Category Archives: Lex
Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity. And so we ask ourselves: will our actions echo across the centuries? Will strangers hear our names long after we are gone, and wonder who we were, how bravely we fought, how fiercely we loved? – Odysseus (In the movie “Troy”)
Once upon a time, I was ignorant of “The Unbearable Lightness of Lex”. I lurked and occasionally commented at the USNI Blog but that was the sole extent of my experience with the blogosphere.
Then one day my daughter, the WSO, mentioned in passing, a story which had her husband (Big Time) in a vast rage. Storming about the landscape and calling down the thunder he was, in his anger. So, being one to always listen to my children, I asked her what was the giant burr under the saddle of our beloved Big Time.
It was a tale of call signs and people who epitomize the tune “One of these things just doesn’t belong…”. It was a tale of Political Correctness gone mad and a world of warriors invaded and sullied by lesser beings. I was riveted and fascinated by this tale. Unfortunately, duty called the WSO away from the phone so I was left bereft of details.
All I knew was that it involved Big Time’s squadron and a former Skipper of that same squadron. I needed more. So I turned to Google (as I so often do), did a search and found “Neptunus Lex”. Where the proprietor of that blog had written a very erudite post on the situation which had Big Time in an uproar. It was excellent, so I bookmarked it so I could relay that to the WSO.
Later on, I sent her the URL. And decided to reread the article. That’s when I noticed the “Comments”, quite a few of them as a matter of fact. Hhhmm, I like comments. So I read them. I added to them. From that day forth, Neptunus Lex was the first stop of the day after my computer was up and running.
I wonder if I would’ve eventually found Neptunus Lex had my son-in-law not been a Naval Aviator in VFA-136? I like to think I would have.
But you never know.
And the rest, like they say, is history.
Here’s the post which hooked me: Big Victory.
Do you remember your first Lex?
For the first time, virtually ever, there was no “Daily Lex” today. Todd has done a superb job taking care of this for a year now. Yes, others have stepped in from time to time but Todd has really done the heavy lifting. He has laid this burden down, as he said he would. Though I was ready for this, still when I came here today it was, “Uh, oh yeah. Yesterday was it. Well, now what?”
Yes, now what? Does someone else pick up the task or do we say farewell to the “Daily Lex”? I fear that The Lexicans might wither and eventually be neglected, left to gather dust on the virtual bookshelf. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions as to what we do next?
We knew this day would come. So my brothers and sisters, what’s next?
And thanks Todd. “Ya done good!”
Came across this post by Brigid today.
If you have not read this lady’s blog before, you need to add her to your list. She is an amazing writer.
It was dusty at Chez Sarge today.
One year has passed.
365 days without him. Without his words, his wisdom, his humor.
Capt. Carroll “Lex” Lefon. Died in service to his country one year ago today. He died doing what he loved, what his soul was called to do.
Fly. Fast. Really fast.
It was with such joy that he began his 1st career again after trying a 2nd career as a desk jockey.
That did not sit well with Lex, nosiree.
Qualifying the kFIR he would fly adversary for the TOPGUN aviators. The stuff that legends are made of.
Except that Lex was already a legend. To those of us who read his blog faithfully – his writing was the stuff of genius. How many times did someone say “write the damn book”…
Write one he did. Rhythms will someday be published; and a community left bereft at his passing will likely gather as we always promised we would – someplace “in the middle” so that we could all get a first edition and have it signed by the author whilst plying him with Guinness.
Lots of Guinness.
It is so tragic that a man like Lex – who lived 10 lifetimes in one short one – still had so much living to do. But then again, adrenaline-junkie that he was, whose to say that he didn’t live all that he was supposed to. He lived life on the tip of the spear – from fast jets to fast cars to fast motorcycles.
And while I feel the sorrow of his loss keenly, my thoughts turn to his beloved family and I realize that my grief can only pale to insignificance in the face of theirs.
I lost a good friend – no – I lost the brother of my heart one year ago today. The world changed once when I met Lex and I became a better person for it. The world changed again when he died – and I like to think that I remain that better person.
Lex showed us all how to live a life made of dreams. Lex showed us how to live a life of integrity, principles, honor and valor.
He was courageous to the end – landing a stricken jet with no fuel on board in deadly cross winds. It is a testament to his skill as a pilot and his determination as a human being that he got that kFIR on the ground at all.
Lex had grit – true grit. He served his country with dignity, he loved his family with passion and he shared so much of himself that I often wondered if he’d break from all the stretching.
When I woke up today – I felt a terrible weight pressing down on me. In those few precious moments after I opened my eyes, the world was as it should be. Then my mind engaged and I realized – no, it’s not. It all became clear and I knew why that weight was there.
And as the day has gone by – as I have read tributes from others – I feel that weight lifting. Yes, Lex lived a life of possibilities. And it is those possiblities that we should celebrate – both in his life and to welcome them into ours.
So it will be tonite that I will turn to a private memorial page on Facebook and celebrate the life of this extraordinary man. We miss him terribly and yet he left us a powerful legacy of focus and dedication to ones dreams.
