I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can be Heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day
We did an extended Happy Hour this past evening, given as how the wind died down late in the evning and the temps were oh-so-moderate, bordering on chilly. Now…who'd a thunk that… the "chilly" bit, I mean. But it's true… and I digress, as ever and always. You'll note I've embedded Bowie and quoted one small bit of the lyrics to "Heroes." There's a reason for that, of course.
First and foremost… we had our windows open and our Very Expensive Radio (aka our peesee) cranked up so as to furnish an appropriate soundtrack for the after-dinner whiskey and cigar extravaganza. And then there was this moment in time... which would be the middle tune in this series of three:
Which got us to thinking… a dangerous pursuit in the best of times, but more so when we're (nearly) in our cups than at any other time. Or close. We were thinking, specifically, about the lyrics to "Heroes"… which we've committed to memory in that strange way reserved only for rock 'n' roll tunes but somehow escapes us for shit that truly matters, like our grandchildren's birthdays. I was wondering if we (all of us) understand what it means to be "heroes, just for one day."
I've had more than a few occasions where I... or we... were heroes just for one day, but never considered them as such until this evening. This moment comes to mind:
That fuzzy and almost indistinct image would be YrHmblScrb holding SN3, only an hour or so after SN3 entered this world. We were heroes at that moment, The Second Mrs. Pennington and I. And SN3, too.
That would be SN2, The First Mrs. Pennington, SN1, and grandson Sean… on the occasion of SN1's commissioning back in 2000. TFMP and I were heroes just for that day… celebrating our first-born's accomplishment and the fact that our second-born had sworn SN1 into the officer corps… and bursting with pride we were, despite our difficult past and considerable angst with each other.
There are others, of course, most of which we have no photographic record. And most of those events are minor… mundane, even... such as the time my buds and I walked off the hill at Doi Inthanon, Thailand after a hard day of raising the search radar antenna at a long range radar site we (a USAF Engineering & Installations [E&I] team out of Yokota AB, Japan) were building for the Royal Thai Air Force. Raising that antenna was a milestone in a long and difficult installation… and we celebrated by unfurling a home-made banner on the radar antenna… a huge thing cobbled up out of bedsheets, emblazoned with our makeshift "Baker and Sons Radar Installations" logo, and visible throughout the radar station. That banner was a thing we spent the entire evening admiring, all while hoisting many Singhas in celebration… accompanied by team members from the various E&I disciplines deployed with us… radio, telephone, construction… among others. A victory of sorts, and one to be celebrated. Once again… we were heroes, just for one day.
There have been many, many more... most of 'em minor… like when The Second Mrs. Pennington and I had a couple of drinks in this way-cool little bar in Rochester, NY to celebrate the closing on the next-to-last house we ever bought together… but all of 'em significant in their own way.
I suppose my point is we should celebrate these victories whenever they happen… and recognize that ALL of us can indeed be "heroes, just for one day." I spent the better part of last evening reminiscing and celebrating those victories, small as they may be. Yep… we were heroes, just for one day.
Bowie had it right.