Harriman Nelson's Journal

My Friend Lee -page 44

The Creamsickle
The Invitation
Bike Week
The Java Connection
Lee's Tattoo
My Friend Lee-page 33
My Friend Lee-page 34
My Friend Lee-page 35
My Friend Lee-Page 36
My Friend Lee-page 37
My Friend Lee-page 38
My Friend Lee-page 39
My Friend Lee-page 40
My Friend Lee-page 41
My Friend Lee page 42
My Friend Lee-page 43
My Friend Lee -page 44
My Friend Lee-page 25
My Friend Lee-Page 26
My Friend Lee-Page 27
My Friend Lee-Page 28
My Friend Lee -page 29
My Friend Lee -page 30
My Friend Lee-page 31
My Friend Lee-page 32
My Friend Lee-page 24
My Friend Lee-page 23
My Friend Lee- page22
My Friend Lee-page 21
My Friend Lee-page 20
My Friend Lee- Page 19
My Friend Lee-page 18
My Friend Lee page 17
My Friend Lee-page 16
A Short Story
A 'Harry Halloween'
My Friend Lee-page 15
My Friend Lee-page 14
My Friend Lee-page 13
My Friend Lee-page 12
My Friend Lee-page 11
My Friend Lee-page 10
My Friend Lee-page 9
My Friend Lee-Page 8
My Friend Lee-page 7
My Friend Lee-page 6
My Friend Lee-Page 5
Life With Lee-page 4
Life with Lee- page 2
Life with Lee-page 3
Reflections-the 'In Between Years'
My photo-scrapbook album
About Me


It was a spectacular sunset and I was enjoying a little peace and quiet in the office until I received a call from Procurement about a problem. Apparently Captain Crane was at odds with something and was headed my way, spreadsheets in hand.

In wasn’t the first time, I groaned inwardly. Having granted, well, okay, insisted, that he add some NIMR administrative duties to his job description as Seaview’s Captain,  he took his additional duties a bit too seriously.  I found myself reminiscing about  a slight, shall we say, confrontation, with him just a few months after he’d first  joined NIMR……….

‘It’s not that I’m partial to yellow, Lad,” I spoke to Lee, or at least tried to, “it’s just that it was…”

“On sale,” Lee Crane interrupted, “and used. Admit it. “

Lee had been fussing that I’d favored Army Surplus too much for most of our supply needs, but that was hitting below the belt.

“For your information,” I used my best command glare (well,  it worked most of the time), “I found it on sale at Wetsuits- R- Us. You can’t fault me for trying to save the Institute a little money, especially the way you abuse neoprene. We needed to order a new team leader wetsuit.”

“The swordfish was not my fault. Neither was that bed of agitated coral. And if you were going to purchase a  wetsuit, why not a new one? And did it have to be yellow?”

“There’s nothing wrong with yellow, Captain.”

“I overheard Ski saying that I looked like an over ripe banana,” Lee pouted.

For a moment I wondered if the poor crewman was scrubbing out the bilges as I hid my amused grin behind my cigarette. Still,  it wasn’t like Lee to take a personal comment so personally, so I let it slide, telling myself I might as well take down a ham sandwich to Kowalski as a kind of peace offering ( just in case). And after all, it was close to lunchtime.

“It’s a done deal, Lee,” I said, “I grant that I might have chosen a new suit but the bargain was just too good to resist….as for the color, you didn’t complain about it on your first dive with Seaview.”

“I thought I was temporary, and the suit was so badly damaged by that squid that it was unusable after. Of course I didn’t complain.”

“A dive leader should stand out from the group, you know that. I can’t think of a better color than yellow.”

 Lee leaned his hands on my desk and bent forward. For a moment I felt like a raw recruit expecting him to order me to drop and give him 50.

 “I’m not a banana!” he hissed, “what’s wrong with blue? Surely they had some wetsuits in blue.”

“None in stock,” I lied.




