Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Princess Plebe and I

Hi, guys!

I recently read Gail O'Sullivan Dwyer's book,Tough as Nails, shown above. It is her personal story of being a member of the West Point Class of 1981, the second class at the U.S. Military Academy to have women members.

It is wonderfully written and had me laughing on almost every page. I highly recommend this short paperback to those who wonder how the women who showed up up to become plebes at West Point in 1976 and 1977 ever got through to graduation.
They were clearly pioneers and fit the title of the book perfectly.

However, there is one factual error in the book. The first women to wear the uniform of the United States Corps of Cadets were not in the Class of 1980. I know this to be a fact for I was there when the first women put on the uniform and had their hair cut to the prescribed length—NO LOWER THAN THE BOTTOM OF THE COLLAR.

The first women to wear the cadet uniform were two with reasonably short hair already. They were selected as subjects whose hair would be cut by a beautician from Newburgh, New York in a training session for the barbers at West Point who had little or no experience cutting women's hair.

One of them was named Eleanor Peters, a gorgeous brunette. The other one was the girl I married, a gorgeous blonde. Yep, I married one of the first two women to ever wear the uniform at West Point.

Today, you know her as The Queen Vee. Back in 1976, she was just The Princess Plebe. Despite clear West Point regulations that Cadets may not be married nor have ever been married, she received her Plebe haircut while openly displaying an engagement ring and a wedding band... Plebes are always a work in progress.

Skeptical at all of the above? I have photographic evidence from the days before Photoshop was invented.

Tomorrow, this Princess Plebe and I will have been married for forty years. And Victoria, now The Queen, is still gorgeous. And she tells me that I am still a work in progress...

Happy Anniversary, Miss Dumb Smack!