The Powder Blue Coat

By Maynard C. Hoffmann

t was the 6th and the 7th in the month of December
Two eventful days I will always remember
The 6th was a Saturday, the year 41
And on this day, our annual inspection was no fun

The 7th of course was the Day of Infamy
I was strafed four times, escaping injury
I have reflected many times my amazing luck
My time was not up – I was not struck

Two weeks before came an unusual invitation
To attend a luau with a girl Caucasian
She had just arrived from a far-off state
I did not mind that she was a blind date

So off I went to the town of Honolulu
Buying civvies – Marine Corps khakis would not do
White shoes and a shirt plus a powder blue coat
For fifty some bucks, a check I wrote
I stored these duds at the site of the party
At the luau I knew I would look hale and hearty
I fantasied about a girl in a pretty dress
One that would not be too hard to impress

But what about the 5th when the trouble started
CUT IT SHORT, the Old Man imparted
My barber obeyed with sadistic glee
Good God, what a mess he made of me

On the morning of the 6th, the Old Corps marched
Spit shined shoes and khakis starched
In cadence we counted with Springfields erect
We trooped the line, nary a flaw to detect

Now later that day, I looked in the mirror
And what I saw left me in a furor
With much reluctance, I cancelled my date
And on December 7, I cursed my fate

Now the moral to this poem is obvious to all
Vanity and ego you must forestall
I never did wear the powder blue coat
It disappeared from Honolulu on the very next boat

She who took it lives in Idaho
Maybe Boise or even Pocatello
If I find her, I’ll write a nice note
Honey, I’ll say, what happened to my powder blue coat?
-Major Maynard “Rocky” Hoffmann is a retired Marine who lives in Bremerton and is a Pearl Harbor survivor. He was featured in Veterans Life in April 2012.

We want to acknowledge two local Pearl Harbor survivors who recently died. Gerhard “Jerry” Jensch, of Poulsbo, died Feb. 21 at the age of 93. Don Green, of Allyn, died Feb. 25. Jensch was a gunner’s mate on the USS California. Green was a shipfitter on the ammunition ship USS Pyro.