Lawrence D. "Spook" McKay

SP/5 - O5K - Company A - A Trick - 1965-1968


Spook McKay 2003

A few people have asked why Lawrence "Spook" McKay was called the King of Grossness. If you had ever spent any quality time with the Spook you would know why. Spook had the innate ability to do and say things that were far from what most people would consider as normal behavior. Someone once deemed his actions to be gross. This term seemed apropos and it was subsequently used to describe Spook's demeanor. Spook was truly a hedonist; he did things that others would only dream, never fearing the consequence of his actions.

Many guys tried to imitate and emulate Spook. Others tried to impress Spook by doing outrageous acts of perversity. With Spook all these things came natural, he never had to attempt to be gross, he was gross by nature. He epitomized the word gross. If you hung out with Spook you were considered to be a "Gross Guy".

I first met Spook when I was transferred from "D" Trick to "A" Trick in July 1967. He worked across the hall from NMSD in Voice Intercept. He'd sit at his position with his headsets and dark shades on, and would rarely speak or move. I often wondered if he was listening to a Ballgame or asleep.

I had been on "A" Trick for 2 weeks when Spook invited me to come with him to the Stag Bar at the Oasis Club. I had heard a lot of stories about Spook from the other guys on "A" Trick but had never really talked to him. I was told that Spook either liked you or he didn't like you and that there was no in between. I figured that this invitation was his way of checking out the Newguy and told him that I would meet him there after work.

Although he was known to drink just about anything, Spook's beverage of choice was I.W. Harper with a splash of gingerale. I approached this meeting with great trepidation, but after a few drinks, I found that it was very easy to talk to Spook. Before long we were swapping life stories and acting like long lost friends. I had passed the test and unofficially became one of the Gross Guys.

Stories about Spook McKay and his misdeeds are legendary. Everyone who knew him has at least one story about him. I've even heard stories about Spook from people who had never had the pleasure of meeting him. Twice-told tales grow taller as they go down the line. This section of the 4th USASAFS Homepage will contain stories about the Legendary "Spook" McKay and his adventures while stationed in Asmara.