KINGS POINT, N.Y., February 25, 2016 – Today Cookie Cafe, a much loved custom at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), hosted a special Cookie Cafe event to honor and remember USMMA alumnus, Steve Shultz, USMMA Class of '84, who was sailing as Chief Mate aboard the El Faro when she was lost during Hurricane Joaquin, last October. Midshipmen recalled the tragedy, as they wrote words of comfort on a scroll, that included the famous poem, "Crossing the Bar" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in tribute to Shultz.
Deputy Maritime Administrator Michael J. Rodriguez, Class of '79, who was in attendance, shared memories his own time at sea – including his time working on a vessel running to Puerto Rico. He reminded the midshipmen that, “when we are at school we have our rivalries, but when we are at sea we are a family.” He thanked the Cookie Cafe families for their support and generosity toward USMMA midshipmen and the cadets from the other maritime academies who also lost alumni.
Since the loss of El Faro, Cookie Cafe at Kings Point (KP), hoping to bring comfort, has delivered tons of cookies to every maritime academy that suffered the loss of an alumnus. They have honored and remembered:
- Maine Maritime Academy graduates: Mike Davidson, Class of '88; Danielle Randolph, Class '05; Mitchell Kuflik, Class of '11; Mike Holland, Class of '12; and Dylan Meklin, Class of '15
- Massachusetts Maritime Academy graduates: Jeffrey Mathias, Class of '96 and Keith Griffin, Class of '05
- State University New York (SUNY) Maritime College, Richard Pusatere, Class of '03
Cookie Cafe at Kings Point (KP) is a non-profit organization that was started in 2007, by Carol “Mom” Guest, wife of Dr. Gene Guest, Class of '66. It is supported and run by KP parents, family and friends. The goal is to increase morale by sharing home-baked cookies in the friendly and relaxed environment of Land Hall, the Academy’s Student Activities building, every Thursday afternoon.
By Veronica Cassidy Barry
Crossing The Bar
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.