Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Pic's of home...

As I mentioned before, my folks went up to West Point this past weekend for my dad's 45th class reunion. Here's my favorite photo's from their journey...

My dad's classmate, Commanding Gen. Wayne A. Downing who served as National Director and Deputy National Security Adviser was laid to rest in a ceremony prior to the reunion. A big fish like Gen. Downing gets all the stops pulled out for him. I think all soldiers deserve this type of respect.

Our family has lived in three different quarters at West Point through the years. The house barely visable through the tree canopy was the house we lived in when we returned to West Point in 1977. It is next door to the Holy Trinity Catholic Chapel. We saw a lot of funerals while we lived there. They always made my mom sad. This photo was taken where my old bus stop used to be.

Funerals for guys like Gen. Wayne Downing attract a few notable celebraties. Pictured with class of 1962 alum is Tom Brokow. Brian Williams broadcasted the NBC Nightly News from West Point that evening.

Next to Army/Navy spirit week, homecoming is a great time to be at West Point. Everybody goes the extra mile to make the place look nice for returning classes, and with so many grads now combat veterans, the word was that all the stops were pulled out for those able to make the trip back. This photo is of the pep squad doing their thing for the class of 62 at their luncheon at the Cadet Mess Hall. The Cadet Mess Hall is a fantastic building. Although it isn't on any tour stop list, anyone visiting West Point must find a way to get in to see it. Jackson and I can guide you in if need be.

Cadets hate parades by default. I kind of see their point especially on football Saturday, with this one exception: Homecoming. Tradition is prime at West Point and the most enduring principle other than Duty, Honor, Country and the Honor Code is the concept of The Long Gray Line. Every graduate becomes a member of this elite brother/sisterhood forever. Gen. Douglas MacArthur noted in his famous address to The Corp upon acceptance of the Thayer Award: "The long gray line has never failed us. Were you to do so, a million ghosts in olive drab, in brown khaki, in blue and gray, would rise from their white crosses, thundering those magic words: Duty, Honor, Country."
I'm sure it's lost on most of the cadets on the parade field on homecoming day, but the old men in the reviewing stands in front of them will BE them one day and they are worthy of the pass in review.
And finally, you can't have a homecoming without football. Great game, Army won.
I miss home...


At 4:15 PM, October 03, 2007, Blogger Jackson said...

I miss it too, and I'm an hour away. It sucks that I can't just cruise The Point anymore.

Thanks for the memories.

In this post you allude to three jobs you had.

Can anyone other than Tony name them?

At 5:05 PM, October 03, 2007, Anonymous coolmomma said...

South Branch PX in the recycling can room

Cadet mess hall-dishwasher, I believe

Army corps of Engineers? OR was that community service...? Haha

Am I right?????

At 7:41 AM, October 04, 2007, Blogger milkyum said...

I always start thinking about WP when the leaves start to change (now)... What a great place to grow up.
Cadet mess That must have been intense. I washed dishes at the Thayer for a summer and that was hard enough (especially on champagne brunch Sundays) After that I managed to get cush summer jobs.. Department of Leadership and Development storeroom (with a 24 year old boss) while Mitch was laying bricks with some old dude... WEEEEEEee!!

At 12:08 PM, October 04, 2007, Blogger Tony Alva said...

I had a long list of jobs while at WP, some good, some a shitty as they come.

I'm not sure where I alluded to my jobs at WP, but these are them in order of sucession starting in the 9th grade:

Sold sodas at football games at Michie Stadium for Schades Deli (SOOOODAAAA HEEYA, GET YA SOOOODAAAA HEEYA)

Dishwasher Hotel Thayer

Busboy Ike Hall Restuarant

Deli clerk PX Deli

Waiter Cadet Mess Hall (not a bad job at all)

Laborer S4 Corps Support Supply

Dishwasher Bear Mountian Inn

Stockboy PX South Branch (including nasty can room duty)

Barracks Laboror (cleaned out barracks and assembled lockers)

Stockboy Cadet Mess Hall

Quality Assurance Inspector Cadet Mess Camp Buckner (best job in the world)

Laborer Army Corp of Engineers (cutting grass in the cemetery)

At 11:23 PM, October 04, 2007, Blogger Jackson said...

I was thinking the Mess Hall (pictured), Hawking soda at Michie (pictured), and the Boneyard (sort of mentioned).

At 9:13 AM, October 05, 2007, Blogger Tony Alva said...

Wow, you're right. I didn't even think of that! What crazy subconcious association. Man, I'm fucked up.

God, I hope I don't have my subconcious synapses working overtime keeping my recollection of the PX bottle and can return room vivid for recall.


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