Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Lebanon, Vacation and Biondi

I heard the term WWIII for the first time on the Sunday Morning shows.

A friend told me it was time to join the Merchant Marine.

I am very interested in what is happening in Lebanon. Last year I was hanging out with Father Andre in the Saint Raymond's compound. He invited me to go to Lebanon. Every year a large crew goes to Lebanon from Saint Raymond's. The Mayor, family and such have gone to Lebanon. They go back to the same area they are from. Well Father Biondi and Father Andre are stuck there.

I wish I would have gone on that vacation. I would like to witness up close what is happening. Why is this happening? What about the order is changing? How are people reacting? What do people do when a war starts? Do people deny it? The Poles lived in denial that they were targets of Russia and Germany. They were caught with a sneak attack. Did they not see the writing on the wall? What is the writing? I should have gone. Maybe next year if they are still letting people in. I am annoyed I need to schedule my time more. boo hoo.

So Father Biondi is stuck over there. I have no doubt that the man will survive. I know if he needed to he would make sure his crew is safe, even if that means he has to have one of his guys weild a shotgun.

I remember we used to have these student leader meetings with the man. These were always highly amusing. The cafeteria tried to be hip and order pizza for us and put it in fancy metal chafing dishes. It was always funny to open up a fancy buffet to see a circular pizza curved up around the edges of the bunson burner warmed dish.

The kids love pizza.

So Padre used to joke a lot. It was always funny. Always funny. "Sure Boss" funny. And it usually was funny. I have many stories, but one of the quick ones was when the annual rumors of opening a basketball arena was making the rounds. There had been a dispute with the lease at the Keil, and there had been a story in the Post mentioning that SLU had some sort of plans to build an arena.

Then Padre started joking. Funny. Someone had brought up the story in the paper.

"Who told the paper all that?"

"We'll just have to find out that leak and break his kneecaps. Heh."

The man is funny. He wasn't always popular with the students, but I loved having him as the President. Anyone that can get the students riled up so much has to be doing something. Not necessarily the right thing, but doing something, and that is more than most do. I think he has been productive and showed progress in many ways but not without casualties. But he is so damn entertaining. Especially at another meeting when he gave one of the Sanker twins a neck massage and whispered in his ear. But that is another much better story. That image is still in my head.

I know Padres will get back. I hope they have some fresh stories to tell. Those guys are plenty tough.

I am sure that Biondi has already filled the temporary power void created by the war. I wonder if Biondi will take advantage of my Jesuit drink special when he gets back. I can't remember what Biondi drinks. Maybe I should get a drink called "the President". All I remember is that his dog, Gancia or something, broke a bottle of booze and licked the booze and glass shards up off the floor. What booze was that?


Blogger Maire said...

Hey now, the Merchant Marine are still are a viable and important entity for both protection of our seas and ensuring safe passage of goods. It's a tough job--not just a leftover from WWII. I dated one, it's a hard life.

As for Fr. Biondi, last I heard he's a red wine man. Or at least on his last visit to Santa Clara he treated the deans to such at dinner.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous whattamess said...

Germany signed a nonaggression pact with Poland in 1934. So Poland might have felt safe for a couple of years. But then Germany started rearming in the mid 30's and then they annexed Austria, disbanded the check state. That left Poland. Who knew they were coming and could't do anything to stop it. They held out for a week. Long enough for her population of Jews to leave. But most stayed. Pols from around Europe were drawn the the fighting, not many where around in 1945. I don't think any wore seersucker.
So big man, you say you want to be around for the start of a war. I say you are talking smack. You'd be a bigger fool than you already are. Those priests wouldn't have gone had they known this was going to happen. What would you do? Run around Gaza throwing rocks at tanks while wearing a straw hat. Trying to find falafal stand with a DL spinning Cuban music.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Steven Fitzpatrick Smith said...

You are a funny guy. I don't think you really know me that well or for that long, but you are right about one thing. I am quite foolish, and probably more than you think. It is far more interesting to be foolish. I would like to think I am selectively foolish, but that is probably inaccurate.

The first city I visited when I went overseas was Belfast. The first thing I did when I went to Belfast was to take a black cab tour of West Belfast to take a looksee on both ends. The gates were closed and things had gotten hot that cold damp day. That was an interesting week. Too bad my fellow traveller's first mission was to find a Kentucky Fried Chicken. But he said he could not refuse the beckoning glowing head of the Colonel over the door of the eatery. Belfast was interesting. I understand now why people have left that city. I better understand what people have gone through. What they are living with. And I understand why people left Ireland. And I understand why Ireland is experiencing immigrants for the first time. Interesting place.

I am sure if something were to go down in a hostile situation I would likely be one of the first casualties. But if I somehow magically became Polish and travelled back in time to the second WW wearing a seersucker, I am sure most would have gotten out of my way on the streets of a city under siege. Talk about looking like a freak. Or I would be the first one shot. I am also sure if I was in Lebanon I could find the falafel stand and also figure out a way get shot. Anything short of not getting shot would be luck. Fortunately I am a lucky kind of guy. Lucky enough to not get shot so far. And just foolish enough.

Thank you for continuing to read my blog with such loyalty. I don't know how you stand it, but thank you. I really don't deserve the attention.

"The power of the counter-reformation is in my right hook."

2:37 PM  

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