Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pictures from Army vs. Eastern Michigan

I finally took the family to an Army Football game yesterday.  I say finally because it's been eighteen years since I graduated, and yesterday was the first time I've been back.

It was good go back.  It's been too long, the drive wasn't nearly as far as I thought it was gonna be...  We should've gone a long time ago.  In fact, I should probably go to a lot more games and try to be a better graduate.  That was the message I took from yesterday's game.

Anyway, we also took a bunch of pictures yesterday.

A stranger took this one by Lusk Reservoir, and I touched it up in Instagram.
It's great, but that lens flare is obnoxious.
We'd been planning to go to the Army Alumni Swim Meet on Friday evening, stay overnight, and then get in early Saturday morning to walk around post, go to the Army Swimming Tailgate, and basically say hello to folks I hadn't seen in a while.  But then I caught a cold last week, wound up with a fever Thursday night, and instead of going to the swim meet on Friday, decided instead to swing by the doctor's office instead.  Not exactly the exciting three day weekend I'd been planning.

Diagnosis?  Viral sinus infection.

I spent nearly all of Friday in bed and by that evening felt a lot better, and that's good.  But it put us behind the eight ball as far as our trip was concerned, and we never recovered.  Wound up getting up later than we'd planned on Saturday morning, getting on the road even later than that, and while we got to post in time to catch kick-off, we missed the tailgate and everything else.

To say the least, I was bummed.

So we sat down in the stands, and somebody immediately calls out, "Hey Dan!"

I turned around, thinking, Who the Hell?  And it's my friend and classmate Kurt, along with his family.  He was actually the guy I'd been planning to meet at the tailgate--and he had seats right behind ours!  

We spent maybe half the game catching up; it was excellent.  I never got to see our mutual friend Darryl, who was supposedly also at the game, but it was still nice to reconnect with at least one of my old teammates.  And now, having regained contact, hopefully it won't be another eighteen years before I see the rest of these guys again.  I need to figure out how many guys are close enough to come up to the house, seriously.  As I remember, we were all big beer fans back in the day...

I also met another of my classmates, Keith, at half time, and we caught up as well.  Keith and I are (were) from the same area of Florida back in high school, but while my folks moved away, and I've not really been back since, Keith returned, got a job, got married, and seems very happy.

Sally, Hannah, & Emma in the stands.
E. Michigan scored almost immediately after kickoff.  Then
Army muffed a punt or something and gave up a safety.  This was
the two-point conversion after Army scored its second touchdown, to
tie the game at 15-15.
Third quarter.  Army was up and on Defense.
The Corps of Cadets.  I don't know when they moved the Corps to the other
side of the field, but it was really cool to see the Rocket done from the far side
of the field.  On the other hand, we couldn't see the cheerleaders or any of the
presentations that were directed at the Corps.
After the game, I took the girls down to Trophy Point and around the Plain.
Looking back across the Plain from over by Trophy Point.
This is the girls at Trophy Point.
If you haven't noticed yet, observe that Hannah is wearing my cap from the
old 4-7 Cav days.  Garryowen!
I had visions of doing a worm's eye view of the family and
the monument, but my phone just didn't have the lens for it.
Also: there was no good way to crop all the strangers out of
the background.
In a sense, it was amazing being back at the Academy.  As my wife pointed out, everyone was so fit and polite.  On the other hand, the whole experience made me miss the Army a little bit--a rare experience.  Because that's the way the Army was; it's the way the Academy was.  Everyone was fit and polite and thought of more than just themselves.  I miss that more than I'd realized.

That sense--that not only can you be more, but that you ought to be more--that's totally absent in American society at large, even in Manhattan.  I mean, I like working in Manhattan because it's one of the only places I've ever worked where you don't have to pull your punches, you can just go right at whoever you're talking to, and if they can't keep up, you win.  But even there, it's often enough to be smart or fit.  To just have a good job and provide a living for your family.  It's not like New Yorkers prize service.  They're in it for the money.

I've gotten too used to folks being so amazed that I'm a triathlete and an engineer.  That I also write; that my family and I do all these cool things together.  I mean, my friend Kurt is still swimming Masters, and it sounds like he's swimming better than I am.  And Keith looked great.  Muscular, successful, happy.  Man, it was great to see that.  Like a tonic for the soul.  To be reminded that those guys are still out there, that they're still the same guys that they always were.

When I was at West Point, it was the only time in my life when I felt like I was surrounded by people who were just like me.  And I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I need to make an effort to get up there more often and to reconnect with the place, not because I think the place is so special, but because the people I was there with still are.  They're still the same amazing group that they always were, and I need to be around them more to remind myself where I came from and who it is that I'm supposed to be.

That's what's been missing in my life, and I need to put it back.


  1. Glad you were able to reconnect with your friends. I'm inspired by "people being fit and polite." Seems like everyone is in a hurry and rude these days. I keep in shape and strive to be polite. It isn't always easy to be polite to rude people. You do a lot of different things. I need to do more. Balance in life is good. :D

    1. I agree with all of that. All I can say is that you don't have to compromise. You can live the life you want and treat others the way you'd like to be treated. And you should. So should I.

  2. You should see if any of your old mates are into gaming! Seriously. That's how me and my crew of five have kept in monthly touch for the last 20 years. One of the guys I see on a weekly basis and it's great. Of course, we're not nearly as fit or as polite as we'd like to be but we can hope. :P

    Good on you and yours for a great time.