Category Archives: Lex

Hard to read

By lex, on September 11th, 2007

Long, and heartrending. Difficult.

But necessary:

At fifteen seconds after 9:41 A.M., on September 11, 2001, a photographer named Richard Drew took a picture of a man falling through the sky — falling through time as well as through space. The picture went all around the world, and then disappeared, as if we willed it away. One of the most famous photographs in human history became an unmarked grave, and the man buried inside its frame — the Falling Man — became the Unknown Soldier in a war whose end we have not yet seen. Richard Drew’s photograph is all we know of him, and yet all we know of him becomes a measure of what we know of ourselves. The picture is his cenotaph, and like the monuments dedicated to the memory of unknown soliders everywhere, it asks that we look at it, and make one simple acknowledgment.

That we have known who the Falling Man is all along.

There are no pictures. But you should nevertheless bear witness, you owe it to yourself.

After all, the Falling Man is you.

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This Day

By lex, on June 6th, 2011

Sixty-seven years ago.

This Day 062011

From Ronald Reagan’s “Boys of Point du Hoc” speech:

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WX CNX

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.

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It was 25 years ago today…

By lex, on May 25th, 2007

That the sh!t hit the fleet *.

It was 25 years ago today...

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.

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Adventures in domesticity

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.

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Lá Fhéile Pádraig

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.”

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Exactly 7 years ago…

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.

Humble.

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.

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