When I was a young man I had a very exciting job on then, one of the most technologically advanced deterents of the Cold War. On the eve of Memorial Day I am reflecting what I learned all those years ago plying the Pacific one the nuclear submarine USS Gurnard SSN662 and what I found was loyalty, team work, brotherhood and the satisfaction of a job well done and of time well served. I grew up a family and community where military service was expected and all of the men in my family had served in one war or another. My father told me stories of his service in the Army Air Corp in the South Pacific in 1945 and about my great-grandfather Peter B. Gipson who rode for the Union Calvary in the Civil War, of my great uncle Clyde Gipson who died in the Battle of the Argonne Forrest two days before the Armistace and is buried in same battlefield in France, of my mother’s brother George Friesen who was the US Army during the invasion of Okinowa and uncle Albert Pfitzner, who too old to enlist, ferried bombers between the US and Europe during WWII and finally, my late father-in-law Chuck Tolbert, who was in the 2nd Marine Division and fought in those horrific battles on Guadalcanal and Saipan. Now, to carry on the family tradition, my granddaughter Julia, is now serving in the US Navy. While most of us will be sitting around a pool or tending to the BBQ, please take time to remember those for who this day is dedicated.
Visiting family in East Teas today, we stopped by the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market in Winnsboro, TX. There are a number of small towns that could benefit from what this community is doing. A number of local farms have booths selling honey, vegetables, home made bread, jellies, jams, etc. They are here ever Saturday, rain or shine and even had the little cheerleaders putting on a show today. Very impressive. The local street tacos smelled especially good. One cooking tip I did pick up is the lady making the tacos – look closely and you will see that she had the onions heating up on the grill before she cuts them up.
On a recent trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico I found a Mexico that I knew 40 years ago. What we found was a city full of life and something interesting around every corner from parades, jazz groups playing on the corner or a mariachi band serenading a soon-to -be bride and her girlfriends. People always ask if we felt safe there and I can honestly say that every evening, after dinner, we would walk back 15 to 30 minutes to the house we rented (well, one night we did take a cab because we had already walked several miles that day) with no feeling of concern or foreboding. Many a time we would approach complete strangers on the street and ask for directions and if their English was not very good, they did the best they could to direct us. The only sirens I heard were from the ambulance on the way to a hospital near where we stayed. In fact, other than traffic enforcement officers, the only armed police we saw were assisting with traffic at a holiday parade we watched one day. More on this trip in posts to come but I did want to publish this photo I took one day while walking down the street. We saw few beggars in San Miguel (actually ran into more when we were in Italy last year) and in fact, were told that the authorities were trying to discourage this practice, but we did come across a few, mostly older women or women with young children. This scene was typical in that most people tried to ignore the person asking for the holdout or simply cross the street!