Supporting Our Troops

Published 11:54 am Wednesday, September 27, 2023

I wear red on Friday in support of those serving in our Armed Services. My son and I are USAF vets. Most of the males in my family served: Brother Bill,  Uncle Ethan and cousin Earl in Marines; cousin Bryant in Army Air Corps;  cousin Linwood a Naval aviator;  my father and my father-in-law Bob in the Army; brothers-in-law Mitch in Army, and Terry in Navy.

One of my red shirts celebrates Pluto, added to the planets in 1930 (year I was born), later thrown out of that list because it does not rotate in the plane of the ecliptic of our Sun. The shirt came from the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. We took our kids there, “kicking and screaming” at visiting yet another museum; we left when it closed, kids “k&s” again.

Daughter Sharon took HER kids there as youngsters and they bought me the red shirt. The Franklin Institute is so large that it even has a Boeing 707 transport nosed into the building with tours of its airline interior! No way to see it all in one visit; too bad we will not be going back.

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With the coming of Fall, it is time to swap my short-sleeved shirts for long sleeves. Probably better to just wait until the thermometer gets off its yo-yo and settles down to consistent readings below 60° F to swap out the box of winter shirts.

When someone decided that we should go metric, the weather people said that the centigrade degrees are too large, so they stayed with the smaller Fahrenheit ones. I lived my life with “degrees F.” so I like 32° for freezing and 212° for boiling of water. I also recognize that 75° is comfortable. Even in engineering, we use Fahrenheit degrees in the USA. I have even forgotten the conversion formula (Fahrenheit to centigrade) from non-use!

I have changed my doctors from distant to the St Luke’s people, except for my cardiologist and my sleep doctor. The White Oak medical driver Jackie drives me to Brevard and Hendersonville to see them because I like them and don’t want to change. White Oak sees to our vaccinations, so we just wait for them here. They get friend Steve Burney (Foothills Pharmacy in Columbus) to shoot us up.

Some of our favorite doctors have retired: Drs. McCall, Perraut, Rosenberg; and our dentist Dr. Wagner died! Cannot remember the names of their replacements! To make matters worse, Fran’s new computer cannot find her calendar nor her lists—woe are us!

I am no longer tuning pianos, so now the only reason to leave White Oak is the “always” need for milk, eggs and butter. Of course, we can visit our neighbors here, but as I have said often, our social life consists mostly of trips to our doctors and dentist’s offices.

I really miss the “bear hugs” I always shared with close men and women friends. The only way I can do this with wife Fran is to be leaning against a wall, leaving both arms free to pull her in close. Son Thomas is big enough to share a real bear hug outside, after breakfast at restaurants.

Yes, he tries to arrange breakfasts with us about twice a month, and bless his heart, he picks up the tab. Did we raise that boy right? He was hyperactive as a youngster, so I am pleased that he served in the Air Force, so the VA now takes care of him. Thomas is 60 years old now and looking at AARP and Social Security! Geez!

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