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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Meeting of the Executive Committee of SFA graduates in the Austin Area

Well, I am finally home from the meeting of the Executive Committee of SFA graduates in the Austin area. The employees of the Red Lobster off 183 ran us out just a few minutes ago. It seems that they had to close the restaurant so they could open it for the next days activities—weird rule but they seemed to know what they were talking about.

Neither Bobby nor I had seen hide nor hair of Jimmy Phipps since graduation from Texas A&M back in 1970. Forty plus years had gone by just like an overnight.

We managed to induct Jimmy onto the Executive Committee prior to starting any discussion on world peace, the state of the union or the solving of hunger throughout the globe—a hard task, but we managed.

Taking seats in the booth we started in on the questioning of Mr. Phipps: where he had been over the last forty years; what he had accomplished; and what his plans were for the future.

Due to the fact that there were two old military types the conversation naturally revolved around the telling of experienced “war stories”—all of which were true I am sure. Have you ever heard a war story that you even had the slightest bit of doubt as to its authenticity?

We allowed Jimmy to tell several prior to the gauntlet being thrown down. During the telling of an adventure he detailed about an event while stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, Jimmy mentioned that there was nothing between the North Pole and Fort Riley—obviously trying to one-up the cold factor on the entire assemblage. His account of the cold was most likely true to anybody having not ventured north of the Lower 48 but I couldn’t let the challenge pass.

At this time in the tales of the past Jimmy did not yet know of my traveling. I took the opportunity to interject that I was between the North Pole and Fort Riley for the four years I spent on my first tour of duty in the Army and had better first hand knowledge of just what the effects of the Hawk could be. In fact, the Hawk checked in with us prior to heading south. Cold? Man, let me tell ya ‘bout Cold..

After this confrontation we moved on to each of us attempting to one-up one another time and again with our best stories concerning: Fort Hood adventures, flights on C-141s, flights on C-130s, mountain adventures, Fort Drum adventures……..

At the end of each inning, Bobby would add his editorial comments and we would move right back to the confrontation.

The process took an hour to get through our salads and two waiters//waitresses before we ordered lunch.

Once in a while, the conversation would move toward the politics of the state, the nation and the world. Each appropriately adding their own two cents (never more) about the current subject prior to moving on to the next somewhat related (not a requirement) war story and extra innings.

Eventually the waiters forced us to order a meal which was pretty much engulfed without the interruption of the current conflict being described by who’s ever turn it was.

Boy! What a time we had.

I want to publicly thank Big Bucks Bobby for picking up the check. By the way, he promised to do so again whenever we meet north of the Colorado River—this is an option I will not soon forget.

By the time they asked us to leave, the restaurant had ran out of both coffee and iced tea—both sweetened and unsweetened. As I was sitting on the inside and both Bobby and Jimmy had outside seats, the lack of non-alcoholic libations was probably a good thing at this time; I know I was beginning to feel the urge.

We resolved to meet again as soon as we all recovered from “war story overload.”

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