Labor Day Orlando

August 30, 2003

A cool draught eases the warm wait for a table.

(l to r) Bill Moeller, Bobby & Jeannie Anderson, Jack & Karen Schwarz and Mark Hilton


Expanded After Action Report

Well we did it again, a spur of the moment mini reunion held in Orlando, Florida on Saturday Aug. 30th.

Babysan and I left the metro Washington, DC area around seven Friday evening for Orlando. We were on our way to rescue Babysangirl (Haylee, Marks daughter) from a moving quandary, solved only by taking several pieces of furniture back home with us. We drove all night only to stop once for a few hours of sleep. Babysan got the front seat of the pick-up and I the bed. Ah, just like Vietnam, swamp insects, humidity and all. On the way down we were able to contact Jack Schwarz by cell phone and asked if he could put together a mini for Saturday night. He called Bobby and Jeannie Anderson who gleefully agreed to meet with us. After checking into the Haylee Hilton Hotel we cleaned up and met everyone at the Outback Steak House for food and cheer.

As always it was such a pleasure to see Jack and lovely Karen, his wife once again. Jack, I still have no idea how she puts up with you. After spending just a short time with Bobby and Jeannie in Las Vegas last year it was a delight to sit and talk with them. They are still working hard and raising a family. Jeannie, thank you for sharing the story of your journey to find your birth father (John Anderson, our fallen brother) and most importantly, thank you for taking that journey, for we would never have had another little sister. In the truck on our way back to the hotel we realized there is no nick name for you. So, we decided to call you "Little Sister, Sister" from now on. Thank you for being born and coming into our lives, the world is a better place because you're here. Yes Troopers, you were in our hearts as well for we talked about all of you and the next time we will all be together. I hear Lake Tahoe next July. Looking forward to that.

Sunday morning we loaded the truck and stopped for breakfast at the local Waffle House. Keeping in tune to the spur of the moment thinking Babysan and I share, we figured it would be cool to drive over to Pensacola to see Matt Hilton, (Babysanboy, Second Lieutenant, U.S.M.C.) and his lovely bride to be, Sarah. We pulled into Pensacola around 6:00 pm and had dinner with the both of them. A great time it was. We left around 9:30 pm and headed for Jackson, Mississippi home to "Kim", that very special lady in Babysan's life and his family, the Hallman's (Tiny and Jeannie). We arrived around 2:30 am and fell into bed. For those of you who met Kim on the cruise I think you'll agree with me when I say the best way to describe her is to say she is the epitome of the Southern Bell. The Hallman's are best described as the epitome of Southern Hospitality. After 30 minutes I was no longer a stranger, but an adapted family member instead.

Early Monday morning we were awaken by Keith (Mark's cousin) and his wife Carolyn, we were informed that we had another one and a half hour drive ahead of us. Mark's other cousin Janiece (Sissie) and her husband Ben invited us to their Labor Day cook-out. We had a grand time, good food, conversation and swimming in the hot Mississippi sun. As it goes with something like that we became slave's to time and headed north to Jackson once again. Back at the Hallman's we had a quiet dinner and then sat around for more good conversation. We turned in early with intention of leaving at first light for home.

The only one up and out of the house on time was Tiny who kind of got the rest of us stirring before he left. I was out in the garage preparing the truck for the 14 hour trip back to DC when Babysan and Kim came out of the house. Babysan, clad in just a towel and Kim clearly in a rush to leave, for she was late for school. She put her belongings into her car and drove around to the driveway leading to the garage. As she was approaching the drive way I said to Babysan "You don't have a hair on your ass if you don't flash her as she drives by. Wanting one last kiss, Kim stopped at the driveway and got out of the car, as she walked up the driveway, Babysan, in the finest tradition of the First Cavalry, and in particular C-Troop, 1st of the 9th Cav. opened the front of the towel for all to see, to include the neighbors strolling by with their newborn child. I was sure I heard him say don't look Ethel, oh no its too late. Let me see if I can describe Kim's face. The first time she looked you could see horror, disbelief, shock and surprise. The second time she looked her eye's were as big as the headlights on my truck and one could have put a honey bun hole into her mouth. It was this look that caused Carolyn to spurt out her interpretation of what poor old Kim saw. She said all she could imagine was the General standing at attention with his two privates hanging in the breeze. Before we fell to the ground with laughter, Im sure I heard Babylon ask "Do you go for casual sex, or should I dress up)?

Babysan and I never get lost; we just discovers alternative destinations, and as such Im always glad to be along, for I meet the most wonderful people in the world. Thanks to all who shared this week-end.

With my warmest regards,