Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Pilgrimage

Wikipedia: A pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance.

On Friday, the 30th of August, in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Thirteen, Your Humble Scribe and his first-born, the Naviguesser, boarded the Mercedes SLK 350, fired up the onboard navigation system and headed south. South to...

This is something I've been wanting to do for some time now. The Naviguesser volunteered his services as a driver the weekend we arrived here in California. I accepted. And yesterday, we made it happen.

This, for me, was a pilgrimage. Paying my respects to Lex is something I needed to do, this was a journey of spiritual significance for me. For if it hadn't been for Lex, this blog would not exist.

This was also an opportunity to actually meet, live and in person, my co-blogger, Tuna. As an added bonus, I had had an email from HMS Defiant the week before we left for California indicating that he would be in the San Diego area the same week we were visiting, how about a meet at Shakespeare's? The planets aligned, the signs were propitious, the rendezvous was set. So yes, yes let's meet up at Shakespeare's.

What better way to pay tribute to Lex than to visit his final resting place and then to visit the place he and his colleagues, friends and associates were wont to stop and have a Guinness, or three?

This is a brief record of that pilgrimage.

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery


Lex is in fine company.
I was here in person, thousands more were with me, in spirit.
Lex, you will never be forgotten.

It was time to leave those who have gone ahead. It was now time to meet up with others who still walk the path, those who are still heading towards that clearing at the end of the path. Where we will all arrive someday.

While it's not the end of the journey, status is definitely:
Mission Accomplished!
Tuna and the Sarge,
Channeling Pinch and Lex
It was fun, it was somehow sublime. A day which I will remember until my last breath. But it was time to head back. Time to go home.

Pacific Sunset
Southern California Sky

It was a good day.


  1. I heard it's illegal to have that much fun, but don't worry, I won't tell the cops.

  2. Gee, from the photo I assume that Lex was cremated? I suppose they've run out of space for whole body internment. The cemetery (outside of Arlington) where I always wished to be buried, The Zachary Taylor Nat. Cemetery in Louisville, closed in 2007. There is, however, room for some sort of mausoleum to contain cremated ashes if they would build one. A shame as it's a beautiful cemetery in a beautiful setting with an ex-President to boot.

    I guess you couldn't actually throw that nickle on the grass...MAJOR disappointment there..

    "Husband Poet
    Father Pilot"

    Says it all, doesn't it?

    Lex couldn't be resting in a place with a better view, could he?

    But of course he's frolicking on Fiddler's Green now isn't he?


    1. It's a very peaceful place. Extremely beautiful.

  3. Sarge - thank you for taking us on your trip. Lex's view surely is gorgeous yet it is so painful in so many ways to see the evidence of what we all know; gosh he surely is missed. Glad you took us all there with you.

    1. As I knelt there, one hand on Lex's marker, a lot of names and faces flashed through my mind. I distinctly remember yours. It's amazing, the bond we share.

  4. Beautiful photos, and I'm jealous. It was awesome that you were able to pay a visit to Lex. I tried to go to San Diego the week before Thanksgiving this year for some training I'm slated for; alas, I was designated to go to Baltimore in October instead.

    Maybe 2014.

    I WILL drink from Lex's USNA '82 mug at some point and hoist one to our humble scribe.

    1. Perhaps someday a few more of us can meet up there.

      It was good.

  5. Thank you for sharing this pilgrimage. Lex's marker and my brother's share the same view within an easy stone's throw. I know both of them are in a better place. Still--I am sad to not be able to hear their wisdom and humor in this world. Gone too soon. Our loss.

    1. I wish I had known your brother was there. I would've stopped by and paid my respects.

      And you are so right, our loss, Heaven's gain.

  6. Looking through the pictures totally brought back Beth's blog post about the funeral. That definitely touched a sore spot. And yet I'm very jealous; how I would love to make that same journey some day.

    1. When we drove onto the grounds and got out of the car, the hair stood up on the back of my neck, remembering Beth's post. Then it was a struggle to stay dry-eyed as I looked to the sky and pictured that F-18 from the Shrikes in formation with the Kfir from ATAC.

      I could almost hear the roar of their engines.

  7. I'm glad to see that you did remember the prime fighter pilot rule when hand flying. "Always shoot your watch". Although from the looks of things, you're a little too nose low and stuck in lag. Your watch is about to bank right and bury the pole in his lap, followed by a rapid high g roll to the left and spit you out front. Unfortunately, your wingman is even more nose low, so is not in a good position to provide mutual support. My recommendation...knock it off, have a couple more beers then set it up and try it again.

    1. Hhmm, the photo doesn't show the smoke trailing from my watch hand as Tuna had just winged him with his gun. I was about to finish him.

      But yeah, the geometry is all wrong. In my defense, it was after a second Guinness.

  8. Glad you got to make the trip! Lex is resting among friends.

    1. It was something I felt I should do while out that way.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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