair." The Captain only smiled, content to allow me to discover on my own. "Santa Ana winds? isn't that something that happens in California? Holy cow! This is California the perfectly clear sky, the low humidity, the swimming pool, the bikini! How in the world did I end up like this?"

The Captain smile was punctuated by a raised eyebrow, and he said, "Who said anything about 'ending up' like this?"

"Oh," I muttered as my attention went back to the nude couple who had come out of the pool and were preparing to have sex. She leaned over the pool-side table and he was entering her from behind. The Captain and I heard the giggling of children and as we looked around, there, in a high window in the back of the garage, were some small heads barely sticking up over the sill. Their view of the woman leaning over the table was obscured by Bob's bare back. Bob took a quick glance back and grabbed two towels.

"Patty, it's the kids! They've climbed up on my tool bench and are looking through the window!" Bob wrapped one towel around him and the other one around her and went into the garage. He chased the kids away and closed the large garage door. As he returned to the pool area, he said to Patty, who looked up from her book, "Whew, that was close. Luckily they started giggling right away."

They went inside and dressed, maybe even finished what they had started outside. Bob came out first and began looking through the Classified Ads of the Los Angeles Times. I turned to the Captain and said, "See, I was right. They do live in California the Los Angeles area." When Patty returned from dressing and fixing her hair and her face, Bob had circled several ads to show her. "Here's a guy down in Long Beach who has a 1952 TD for $995, and another guy up near Griffith Park with a 1951 TD for $1650. I think we should go check those out later this afternoon. Judy's coming by to pick up my four kids and Kenny and Carol Jean can watch TV while we check out the cars." They looked over the ads together and agreed that these seemed to be the best ones.

Patty called the kids inside, fed them lunch and then told them they could go swimming. We watched and listened as they ate and picked up their names. The oldest was a girl about 13 named Carol Jean who looked like Patty a bit, and the blonde haired boy seemed to be her brother, Kenny. The next oldest girl was Maureen, dark hair, shiny brown eyes and a scattering of freckles. "Reenie" was the name Bob called her clearly that was his daughter she looked so much like him. The rest of the crew included a small blonde girl named Carla, a curly brown-haired girl, Yvette, who looked like Judy as we last saw her, and the smallest was a five-year-old, red-haired boy named Robbie. "These last four must be my four kids," I said to the Captain. He nodded.

After lunch Bob went outside to play with the kids in the pool while Patty cleaned up the kitchen. Bob was showing Robbie how to jump in the pool from the side and swim back to the lip of the pool. The pool water was like a storm-tossed tempest with waves splashing over the sides as kids jumped into the pool, dove from the diving board, swam, and jostled around in the water. Bob played with them for awhile, diving into the pool, splashing them, floating on his back and spitting water into the air like a whale.

"Time for a treat," Patty said as she walked outside with a tray of oranges and peppermint sticks. The kids jumped out of the pool and lined up. She cut a small hole in the top of each orange, inserted a peppermint stick, and handed it to one of the kids. First Carol Jean, then Maureen, and on down the ages. Each child began sucking on the peppermint stick and to my surprise, orange juice was traveling up the peppermint stick like a straw, adding a minty flavor to the juice. "Wow! I'll have to try that sometime," I said aside to the Captain. Then I noticed that Patty was cutting a hole in a red apple, placing a peppermint in it and handing it to Robbie. Carol Jean looked at her mom with an inquisitive look, and Patty said, "Robbie is allergic to citrus juices, so he gets to be the only one to have a shiny apple." Robbie sucked on his peppermint stick and even though no apple juice got through the stick, he was happy to be included in the kiddie treat. After they finished their treats, they shuttled the kids off to a nap. Carol Jean asked if she could stay out by the pool to get a little sun, and Bob said okay.

