Skip to main content

Submeringue

June 2024
1min read


In 1962, the summer before my senior year in college, I was waitressing in the officers club at the Philadelphia shipyard. One day I was told to pay special attention to the head table because several important people were there for a banquet meeting.

All went smoothly until I approached the table to serve dessert. The highestranking officer did not see me coming up behind him and stood up as I was reaching to serve him. His crisply starched back collided with my lightly fluffed lemon meringue pie—a catastrophe. The room was immediately silent, waiting for the admiral’s reaction. Hyman G. Rickover, father of the nuclear submarine, looked at me and said, “What do you really do?” To which I replied, “I’m studying elementary education.”

Enjoy our work? Help us keep going.

Now in its 75th year, American Heritage relies on contributions from readers like you to survive. You can support this magazine of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it by donating today.

Donate