June 12th, 2021

USAF

Our Father's Children


Intelligence is a relatively small field; "incestuous" as photogoot once so aptly put it (where all applicable definitions most certainly applied), and as there are only so few places one can be stationed, those of us who served, often ran into each other time and again. It was during one of these random assignments photogoot and I shared a townhouse in Hampton Roads, VA. On display in our foyer was my grandmother's cabinet, which held our collective military-brandished coffee mugs, unique beer and wine glasses from numerous continents, and our not insignificant German stein collection, the centerpiece of which was my father's old stein when he was stationed at Sembach Air Base outside Kaiserslaughtern in the early 60s, and photogoot's dad's old stein from the same era. That's just how we were.

Both our fathers are now deceased, but both men had their impact upon me. One of his dad's most prominent, was introducing me to fine cigars. In that same vein, I had recently pulled out my Duca Carlo pipe and photographed it, enjoying a bowl on the front porch as the weather started warming. This got me reminiscing, and when I called photogoot to ask about one of his father's Meerschaum pipes (he had two, both displayed with the steins), I didn't even get to finish my query as he had seen the picture of the Duca Carlo and jumped to the same conclusion. Of course he did.

I don't know that I deserve such an heirloom, but it was generously gifted to me nonetheless, and his father's memory lives on just a little longer, in me.