Hope you had a great Memorial Day holiday. It was a delight just to be able to get out and about at leisure, although we celebrated pretty close to home. A cut-throat game of miniature golf with our daughter was probably the highlight of our weekend. The landscaping on the golf course was really exceptional and the flowers were in full bloom. Gorgeous day. I took a four on the 18th hole and wound up in a tie with Laura. It would have been unseemly to throw the club.
Just a bit of writing news to pass along. At long last, the publisher (Eber & Wein) has released the latest iteration of “Best Poems of 2020” (yeah, I as have mentioned before, the year is correct; they are just now catching up from COVID-related delays in recent months). I just checked the cover; it is labelled Volume 3 and, interestingly, they have called it the “Quarantine Edition.”
They have included a small verse of mine in it. That is always nice to see although I would like to have made it a bit longer – three of four more lines would have made it better. There was a limit on the length of the poems that were eligible for consideration. Whenever that happens I have the nagging feeling that the best lines got left on the cutting room floor.
I have, I believe, completed the first draft of a military history that has been mentioned in a few previous blogs. If it ever sees the light of day, it will likely be titled “Glory in the Shadows.” This one is about America’s forgotten military leaders during the period from the Cold War to the present day – it carries through the Global War on Terrorism. The material needs to be edited and fact checked before it gets sent anywhere.
Two or three weeks ago, I finished an interesting book that had been my night time leisure reading for several days. The book was recommended to me by an Air Force friend, Frank Viser. It is titled “The Second Most Powerful Man in the World; The Life of Admiral William D. Leahy, Roosevelt’s Chief of Staff.” Leahy is perhaps the least known of the officers who have achieved five-star rank – his name is far less recognized than his contemporaries Marshall, MacArthur, Nimitz, Eisenhower, and others, for example. By virtue of his position and his close relationship with Roosevelt (and, later, Truman), he was, though, in many ways more influential than any of them. He was the first to be promoted to five-star rank and was really the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, although the office was not officially designated as such at the time. He was, as the book title indicates, FDR’s Chief of Staff, although again that title was not always official. Alone among the five stars, he traveled almost everywhere with Roosevelt, and was typically in his company for longer periods than any of his other senior aides. The two of them developed a close personal relationship and Leahy become FDR’s trusted confidant. Indeed, the author makes the case that he may have been president’s most influential advisor.
A trivia quiz for the military buffs: who were the five star generals and admirals? (Yeah, I had to look them up, too.) They were (in the order they received the rank) Leahy, Marshall, King, MacArthur, Nimitz, Eisenhower, Arnold, Halsey, Bradley. All but the last two received their promotions during World War II. Halsey got his in December, 1945, shortly after the war ended. Bradley received his in September 1950, soon after the Korean War began. An interesting footnote of history is that “Hap” Arnold was actually promoted to five star rank twice. The first was on December 21, 1944, as a member of the U.S. Army Air Force. The second time was on May 7, 1949, after the Air Force was made a separate service.
And now, dear friends, although what follows may be painful for you, here are this edition’s TRULY AWFUL PUNS.
Yesterday, I saw an ad that said “Radio for sale ($1), volume stuck on full.”
I said to myself: “I can’t turn that down.”
What can think the unthinkable?
Best wishes to all,