There But For

A midshipman at the Naval Academy was found dead yesterday, apparently having fallen from somewhere in Bancroft Hall, the huge (33 acre) dorm where the entire Brigade of Midshipmen lives. Investigations are underway. The report I got as secretary of my class noted that the student’s body was found at the base of fourth wing, which is where I lived. And where I used to go up to the roof in the springtime (often alone) and lay out in the sun on what we called “Green Beach,” atop the copper flashing that ran along the building’s edges, five stories up from Tecumseh Court, invisible from ground level. This is only speculation, but given the season, I have a sad feeling that this death might have been the accidental result of a Green Beach mis-step, if students still go up there the way we did. We never realized how dumb we were being at the time. I guess no one ever does, until something terrible like this happens. Poor kid. Poor kid’s family.

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