He was in the kitchen looking over the Want Ads again with Patty when he heard Carol Jean scream, "Fire!" We watched as Bob ran outside to see the dry avocado leaves under his pool heater on fire. He started to run to the phone to call the fire department, and turned back around, shouting at Carol Jean, "Tell your mom to call the fire department. I'm going try to put it out." The leaves were burning fast and he pulled out the hose he had used earlier to wash out the pool filters, turned it on and soon had the fire out. He rushed back to the kitchen where Patty was just dialing the number for the fire department, and said, "Whew! No need to call. Thanks to Carol Jean's warning, I got it out in time. Just burned the reeds on the screen behind the filter bench a little. I have heard so many horror stories about runaway fires during a Santa Ana wind, but this is the middle of Anaheim and not the open hillside, luckily. I should have cleared away those dead leaves. I saw them this morning when I cleaned the filter bags. They were only a few inches from the gas flame of the pool heater. I should have known better." He went over to the fridge and got out a can of Coors, "You want one?" Patty nodded and they went outside and drank their beers alongside the pool.

"Thanks, Carol Jean," he said and gave her a big hug. She went inside to join her siblings in nap time. "After the kids wake up, we'll drop my four over at Judy's and take a ride out to Long Beach."

"I think I'll read awhile out here," Patty said.

"Good, keep an eye on the pool heater area in case any flames re-ignite. I think it's okay since I raked away all the leaves and stuff under the heater. I'm gonna take a quick dip in the pool and take a nap myself on the day bed." Bob jumped into the pool and took a short lap across the pool and back. He sat down for a few minutes next to Patty, then said, "Okay, my trunks are dry. I'm going for my nap."

He walked inside the sun porch to the far side. In the corner next to the sidewall of open jalousy windows, a dry warm breeze was flowing in and over the day bed after its trip between the pink house and the neighboring house. It was a tributary of the Santa Ana wind that had squeezed its way down the tight alleyway between the two houses, and flowed through the open slats across the twin bed that Bob laid down in with his trunks on. He stretched out over the blanket, closed his eyes, and began to breathe deeply. "Ah! This is so marvelous," he said aloud to no one in particular, though it caused the Captain and I to look at each other and wonder if he might be talking to us. We had to agree that this was the most wonderful place to take a nap in the whole world. The temperature was about 102 degrees, humidity was down to about 3 percent, and a balmy breeze was flowing over the bed where Bob was giving up his body to sheer relaxation. We could almost discern visions of an MG TD floating over his head as he passed off into a deep sleep.

Later in the afternoon, everyone was up and Patty got Kenny and Carol Jean together to explain that she and Bob were going out for a few hours. She explained that food was in the fridge ready to be warmed in the Amana microwave oven and they could do homework and then watch television until we got back. Then they packed up Bob's four children and drove down Brookhurst and let them out at Judy's house, giving them each a big kiss and saying, "We'll see you next weekend, okay?"

The Captain and I sat in the back and listened to them as they drove along. Bob was driving and Patty was smoking a cigarette and drinking a tall glass of some red liquid. "You better stop at the package store over on Katella. I need to pick up some more wine."

Bob pulled up to the store and said, "I'll get it. Carlo Rossi Burgundy, right?"

"Yes, get the gallon size, it's cheaper. She said." He returned with some Coors six-packs and a large bottle of red wine. "We'll have to drop these off at the house. I didn't know this before, but the guy behind the counter told me that Coors beer is refrigerated all the way from the factory to the store and until the customer buys it. Supposed to keep it fresh. So I want to put it in our fridge while we're off on our TD search."

They dropped off their beverages and turned down Beach Blvd heading for their first look at a potential TD, in Long Beach. First they stopped at Home Savings & Loan. "How much money should I take out?" Patty asked.

"Hmm, let's see. Get $1650. That's enough to cover the asking price of the highest priced one if we decide we have to have it. We can always re-deposit anything left over." She returned with an envelope and handed it to Bob. He removed 16 one-hundred dollar bills and one fifty and placed them in his wallet.

