#33 - Doing Time in the Brig

Posted on Thursday, February 14th, 2019 at 10:20 am by LaLonde Jewelers

When I would appraise jewelry for our military personal, one of my stops was The Pearl Harbor Navy Exchange. In the early 1980’s this base was considered the Grand Daddy of them all. To my knowledge, it was the highest gross earner for the whole of the Army Air Force Exchange Service. There are 2,700 locations World Wide grossing 8.6 billion in 2017.

It still had the remnants of our involvement in Southeast Asia after the Vietnam War.

I would set up at the exchange for three straight days and have appointments lined up for me to appraise jewelry. At these events I would see anyone from a Private’s wife to an Admiral’s wife. I never knew who I would see.

After doing a number of these events I noticed that there were some signs near the entrance of the building designating parking spots for the three Admirals that oversaw the operations of Pearl, yeah, the big shots. These plaques were made of wood, about four feet long and 8 inches high, with each Admiral’s name placed above the choice parking spots.

Well, I got the brainstorm idea and had a plaque made with my name DANIEL LALONDE, GEMOLOGIST.

I thought I would hang it over the middle plaque, park my car and take a quick picture, and the go park my car out in the back where I belonged. On the way I thought better and decided I didn’t want to go to the Brig.

The Brig

It gets better. At the Exchange I was always very busy, so I brought an employee with me to talk with the clients, clean their jewelry, and prepare them for their appointment. His name was Kevin. This guy was great, he was very good at prepping the clients and explaining the charges, which allowed me to concentrate on appraising jewelry.

One lady came in she appeared to be in her early 50’s and very elegant, not like the Private’s wives. While I am appraising the jewelry, the client would sit on a tall stool parallel to the glass jewelry case. Suddenly Kevin comes up to me and whispers in my ear to look to the right into the mirror. Here he had arranged a set up of three mirrors bouncing off each other to where the final mirror is showing off this lady's legs. I know I turned several shades of red and the woman was kind of wondering what was going on. I couldn’t speak.

Reflection of Mirrors

I think she figured out what we were up to, but the funny thing is that she never offered to move!

When I was getting her information to mail the appraisal to her, I realized that she was the Admirals wife! All I could see were those bars on the Brig.

Well thank God everything blew over, because the last thing she said was, “I never thought getting my jewelry appraised would be so much fun.”


Written by Dan LaLonde

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