Dick Summer Connection

Memorial Day seems like a good time to give you part of one of the stories in my book Staying Happy Healthy And Hot. As with all the stories in the book, this one is true:
Good taste is never more strictly observed than at a military funeral. I had a friend by the name of Joe, who now rests in peace
in the Calverton, New York, Military cemetery. Joe was a very well known writer, a real friend, and a bit of a rascal. He liked doing
weird things. Things that were in terribly bad taste. For example, one night he loaded a water pistol with warm water, put it in his pocket,
and stumbled into a bar pretending he was drunk. He leaned against one of the other guys at the bar and pulled the trigger on the water
pistol, sending a sudden stream of warm water down the guy’s pants. I’m not sure how he got out of there alive. But that was Joe.
On the very sad day when he was laid to rest, my Lady and I took part in a moment of something that some people would say was in
terribly bad taste. But it was a moment I’ll never forget. There was an honor-guard rifle salute, befitting Joe’s honorable
and courageous service in the U.S. Army. When the last shots were fired, a quick shaft of sunlight reflected from a bugle’s brightly
burnished brass as a soldier—standing tall, at attention—played taps. Such a lonely sound, taps: precise, respectful, tearfully final.
Day is done. Rest in peace. The flag was folded and presented to Joe’s widow. White gloves. Deadly silence. Most respectful good
taste. But then, when the coffin was lowered into the ground, as Joe had requested in his will, the bugler added a few bars of Joe’s favorite
song. It was in terribly bad taste. But we sang along, as Joe wanted us to do. We all stood together there, in the bright sunlight, three of his
ex-wives and a small group of his friends, including my Lady and me, all so sad, holding hands and huddled together. And we sang:
“M-I-C … We’ll see you again some day… K-E-Y … Why? Because we loved you. M-O-U-S-E.” It was in terrible taste. But under the tears some of us were finally able to smile. There were even a couple of quiet laughs. Joe loved laughs. One last laugh together is a good way to remember a friend.

One Response to “Dick Summer Connection”

  1. Bill Killeen says:

    A True American Hero !! You were Blessed to have such a Friend !! RIP, Joe. – Ex-Grunt