They found the car, a two-tone brown colored TD in fair shape. Took it for a short drive and told the guy they'd let him know. As they got back in the LTD, Bob looked over the map. "The next guy is Tom somebody. He told me he lives above a house overlooking Griffiths Park." They drove up the Santa Ana freeway, onto the Golden State Freeway, and stopped in front of a small 1940s style house with a single gable, a front porch with two red brick square columns on each end of the porch supporting white wooden columns. To the right of the porch sat a dark blue, almost black in the deepening dusk, TD. If the first TD was a 5 on a scale of one to 10, this one was a 10! We could see Bob's eyes light up. As they walked towards the house and the TD, Bob motioned to Patty to hold up. He pulled out his wallet, removed two hundred dollar bills and the sole fifty dollar bill and stuffed them in his front jeans pocket. They inspected the TD, walking around it, running their hands over the chrome.

"This is a great restoration job," Patty whispered. "My dad's Pierce Arrow Roadster almost looked this good when he got finished restoring it. Look at the Pirelli radials. The calfskin upholstery. Every bit of chrome has been refinished the hood, the bullet headlight covers, the windshield trim, everything."

"Yeah, and look at that paint job. It's tremendous."

"Obviously a lacquer, probably five or six coats to get it that way."

They walked up the porch and a tall, thin hippy with a long beard came to the door and introduced himself as Tom. He explained that he was an unemployed social worker. He had spent seven years restoring the TD and now he was supporting himself now by baking organic bread in a house out back that overlooks Griffiths Park. He offered them a piece of the bread which they ate as they listened to him talk about his restoration project, about the nine coats of Chinese Blue lacquer which went into creating the fantastic paint job of the TD. He took Bob for a ride in the TD and drove down a few blocks. He got out and let Bob drive it back. Bob had a little trouble handling the clutch and learning when to shift out of first gear. "You use first only to get rolling," Tom told him, "then immediately shift into second." Bob pulled in the driveway and turned off the engine.

Tom went into the house and allowed Bob and Patty to compare notes. "Everything is go as far as I'm concerned," she said. My dad knew his antique cars and he would have approved of this one. What do you think?"

"I want it. Let's see if we can make a deal."

They walked into the house. As they sat down, Tom began talking first. "I have a guy coming to see the car on Monday and he's offering me the whole $1650."

Bob said, "Look, Tom, we want the car." As he talked Bob reached back to hip pocket and withdrew his wallet. He opened it slowly allowing Tom to see that he was pulling all of the money from it. Slowly he began counting it out. "One" he said as he extracted a one hundred dollar bill from the stack in his hand. He didn't just lay it in the middle of the table he raised it slowly from the stack, and in a high arc placed it slowly and dramatically on the table. Bob looked over to Tom and we could see as he did that Tom's eyes were following the bill in its travel to the table. "Two" same slow arc, same eyes following. "Three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen" and with a flourish he marshaled the sole remaining Ben Franklin through the same arc and laid it on top of the pile, "fourteen. That's all the money I have."

Silence filled the room. Not even an eye blinked. The bearded hippie stared at the pile of money in the middle of the table. He seemed to be weighing this very real stack of hundred dollars bills on Saturday night versus some imaginary potential stack of bills on Monday. He said nothing. He moved not a muscle. He just stared. Bob and Patty glanced without moving their heads at each other and remained motionless and silent as well. After what seemed an eternity, Tom's arms went out, encircled the bills and he said, "I'll take it."

Captain and I watched as the two partners became owner of a twenty-year-old classic, an MG Model TD sports car. The kind Ryan O'Neal in "Love Story" drove Allie MacGraw in only this one was like brand new better than new, better than right out of the showroom. They signed the papers, and soon the black and gold California License plates NTE166 were hanging on the front and back of a TD belonging to Bob and Patty. Patty drove the LTD and Bob the TD. The worst was over was the message we read on Bob's face. "Follow me home on the freeway. Stay right behind me in case I have any trouble," he told Patty as he climbed into the cockpit of the tiny sports car. The Captain shrank himself and climbed into the small storage compartment behind the two seats and I sat in the passengers seat. The windows were open and I found that I could touch the ground if I leaned out only slightly and stretched my arm. My feet went forward into a tight space which seemed to extend into the space between the small 4-cylinder in-line motor and the inside of the front wheel wells. The windshield wipers hung down from the top of each side of the windshield and each one had its separate electric motor. Bob got in and started the motor. No steering wheel lock and the key went into a lock in the wooden dashboard. He backed out of Tom''s driveway and soon we were heading for the on-ramp to the Golden State freeway. He killed the engine one or twice by letting the clutch up too quickly. Apparently the clutch was razor sharp and took a lot of getting used to.

