Things I Like About America #1

I am tired of hearing all the criticism of America. Not suggesting some of it isn’t well-deserved, but just tired of hearing it without any offsetting praise.

So, today I rise to defend and praise the Statue of Liberty Lady and our great country. We are the best hope for mankind though we may have a bit of maintenance to undertake.

This is Lady Liberty’s actual head while they were constructing the base and her body.

Comfortable jeans and khakis

I love a country in which you can own and wear the same jeans and khakis for more than a quarter of a century — and they never go out of style. My oldest son is 35 and I have some khakis from before he was born. They are soft like butter.

[Full disclosure, today I had to buy some new Orvis pleated, cuffed khakis, their Ultimate khakis (9.5 oz double ply twill cloth, that’s substantial), because a few of the old boys are wearing through the bottom of the cuff. I have some 20-year-old Charleston made Bill’s Khakis, but I will not pay that for a pair of pants even though they are made from WWII weight khaki. Maybe in the future, but not today. The Orvis ultimate khakis come broken in, so they say, still it takes 10-15 years to get them just right.]

Never go out of style and they WILL be cuffed with 1 1/2″ cuffs to catch the crumbs. Very heavy material that stands up to hard work or a navy blazer.

Is this a great country or what?

Stolen watermelon

As a youth, I was part of a gang of kids — absolute desperadoes, all altar boys — who grew up on an Army post next to a farm where they grew watermelons. I worked for the farmer from time to time trapping raccoons. I think I was 10.

I broke my collar bone falling off a horse whilst riding bareback. I landed on a grass hummock and broke it very clean. I was, of course, forbidden to ride the horses which was like putting out a neon welcome sign, right?

On a warm summer evening while chasing lightning bugs, me and the gang used to steal a watermelon or two and hack it into slices with a machete, a very sharp machete.

One of the gang whose father was a chaplain would say an elaborate grace over our purloined watermelon. He was black as the Army was well integrated in those days. [I suppose that’s racist, right? Nah. He had the best prayers.]

Nothing tastes as good — exception for the first girl you steal a kiss from — as a stolen watermelon.

The farmer used to play along and shoot rock salt over our heads when we would raid the watermelon patch in the dark. The next day he’d complain to me that kids were stealing his watermelons again and I would poker face the old boy. He was a damn good sport.

Is this a great country or what?

Body surfing

Is there anything as much fun as body surfing on a day when the waves are sporty?

I learned how as a kid — graduated to surfing a 14′ Hobie — and love to body surf to this day. I hate it when the waves do not cooperate.

Is this a great country or what?

Bottom line it, Big Red Car, we got dinner plans

I am going to limit myself to three things so as not to get all sappy.

What do you love about America? Do not dare mention cheeseburgers. That’s for next time.

America, celebrate the old girl. She’s the best there is and getting better. Don’t let the boo birds get you down.

Now, you, amigo, you have a damn nice weekend and do something kind for someone random.