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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

thinking about reunions

i've been silent about my reunion so far, mainly because i've been busier than busy lately. but i've also been quiet because i'm figuring some things out in my head. i've lost a couple of really good friends since the last reunion, and it was kind of sad to realize that i'm getting to the age where my friends will be dieing from diseases and aging rather than stupidity. i don't know where the transition point is for most people, but i reached it sometime in the last 7 years. at our big dinner, we started the festivities out with some general horseplay, and then a solemn reading of the names of shipmates that have passed away since the last time we got together. some of the names shocked me, probably because in my mind these guys were still young and vital. i was saddened to hear their names, because a couple of them were dudes i really wanted to reconnect with. bummer.
the other bummer is seeing how age and time have conspired to lay low those i hold in high esteem. one of my skippers has always been a giant of a man to me. he showed me by example what it means to be an adult in an adult world. his intelligence and quiet courage were so obvious that nobody even remarked on it. it just was, like the sky and the sun. seeing how time has crept up on him shocked the hell out of me. i've always seen him as larger than life, i guess. hero worship in it's purest form. when you are a young pup out in the mean world, finding someone to admire and emulate can be as important to your growth as time's progression itself. there have been two men in my life that i can state unequivocally have made me who i am today. the first was my pop. the other was my skipper. pop took us under his wing when i was a tad, and from the first day there was no doubt we were his kids. he showed me how a good and decent man lived his life. my skipper did the same at a time in my life where i could have gone off the deep end into terminal stupidity. i received the most thorough and painful ass chewing in my life from him. i deserved it, and earned it with bells on. and when i walked away from it, i saw the world in an entirely different light. i went from being the lowest rated E-5 in the command (earned that too!) to being "mister squared away". he probably doesn't remember, but i do.
thanks skipper.


Blogger WillyShake said...

When lofty trees I see barren of leaves
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer's green all girded up in sheaves
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
Then of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow;
And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence...

It is good that you got to see them again.

8/24/05, 1:47 PM  
Blogger Gus Van Horn said...

That was a very moving post. One of your best. In stopping to think about the heroes of your youth and writing about it, you've helped me remember a few of my own. Thanks.


8/25/05, 8:20 AM  

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