These are two of my favorite people that I did not get to visit on Memorial Day. They bet on The Game every year for a bottle of Meridian Chardonnay, under $10 at the time.
Buck was quiet, but when he spoke it was witty and sharp, as was his wife, the delightful S. They were getting older in years so we helped out with groceries, water bottles and trash. They were very interesting people, she was a diplomat’s daughter and they spent their lives in service to our country.
Jim was a quiet man about his military experiences and now I understand why. I love his wife and sons and grandkids and we keep in touch. Yes, we flew in for the burial ceremony. She thinks of me as her daughter and she’s my other Mom. He was a sweetheart underneath. His sons call me “Sis.”
Buck is buried at West Point. Jim is buried at Annapolis. They both had storied careers of which I will never know. They were good friends. Jim married us, no, not on ship. On land. They are all wonderful folks we met at our “dog park.” We kind of took it over after the kids left at 4:00 in the afternoon.
Widows with Bichons and Yorkies, Labs and Whippets and Collies… congregated every day. I never would have met these friends if it weren’t for our dogs. But evil entered and some days they had three Animal Control trucks across the grass that caused $200,000 of damage to the water pipes, to arrest us.
I spent six years trying to get legal leash-free areas in our parks and only got a few, certainly not ours. I am an advocate of leash-free areas for responsible dog owners and well-behaved dogs. I will be one for the rest of my life.
Meetings days, eating into my work schedule, talking to council members and their staff, evening meetings nearly every night hurt my dog, who died before the proposal was passed.
Jim and Buck and their dear wives always kept me grounded no matter the attacks. The four-person opposition sent in spies and took photos of us walking our dogs at six in the morning. They mainly won, especially in my district, apparently greasing palms beats thousands of citizens. The opposition now has two 1/3 acre mud puddles in my old district with no grass and one can’t even throw a ball for a dog.
We moved from there years ago but I’ve dear friends who live there and elsewhere who espouse this cause. Again, I partially failed but they were an inspiration. They helped me grow up. I was a dreamer, now a schemer? I read people well, and know when someone is going to kick me or pick my pocket. Well, maybe not the pocket part, but I do buy better purses so it will be tougher to steal from me. Plus locks on backpacks overseas, especially London.
Jim and Buck and their spouses helped me be a better person. For that, these military heroes will always be men of honor, courage, fortitude and love for their families. I will visit them before I die. Dee
ps The neighborhood bought my dog a tree years ago, in her park. I checked it out on GoogleEarth today and it’s doing well. She was an abused dog by a deputy sheriff and I rescued her from the shelter. She was afraid of men (especially in uniform) and children as neighbors used to throw rocks at her. Before she died every tot lot kid and moms loved her and called out her name. It was heartbreaking to see her die, but I think telling Jesse and the kids at the park was worse, D