Everything went smoothly until he hit the Golden State Freeway and accelerated up to 65 mph to keep up with the traffic which was zipping along at a few miles above the speed limit. The freeway wound through the Hollywood hills and had no straight sections at all. I noticed that the TD was moving from side to side and couldn't figure out what was wrong. I looked over to Bob and his face was almost petrified. He had both hands on the wheel and as hard as he tried, he couldn't keep the wheel steady. I watched carefully and noted that as soon as he moved his hands left, the TD veered left, as soon as he moved his hands right, the TD veered right. I turned back to the Captain, "Look! Apparently Bob's strategy for driving the old loosey-goosey 1964 Chevy isn't working too well for this English-made sports car with very tight rack-and-pinion steering. He keeps over-correcting. What he needs to do is take his hands off the wheel entirely and he'll notice the TD will travel in a straight line." As soon as I said that, even though Bob couldn't hear me, he took his hands off the wheel and the car stopped swerving, but because we were entering another curve, he had to quickly put his hands back on the steering wheel and turn the wheel. He did so and removed his hands. It was working. Sharp but slight turns of the steering wheel seemed to work. Then Bob noticed the chrome handle just to the left of the steering wheel that was there to help drivers get in and out of the cockpit. He grabbed the handle with his left hand and wrapped his thumb around the leather-covered steering wheel which was parallel to the wooden dash and only a few inches above it. The handle kept his hand steady and with his thumb he maneuvered each turn smoothly at last. Just as he had figured out how to drive the Golden State Freeway in his newly acquired MG TD, we had merged into the Santa Ana Freeway which was a fairly straight run. You could see the jubilation in Bob's face as he had conquered one of the first obstacles with his new possession driving it smoothly on a freeway!

"Isn't it always the case?" the Captain asked rhetorically. "As soon as you learn a lesson in handling the twists and turns of life, the road straightens out." As he spoke we were transported instantly back to the kitchen off the sun porch.

"Yes, I think you're right about that, Captain. I've got a question I'd like to ask."

"Go ahead what is it?"

"I didn't see a wedding ring on either Bob or Patty's hands. Are they married or not?"

The Captain looked me askance, as if not sure whether to answer the question or not. "How about we pay them a visit on Halloween?"

"Er, sure, I guess." I was at a loss to understand how that might answer my question. We moved quickly forward through several weeks. I almost expected the calendar pages to fly away from the daily calendar on the wall, like in old Black and White movies, but this was more like a quick dissolve and soon October 31 appeared on the calendar. It was around noon, and the house was abuzz with activity.

"I got the gardenias," Bob announced as he bounded into the house and nearly bumped into a thin dark-haired woman in her early 60s. "Oh, good morning, Maggie. What's that you have in your hands?" His attention was focused on a small child's double-barreled shotgun with corks on a string stuck in each barrel. It was painted white and decorated with some plastic flowers.

"Oh, I brought this alone in case this was going to be a shotgun wedding," she said as a broad smile widened her elfish face.

"Great idea!" Bob said chuckling and cocking the toy gun and firing the corks. "Let's get Jackie and Patty outside as soon as they're dressed for a photo with the shotgun. Where's Patty?"

"She's putting her on bridal gown right now in the bedroom."

Bob walked down the hall and there was Patty with a long green gown decorated with flowers around the neck. It was same color and design as the pullover V-neck shirt that Bob had on. "Here's the gardenias for your hair," Bob said as he entered the room. The large woman attaching the back of the dress for Patty must be Jackie, I thought.

"Put them on the dresser. I'll get Jackie to fix them in my hair for me."

"Have you two seen the shotgun that Patty's step-mother brought?"

