Soaring With The Eagle… and Beyond

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Sam Carosa - IMG_7127-300x395It snows a lot in the towns south of Buffalo. That’s why they call them the snow belts. So when a young dad wants to teach his two small sons the fundamentals of football, he only has one option: The finished basement of the raised ranch home he built for his family.

That young dad was my father, and those two young sons were the six and seven year-old version of my brother and me. There we were, in our bare feet (lest we slip on the linoleum tiles), running and defending simple pass patterns drawn by our father on the cold basement floor. We’d take turns. One series of plays I was the receiver and Kenny was the defender. The next series of plays Kenny was the receiver and I was the defender. We could barely catch the oversized ball, let alone comprehend the intricacies of basic square outs, buttons, and hooks.

Yet we persevered. Such was our enthusiasm to play the sport that no amount of failure could discourage us. More important, though, were those reassuring words I remember my Continue Reading “Soaring With The Eagle… and Beyond”

Shakedown, June 2010

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We left the safe harbor of our homes late afternoon on Friday. The sun shone pleasantly, its yellow hue melting the soft deciduous leaves in the tranquil heat 484658_81602532_storm_seascape_royalty_free_stock_xchng_300of a mid-summer-like air. A pleasant breeze bathed exuberant faces filled with the hope and promise of the weekend’s journey, itself a mere primer for a more extended voyage this July. We knew the forecast, but the fresh sky bedazzled us. We carried on as planned.

The storms began to the north around midnight. The senior crew had just broke from their debriefing in the mess hall. The march to our assigned quarters took us again out into the bewitching serenity of Continue Reading “Shakedown, June 2010”