The Charlie Bravo Story

Independence Day

O430, and all is well…

I’m in my preferred spot, the navigator seat in the Minivan Gogh, and we’re heading west. Dad is executing his usual duties as pilot, and has his bum stump firmly cocooned in some crazy looking contraption he calls “das boot”. If you ask me, it makes him look like an upside down fiddler crab…

We’re heading back to Colorado on a whirlwind trip to pick up dad’s DR650, but we seem to have obtained a couple of stowaways; mom and Marco are also along for this adventure, at the present time taking full advantage of the sleeping arrangements in the mobile Motel 6 until dad’s head starts nodding like a front row at a Metallica concert, and mom will take over driving responsibilities.

We know the traffic situation into which we are heading, as unabashed patriotism causes the population of every rural town in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado to swell to ten times their usual census as they come together to celebrate the 4th of July. For some reason, this seems to infuriate some, which baffles me; why must everything be so political? If I were an Irish wolfhound, or Norwegian Elkhound, or even a Mexican Hairless, I can’t imagine my profession of esprit de corp generating the same level of ire as it does when I proclaim that I’m thankful to be a good old All American mutt? Why not focus on the 90% that unites us than on the 10% that divides us?

One of dad’s greatest honors was when his good friend Manuel told him “you and your family, you should be Mexican”, a comment worth a million dollars to the inmates of the Casa del Whackos. Every year, we go to their Cinco de Mayo celebrations, and two things strike us as particularly noteworthy: their love of family and respect for their country of origin without showing disrespect for the country where they now reside.

And that’s what it’s all about; respect, or the lack thereof. I have no problem with disagreeing, but I have a big problem when either side, left, right, up, down, whatever, is disagreeable.; as one bandit said to the other, if we don’t hang together, we’ll hang seperately.

Happy Independence Day!

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