“Sorry,” I inhaled deeply on my cigarette. (Lee had tried to get me to quit, so this was a fitting way I thought,  to flaunt the fact that I was the boss, not he.)

“Why can’t I just use your silver one?” he pleaded.

“Because, and you know damn well, that it was measured for me personally. It won’t fit you.”

“So what if the legs are  a little short…”

“The yellow wetsuit is for whoever the dive team leader is. Don’t take it so personally Lee.”

“And just  who is the usual dive leader? Me, that’s who,” he  scanned the spreadsheet, “so,” he sighed, “ how much did you save NIMR for the monstrosity? It doesn’t say here.”

“Enough so that we can use the difference for Morton’s  birthday party.”


And that had  pretty much settled things. Even so, months later,  Lee still takes objection to the yellow wetsuits I can still get on special. He’s gone through  so many now, I’ve lost count. They’ve  been torn, ripped, and infested with algea,  but at least he doesn’t complain about them anymore. Much, anyway.


I guess he’s come to accept the fact that if he looks like an over ripe banana, especially with his black hair,  he might as well accept it.

My mind back to the present, he barged in, the procurement clerk   in tow. I was surprised to see Cookie and Kowalski with them, so I guess Ski never was on bilge duty.

“Did you order a gross of  dried banana chips?” he waved the spreadsheet in my face.

“What’s wrong with them? I got a good deal. It pays to buy in bulk.”

“They’re from 1969, that’s what!”


“This is the kind of packaging they used for the Apollo Space Program! See, right there, NASA, Apollo 11!  Some of these snacks might even have been on the moon!”

“Well, as long as they’re all  still sealed, Lee, I don’t see a problem. No air, no bacteria, no spoilage,” I said, proud of my expertise.

“Do you really want my crew eating something that was made before half of them were born?”

“Oh good grief,” I said, ripped the seal open and dumped the contents on my desk in a puff of yellow powder which settled all over us.  “They must’ve…er….dried out.”

““All right.  All right. We’ll just have to figure out something else we can use them for, "he said while using a handkerchief to wipe off the corner of my desk and sat down,   “Admiral,” he continued, cooling off, “ the next time you think you’ve found a bargain I’d really appreciate it if you’d keep me in the loop.”

“Of course, Lee,” I said, keeping my fingers crossed. How on earth could I tell him now that the color for the new flying submersible prototype had already been selected.

“You realize, don’t you,” he interrupted my thoughts, ”the crew’s going to have a field day with this. First, only my wetsuits looked like yellow bananas, now the rest of me does too,” he brushed some of the yellow dust off of his hair and face .

“I’m sorry, Lee. I just…”

 “It’s okay. I guess I kind of flew off the handle. Well, I don’t know about you, sir, but I could use some lunch. It’s Double Dessert day at  the cafeteria. What’s the special , Cookie?”


“Well?” I asked, concerned. Cookie was positively red.

“Bananas Foster, sir.”

For a moment I held my breath, thinking Lee was going to explode in rage. His face contorted into a multitude of expressions. Suddenly he began to chuckle, then doubled over in laughter.

“C’mon sir,” he grabbed my arm, “we’d better hurry before it runs out. “

And so Lee and I were soon enjoying two helpings each of the delectable  dessert. He’s not really adverse to bananas, the way he finished off his dessert. He just doesn’t like looking like one.

“I wonder what’s going on over there?” he asked as he saw some of the staff and crew begin to converge around the  menu board with Cookie and Kowalski as we departed.  

I alone managed a backwards glance, which has left me with a dilemma. He’s bound to find out sooner or later.  There for everyone to see is a chalk cartoon of a yellow wetsuit clad Crane holding a piece of ‘Banana’s Foster’, or as it said with  a hasty scrawl, ‘Banana’s Crane’.

Should I tell Lee  that for now, and perhaps forever more at NIMR and aboard Seaview, he’s given his name to a famous dessert? An edible accessory to the wetsuit  he loathes ?