Friday, July 07, 2006

"Reagan" to me

'Our lives are like the grass in the fields. It grows in the morning and is cut down in the afternoon.' Is that the way it goes? It is a calming metaphor. One imagines the structure of grass to be fairly simple. The sun and rain and earth lead the grass to begin again. Reagan Andrews, Jr. died. I can remember him at my dad's funeral and with Connie at a little reception Beverly and I had over at her parents house before our first son was born. I felt good; they were there. I hadn't seen him in a while. I remember a comment he made about the Southern aristocracy after the Civil War, that it 'just disappeared.' And I wondered if there wasn't memory of that in the house off Walnut Hill Lane in well-to-do Dallas where his parents lived. He went to the Air Force when he was 20, listened to Russian shortwave broadcasts from Turkey, came back and got a Ph.D. in Psychology. Those Russians whose love life was on the short wave, heh, no problem. Connie said that 'his time in the AF greatly influenced his life,' which reminds me of a story from Russia. The Russians have a crack fighter group like the Blue Angels. They did a demonstration in China once and were flying back into Russia. The radio crackles, 'What are you doing?' Explanation given by pilot. 'You do not have a flight plan in our system. You do not have permission to enter. We will send our interceptors up to shoot you down.' Pilot leader, "Send up your interceptors! We will see who returns to Mother Russia." With that, they flew unmolested to their base.

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