Two Heroes

Blog life comes and goes.  There are days when I can’t get enough of looking, reading, learning, meeting new bloggers…  Sharing the thoughts I have with the unknown world.  Sharing thoughts I have with others that may be going through similar situations or experiences.

Then there are days that I am full.  Days that my “regular” life is happy.  Days that I don’t need to share because I can share with loved ones personally.

There is a happy medium that I must find.  That we all must find.  Where is this medium?

Life on March 13, 2015 is one of ups and downs.  Refer to the post about this being the first Thanksgiving, first Christmas, first New Years Eve without my ex-wife.  Well, as some of you may recall, I am an educator.  Being an educator means I have spring break off from work.  This is my first spring break without my ex-wife.

A blessing and a curse.  I only left town for a few days with my father to attempt a 3-day golf excursion with my uncle (father’s brother).  It snowed.  It rained, it froze.  Golf was not played.  But what was played were the memories shared between two 70-ish something brothers.  One fought in the Korean War and then raised a family by working for a major oil company.  The other was a First Lieutenant going off to Vietnam in 1968 but was miraculously called to Germany for the duration of the war.  He then came back and raised a family by working for a different major oil company.  Both men are modern day warriors.  Both men are Heroes. Both men are role models of the last of the Great Generation.  They believe in God… They believe in what is fundamentally right… They believe in conservative values… They believe in helping those that can not help themselves…  They both believe in love.  They believe in integrity.

I followed behind them most of the trip.  I took pictures from the background.  These two fine gentleman sharing their stories, drinking Bourbon and wine, eating fine food, and enjoying the life they have created.

Each one has experienced tragedy.  Each man has lived.  Each man passes their knowledge to a 44 year old educator who struggles to follow in their footsteps.  I try and pick up any morsel of wisdom that drops from their lips.  It comes in the image of a joke, a thought, a statement, or a question.

I will remember Spring Break of 2015 for the rest of my life.  I walked with giants.

God give me strength to become at least half of the man these two brothers are before I lay my head down for the final time.

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Music That Haunts

Music That Haunts

I lived for 4 years of my young life in an amazing town called Memphis, Tennessee.  Memphis is filled with so much history, so much strife, so much tension, crime, hate, racial divide, etc…  But it is the home of the Blues…  It felt like “home” to me on a soft summer night.  Running the hills of a suburb named Germantown.  Chasing my friends with flashlights or swinging whiffle ball bats at the lightning bugs.  Exploring the woods, and the city…  The options seemed endless in Memphis.

My father was transferred back when I was completing the 3rd grade.  I remember hating the large men from the moving company that took all my stuff.  I remember hating everything about the move.  I was living in New Orleans, my beautiful place of birth, and Dad came home and said, “Pack some boxes son we move Monday to Memphis!”

I hated the idea.  I was a total ass to my family.  I cried, I threw fits, I did not want to go.  I liked my school, my friends, my life.  How dare he?

It took me only a few days to fall in love with “The Mid-South”.  I loved sitting on the river banks watching the paddleboats.  I was introduced to Mark Twain around this time.  I would often dream of being Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer.  Jumping on a raft of the river and floating away.

Memphis…. A majestic place.

peabody

I often return to Memphis due to the fact my extended family lives across the Mississippi River in Helena, Arkansas.  Memphis is the closest large city.  My ex and I would book a room at the famous Peabody Hotel and drink vodka martinis while we watched the ducks in the lobby.

I can honestly look back on my childhood and say that my happiest time was those 4 years in Memphis.  It will always hold a soft spot in my heart.

One of my favorite singers of all time is Jeff Buckley.  Buckley loved Memphis like I did.  One fun night of partying and drinking on Beale Street ultimately led to Buckley’s death.  There are many accounts and versions of his death but the bottom line is this…  He was drunk and drowned in the river between Memphis and Mud Island.  The Mighty Mississippi is indeed mighty.  I have swum in the exact location of Buckley’s death.

The last time I was in Memphis, I walked down to the shore line and played this song on my iPhone.