Saturday, June 18, 2011

For the Colonel

It’s Father’s Day and dads often get undersold in the holiday department.  I want to tell you about my dad, who I affectionately call “The Colonel” when I write about him.  Once someone reaches the rank of Colonel in the Army, it’s who he is and it’s difficult if not impossible to separate the man from the military officer.  And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
For anyone who may be wondering.  The Colonel is still very much alive.  On Sunday I’d bet a bottle of Veuve Cliquot that he’s either at church, watching a OLD movie while reading a book or mowing the grass. 
There are dozens of hilarious stories I’d love to share, but I’m saving those for the book I swear I’m going to write…  Now I want to share some photos and the memories and short anecdotes behind them.
My ABSOLUTE favorite picture of my father!  He's in Australia, on leave from Vietnam. He's got a bottle of Jim Beam and  book. I like to think the book is Jack Kerouac or "East of Eden."  But he swears he doesn't remember. 

Dad flew planes and mostly heliocopters until the late 1980's.  But the big family joke is that no one ever saw him do this. Sure he had all the equipment....  We like to joke with him that this was a grand facade he'd created to go to Vegas, or the  beach or to visit a girl friend.

The Colonel and his mother at my house in 2008.   She's still alive today!  And is she a helluva lady!    But that's a blog for another time!
My wedding was stunning!  As the churchbells that are heard throughout town chime the hour of 7 o'clock and it's time for me to walk down the isle.  It's quiet.  He turns to me just before the sanctury doors open and says, "It's not too late to call it off.
 We can go out the back door."  "Left foot," I answered.

The Colonel loves all his grandkids but is not too particulary comfortable with them as babies.
Here's a rare moment with Baby Bruce.

The Colonel and The Major (my brother)....  Holidays sometimes end up with "feats of strength."
 Looks like they are about to begin here.
The Major, Husband and the Colenol blowing off steam in Ft. Leavenworth.
Us at my brother's wedding.  Unfortunately his wife's father as too ill to travel from England to attend the wedding.
 So he gave her away on his behalf.  Don't know if she's was asked about the back door...

Here's one I really like of us at a wedding in 2007.

The Colonel and my mom at the White Water Center
 right after we moved to Tennessee in 2009.
The Colonel taught me, well, everything thing I know, really – except car maintenance – I refused to learn that.  Truly, he’s one of the most intelligent and well educated people anyone could ever meet.  I knew this even during my teenage years, which was comforting and exasperating all at the same time.  He knew this and used it to my chagrin.  There are too many facts and details to mention really, but I’m going share what jumps to mind as I write.

·         The United States of America is the greatest country on earth and we all should be thankful each day first, that we were born here and secondly, that we live here.

·         Freedom isn’t free.  It’s obtained and maintained my men in ways you might not care to know about.  

·         Try your best or don’t try at all.  (I think Yoda said it best when he said, “Do, or do not – there is no try.”)

·         On the grill, indirect going low and slow will work out for you nearly every time. 

·         Never trust a grown man named Skip or Chip.

·         Take your hat off in the house.

·         There’s sports, there’s football and then there’s ALABAMA FOOTBALL!

·         There are two kinds of people in the world, those who are Bama fans and everyone else.

·         Never own a boat longer than ten feet.

·         Don’t ride motorcycles

·         It’s beneficial if not imperative to know current events and news

·         Don’t make stupid choices

·         When doing electrical work in your house, just turn off power to the whole house – that way you KNOW no one will get electrocuted. 

·         You can mix most any alcohol with orange juice. (That one may have come from his mother)

·         Never go skydiving, bungee jumping, base jumping, hang gliding, white water rafting, rock climbing or repelling, etc.  These activities are stupid (as stated previously).  There’s NO reason to pay hundreds of dollars to engage in these activities when the US Military will give your superior instruction in them and the pay YOU to do them. 

For all the dads, I say Happy Father’s day.  Your words and example are not unnoticed!  To the Colonel, "I love you Spartacus!"

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