(Starts at 0:05) Much of the material for this scene (song) was taken from my father's unfinished novel, Port Chicago Story.
THE SCENE: THE LOADING DOCKS OF THE AMMUNITION DEPOT
AT THE DOCK, LYRICS
(directing the SAPs as they approach the dock.)
(0:13) BEAR TO THE RIGHT,
CATCH UP IN THE REAR.
FALL OUT, FALL OUT!
ALL RIGHT TO YOUR HOLDS MEN.
(0:23) OK GANG, DON’T WASTE ANY TIME.
(0:28) SWEEP OUT THAT CAR,
PULL THE PLATES,
ON THE DOUBLE!
CHIEF 1 and POFC 1
ON THE DOUBLE!
(0:37) NO HOOKS ON THAT POWDER.
WHAT S’MATTER WITH YOU?
(0:47) YOU’RE NOT THAT WEAK.
LT. SCHINDLER and CHIEF 1
(0:49) IT WON’T HURT YOU.
(0:52) WATCH YOUR HEAD!
WATCH YOUR HEAD!
(0:55) WATCH YOUR GODDAMNED HEAD!
(holding a small projectile ... )
(1:05) HOW DOES THIS THING WORK LIEUTENANT?
WHAT THEY USE IT FOR?
What a dumb ass!
(1:24) BLOW UP THE JAPS,
AND US TOO,
IF YOU DROP IT.
THEN HERE, IT’S YOURS!
(SAP 1 tosses the projectile to Lt. Schindler.)
The next thing you know, he’ll be lighting a cigarette.
My God, this is crazy out here.
I know. ... Fellas, you’ve got to watch it. See that guy over there? ... Roosevelt Eller ... He don't treat this place any different than the streets of Detroit ... just as soon stick a knife through your stomach as look at 'ya.
Glad Schindler's got him and not me.
But most of 'em are just hard-working regular guys with families back home and, in some cases, decent jobs. ...
See that guy? Morris Soublet. What an incredible sense of humor! Funny as hell. He'd be great on the radio ... as good as Jack Benny, ... I guarantee 'ya.
(leaning in on the conversation,...)
You mean Rochester?
No, I mean Benny.
He’s funnier than Jack.
And see that fella, Ernie Oliver?
Dropped out of school after the sixth grade ... but what a nice guy.
Wrote a poem about me once, and I damned near cried.
Would’ve never made it in the New Yorker, but it sure made me feel good.
And see those two guys, Powell and Cannon?
Both studied communications before they joined the Navy. So you've got to realize that some of these boys are just as talented as the guys in Lang’s division ... and maybe even the officers ... and you've got to handle 'em the same way.
No problem, Frank.
(3:05) GOT TO GO TO THE HEAD.
GOT TO GO TO THE HEAD.
GOT TO GO, GOT TO GO,
GOT TO GO TO THE FRIGGIN’ HEAD.
(3:18) CAN’T NO SON-A-BITCH OFFICER GO TO WATCH ME PEE.
Or smoke a cigarette.
SCREAMIN’, CUSSIN’, ALWAYS FUSSIN’
ON THE DOUBLE! YOU’RE IN TROUBLE!
IN THE WAY!
ALL OFFICERS AND PETTY OFFICERS
Frank, was it OK for me to step in like that?
You better believe it! ... May have already saved your first life out here. Gotta be on your toes all the time.
(LT. GEORGE HACKENBERG walks up to greet the officers.)
Hey, Bob and Dick, let me introduce you to Lt. George Hackenberg.
(BOB and RICHARD shake hands with HACKENBERG but do not salute.)
George just got off the swing shift with the 7th.
Welcome to Port Chicago Fellas.
Good to meet you George.
Good to meet you.
Everybody here calls me ‘Hack.’
By the way, how many tons did the last division put on?
I think it was two hundred and seventy four.
They oughta’ beat that.
(overhearing the conversation...)
We better! I got 100 dollars ridin’ on it.
Fellas, Hack's being here just reminded me. ... The swing shift can be cold as hell. Some of the boys will want to wear overcoats. But it's even more dangerous out here in overcoats, 'cause they can get caught up in the equipment and stuff.
Frank's right. You've gotta be extra careful on those cold nights.
(4:43) TWO LOOPS AROUND THAT LOAD,
GET A LONGER SLING.
CHIEF 1 and POFC 1
NOT SO FAST.
DON’T LET IT HIT YOU.
(5:00) AND UP MY GODDAMNED ASS!
ALL OFFICERS and PETTY OFFICERS
(5:09) TURN AROUND AND WATCH YOUR HEAD!
(all giving a middle finger salute...)
(5:14) UP MY ASS!