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Honoring Their Ultimate Sacrifice

Maj. Lewis P. Smith II

Today across the country most of us are enjoying a day off. I’ll be at a family cookout myself. It is easy to forget the meaning of this holiday – a day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.

Our family is blessed that while we have a number of veterans among us none died while serving. We do remember Lew Smith. Well to be honest I don’t remember him personally. I was just six years old on May 30, 1968 when Forward Air Controller (FAC) Lew Smith, serving in the Vietnam war, was shot down over Laos.

But Lew had a big impact on our family. Lew introduced my sister, Connie, to her husband, Frank, while Lew and Frank were at Penn State. They were both music majors and both in the US Air Force ROTC. The Smiths were friends of the family. Lew’s dad, Coy Smith, was a contractor. They lived just up West Water Street in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, from our house.

So today, while at Connie and Frank’s for our cookout I’m certain Frank will tell some of the Lew Smith stories we’ve heard several times before. And that is fine for today is really about just that, honoring and remembering those who gave their lives in service to our great country.

My Piano Journey

In January of 2020 I decided to start piano again. There was a global pandemic coming. But, the pandemic was not my motivation. A young girl who lives in the apartment above me was practicing her piano and progressing very nicely. I was intrigued. So after almost 50 years I ordered a keyboard and began experimenting with online lessons. And soon, with the rest of the world, I realized that online study would be the only option for quite some time.

Fast forward to to today. My progress has been hit and miss. While I’ve subscribed and participated in various online programs and systems they all seem to lack the structure I need. So this week I interview with a teacher and will most likely start weekly lessons.

To mark this moment in time I made a YouTube video of the latest piece I’m working on, Bach Prelude in C Major. My playing is choppy but I’m having fun! And I will continue to work on this piece.

Let’s see where this journey takes me.

Independence Day

It was a bizzare Independence day weekend. Since I tend to post sporadically and often infrequently here, it is worth noting that we are now in the fifth month of some form of COVID-19 shutdown. We’ve started to reopen but the news is that the infections are increasing at an alarming rate again.

So thanks to COVID-19 this Independence Day weekend was a bit bizarre. Usually I see a fireworks display somewhere. In the past I’ve been invited by friends to view the Lenox Square display in Atlanta from a condo high above Buckhead. Or just put lawn chairs at my sister’s house to view the display put on by the nearby country club. But this weekend was oddly quiet. Heidi didn’t mind – she’s mean as hell but scared of any noises. Hazel on the other hand is almost completely deaf, blind, and showing signs of dementia, so she just paced in circles and from room to room.

I did get a few Fourth favorites. Connie and Frank invited me and the dogs over to hang out. Tom and Pat dropped by and we all maintained appropriate social distance. We had hamburgers, hot dogs, pickled eggs, and other summer favorites. And we had my favorite dessert – “red cake.” Plus the dogs got to meet and hang out with Connie and Frank’s new puppy, SPARKY!! So I guess we did have fireworks! Thanks SPARKY!

BRB!

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