Voting for a Hero
By stern on Oct 05, 2004
Peter's email got me thinking about hoops, and my very short-lived recreation basketball league career growing up in Freehold, NJ. Such thoughts necessitated a guilty pleasure, ensuring the continued safety of The Jersey, pictured here in its pathetic current state. Circa 1974, it had two sleeves, zero holes, and a color somewhat more inspiring than dilute mud. It is the only piece of clothing I still own from the Before Marriage Clothing Era. It has survived four moves, secreted away where it can't be thrown out, burned, or worse yet, used to clean wood surfaces.
I digress. The best player on that orange rec team was a kid named Steve. Steve was a truly likeable person. His family moved to town about a year earlier, and he had a slightly southern inflection in his speech, along with a sense of respect for just about everyone. The worst player on the team: yours truly. The one person who never busted my chops about it: Steve. He played on our middle school team, where he was distinguished by being one of the few players whose surname the coach remembered (his teammates included "that big kid" and "that kid with the long hair"). He played hoops in high school as well, was always popular, and eventually went into the Navy.
I retold most of this story at my 20th high school reunion in Steve's memory. He was killed in a (somewhat secret) search and rescue mission in between our major class gatherings. Steve was serving American interests but also protecting American rights -- including the right to vote.
Watch the debates. Read. Listen. Make an informed choice -- but do make a choice. It affects you, other Americans, other countries in the world, and guys like Steve.