Continued from Yesterday's episode.
Bill's story really began on a Coast Guard Cutter during the Vietnam War. Bill and his friend, Montana Jones, joined the Coast Guard together because Irish sons of fishermen were getting drafted. How an Irish kid from Gloucester, Massachusetts gets named Montana is a topic for another day.
They found themselves on this Cutter coming back to Boston harbor after patrolling the Caribbean Ocean for several months. While there they stopped off in Jamaica and while in Jamaica they'd loaded 2,000 pounds of marijuana aboard the ship. Yes, that's right. They decided to engage in a bit of side business while performing their official duties.
How involved either of them were in the operation is hard to say. They claim to have been bystanders, but it's quite a stretch to imagine the hard-drinking barrel of man, Montana Jones, being a bystander to anything. But to hear the tale told, Bill and Montana were minding their own business. They didn't buy the drugs, load the drugs, or tell the authorities. That last part is very important because someone told the authorities.
They entered Boston Harbor with the wind to their backs on a fine sunny Friday afternoon. Bill was on deck. Montana was busy stowing gear, so this part Bill tells.
“I was watching the piers get bigger as we moved in, 'cause that's what we usually do, bring the boat in and then turn down the line and head for the Coast Guard docks. So I'm watching all the ships and the workers, you know, like ants on the shore scurrying about and I see a bunch of ants not scurrying. There's a bunch of 'em standing at attention. With guns. I was sure of it. They were dressed in green. Sure enough, an entire contingent of the Massachusetts National Guard were lined right up. It was enough to make a man proud, except if it was you they were waiting for,” he always gulped down the last of his Bud Light at this point. Time for a new one.
The details are a bit fuzzy, I admit that. It's because I can't really get a straight story from these guys, but the essence of it is that they got held for a few days and then discharged from the Coast Guard. The Captain got court-martialed and jailed.