Thanks to those who called or e-mailed to help me find that fellow I once wrote about.
A lady who works for the historical society had a clipping of that story, and I immediately recognized the name.
His late father actually became a friend of mine during the 41 years since it appeared. All I can tell you at at present is that he seems to have done well since his time as a Navy corpsman and now is what you might call a public figure.
Things have been hectic recently — as you will see — and I haven’t had time to get in touch with him, but I will.
Goldy’s Rule 67: Amateurs argue about tactics. Professional worry about logistics.
This an old military axiom which reflects the fact that professionals know how to fight. What concerns them is how to keep the troops properly fed, equipped and otherwise maintained, and so on. Moving them from one place to another is also part of it. You get the idea.
I’ve been busy dealing with logistics in both my professional life and my personal life.
Today, for example, is Easter Sunday. I plan to sing with the choir at two different churches (eating breakfast at one of them), after which Capt. Gary and I will be hitting the road.
Here’s how the concept of logistics applies: I topped off the gas tank on Saturday in case my usual pit stops were closed for Easter.
Tomorrow, Capt. Gary and 1Sgt. Goldy will be in uniform to honor an American hero ... two heroes, for that matter.
I was going to sing with the choir on Palm Sunday, but had to withdraw because of another road trip I hadn’t planned. Someone called me to say I might want to make it, and I did.
Ten days ago, I began to write a eulogy for someone who was still alive. First time I’ve ever done that, but he asked me to do it.
All things considered, I couldn’t refuse. Besides, I do such things when I think of it and have the time because I might not have the time later ... logistics, again.
I’d share it with you today, but I’m still working on it. This is nothing new. I’ve scribbled changes to speeches I was about to give.
A week ago yesterday, I did something else I’d never done: sit at a man’s bedside while his funeral was being planned. He was offering advice, and so was I.
He was in bed when I arrived.
“Stay where you are,” I told him. “You look too damn comfortable to make you get up on my account.” (He would have said the same thing to me, if our roles were reversed.)
Then I went over and hugged him as well as you can hug someone who’s flat on his back.
The others skedaddled, so we could have a few minutes alone, without them fussing over us or being able to overhear what we might say about them ... or what he and I might say about each other, that we didn’t want them to know.
We smiled a lot and even laughed a little. As I will say tomorrow, it helps when two guys know the same family stories ... particularly if their nature is a bit on the ornery side.
I told him I hadn’t come to say good-bye. He said he knew that. We don’t say good-bye in our family. There will be a next time ... we just don’t know when.
They put me up in a room at the same hotel where my cousin’s oldest son was staying with his fiancee. His other two sons live nearby.
“Now ain’t this a fancy (kitty residence),” I said upon entering. “Not at all like the places where the captain and I stay in Gettysburg, and I have no idea where the bar is.” (I always keep a full flask of Old Whoop and Snort in my just-in-case bag ... more logistics.)
My cousin’s sons are my second cousins, although they sometimes call me “Uncle Jim.” Usually, they call me “Gussie” — which is what I call them.
I’ve tried to explain actual the relationship, adding that my dad had three cousins who were sisters. One was only a few years older than I was, while the other two were my dad’s age.
The youngest, in my mind, was my cousin. The older two were my aunts, and that’s how I referred to them even when I got older.
My cousins/nephews, cousin-in-law/niece-to-be and I hung out at the hotel, drank some beer (she had wine) and talked about the usual stuff. In some respects, I am still 29 years old.
That night, I dreamed about eating pizza and drinking beer and woke up hungry. When I was the age my cousins/nephews are now, I dreamed about other things and woke up feeling ... you know.
We met for breakfast, then returned to our rooms until it was time to go and be with the kinfolk who are my age.
I began to get a massive case of cabin fever.
When I tried to call my cousin/nephew, the hotel telephone didn’t work. So I walked around to his room, banged on the door and waited outside until he and my cousin-in-law/niece-to-be were decent.
They said they had been taking a nap. Hey, I like to take a nap after breakfast, myself.
My cousin/nephew’s cell phone rang.
“That was Aunt Cyndy,” he said. “We need to go now.” OK, I thought, when I get antsy and need to be somewhere else all of a sudden, there’s usually a reason ... and this was it.
He drove, I rode shotgun, and my cousin-in-law/niece-to-be was in the back seat. My other cousins/nephews were in the car ahead of us.
We had 40 miles to cover.
As we were turning off the main road to Craig’s house, Kyle said, “I got it to 115.”
I told him I’ve had it to 130.
