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 A Christmas Toast Aboart USS Kansas 1908 
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Location: Connecticut within sight of two lighthouses
Post A Christmas Toast Aboart USS Kansas 1908
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Photo #: NH 52239. USS Kansas (Battleship # 21). Print after a sketch by T. Dart Walker, entitled "Christmas Eve in the United States Navy". Its original caption reads:
"Giving the famous Highland toast and song for sweethearts and wives. Wherever Uncle Sam's fighting ships are stationed throughout the world, it is the custom of the officers to rise, as here depicted, at the conclusion of the Christmas Eve festivities in honor of the absent home folks. This sketch was made by the noted marine artist, T. Dart Walker, while crossing the Arabian Sea on board the battleship 'Kansas'." U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

From Letters to the Editor, American Heritage Magazine, June 1964:

WIVES AND SWEETHEARTS

Being a veteran of the “Great White Fleet,” I read your article on its famous cruise with great interest, and I congratulate you on it. My wife was also interested… she and I met on that cruise, first at Monterey and later at San Francisco, which was her home.
…The picture of officers drinking a toast was apparently a Junior Officers’ Mess, the more elderly gentleman on the left being the pay clerk, who was usually in that mess, and the others, from their collars, being Passed Midshipmen or Ensigns. It was probably the traditional Saturday night toast to “Sweethearts and Wives.” … The toast was, “Here’s to our sweethearts and wives—may our sweethearts become our wives, and our wives ever remain our sweethearts.” Sometimes the last phrase was parodied to “—may they never meet!”
H. Kent Hewitt,
Admiral, U.S.N. (Ret.)
Orwell, Vermont

*****

The toasts are of course by day, not by holiday. I don't know that that one had a Highland origin. Oddly I've always known the toast as "wives and sweethearts."

Perhaps the mess rules were by geographical region. I would find shoes on the table cloth to be very declasse...but Kansas may have had her own corn farmer approach to things,

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"Many’s the long night I’ve dreamed of cheese—toasted, mostly” (Ch. XV, p. 142). -Ben Gunn speaking to Jim Hawkins.

"What happens we have got
the Maxim gun, and they have not."
-Hillaire Belloc


Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:11 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 5:47 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Connecticut within sight of two lighthouses
Post The illustration
Another flaw to the illustration is the height of the overhead.

No warship of that day had overheads so high a man could stand upright on a table.

_________________
CAPT Caltrop
"Many’s the long night I’ve dreamed of cheese—toasted, mostly” (Ch. XV, p. 142). -Ben Gunn speaking to Jim Hawkins.

"What happens we have got
the Maxim gun, and they have not."
-Hillaire Belloc


Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:11 pm
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