Monday, February 20, 2017
Life: loving it
Do What You Love, Love What You Do
Presidents’ Day. Not that I believe it ought to be changed back, I do not; but in our 1940s days at Cove School, the semester from after New Years Day forward was a long deep and glum slope into darkness: no holidays on the horizon. February was the one bright spot until spring and then summer vacation and mama’s permission to go barefoot until school started. February gave us Lincoln’s Birthday, Valentine’s Day, and Washington’s Birthday, each of which brought major classroom activity and decorating with craft paper making tall black hats, valentines, the classroom valentine box and designated postman handing out valentines, finally craft paper hatchets and green branches with red cherries to honor Honest George Cutting Down the Cherry Tree. "I cannot tell a lie."
Then the long Night of the rest of February, March, April, and May until the only days that outshone Christmas: last day of school and first day of summer vacation. I do not remember anything so glorious as today’s spring break.
Life moves on, and we had our turn! Joe left a few minutes ago, heading home to Winston-Salem in his new red Volvo. Remembering that Patty loved that route, he always arrives and leaves by way of West Beach Drive, what may be a mile along StAndrewsBay. This morning while it was still dark outside, as we sipped coffee and he munched a banana and had a carton of yogurt, he recalled our family Navy days when, moving between duty stations or headed home to PC for leave, he lay in motel room beds half awake as Linda got us up and his mom and dad whispered conversation preparing to leave for the next day’s drive. Except the correct older was “fixin’ to leave,” although “fixin’” didn’t get said until about ready to walk out the door. As in “we’re fixin’ to leave, come hug us goodbye.” I remember that too, all that. Life Is Good says my orange cap, and life is good for most of us Americans, most of the time. This morning my mind is skipping along from happiness to happiness. And my beloveds here this past weekend.
As for President’s Day, I’m remembering celebrating Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. I remember President Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Ike I remember as a war hero, then I saw him once as he arrived at the Newport Naval Base, me watching from our crowd of officer candidates in our white sailor uniforms, Ike in a dark brown suit standing up in the presidential car, a Lincoln convertible, and waving our way. I remember the day JFK was shot, we were stationed in Japan at the time, and the long weekend of funeral dirges on the military radio. I remember the chanted taunts, “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids have you killed today,” as the conscience of a nation drove him from office. I remember President Nixon flying away to California as at exactly noon President Ford took the oath of office and announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, our constitution works.” Once flying south out of Washington National Airport, Jimmy Carter worked his way down the aisle shaking hands, and when he got to me I said, “Good morning, Mr. President, how is your mother?” He looked surprised but delighted and said, “Why thank you for asking, she’s doing very well.” “Miss Lillian” was a character and popular woman his years in the White House. I remember the November 2000 Florida ballot debacle, I remember watching GWB’s stunned face on television the morning of 9/11, I remember Shock and Awe, I remember eight years of thinly veiled but nevertheless fierce racist hatred, I remember waking up believing I had died and gone to Hell.
Inside, my orange cap with the sunshine and ocean waves it recommends, “Do what you love, Love what you do.” So okay, I loved this:
Posted by Tom Weller at 8:06 AM