Little Egypt Heritage Articles
© Bill Oliver
9 September 2007
Vol 6 Issue: #33
O’siyo, Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen of Little Egypt,
Semper fi = The Few, The Brave!
Life is a continual learning experience. I was reminded this past week
that Dad felt that way and appreciated every day in some way. In the
last twenty-two years or so of his life he had many heart attacks and
mini strokes. The more of these he had he seemed to be more relaxed and
took life in grand strides. Well, maybe, except for the stress brought
about by the realization that he had to be taken from his home in order
to be cared for during the last few months on this plain.
Dad was a red-headed Scot-Irishman with such characteristics as being
ornery, devilish, self-assured, and assertive. I don’t know that he ever
stopped to calculate the danger of any of his actions – situations in
his life just needed solving. He made a great icon for the Marine Corps
– he certainly was one of the few!
Semper Fidelis, Latin for always faithful. That was Dad. He was a true
Border Scot – Faithful to his Creator, faithful to his Family, faithful
to his Country, and faithful to the Corps. "Once a Marine, Always a
Marine". Having earned the title of Marine it become an integral part of
who and what he become throughout his life.
Dad had dignity, spelled with a capital D. Semper Fidelis [Ever
Faithful]; that code of example and performance that was set before my
sister and I.
I was reminded of this last evening observing a neighbor taking an
evening walk for her health. She is a few years older than me – not a
whole decade probably. I know that she had spent a rather lengthly time
recently in the hospital. This friend and neighbor carried that same
dignity that I remember in Dad.
So I went out and joined her in her walk. We talked as we walked and
then reaching her home she invited me to sit on her porch awhile and
talk some more. We talked of humorous things and some sad things. We
talked about some of our experiences and laughed. One of the things we
talked about was aging and why we were living so long.
There is a book out with the title: “Don't Follow Me, I Don't Know Where
I'm Going” by Helen Wallace. It is about the lighter side of aging. I
haven’t read this book yet but I may have to do so. I often make fun of
myself, my experiences and the world around me. Though I think both my
friend and I would admit that it is not easy to grow old but it is a lot
of fun. They call aging the sunset of life; however, the smiles on our
faces while sitting on that porch made all the hurts and inevitable
changes in the world and life very tolerable.
There are differences between my generation and those just beginning
college; here are some of them:
– are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing
– have always had CDs, answering machines, and cable television
– have always popped popcorn in the microwave
– never heard of Jack Parr and have always known Jay Leno
– don’t know who Mork is or where he was from
– have never heard of “Where’s the Beef?”, “I’d walk a mile for a
Camel”, or “de plane Boss, de plane”
– may know what a typewriter is but never used one
Ways to know if you are more than fifty:
– that taking a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night is not
the best of ideas.
– that no one cares if you can’t dance; just get up and do it.
– the most destructive force in the universe is gossip.
– that there is not a clear and compelling reason why we observe
daylight savings time.
– that organized protests annoy people who are not in them.
– no matter what, your friends like you anyway.
There is a rather fun test one can take to test your biological age vs
your real age:
Have fun this week.
e-la-Di-e-das-Di ha-WI NV-WA-do-hi-ya NV-WA-to-hi-ya-da.
(May you walk in peace and harmony)
"Myths are universal and timeless stories that reflect and shape our
lives ..." Alexander McCall Smith, Dream Angus