“My dad taught me how to drive,” he said.
My dad taught me I, replied.
There were no traffic cops, and the gaps in the lines of cars seemed to have been spaced to accommodate us.
I was calm and never felt that we were in danger, and neither was anyone else on the road. Kyle, Charley, Scott and I concluded that the details of our trip had been arranged by The Master Logistician, in whom our trust is absolute (but don’t try this at home).
We were in time, and it was time well-spent.
I’ll tell you the rest of it next Sunday.
Goldy’s Rule 137 says: Courage is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to do what you must, regardless of the circumstances and any reluctance you may have ... especially if you can smile while you’re doing it.
Lately, I’ve witnessed courage in abundance.
Thanks to those who called or e-mailed to help me find that fellow I once wrote about.
- Jim Goldsworthy - Anything and Everything
He means well, and this time they spared his life
Our pal Phil is the only re-enactor certified in writing by both the Lee and Custis families to portray Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (whose wife was Mary Anna Custis Lee). When he’s in uniform, he generally stops at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit of Little Round Top, salutes Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy and asks permission to join us. (Get it? Generally ... General Lee?) We always return his salute and grant him permission, in part because he’s our friend and also because the real Lee never got to see what it really looks like from up there. (Get it? Grant ... Grant? U.S. Grant? Real Lee ... really? OK. I hear you. That’s enough. Seriouslee.) Phil gets a kick out of being able to sneak up on us while we’re distracted by tourists.
They’d have fallen like Autumn leaves
So there we were, minding our own business (at least momentarily), leaning against the cannon at Little Round Top.
Better read that french fry before you eat it
People give me otherwise-insignificant items they hope will amuse or inspire me. I appreciate this. I’m always glad for free entertainment, which as Goldy’s Rule 33 says is everywhere. All you have to do is wait and it will come to you. Also, I have been writing columns for 37 years and embrace inspiration anywhere I can find it.
The moose is loose, and it’s coming for you
So how would you like to look out your kitchen door window onto your porch and see a moose looking back at you from close range?
There are some debts you can never repay
Today’s column will be relatively short, as my columns go, for reasons that should become apparent, and I thought long and hard before writing it.
It could have saved the county a lot of money
Random thoughts sometimes occur to me when I least expect it, usually when my brain has become tired.
When I voice these thoughts at work or in other places, people may tell me, “Goldy? It’s time for you to go home.” Yes, ma’am.
Here are two random thoughts of recent vintage:
• If Bugs Bunny were an Emergency Medical Technician, would that make him a MedicHare?
• If Daisy Duck got a job driving for United Parcel Service, would she be an UPS-a-Daisy?
I wouldn’t blame you if you think that sounds Goofy — or Daffy.
These two were part of the Not Top Ten
Occasionally, at this time of year, I see reference to a “class orator” or a “class speaker.”
Nothing wrong with that — people can call such things whatever they want, as far as I’m concerned — but it makes me wonder. Have “valedictorian” and “salutatorian” become politically incorrect, and I didn’t notice? It may come as a surprise to you, but I really have not kept up with what is politically correct or incorrect. That’s what people tell me, anyway. With some of them, it actually seems to be a compliment.
Coming soon to a highway near you?
People say to me, “Goldy? Can I ask you a stupid question?”
In theory — and theory only — the correct response is: “The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.” Not so much. There ARE stupid questions, some of them so stupid that to call them stupid is to damn them with faint praise. Other questions are — on the face of it — legitimate questions, but shouldn’t be treated as such ... not if you subscribe to the same philosophy that I do: Free entertainment is everywhere; all you have to do is wait, and it will come to you.
This was a skill that proved very useful
The Belmont Park stewards have decided to let California Chrome wear his nasal strip during the Run for the Carnations. Nasal strips usually are worn by people who snore and may have saved numerous marriages. It helps the Triple Crown hopeful to breathe, and some twolegged athletes wear nasal strips for the same reason. In this case, Chrome’s nasal strip may keep him from (wait for it) ... losing by a nose.
He made a big splash by asking this question
“I don’t know who you were talking to last night,” said Capt. Gary, “but you were talking and moaning in your sleep. Never heard you do that before.” Neither has anyone else, I said. Besides, I had told him not to be surprised if we had visitors. I wasn’t at the top of my game for a couple of days, and he said some of our friends asked him if I was all right. It’s not the first time for this, so now I’ll know to watch out for it. It can affect you and is not something to play around with — as our friend Cathy found out.
- More Jim Goldsworthy - Anything and Everything Headlines
- He means well, and this time they spared his life