Dad, I’ve been thinking about you all weekend.
Yesterday, Navy beat those Army pussies 34 to 6. I’ll never forget the game of 1989. It took me four hours to drive 100 miles north in the snow to get you. We took the Navy party train and shuttle bus from D.C. to Giants stadium. You weren’t in the best of health, but you wanted to see one more game before Robert graduated from Annapolis. It was a cold, miserable football game, but I enjoyed watching you smile at the midshipmen as they did pushups after every touchdown. We both got misty-eyed every time we sang Anchors Aweigh.
Today is the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It is hard to believe you were drafted for this war. Your generation is the only one that can get away with saying “those dirty, slant-eyed bastards.” Your generation is just about dead and existing Americans still don’t really understand what service to country means.
Today would of also been your 80th birthday. Now that is really hard for me to believe. It seems like yesterday you were baking me that 12-layer chocolate cake for my Sweet 16. I had that horrible Anne Wilson poodle perm and I had to pull my hair back so I wouldn’t burn it in my candles. If you had made it to 80, it would have been an achievement worthy of a 20-layer cake, a cigar, and a couple of strippers.
Today is also the day you would walk to the shed in the back yard and drag the artificial Christmas tree in for decorating. Mom would put that Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass Christmas album on the Telefunken and we’d hang ornaments as we watched Pearl Harbor remembrance programs and Charlie Brown. I haven’t had a tree since you died in 1995. I suppose I could get a baby fir and watch the History channel, but it just wouldn’t be the same.
Blue of the Seven Seas; Gold of God’s great sun
Let these our colors be Till all of time be done-n-n-ne,
By Severn shore we learn Navy’s stern call:
Faith, courage, service true With honor over, honor over all.
Happy birthday and merry Christmas. You are missed.