The Admiral's Dinner
Unexpected Dinner Guest!

Here is one of the most peculiar stories about Dad's friend, Vice Admiral William Calhoun. He held an important post in the war effort, but personally he seems to have been a bit short of a full deck. As told to me (WGI) by my father (WOI) on 13 January 1996. I have done some editing and rearranging, to improve the readability and keep things in sequence. - WGI

Also see the photos: The Kailua House and Pat Crane

WGI:  Speaking of... Admiral Calhoun.  I was thinking 
      specifically of his trip to have supper with you, or 
      dinner with you.

WOI:  <chuckle> Yeah!  He called me across the harbor one 
      day.  Rushed me past his security guard and everything.  
      He said, "Mr. Innanen.." 

      (He always called me "Mr. Innanen" regardless.  I said, 
      "Just call me Bill!"  He said, "No, No, Navy protocol 
      says I have to call you by your last name."  OK.  All 

      The first time [that he did this] he said, "...I want 
      to ask you a very special favor."

      "Well, if I can do it, I..."

      "A personal favor."

      I said, "If I can, I'll do it."

      He said, "Can I go to your house at Kaneohe, and just 
      go to sleep on your davenport, and look out over the 

      "Sure, sure!  Let me call the wife and see if that's 

      So, he did.  He went in there and had a nap on the 
      davenport.  His chauffeur drove him out there, and his 
      chauffeur drove him back.

      We had this little girl [Pat Crane], who was our first 
      Pat.  [My sister, Mary Pat, was partially named after 
      her.  -WGI]  Pat's mother was a single mom.  She'd 
      advertised for someone to take care of her daughter 
      while she worked.  We'd answered the ad.

      [At first,] she'd pick her up every evening.  Then as 
      things progressed, she'd pick her up every other 
      evening.  And then, she'd pick her up on the weekends.  
      Then later on, maybe once a month.  We got to love the 
      little girl just like our own, you know?  

      Come to find out, Admiral Calhoun knew Pat's mother, 
      Mrs. Crane.  Admiral Calhoun got a little sweet on this 
      lady.  And she was a beautiful lady!  

WGI:  How old a man was Calhoun?

WOI:  Oh, hell.  He was as old as I am now!  No, no.  Not 
      quite that old!   I'd say he was 60, 62 years old.  And 
      senile!  [Good guess!  VADM Calhoun was born in 1884 

Both: <chuckles>

WOI:  [Another time] he calls... and says, "Mr. Innanen, can 
      I come out to your place for dinner tonight?"

      "Well, let me call the wife and see if she has anything 

      He says, "No, no!  Don't call her!  I want to surprise 

      I say, "Well, maybe you won't get anything to eat!"

      "No, I'll take care of that.  I'll take care of that."

      I called your mother [anyway] and said, "Admiral 
      Calhoun is coming out for dinner tonight.  I don't know 
      what he has in mind, or anything, but he said he'll 
      take care of everything."

      She just had a bicycle for transportation into Waikiki.  
      She'd jumped on her bicycle and filled the basket full 
      of groceries, and came on home, expecting just most 
      anything to happen.

      And it did!

Both: <chuckles>

WOI:  About 5:30 in the evening, here comes a contingent 
      headed by a limousine with flags flying on both 

WGI:  Three stars!

WOI:  Three stars!  <chuckle>  Pulled into the vacant lot 
      beside us.  And pretty soon the vacant lot was full of 
      Navy vehicles.  Here comes a swarm of Filipino mess 
      boys, cooks, and folding tables.  They just set 
      everything aside in the livingroom and kitchen and set 
      up tables.  Even some on the side porch!  

      Admiral Calhoun came in and said, "Mrs. Innanen, we 
      want you to sit here in this easy chair, and just 
      observe how efficient my crew is!"  And sure enough!  
      They had brought in a hot meal.  Just anything you 
      could ask for. 

      With the meal over, he just wanted to sit down and 
      relax and listen to the radio.  He had dispatched all 
      his people home.  [They had] cleaned up everything!  
      Everything was just a spic and span as you ever seen!  
      Just unbelievable!  

      But he had maybe 50 people there!

WGI:  And it wasn't a large house, either.

WOI:  No, no!  No, no, no!  Two bedroom house!  Fairly good 
      sized living room[, though].  But he had had tables for 
      the crew out on the lawn, and everything else.  

      You know, you just wonder how in the world that sort of 
      thing could happen.  

WGI:  Well, what was he after?

WOI:  He realized that we were friends of Mrs. Crane.  He 
      found out that we were Mrs. Crane's friends.  From then 
      on out he would be real "subtle" about it.  He'd like 
      to come out and have a drink.  Have a few hors 
      d'oeuvres, and so on, and bring Mrs. Crane.  He'd say, 
      "I know she wants to come out a visit with Pat."  That 
      went on and on for a little while.  It finally died 

      We found out later that Mrs. Crane had married an Army  
      Lt. Colonel.  We lost track of them then.

      We had a hard time for a little while there, when Mrs. 
      Crane, her new husband and Pat were going to go back to 
      the United States.  We had to... 

      Pat would say, "No!  I want to stay here!  I want to 
      stay here!  I want to stay with you!"  We had to say, 
      "It will be so much nicer for you to go with your new 
      family, and your real mother" and so on.  We built her 
      up to the place where she was ready to go.  

      You have to hand it to your mother for doing this.  It 
      was breaking he heart all the time!  But she did that. 

WGI:  Calhoun was also interested in your neighbor, I take it.

WOI:  Oh, yes!  That was the original the original reason to 
      want to come out there, either for dinner or whatever!  
      Admiral Nimitz had a beach-side home across the road 
      from us.  He just liked to hobnob on the beach...

WGI:  Admiral Nimitz was 4 stars at that time, wasn't he? 
      [Also CINCPAC!  -WGI] 

WOI:  Yeah, yeah.  Admiral Nimitz.  

      All kinds of intrigue, you just couldn't believe!
Copyright © 1996 by William G. Innanen. All rights reserved.
Hawaii Stories Index
Bill Innanen's Home Page
Bill Innanen's Guest Book