Interview With Hammond M. Salley

From the interview with Hammond M. Salley (Major, USA ret.) of Anaheim, CA conducted by phone from the Fort Worden History Center on July 20, 2010 by Patience Rogge.  Mr. Salley is the son of Colonel Henry M. Salley (1901-1994); his family resided in Quarters 11E on Officers Row in Fort Worden from September 1947 to August 1949.  Here he recounts a couple of  his misadventures as a child on the post:

“Right behind our house there were steps leading up the little slope to a greenhouse where they grew all the plants to plant on Post…I don’t remember why we did it, but we came out of a Cub Scout meeting and somehow we wound up beside that greenhouse and started throwing rocks at the greenhouse and broke a lot of windows.  So we all got caught.  We all embarrassed our parents and we had to pay for it out of our allowance, but they fixed all the windows .  In another incident– even though the big coast guns were gone by the time we were there, the powder was still in those magazines up on the hill—we were up on the hill and one of the older boys decided we ought to break in and see what was inside because we really didn’t know.  So we broke open one of those things and went inside and saw all the stuff.  Of course we got caught on that too, and so after being severely punished, we were told we couldn’t go past the military police station unless we went to the MP station and got permission to go past.  The unfortunate thing was that the PX with the soda fountains and stuff was past the MP station.  So every time we wanted to go to the PX, we had to go to the MP station and get permission.  Again, very embarrassing for our parents.

My older brother, Ernest Meres Salley, was president of his senior class at Port Townsend High School.  He had an old car called an Essex, I think vintage 1925.  It had wooden floor boards, and he would drive it to school.  I don’t know where they got the idea, but he and a friend went to the junkyard and got a lot of old car parts, gears and things like that.  Then they drove through the main street of Port Townsend where the guys collected at the soda fountain…My brother and his friend drove by them and pulled up some of the floor boards.  The guy in the back started dropping all these gears out of the bottom of the car as it went down the street. “

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