Yesterday morning we drove the Miata to lovely downtown Trenton, SC. We were with 9 other Miatas from the MMC and we were on our way to drive in the 46th Annual Ridge Peach Festival parade. This was the 13th year the Club has driven in the parade. Donna and I were among the 8 cars that first year, and while we haven’t done it every year, but I bet this was the 8th or 9th time.
During the parade you are allowed to throw candy to the crowd and we always spend about $20 so that we have enough to last the entire 2/3 of a mile route. When we could drive 2 abreast we would and Donna would throw candy to the crowd-side herself, but when the crowds thickened and we had to drive single file she would throw to the right and in between, hand me candy so I could toss some to the left. It was during this time when I tossed a few Starbursts at a couple of kids that I happened to make eye contact with the mother and she said to me, “Thanks. And thanks for your service.”
That woman at the parade was thanking me based solely on the hat I was wearing. A month ago when we toured the USS Midway I bought a hat in the gift shop to commemorate our visit and my time aboard almost 40 years ago. This has happened a couple other times too, once in Barstow, CA and once again here in Aiken, both times it was just because of the hat. Not that I don’t slightly deserve it having spent 10 years in Uncle Sam’s Yacht Club, but any schmoe who’s toured the ship or spends around twenty bucks can get one from Amazon or eBay and that weirds me out because they’ll get thanked for possibly no service at all. I’d like to wear the hat, but I’m going to have to only do it when there will be little chance of interaction with people and definitely not on Memorial Day or Veterans Day.
And then again maybe it is probably just me who has a problem with this, but when I joined the Navy in 1973 people were still into calling servicemen returning from Vietnam baby-killers and now after the middle-east conflicts it has become fashionable to call servicemen (and women) heroes and to thank them for their service and I am of that era, not this one.
Miata Top Transitions since 06/25/15: 186