Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Old Skyhawk

Photo courtesy of Big Time

In the hot sun of the Florida Straits sits an old A-4.

The old warrior has the name of a Naval Aviator stenciled under her canopy...

Photo courtesy of Big Time

Captain Carroll LeFon was a pretty special guy. His picture is up there at the top of the blog, he's a member of my "Pantheon of Heroes" - as I call it. Men who, for one reason or another, inspire me.

It struck me this weekend that, thanks to the good Captain, I have a great many new friends. People who, prior to March 2012, were just an avatar and a catchy nom de plume who commented at a place called Neptunus Lex. I was a frequent visitor there starting in 2011. I left the occasional comment, but I was more of a "lurker" (as we call such folk in the blogoverse, and that's not an insult) than a frequent commenter.

Sure I'd leave a comment from time to time, for the most part I was content to read his writing and marvel at the man's ability to tell a story, the way he used the language to paint a picture.

He could be humorous, he could be somber, most of the time he was pretty matter of fact, but always with his puckish sense of humor lurking just beneath the surface.

We lost Captain LeFon in March of 2012 when his fighter went down in bad weather at NAS Fallon, in Nevada. Nearly out of fuel with few options left to him, he attempted to put that bird down on the runway. But to no avail, the "snakes in the cockpit" won that round.

I have met with other followers of Neptunus Lex since that fateful day on a number of occasions, here in New England and out there in Sandy Eggo. The friendships which were made at those gatherings will last a lifetime, and beyond.

While some may scoff at the "friends" one has on Facebook, I do not. We who followed the Captain's writings have our own gathering place on Facebook. I call all of them friend. I have met some of them in person, I have communicated with all of them in one form or another.

It's sobering really. Would I have met all of these incredible people if the weather had been better that day in Fallon? Would I even be writing this blog?

I don't know. Maybe, maybe not.

But things turned out the way they did for a reason. A reason I cannot know or even begin to comprehend.


Thanks Cap'n.

15 comments:

  1. And we had the pleasure to go to sea for a day together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was one of the best days of my life shipmate!

      Delete
  2. Neptunuslex was first stop in the morning, though I'm a Bubblehead I enjoyed, and miss greatly his amazing talent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here Glenn. Standard drill every morning was: (1) Get coffee (2) Turn on computer (3) Read Neptunus Lex while drinking coffee.

      God, how I miss those days!

      Delete
  3. Would I even be writing this blog?

    I began EIP after several e-mail exchanges with Lex back in the Fall of 2005. He encouraged me to "go for it" and is truly my blog-father. I miss him terribly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I started this place up as therapy in a way. It worked and just keeps on going. In truth, it's fun to do.

      Honest to God, I think of Lex every single day. Like you, I miss him terribly.

      Delete
  4. I first started reading Lex in 2004/5 until Katrina interrupted things. I didn't comment in those days as comments were sparse and it was a Navy blog and I was a zoomie. It took until 2007 until I got back in the blogosphere and started really commenting at Lex's in early 2008. His place LITERALLY preserved my sanity, as I finally discovered both in his writing and in the unique commentariat that he drew around him a bunch of kindred souls all in one place that I could converse with without feeling like I was explaining calculus to a cat as is the case when conversing with "civilians" about all things military. The enjoyment of the camaraderie and intellectual stimulation literally kept me from growing crazy. Like others here, I think of Lex almost daily. He is sorely missed--as is his blog. Anyone know why it is not back up yet. I guess I should e-mail Kris in New England as she seems to have the most direct line. Of course, like Buck, I'm not a facebook guy, so don't know what the good gouge is out of there..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure why Lex's blog isn't back up yet. The Facebook clan doesn't know either.

      Kris might have some insight, I don't know.

      Delete
    2. Hey there VX! Thought of you t`other day. There I was riding through Woodbridge and on towards what is now called the Bentwaters Business Park. No F4's these days, but they do have a rather nice Spitfire that makes an appearance from time to time. Not forgotten Mr Xenophon ;)

      Delete
  5. I get the feeling that Lex is in a place that he no longer needs to watch his six. from bad guys and from PC superiors. I cried when he left, out of selfishness and the inability to help his family. I would get my blood pressure up at work and log onto Lex and go to wherever he was talking about that day, and find peace with his presence. As a Zoomie from the Nam era, we couldn't have much in common, except for love of our country (the it should be) and love of family. Miss you Lex, see you on Fidlers Green.

    ReplyDelete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)