By lex, on June 6th, 2011
Sixty-seven years ago.
From Ronald Reagan’s “Boys of Point du Hoc” speech:
By lex, on March 1st, 2012
I’m on the early page it seems, with the 0515 brief burned into my forehead. And the late go as well, so long as your definition of “late” is expansive enough to admit a 1215 brief, 1400 take-off, and 1500 land. With the debrief to follow. Well within the limits of crew day, mind. But a 0415 wake-up, day after day, is rough country for old men.
Especially when, as it was today, the whole thing seems to be for naught.
By lex, on May 25th, 2007
That the sh!t hit the fleet *.
After torturing the plebes one last time on Herndon, we’d had a week’s worth of fin de siecle parties on and around the campus – the “N” dance for varsity athletes over at Hubbard Hall, where the crew team tormented themselves for most of the year, was a highlight – it was the only affair in the Yard that served champagne, as I recall. Tropical whites and tiki torches reflected the Severn River. With all of the beautiful young men and women, it had the feeling of a movie set from the 1940′s, the “before” picture setting the left bookend to an unknowable “after” – an “after” whose ghostly contours are now, after 25 years, growing daily more distinct.
Finally the preparations were complete it was time to mill around smartly outside as the underclasses marched to the stadium to bid us farewell with ever-descending degrees of sincerity; the second class with whom we had become fast friends, the youngsters who still eyed us with all the caution that one uses around a biting dog that wags its tail, the plebes with a cordial loathing. A rustling in the seats as we sat down, an interminable speech or two – brave new world, sea lines of communication, the defense of the republic from the Soviet Menace, etc. Then, finally, graduation and commissioning of the top 10% in order of class rank, the rest of us alphabetically (your correspondent was solidly in the top 90% of his class). Hats up (and down, it turns out). The fat gold bar of an ensign replacing the thin one of a first class midshipman.
The smiles and handshakes after, the promises to keep in touch, that we’d see each other in the fleet. Promises we sometimes kept, but the tendency of things is always towards disorder, towards chaos. There would in any case be new loyalties to supercede that sacred word “classmate” – a word that had gotten us all through a difficult four years. There would be roommates, wingmen, squadron mates, messmates, shipmates, service buddies, Marines, dogs and finally, sojers.
Today we head down to the university campus to see our replacements join the line, NROTC midshipmen from the local universities: SDSU, UCSD, USD and Point Loma Nazarene. Three young people that we have fed and entertained for the last three years will be commissioned, two will change uniforms entirely. Our young man will lead the color guard, having exchanged the two diagonal stripes of a midshipman second class on his shoulder boards with the single, thin, horizontal stripe of a first class midshipman .
The cycle continues.
* 08-08-2018 Link Gone; no replacement found (Was Lex Post Midshipmen from 06-21-2004– Ed.
By lex, on May 13th, 2007
It will not have escaped the astute observer that today is Mother’s Day, in consequence of which the All-Girl Spending Team was permitted to lay abed this morning, ditching out of our quotidian obligations of a Sunday – it is hoped that this will not be held against us in time.
Posted by Lex, on March 17th, 2008
I hope you’re wearing the green and preparing to drink of the brown once the sun goes over the yardarm. Somewhere. Because it’s Saint Patrick’s Day precious and we are all, all of us Irish today.
Our quotidian labors being done – sufficient to the day the evils thereof – herself and your correspondent have every intention of taking the trolley into the Gaslamp this e’en for to partake of the festivities:
This year’s musical block party at Sixth and Market streets has Irish rock legends the Young Dubliners, DJ Marc Thrasher, DJ Brent Bartel, local Celtic bands, and traditional Irish dancers.
And I know what you’re asking yourself, constant reader: You’re wondering whether it might be possible to buy your humble scribe a Guinness on this most sacred day of the season.
The answer is yes. Yes of course you can.
Update: Thought for the day – “Work is the curse of the drinking class.”
We lost a good friend. I wasn’t a Neptunus Lex reader that morning; I hadn’t even heard of him. I will have learned about him tomorrow, when reading the notice from Chicago Boyz.
MarineMom probably described the reaction of his readers best, when she reported the news to her Marine aviator son.
He said that “I feel like somebody just punched me in the gut“.
OldAFSarge has a good post describing that day here.
The very first post I read, recommended by David, really told me all about the kind of man Lex was.
Immensely talented in his chosen line of work.
A man of faith.
Kind to others.
A wicked sense of humor, even at his own expense.
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.
My Epilogue is here.
By lex, on July 7th, 2010
Pinch * put me in mind of a story.
Was a time in the Old Navy where it was fashionable at certain points to wear hemi- semi- demi- quasi-humorous name patches on the flight suits of America’s Finest. There were any number of “Roger Ball” name tags at the O’Club on a Friday night. When things got late, there were even raunchier monikers attached by Velcro: “Hugh Jardon” was but the least offensive. There might even have been a “Heywood Jablome.”
I can’t say.