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Racing the Sun

September 2008

by Michael O’Brien

Erin and I left early this morning, 5 A.M., to get to the airport. She had been serving with the paramedics responding the the hurricane Ike effort based in Houston. I drove down there on Saturday and picked her up. Remember their are heroes among us.

I had been at the A&M football game earlier that day. The game opened with a parade of the 1,800 cadets making up the corps here. I had been given seats only four rows up from the field, and so amid the tight formations of regiments and wings, you couldn’t escape how young their faces are. Marching in parade, some look stern, some fierce, some lost. After the first few hundred passed just in front of me. It struck me that some of these kids, these fine young men and women, wouldn’t be back for their 10 year reunion. So noble, willing to give their life for a friend or an unknown citizen. Heroic and tragic all at the same time.

The game itself was a rout. A&M led for about 45 seconds then it was mostly Miami. I left after the first half and was happy to get the call from Erin to pick her up. While she was here at Brook Hollow, she made an incredible dinner, marinated steak that was maybe the best I’ve ever had with garlic potatoes, and an devastatingly chocolatey pre-birthday cake.

It’s been a busy few days balanced between success and failure…what is the saying? Some days chicken, some days feathers? Had about an even distribution of chicken and feathers. As the jet flew East to meet the sun this morning, Houston was still in the dark. Large areas to the North and East seemed to not have the street lights surrounding the airport. Still recovering, likely for years.

Not much else to report, I’m on the way to my first conference in years. The last time I tried to travel to present a paper. VT lost many good people. Being out of position when the news broke has been hard to get past. So I’m hoping for a quiet day of travel, ending with a drive from Hartford to Amherst tonight and the prospect of seeing friends from Blacksburg at the end of the journey.

So not much thoughtful text today. Stay tuned, inspiration could strike at any moment.

Take care. Be good to each other. You never know what the person next to you has been through, or what they’ll be willing to do for you.