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So, I could have started by mentioning the fact that his name is Alphonso Thomas, but I was compelled to be a bit more “possessive” in my approach 🙂
It made you look, didn’t it?
I had the great honor of being invited by my cousin to witness his official induction ceremony into the Department of Air Force Senior Executive Service!
You don’t know what the Senior Executive Service is?
No worries, I didn’t know what it was either…
However, that is no longer the case.
Apparently, it is a RARE and GREAT honor.
I have to say that during the ceremony, I was amazed to learn of Alphonso’s many accomplishments during his service as an officer in the Air Force, and later, as a civil servant.
Suffice it to say, he has racked up quite a few outstanding achievements. Most of which, I can barely understand, but I will say that it involves missiles, bombers and some other such wizardry that my mind can’t quite comprehend.
I believe that each of us plays a specific role in our family. In my family, my role is ‘entertainer/storyteller.’ Even as a toddler, I would stand in the midst of a room full of people and babble incessantly! My uncle, the ‘bon vivant’ (life of the party), would cheerfully egg me on. My parents, who were relatively quiet, would watch in horror as I danced and sang my way all over the house. Now if you were to ask my mom and dad where I got this ‘talent’, they would say “Oh she got that from Leroy!” Surprise! Leroy is the uncle who was egging me on.
Anyway, let’s move our attention away from me, Uncle Leroy and all of our foolishness so that I can tell you about my cousin Ron, aka ‘The Professor.’ As a child, Ron was that cat who sat in the back of the room watching everything but saying nothing. That doesn’t sound like much of a professor, huh? Well, as they say, still waters run deep! Even though he wasn’t talking much, he was, most assuredly, thinking and thinking and thinking and thinking! So while I was running my mouth, he was quietly making observations and formulating theories.
As children, Ron and I really didn’t have much in common. Remember, I was Princess Running Mouth and he was…..NOT. There was also a bit of an age difference. In addition, we lived in different cities so we rarely saw each other. However, all of that would change for the better.
When I was twenty-something, Ron, who was in the U.S. Air Force, was stationed at a base about 30 miles south of where my parents and I lived. His mom, my dad’s sister, called to let us know that “Ronnie” was nearby so we immediately made the connection. By this time, Ron had traveled the world, having served tours in San Antonio, Italy, Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Best believe that ‘The Professor’ was now in full swing! His work, education and travel experiences had helped him to develop a great deal of insight and knowledge on various topics. Now, let’s hit the ‘pause’ button! Our grandparents, Mrs. Annie Maude and Mr. Leroy, had five children-not one dummy in the bunch- grand and great-grandchildren included. Knowing this, I considered myself to be pretty sharp; I had a couple of degrees and had engaged in academic debates with some of the best of ‘em. BUT Ron took the cake and the bakery! Okay, so let’s hit the ‘play’ button and continue with the story! Seriously, Ron and I would have these long intellectual talks and I was right there with him…until I wasn’t. Homeboy would have to ‘drop back down’ to help me catch up. I wasn’t used to that but I loved it! Trust me, during those days, we were always together.
Unfortunately, my time with Ron came to a halt when he retired from the military and moved back to his hometown. I missed him so much! He had become more like a brother to me than a cousin. That said; whenever I got the chance, I told everyone I knew about Ron and how deep he was. Truth be known, I loved the way his mind worked but I failed miserably at trying to recall the things that he had taught me.
Today, we still live in different cities but technology has brought us closer. In fact, I recently asked him if he would start guest blogging here. He said yes! So with that said, I am so happy to introduce ‘The Professor’ to all of my readers while uniting them with his Facebook friends.
By the way, Ron’s ‘spot’ on this blog will be called “Ron’s Time Tunnel.” In his posts, which will appear on Fridays, Ron “will relate stories, memories, experiences, and anecdotes of the “older” generations, as well as (his) past experiences and memories; sprinkled with the occasional political, theological or social commentary.”
No doubt, he will include a deep message for all of us! I can hardly wait!