June 24, 2007

Wild blue yonder

Last week, my son Erik achieved his lifelong goal of becoming an airline pilot. After 20 years of very hard work plus the volatility of the commercial aviation business, Erik was hired as a new First Officer for a major airline flying some of the most advanced aircraft in the world. Since getting the good news, a lot of people have commented to me about what a good job "I" had done...well, the credit, of course, belongs all to Erik, his wife, Laura and my grandson, Brandon. I wish them Godspeed as they embark on this new life journey together. I'm pretty proud of Erik - but I'm also proud of Laura and Brandon for perservering through the long process...and for the people they are.

Then again, the flight benefits for the old man aren't all that bad either...

June 10, 2007

Here Rests in Honored Glory a United States Marine

As I had mentioned, I received my Fourth Degree in the Knights of Columbus yesterday after impressive all day ceremonies. I can't go into details, but one of the highlights was a Mass given at 4pm which was celebrated by Fr. Jim Mazzone, the young Vocations Director of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester. Fr. Mazzone gave one of the most stirring and spiritually uplifting homilies that I've ever heard.

One of the things that I learned was that the Massachusetts Fourth Degree (the K of C's highest and "patriotic" degree) will be undertaking a special project this winter in assisting with the laying of approximately 2,500 wreaths on the graves at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. The wreath laying will be undertaken on December 15 and will be completed by noon that day, simultaneous with the commencement of a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. I will be especially honored to participant in this project as a new Fourth Degree Knight, as my parents are buried in the National Cemetery in Bourne.

June 8, 2007

K of C Net

Speaking of the KofC, this one's for any ham radio operators who may be reading this: I had started a Knights of Columbus radio net for any brother Knight (also a ham of course) or non-Knight hams interested in discussing the Knights. The Net presently meets on the following schedule on Saturdays (times are in Eastern Time): 9:00 am on 7.193 MHz and 3:00 pm on 14.243 MHz. So, if you're a ham, stop by...you might just become part of one of the greatest fraternal organizations in the world. (More info on the K of C Net can be found by clicking on the this post's title.)

A big weekend for the big guy and the little guy

It's finally Friday night (well, Friday afternoon, anyway) and I'm on the cusp of a momentous weekend. First, I have the honor of taking my Fourth Degree tomorrow in the Knights of Columbus, which will be marked by an all day formal affair. (Yes, I'll be in a tux - and nobody's getting married!) The Fourth Degree is the highest degree attainable within the Knights and is characterized by the theme of Patriotism - devotion to one's country tempered with the love of God and Church. This is especially meaningful to me as my Dad was a Knight, and he lived both principles. This one's for you, Dad.

The day after my Fourth Degree Exemplification is even more meaningful for me. My grandson, Carter (who is truly his Bumpa's bud!) will be baptized and received into the Catholic Church. May God bless you Carter, and watch over you always.

June 7, 2007

Keep on truckin', Dad

My dad, Bernie, drove a gasoline tanker for J.P. Noonan Transportation of West Bridgewater, MA , as a second job for many years. (I never quite understood how he did it after working a stressful job in law enforcement and vehicular homicide investigations...I mean, who would enforce motor vehicle laws and investigate fatal accidents as their main job and then haul 10,000 gallons of gasoline as a night side job? Then again, we're talking about a pretty unique guy.) J. P. Noonan tankers are ubiquitous in New England, and not a day goes by when I don't wave to a Noonan tanker passing me on the road. I've been making it a point to wave to Noonan trucks since my dad passed away in 2003...so if you're a tanker driver and happen to see a wistful-looking guy in a yellow Jeep waving, well...it's just me.