Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day - Memory Lane

*plays Nas - Memory Lane in background*

Memorial Day means two things to most. Pay respect to everyone who gave their life for our freedoms and fire up that grill for some BBQ. On the first note, I want to honor the memory of a family member I never knew and only met at the Vietnam Vet Memorial in D.C., Lowell T. Combs. Mom took me and my sis to visit the wall during our first trip to DC back in 95 and that was something I still remembered - even going back 6 years later, I wanted to see his place on the memorial.

Dad was also a Vietnam Vet but never really talked much about those days. I don't blame him really. Between that and a good friend about to head back to Iraq at the end of the year, the sacrifice is close and palpable.

Growing up the holiday meant two things - Strawberry Festival and Disneyland. We'd head out to Garden Grove, watch Mom check stuff out, get some strawberry shortcake and roll out to the Magic Kingdom. I loved it cause I'd always get some basketball cards there and show 'em off the next day at school.

I always loved those long days. It'd be one of my favorite holidays to look forward to - back when Disneyland was way cheaper and simpler to navigate. Just park, hop on the tram and enjoy the day.

The most recent Memorial Day memory was also probably the scariest. I graduated from college in 2006 the night before and spent the night partying away with the peeps (sidenote: congrats to my USD peeps who graduated Sunday). Got to bed at 3 AM, woke up at 10, packed up the rest of my room and tried to drive home. Good idea, right?


All I remember is popping in the Chili Peppers' CD "Stadium Arcadium" (I had bought it along with Ghostface Killah's Fishscale before i left) and spending the next 2 hours in and out of consciousness. I just remember praying God don't let me crash right after the biggest moment of my life. It was a miracle that I got home because I don't remember the drive - I just remember stumbling through the door, quick hi's to the family and walking upstairs to my bed.

That's still probably the most tired I've been behind the wheel.

So whatever you do today - fire up the grill, think about the troops, hit up the beach for volleyball - enjoy the holiday. I got some links to fire up and hopefully I can fight this mini cold - dust is not my best friend.

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