Honor

In 1988 I was young. In 1988 I was still very influenced by my upbringing. In 1988 I was  financially successful. In 1988 I was selfish. In 1988 I voted with my wallet, I remember making that decision on purpose …to vote for a conservative financial policy, that at that time I believed benefitted me, over social policy. In 1988 I voted for George H.W. Bush for president.

My politics changed during the George H.W. Bush presidency. I matured. I moved away from my conservative roots. I realized that I resonated with liberal social policy and with liberal financial policy over those policies of the conservatives. In 1992 I voted for Bill Clinton.

Looking back, I disagreed with much of the politics of George H.W. Bush. I lived through the AIDS crisis and lost more friends and lovers than I wish to count. I hated his war. I grew to completely disagree with trickle down economics, tax cuts and reductions in societal safety nets.

In fact I came to resent the politics of the entire Bush family.

Yesterday I flew through Houston on my way home to San Diego from Ft. Lauderdale. I had a tight connection and had to practically run to make it to my next gate. As I made my way as fast as I could my stride was stopped in its tracks as I passed this at the George H.W. Bush International Airport:

George H.W. Bush Statue

I’ve passed that statue many times. I’ve even stopped to read the honorarium in times past when I needed to pass some time at this airport. The wall is filled with the history and the achievements of service that he gave to his country. From his service in World War II through his service after his presidency. George H.W. Bush was devoted to his country and to democracy.

Yesterday in my rush I not only stopped in my tracks, I paused. I paused to respect a man for his service. I paused to respect a man for his honor. I paused to realize that he valued political discorse. I paused to acknowledge that although we differed, he also believed in human rights, freedom, immigration, respect, service, compromise, representation and his country. I paused to respect that he valued a greater good for community, he valued society and he valued the world.

We had differences, but we had commonality. I began to cry.

I got to my next flight as Fearsome absorbed my silent tears. I wept for my country. I wept in hope that the future of our politics will one day soon again allow discussion, understanding, compromise, progress, respect and honor.

Godspeed.

A farewell and a new friend

This morning on our way to Philly we had a stopover and as we landed at San Fransisco International SFO we had the honor of seeing United’s last 747 on the tarmac before it’s final farewell flight today from San Fransisco to Hawaii.

I love 747s and thankfully have flown several of them over the years. Godspeed my friend.

Then after arriving in Philly we, Fearsome & meself, had the greater honor of re-uniting with an old friend and meeting a new one face to face for the first time. It’s been a wonderful day.

Blogger buddies

Travel day!

Today we fly to Philly to stop on our way to join Mom, Brother, sister-in-law, a niece, her husband, their two kids and a nephew for a train trip into the Big Apple. Mom has always dreamed of seeing The Rockettes, so we are all taking her to Radio City Music Hall for The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular!

Fearsome & I are headed out a day early so we can have dinner with Todd , Anne Marie and Mistress Maddie!

WooHoo! We is gonna have a blast!

The Iconic Boeing 747

First released in 1968, Boeing’s 747 was, and still is, an engineering marvel.

United is retiring their 747 fleet for more fuel efficient 777 & 787 aircraft and fuel efficiency is a definately valid reason. Other airlines will continue to fly them so the iconic look will still be seen in larger international ports. However their numbers may continue to dwindle as technology changes.

I’ve only flown the 747 six times in all of my travels on these routes:  Miami to Aruba, San Diego to London, Los Angeles to Sydney. Thus far it is my favorite airliner. The adjectives roomy and majestic come to mind. I even know the layout well enough that I have a favorite seat. I’ll miss this mighty bird for she gave me many wonderful memories.

Capital Treasures 3

After our time at the Hirshhorn we crossed The Mall to check out have some lunch over at The National Gallery of Art. After sharing a wonderful lunch in the Garden Cafe we discovered their current exhibit Frederic Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism. 

Fabulous!

A Pierre-Auguste Renoir on the left of Federic Bazzile painting his Still Life with Heron on right.

Federic Brazil was an early impressionist who came of age with Renoir, Monet, Manet, Cezzane and likes. They were a close group and there are many paintings where they painted the same subjects and each other.

Fearsome stands amount the Beards of the great impressionists.

This last painting above is a Bazille that includes many of his impressionist friends in his studio, Bazille is the tallest standing beside the easel. Bazille’s parents always kept him in a studio in Paris and his young impressionist friends, including Renoir & Monet, often stayed and even lived with him in his various Paris studios. Note the painting on the upper left above the man on the stairs as it is the painting of the male nude featured above.

Bazille joined the Army at 29 years of age and left his young impressionist friends behind to only be tragically killed on his first assignment. He never gained the refinement nor fame that his contemporaries did due to his unfortunate untimely death.

Rumors do swirl around why he left and joined a faction of the army to fight on the front lines. Was he in love with one of his contemporaries that couldn’t be fulfilled? Did he need to get away? Was it almost an act of suicide? Or was he just looking for male companionship in the trenches? Rumors that will never be confirmed.

Homosexuality was quite frowned upon at the time and the place where he and his friends lived and bromanced. His counterparts went on to marry, he ran away. He housed and supported them and maybe it was only friendship. We will never know. We do know that the loss of his life at such a young age deprived the impressionist movement of a budding young talent who had hardly began his journey.

Frederic Bazille

It always happens…

Why it is that every time I have a trip to make I get crazy busy right before it is time to leave?

Is it Murphy’s law?

Since I’m busy getting ready do I attract more busy?

Busy attracts business?

Dont get me wrong, I like busy. Busy brings me income. Busy creates meaning. Busy gives purpose.

I think I’ll decide to sit in my seat 2B to Chicago this morning in gratitude for being busy.

Questionable Beard

So this happened…

I’m passing through TSA, something I do about once a month, and I’m stopped and asked “Sir, is your Beard for religious reasons?” It’s very early in the morning and I am am in a hurry and my focus is getting through to grab a snack in the United Club Lounge prior to lining up at the gate. What the TSA agent said to me in my Known Traveler TSA Pre-Check express line didn’t register at the moment and I quickly blurted out “No, it is not” to which the agent replied “Ok” and let me pass on through.

It wasn’t until much later when I replayed the exchange in my mind that I realized what had actually happened. What if my answer was yes? I mean Fearsome is a rather large fellow. He stands out, really stands out. And so what if Fearsome is a Beard of religious reasons? He is an American citizen and last I checked these United States are a land with freedom of, and from, religion. Was I being profiled for having a Beard and possibly for having a religion? Is it a TSA agent’s business why Fearsome adorns my face or what religion I do, or do not, follow?