Stories by Candi McElheny, Linda Mallory and Gary
Photos by Patricia Gray
Pre-Herndon Breakfast by Barbara Craig
Photos by Barbara Craig
Herndon Photos by Patricia Gray
Alumni Association Herndon Pictures
Herndon Photos by Mid John Phalen
Photos by Sylvia Turner-Yanofsky
Photos by Paul Schenk
Photos by Angel Womack
was a beautiful sunny day at the yard following previous days of
rain. Just prior to the charge to Herndon the energy level in T-court
was at a high pitch! The sounds of the 06 chants and noise makers
rippled throughout the yard. Anticipation was definitely in the
The plebes broke through the line of 04's holding them back about
15 minutes prior to the scheduled 2:00 p.m. start. Seeing 1000+
plebes charge to the Herndon monument was as much fun as watching
them try to climb the greased granite! A few plebes fell during
the stampede but other members of the 06 class quickly pulled
them up and they were again in a mad dash.As they ran white works
were torn off their bodies in preparation of using them
as rags to remove layer upon layer of lard on Herndon.
The initial climbs up Herndon were riddled with collapses due to
the thick message laden lard covering it. Messages like "Still
No Civies" and "05 is King" and yes, even "Hi
Mom" covered all four sides Herndon. Time after time it would
look like they were surely going to capture the dixie cup in record
time . . . the crowd would start
to clap and cheer only fora huge collective sigh to be released
as the pyramid of plebes collapsed upon each other.
06 was a minute on one side or the other of that timeframe. The
final triumph came when an 06 pulled himself up and into a sitting
position on the top of Herndon! Quite the sight and comments all
around were that "I don't think anyone has ever done that
before!" It definitely was a day of glory for our now 4th
Class USNA mids! Realizing they have been 4th class all y
ear but the title of plebe well out weighed the 4/C title!
To say that the air in the yard this whole weekend has been jovial
would be an understatement.
by Linda Mallory
The plebes came running out of Bancroft to a thunderous
roar from the crowd. As they are
running, white works are getting peeled off. The first to make
it to the monument form a ring
at the bottom and the rest of the plebes start the pile on. Within
about ten minutes, a few
mids are two, then three layers high. The crowd goes wild. Then
they fall off.
They climb up. They fall down. They climb up again. They fall down.
The cannon sounds (every 15 minutes and it just went off again).
They climb up--get tantalizingly close and the crowd goes wild.
They fall down to a loud AHHHHHHH. They climb up (with white works
flying) to try to scrape off/peel off/clean off the monument. They
fall down. They climb up with feet and arms flying. They fall down.
They form a tight circle and start hoisting shipmates up. They fall
down. They form a pile at the bottom and try pushing from the bottom
and pulling from the top to get another layer built. They fall down.
All the while the fire department is hosing the midshipmen down
with occasional light bursts of water. Before long, the grass is
a mucky combination of lard, mud, sweat, body parts, and what used
to be "white" works. The bottom tier is having a hard
time standing still and the top tiers have feet and toes inserted
into ears and mouths below. They climb up and add another tier.
The crowd goes wild. They fall down. They climb up in a strange
semblance of "organized." They fall down. They try putting
fresh bodies on the bottom and jockeying the lighter mids for the
top tiers. They fall down. They try building a larger base and gradually
make the pyramid smaller at the top tiers. They fall down. And so
by Gary Kuiper....
As Linda said the plebes had gotten to within about three feet
of the top several times but fell back. Suddenly there were two plebes on the
same side about three feet from the top, both standing on two layers
of plebes below. One was able to help boost the other to where he could just
reach the top. With an incredible show of strength, he pulled himself
up to and onto the top, which was still covered with at least an inch of lard.
The crowd and especially the plebes were roaring approval and encouragement.
Lying on his stomach on the point -- looking like he would slide
off any second -- he then slowly pulled himself up to a sitting position
on the point with his legs clinging to the side of Herndon.
Now he is sitting on top of the lard on top of the hat that is
the point. (Picture sitting on a hat that is duct-taped to a bar
stool, and you have to get the hat off while sitting on it. Now raise the bar
stool 21 feet, give it a pointed top, and cover the hat and duct tape with
He flings off what is left of the lard onto the plebes below, and
starts pulling at the duct tape, which is obviously very slippery. Someone produced a plastic knife, which they finally put in a shirt pocket
and threw the shirt up to him. With the knife he was able to pull up part
of the duct tape, and then slowly spin around to pull the rest of it off. The
crowd roared its approval as he held it up and flung it away.
He then slid back a couple inches back and put the dixie cap on
and the crowd erupted. I doubt if the plebes had ever been as excited in
Meanwhile, an officer with a chest full of ribbons is telling the
operator of a cherry picker truck next to me that has a photographer in the
air that the Commandant wants them to get the guy off the top. The operator
says they will have to clear the crowd first and move the truck forward.
Just then the guy on top simply starts sliding down the monument
with his arms wrapped around it as long as he could hold on, then tumbles
onto the top row which collapses on to the others. Immediately the guy is
hoisted up on other plebes' shoulders, and carried aloft, high fiving everyone
in sight as the plebes screamed, and the crowd cheered and clapped.