Friday, May 27, 2016

Cost-less Equals Thought-less

This weekend millions of Americans will be celebrating the Memorial Day Holiday. The sad truth is this: the meaning is lost to millions. For many Americans this weekend kicks off the summer recreational season. Good folks will head to their favorite campground, fishing hole, relatives house, or other spot for relaxation. On Monday afternoon I plan on cooking outside. The grand-kids will come over and we will spend precious time together. Friends will be at the nearby campground where I might eat my once a year Smore. The campfire will rekindle memories, images, and smells of past campfires and family members passed on.

As a kid Memorial Day was also know by another name, Decoration Day. A drive past any cemetery on Memorial Day would have been filled with sights of hundreds of small American flags placed by the grave of every service member.  Memorial Day 1970 was one that is still very vivid. The military honor guard was gathered at the grave site of my brother. There were some words, long forgotten but sincere, and then the salutes. What will never be forgotten is the gun fire and the lonely for-lone sound of, Day is done, gone the sun. (Taps)

My personal freedom didn't cost me a red cent. I was born an American. Born in the land of freedom and opportunity. I was taught that my freedom was a gift. My freedom was given to me, I didn't earn it. I listened to stories of the men who fought for "my unearned freedom." My father and uncles fought against a global tyranny that threatened to suck the free breath from every soul. I began to have a sense of the cost to them. My "unearned freedom" was costly. During that time of terror nearly 14 million American men and women put on a uniform and pledged their lives for us, you and me.

I am greatly dismayed by what is happening today. Millions of young adults are expecting to receive at no cost. And, this is not American freedom that I refer too. The entitlement mindset is spreading like a wildfire. Kids get their drivers license and expect a car. There are more cell phones used by kids in school than any other age group. I do not mean to bad talk everybody. Many young people pay for their own cell phone, car, and other expenses. But, they are fast becoming the minority. Now, a free college education is being demanded and may come to pass.

What cost-less to us means less. What is cost-less soon becomes thought-less. Those words are very dangerous to all of us. The men and women from the Greatest Generation are soon to be gone. Their wisdom, experience, and spirit will just become words of lore and memory. The boys that were 18 and 19 that stormed the red beaches of Normandy will be soon laid to rest. The Honor Guard will fire and Taps will play, they may soon be forgotten.

We must remember that Cost-less can equal Thought-less. God help us this Memorial Day to remember the cost and demand that respect be given to those who gave us our undeserved freedom.

Tedd A Galloway

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Sophisticated Man

He is a sophisticated man. Every morning his mirror smiles at him. His white hair and beard are perfectly coiffed. Each hair is examined, snipped, combed, and smiled upon.

He is a sophisticated man. His library is the envy of friends. The patina on the one hundred fifty year old wood is an intoxicant to the eye. Soft light is cast by Tiffany lamps and solid brass wall sconces. His books line one wall. He looks upon them often and when he does he smiles. His smile reacts as his eyes fall upon his first editions of Hawthorne and Webster. The great works of literature speak softly to visitors that here lives a sophisticated man.

He is a sophisticated man. His leather chair is one of the finest. Hand crafted and covered in Romanza Leather it is exquisite in every detail, the seen and experienced. The brass buttons at the top of each arm bear the marks of his fingers over long years. The trained eye can see the faint color change in the leather where his elbows have rested as he enjoyed his pipe and brandy.

He is a sophisticated man. To the left of his chair, his Gillow’s Pembroke Table is within easy reach. His pipe and pouch rest within an Ebony bowl, placed exactly at the far left end of the table, though still in reach. The decanter of Courvoisier brandy rest upon his 16th century silver server. The snifter sits next to the decanter, with her opening covered with appropriate sized linen.

He is a sophisticated man. But, every morning his mirror is deceived. The visage of the perfectly groomed man fails to reveal his uninhabited soul. During the day he rests within the safety and luxury of the finest leather on his chair. His lips have enjoyed his fine brandy. The scent of expensive pipe tobacco lingers long into the night. He dozes off in his self quarantined cell.

He is a sophisticated man. He reaches into the drawer of his table and rests his manicured fingers on the cold stainless steel.

He Was a Sophisticated Man.