Every year for the past 15 years I have attended the reunion of my father’s WWII 13th “Jungle” Air Force Veteran’s Association, where I have the honor of hanging out with my now 90+ year-old buddies. I am closest with three men in particular: Charlie, a sprightly 95-year-old former co-pilot turned big company man who then “retired” as an angus cattle rancher for the next 27 years from 65 to 92 years old; Dick, an 89-year-old former navigator (he navigated with a sextant, “shooting the stars” – not with a Garmin!) who became an IT executive and “Snoopers” historian; and Sully, a 91-year-old former radio man who later worked as bookkeeper/accountant and is a man of good nature and Southern hospitality.
The 2012 reunion is in Oklahoma City this weekend and I look forward to a respite from the perpetual motion and connection of working in the deal environment to simply talk with friends who grew up in a world where the transistor radio was the iPod of its day, kids would “rush the growler” for a few bucks, and script-based letter writing was the primary means of non-verbal communication.
A few years back, Sully wrote me one of these old-fashioned letters at Christmastime, signing off with the following:
“Keep Warm; Keep Healthy; Keep On.” Yeah – Horace T. Sullivan, aka “Sully,” 91, has it right.
I am excited to spend a few days “off-the-grid” with these American treasures.