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Sailor remembers 'the real McCoy'

Jan 1, 2003

It was most interesting to read your article in the July/August issue on "the real McCoy" ("Smuggler kicks off St. Pierre boom," Issue No. 91). Your article mentioned his schooling on the square-rigged school ship Saratoga in Philadelphia. My grandfather, Rear Admiral William B. Fletcher, was his navigation teacher.

In the 1930s I spent many of my summers at my grandfather's summer home on Orr's Island, Maine. On a few occasions, Bill McCoy stopped by to visit with my grandfather. On one occasion he stayed several days. He took Grandpa, two aunts, and several of us grandchildren out for a lobster feed. To pay for dinner, he flabbergasted all of us, and the restaurateurs, by paying with a $100 bill, something no one there had ever seen before. He was a very pleasant person, nice to have around.

I remember a half model and pictures of the handsome schooner Arethusa. One of the pictures showed her off the Carolina coast so loaded with alcoholic beverages that she was nearly awash amidshipsperhaps with one or two feet of freeboard at most.


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