Today is the first day I won’t be able to wish him a “Happy Birthday” over the phone via FaceTime, or the Stone-Age method of actually calling. It’s been a very strange experience. We had the standard father-son relationship with hunting trips when we could, talked about life during down times, and of course all things aviation/Navy related. We shared stories and asked what was different and how he did this or I did that. I had hoped to take him in a helicopter for one of his birthdays or as a Christmas gift to show him what flying really is! Joking of course, I just had to give him and his jet buddies a playful jab. As I continue to learn more about what goes into being an aviator, ground jobs and working with other military branches, I find myself wanting to pick up the phone to call him for guidance or just to complain about the day and hear “how it used to be in my time”. I’ll never forget the expertise and words of wisdom he imparted on me in regards to family, friends, and work. I hope to some day be half the man he was. I would like to end with my father’s favorite quote, modified slightly, from Gladiator, “If you find yourself alone, flying in CAVU skies with the sun on your face, do not be troubled. For you are in Elysium, and you’re already dead!” Happy Birthday Old Man! *Raises a pint of Guinness and a shot of Jameson*
Friday November 9th is my dad’s birthday and in honor of it my mom would like to get a group together of anyone and everyone who is in San Diego and wants to get a beer (Guinness, of course). The plan is Shakespeare’s Pub on 3701 India St.
San Diego, CA 92103 around 5:30PM and planning to stay until 7 or 8PM. We would love it if whoever can swing it can come by, although we understand not everyone lives in San Diego so we aren’t expecting much.
Also, each of us kids plans on posting a little something on the blog for his birthday so we’re hoping you guys might check that out when the time comes.
Thanks always- Kat
05-23-20 I thought I had gotten all we could get from the Wayback Machine, but I came across a couple more. As to what the “kids” planned on posting, just as 8 years ago, wait and see 😉
And of course the meet at Shakespeare’s was 8 years ago, not this November 9th, although maybe we should have another one in honor of Hizzoner?
I had a post on this story up several months ago. A story that should have been about a brave petty officer who valiantly gave his life in support of his friends and in his country’s noble cause, but that instead turned on the issue of whether a statue of a Navy SEAL with a rifle in a city park where children might see would be somehow “inappropriate.” The local police department was sufficiently concerned that the statue might be vandalized before it was unveiled that they enlisted the assistance ** of the Colorado chapter of Rolling Thunder to help them maintain a vigil.
With the news that Sir Stirling has passed away at 90, Motorsports lost a motor sports icon and a true gentleman. It has been said that he was one of the greatest drivers who never won a Formula 1 championship.
Of the 528 races that he started, he won a remarkable 212.
It was said that he never won the F1 title because he was too much a gentleman.
Are November 22, 1963 and September 11th, 2001. I can tell you exactly where I was on both of those dates and what I was doing. On the morning of September 12th, I was walking my dog as normal and I could sense that something was different. It took me a moment, but I realized it was the sky.
It was the absolute quietness of the sky. Not a plane could be seen or heard. The FAA had grounded all civilian air traffic the day before.
Two years later, I visited Manhattan for the first time in my life. Stayed at a little hotel at midtown run by Catholic nuns.
It’s funny how with age some of the smallest things in life one can still remember, like a photograph. My very first memory of El Paso was upon hearing Reveille , looking out my barracks window and seeing nothing but an ocean of sand. The day before, I had finished basic training at Ft Ord, along the coast of the Monterey Peninsula, and the Drill Sgt had us all in formation as he was giving out assignments with the Army post we’d be going to for advanced training. .
Guys were getting infantry, signal corps, and when it came time for him to call my name, “Brandt! Ft Bliss, Texas – Air Defense! ”
The only Grand Prix that I have ever seen was in the summer of 1973, courtesy of the Army Special Services.
If you were off duty they sometimes arranged day trips of the local areas. The German Grand Prix was to be at a fabled course called the Nurburgring. This course, built in the 1920s, was the longest closed circuit course by far, at 14 miles or so. Fourteen miles of terrifying sharp turns, long straights, and in one area a jump through the Eifel forest.
Racing great Jackie Stewart called the course The Green Hell, and the term stuck.
I started devouring his posts on his now-gone website.
When that went down, I started reading the files advokaat fortunately created (for his later reading, he has said).
I thought that for such a good man who described many of his readers as “the best friends I never met”, giving his readers so much of himself, to be silenced simply because of a password would not do.
He turned out to be the best friend I never met..
Update: 03/07/19 – If you have just come across this via search engine, and want to know more about Carroll LeFon, here’s a good place to start. For one, you will learn a lot about Naval Aviation. But he wrote about so many other things – life and current events.