Every morning as we gathered for work in the shipyards, we would meet in Bruce Stapp's office. Some days there were just one or two of us, other days it was standing room only. I recall one morning when there were about 7 or 8 of us gathered around Bruce’s desk waiting for him to finish a phone conversation. I sat in one of the two chairs in front of the desk. The others who did not have a chair stood along the office wall. Nobody was talking while we were still waking up and sipping our coffees. Bruce dropped the phone receiver back onto the cradle, made an entry on his phone log, then looked up at us.

“Who wants to go first” he asked. We all looked at each other then when it was obvious that no one was going to speak up, Bruce said “It is going to be a busy day. I don’t want to hear about a lot of horsing around, we need to get that barge ready to be picked up by this evening.” The new guy spoke up, “What barge?” We all sort of laughed because we had been working on converting a petroleum barge into a deck barge the last few days. It had been hot and tough going for those of use who had to go down into the tanks to cut away the main pipeline. We could only stay down in the tank for about 15 minutes due to the heat. “The barge we are working on, what do you mean ‘what barge?’. The new guy almost looked like he took offense at what Bruce said, or how he said it. I knew this guy was not going to last long out here.

As the morning meeting continued Bruce would talk about what all needed to be done and other things that needed attention. “Billy, when you get out to the yard, go ahead, and bring the tractor with the front end loader over to the barge, John, crank up the crane to lift that tractor onto the barge so you can use the front-end loader to lift the cut pipes out of the tanks. Greg, you go ahead and take the white truck out back here and hook up the low boy trailer. When you have it hooked up, go ahead out to the yard, and bring the old pipes back here to the shop. Keven, I want you to go ahead and start loading the truck that is here in the shop with the stuff we need to take out to the Howard.” At this point, Kevin – the new guy – was looking irritated. Bruce said, “What is your problem?” Kevin responded, “You don’t have to call us names.” We all looked at Kevin wondering what he was talking about. “What?” Bruce asked. Kevin went on, “You keep calling us goat-head.” It took all of us a minute to figure out what he was talking about. Apparently when Bruce said ‘…. go ahead….’ He thought Bruce was calling us a goat-head.

We all broke up laughing. Bruce, trying to remain serious by stifling a smile said, “Ok Goat-head, I want you to start loading the truck…..”

From that moment on, Kevin was known to all as ‘Goat-Head’