One of my fondest memories is taking the regiment from Leavitt Hall,
where we had formed up, and bursting into “Anchors Away” when the
athletic field grandstand came into view on my right at football games.
How proud we all were in our dress blues, to be in step, looking sharp and
taking in the sight of the grandstand full of our parents, girlfriends, visitors
and others. I often wondered what the whole show looked like from the
I remember playing “Taps” each evening my freshman year from the
Leavitt front porch at 2200 hours. The music rolled down over the hill—
sad, lingering, echoing— along its way to the water and the bay.
One of my last mornings at school, I remember James Ling ’67, the
assistant bandmaster, taking the band down the hill without me, and I
felt an aching and joy at the same time.
Each of us found something in our four years at the academy and
traveling the world on our training ship—something redeemable and
I wasn’t the only one to do so, of course, but I remember being just a
20-year-old, coming up to the bridge and taking the wheel of TS Ancon during
a Panama Canal transit. I could make that ship stand on end after a 20-degree
rudder command and stop dead on the new heading or range at night. The
captain and the pilot knew I had it nailed. That confidence carried me through
all the ups and downs, all the years that followed.
I can and did do whatever the hell I set out to do. It wasn’t inherent talent, it
was Maine Maritime Academy.
During our class reunion this past summer, the skipper of the training boat
Susan J. Clark let me take the wheel for our trip around the bay just for old
time’s sake. I kept offering it to others but no one wanted/needed it as badly as I
did. To say the least it was nostalgic. I was a little rusty, but still, not too shabby.
The school looks alive and well. Thanks to MMA leadership for keeping
watch over my Academy for so long, keeping it thriving, changing, growing,
funded, staffed and challenging.
And thanks for my chance to turn back the clock, to dream one more time,
to hear my bugle calls and to see my band as it marched away without me.
After graduating from MMA and shipping out for three years (including “through
or around five hurricanes”), Keefe has worked in various areas of the real estate
business for 47 years and lives in Palm City, Florida.
Tim Keefe in 1966
An alumnus recalls his MMA
days as band leader and stirring
memories of playing “Taps.”
During a trip to Washington D.C., a performance on the Capitol steps.