Tuesday, October 2, 2007

West Point is Damned Nice

Sorry for the lack of an update on Monday, folks. I was home, but relaxing after spending most of my weekend in the car. My wife and I took a trip to West Point, New York to see Army football first-hand. My dad graduated from the academy back in 1976, and has had season tickets now for 12 years. It was about time I went and saw a game with him.

I'm generally not a big fan of football. I don't follow sports really at all, especially the huge waste of cash and energy that is professional sports (seriously, do those guys really deserve those huge paychecks while teachers and civil service folks struggle to pay the rent?). But I love playing them. I played a great deal of basketball when I was younger, and baseball, and some football. On occasion I will do so today, when I can find someone who wants to play also.

Anyway, so there we were, out of our element... tailgating. Talk about weird. People spend all this time before the game, setting up a little outdoor dining area, cooking food, drinking beer (or mimosa or bloody mary), then they go to the game, and when it's over come back and do it some more. There was an Army pep squad, but the cars were packed so tight, they couldn't come rev up the tailgaters before the game, so instead we just ate a lot of food and drank a lot of soda and beer while we waited for the game to get closer to kickoff. It's safe to say, I don't get tailgating. I could have just as easily eaten at home, and gone to the game when it was time, but my dad and stepmom love it. More power to them.

The game was good though. Army's offense sucks, but their special teams were amazing. The Black Knights won 37-21 over Temple. Were it not for special teams, they would have lost by 7. We went home that evening and had a deck-party at my dad's friends' house. Good company, good food, and good conversation even if we were the youngest ones there by 20 years or so.

The best part of the weekend was undoubtedly getting a tour of the campus from my dad on Sunday morning. I've never seen a campus so beautiful. Seriously. I'm not one for structure, I'd make a horrible military man due to my authority issues, but I'll be damned if West Point didn't seem like heaven that morning. It's the kind of school you only see in the New England states, and I'll never forget the view of the Hudson you get from Trophy Point.

Really, more than anything, what this weekend served as was a chance for me to learn more about a father I barely know, and see the world from his eyes a bit. Something not a lot of sons get to do before their old man kicks the bucket. I found out why he went, why he quit the service, and how he got to where is today... thanks to a few beers in him of course. Who knew that he and I would have something in common? I've always fancied myself the black sheep of the family, but it seems I'm the part of my father that he can't be openly. The part of him he doesn't outwardly show very often. It was good to discover that you've got something in common with your dad other than his back hair.

Anyway, I'll get some pictures from the campus hopefully this week, if I can get my wife to upload them from her camera. They won't do the place justice, but they're pretty all the same. I also might have a more game oriented post in me still, but I had to let this one out 1st.


Aspendawn said...

Oh gosh did you just spark some memories. Years back I lived a couple hours from there. I was going to an all girls school and they bused us up there for a dance one night. Met someone that night whom I dated for two years so I spent a lot of weekends making that drive. What a beautiful place.

This was back in 1980 so not long after your dad graduated. Nice that you got to spend that kind of time with him. That kind of stuff you'll remember years from now and be grateful for later on. Look forward to seeing your pics.

Bildo said...

It really is gorgeous. I expected something pretty, but not quite so peaceful. I could have stayed there forever. Makes me long to move up into the New England states, or what's more to England's countryside itself. my old soul longs for someplace with more history behind it, methinks.

The wife still hasn't uploaded her pictures, but when she does I'll beg her to send them my way so I can post some here.