Lex – you are with the angels, I’m sure of it – showing them how flying is really done.
There are dates you remember is your Naval Aviation life: Day you received your wings (28FEB76), day of your last flight as in a Duty Involving Flight Operations (DIFOP) status (24SEP92) and the first time someone you were close to died in a mishap (6FEB79). Those days mount up, over time. As I remarked once before, you maybe do the tally once or twice, then move on; for to dwell there too long does little good.
You also think, once you “hang up your spurs,” that you won’t need to keep counting, but I was wrong. My friend Carroll “Lex” Lefon left us a year ago today, to the collective shock, surprise and sense of loss and grief to many around the world.
For those of us who either were or still are “in the profession,” I think I say what many think is all really needs be said: He was a good stick.
Posted on behalf of Pinch: “Remembering Lex, Northern Virginia/DC, 6 March, 2013 at Sines, Pentagon City. 1700…see you there!”
Others around the country will be hosting similar gatherings, so feel free to make mention of them in this post. We Admins will be sure to keep everyone updated as we draw closer to March 6th. As for posting at NepLex, I think the Kat has the keys to the Mothership and I’ll ask if she will create a post there.
It’s coming, we all know it’s coming. We dread it and we know it’s coming.
Time will pass, it is the one constant in every one of our lives.
As with his death – we The Lexicans (via FB) would like to celebrate his life with another virtual party on Wednesday March 6.
We will gather at FB (and here) at 8:00pm EST; we shall toast a great man with Guinness, Jameson, Woodfords Reserve or whatever type of libation suits you best. We shall toast his family and honor them with our words.
We will honor Our Lex – as he remains, at least for me, a strong guidepost for a good, happy and well-lived life.
Join us – if you aren’t on FB…this is another plea to think about it. Join 2 days before the party and leave the day after – tis no matter. But if that isn’t your cup of tea, we’ll be here – perhaps a general post with a running stream of comments (though the pictures that will inevitably shared at FB make things far more fun).
The Lexicans – for strength in our memories.
Over on Facebook I learned something new last night.
You see, lately I’ve had this nearly indescribable feeling that “something is missing”. At first I thought it was just a touch of post-holiday depression. But it’s more than that, much more.
Then on Facebook, I saw a post from our friend Mongo, regarding an “Instagram” from the daughter of another friend of ours. That other friend was our own beloved Lex. His daughter, the Kat, had posted a picture of her with her Dad when she was very young. She also explained the Portuguese concept (for it is more than just a word) of saudade. As the first anniversary of Lex’s passing approaches, I can only imagine what his family must be feeling. Especially how his youngest child is dealing with it.
Saudade is a Portuguese word that has no direct translation in English. It describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return. A stronger form of saudade may be felt towards people and things whose whereabouts are unknown, such as a lost lover, or a family member who has gone missing.
Saudade was once described as “the love that remains” after someone is gone. Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again. It can be described as an emptiness, like someone (e.g., one’s children, parents, sibling, grandparents, friends, pets) or something (e.g., places, things one used to do in childhood, or other activities performed in the past) should be there in a particular moment is missing, and the individual feels this absence. In Portuguese, ‘tenho saudades tuas‘, translates as ‘I have saudade of you’ meaning ‘I miss you’, but carries a much stronger tone. In fact, one can have ‘saudade‘ of someone whom one is with, but have some feeling of loss towards the past or the future.
In Brazil, the day of saudade is officially celebrated on January 30.
Saudade is exactly what I’ve been feeling lately.
For me it’s getting close to the anniversary of my Father’s passing, three years ago. It does not nearly feel like it’s been three years. Every time we go to visit my Mom, it feels like Dad has just stepped out for a moment. Saudade.
We didn’t go to my Mom’s for Christmas this year. Instead we went up for New Year’s. Of course, the Christmas decorations were still up. And naturally she told us all about the Christmas she had, with my brother the Old Vermonter and his family and my other younger brother the Musician, up from Boston. It was something I wish I’d been there for. Saudade.
Then at New Years’ I had a lot of fun with my Mom. She’s in her 80′s yet still acts like she did in her 30′s. But still, she’s in her 80′s. I am terrified at the prospect of my Mother not being around someday. Saudade.
At least it’s how I understand the concept of saudade.
Where I live there are many Portuguese, primarily from the Azores (Açores, in Portuguese), I can’t wait to talk to my Portuguese friends about saudade.
It’s something I’ve felt and understood for a long time. Now I’m glad to know there’s actually a word for it. A word with many subtle shadings and nuance. Saudade.
I also have a new day to “celebrate”. On the 30th of January, I’ll remember those absent from my life.
My Dad. And Lex.
Merry Christmas to my fellow Lexicans. Reading the Daily Lex today nearly broke my heart, remembering what we’ve lost in the year which is passing. And yet, this marvelous community we have, is truly a gift. A gift from Lex. I am saddened again at his passing, yet strengthened by this new family of ours, this loving community of people drawn together through the writings of Neptunus Lex. May the joy of Christmas fill your hearts and may the New Year find you healthy and prosperous. You all have my very best wishes!
(Shared from the Neptunus Lex Facebook page.)