"That's a hoot," Jackie said, "just what you two birds need."

"Look, as soon as you and Patty are ready, come out by the pool. I want you to take a photo of Maggie pointing the shotgun at us. As if we needed to be forced to be married!"

Patty was busy with fixing her hair, but managed a smile at the thought of the gag photo. "Have you arranged for the Matherne kids to come over tonight for trick or treating with Carol Jean and Kenny?"

"Yes, I told her Jackie would be picking them up when we get back from the church. Here's the address, Jackie. It's just about a mile up Brookhurst, an apartment building just before the Santa Ana freeway."

"Don't you two worry I'll take care of the little ones for you," Jackie said. Her figure resembled the large black woman who helped Scarlet in "Gone with the Wind", but Jackie's voice was much deeper voice, with a joviality that lightened the air when she spoke. "The six kids will be trick-or-treating in Anaheim tonight just like they did together back on Ole Miss Drive in Kenner."

We watched as they took the "shotgun wedding" photo. Bob drove off to pick up the soft drinks and beer for the reception which was obviously going to be in the pink house. A single-layer cake was in the middle of the round table on the sun porch. Iced in white and decorated in green and yellow Halloween colors, it had two small, stuffed scarecrow dolls standing in the middle, a boy and a girl, to represent the bride and the groom.

Hours of preparation and dressing came to an end by early afternoon, and every one piled into the cars for the drive to the church. It was a long drive, over freeways, and finally the Pacific Coast Highway with the ocean stretching off to our left, till we turned into a driveway that said, "Wayfarer's Chapel, Portuguese Bend". We pulled up to the side of a small church made completely of glass we noticed a small plaque that said, "Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect."

Bob, Patty, Jackie and Carol Jean got out of the cars and a young man came up to meet them who looked about Bob's age and was obviously one of the wedding party, probably his best man. "Glen! It's a great day to get married, isn't it?" Bob said. The wedding principals walked around the back of the chapel to talk to the minister and the Captain and I walked into the church. It was an A-frame shape, but was covered with trees and vines so much that once inside the glass seemed to disappear and one had the impression of being in a grove in a forest. The sound of falling water came from a flowing fountain just inside the small chapel.

Soon, the strains of some classical music issued from the chapel's sound system and Patty and her matron of honor, Jackie, took their place on the raised marble altar, followed by Bob and his best man, Glen. The minister performed the marriage ceremony and said finally, you may kiss the bride. To applause the bridal party walked down to the aisle to Purcell's Trumpet Voluntary. Outside the front door, Bob and Patty, now Mr. and Mrs. Robert Matherne, greeted their friends as the guests issued from the chapel. We caught some of the names, "Jerry", "Kent", "Al", "Dick", and "Don" all of whom seemed to be Bob's friends from work because Bob introduced Patty to several of them.

Bob excused himself and walked around to the parking lot and returned in the shiny MG TD with the top down. He got out and helped Patty into the passenger side. "See you all at the house!" he yelled as he started up the engine on the tiny sports car. The TD pulled away and turned a large arc in the parking lot and just before disappearing through the exit, its horn blared out the first two bars the most familiar melodic quotation of Stars and Stripes Forever. The Captain and I slid into the small compartment behind the bride and groom to eavesdrop. "That Spartan Air-Horn we got from your father's spare parts sure sounded good, didn't it?" Bob asked Patty with a big smile.

"Yes, and talking about good," Patty said, "look at Santa Catalina!" We looked in the direction she pointed and there on the horizon was a large island that had not been visible when we drove up a short hour or so earlier.

"Wow! That's the first time I've ever seen the island the air must have cleared up while we were in the church."

With this the Captain and I left the TD and stood on the road looking out at Catalina island in the deepening dusk.

"Thanks for that lagniappe, Captain," I said looking at him. "It certainly answered my question about whether they were married. This has been two very long and memorable days."

"Yes, indeed. Are you ready for another decade?"

"Yeah, I guess so. So many things changed in this decade, I can't wait to see what I'll find in the next. Lead on, Captain!"

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