Never mind Edward Snowden, where’s Terry the Toad?

Terry the Toad

Have you seen American Graffiti?

I bet I’ve seen that movie twenty times, maybe more. It came out when I was young so the first few times I saw it I wasn’t able to consider the story with any real insight or savvy. I probably just liked all the hotrods and music and such.

But as I grew older and saw the movie again and again I developed a real affinity for this low budget coming of age story. It’s the tale of four young men just out of high school, on the last night they’ll be together before their plans for the future will carry some of them away from the town in which they live.

And on that last night they sort of struggle with the seeming finality of leaving – which is fitting because that’s how us guys think. You know, sort of like “If I leave I’m never coming back”. And since the movie was made by a guy – a fellow by the name of George Lucas – that zeitgeist clearly shows through. Continue reading →


God and Country


I was in the Air Force at the time, stationed in Washington, D.C. I served as part of a security detail that stood guard for the Secretary of Defense. At the time the SecDef was Caspar Weinberger, and my job was to stand at the entrance to his office and only allow in those I recognized or those who had correct ID.

The chances of unauthorized personnel being that deep in the Pentagon and trying to enter the SecDef’s office were pretty slim, so, in reality, my position was largely ceremonial. I was basically a tall guy in a dark uniform wearing a gun. I think this was meant mostly to convey that the office you were about to walk into belonged to a very important fellow. Continue reading →