Thursday, June 07, 2007


Every year I attend two Reunions.

My family (and old neighborhood friends) Reunion in Chicago is held on the third Saturday in July. It is usually held at the Saint Mary’s Seminary Picnic Grove in Lemont, Illinois. I eagerly look forward to this event.

There is a lot of hugging and kissing plus a lot of good food; I usually grill Italian sausage with peppers. I’ve been told that my peppers are second to none. I use a combination of Red, Green and Yellow peppers. I half cook them the day before in a quality Olive Oil with fresh Garlic and a few Sorrento peppers for zest.

This is usually the only time of the year that I get to spend some time with my family and boyhood friends. It’s a very diverse crowd; my Cousin “the Admiral” calls it the 5 Generation Family Picnic. I am a member of the “Third Generation” or perhaps the Second now. I am not too sure.

The second annual Reunion that I attend is usually called “The Blast” or “The Spookfest”. This year it is being held here at Treasure Island, Florida. Last year it was held on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The theme of this reunion is “Let’s tell the most outlandish story about the time that we spent in the small African Nation of Eritrea”. In other words, we just sit around Bullshit and enjoy one another’s company. We’ll reminisce about what we call the “Good Old Days”. The wives who attend will pardon us for our ribald stories and our bad language.

Yes, we are a bunch of old Army Buddies. As one of the members of our group once said we are “A Band of Brothers”. And we actually treat our group as brothers and often address each other as Brother. Being at Kagnew Station was like being in a Fraternity House in the early 1960's. We may fight, we may argue and we often disagree; but no matter what, you are still my brother and I love you. And we are always there for both moral and financial support of our brethren.

I knew most of these guys for less than 18 months of my life. What makes these friendships endure for 40 years? I have shared a lot of good times with many people, but these guys, my Brothers, are very special to me at this stage in my life. I look very much forward to seeing them when they invade my turf next week.

I love my family and “my brothers” and eagerly anticipate seeing them once again this year.

The Beach Bum

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy belated birthday.

I am Eritrean who left home when I was little and only know about kagnew from what I read on the kagnew site and family stories.

I am glad the kagnew band of brothers still keep in touch with the memories of the amazing country of Eritrea.

Just to remind you and the band of brothers, you guys are as much Asmarinos as the people that were born there. You are ambasadors of Eritrea and you should remind people in the State Department, Congress and any one who listens about the open festering wound called the demarcation of the border ruling that America was the arbitrator of, but is unwilling to enforce or exert the rule of law on Ethiopia.


Thu Jun 07, 08:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Chancre57 said...

That brought up another memory from that period - if it's the same Lemont, a lot of people from my high school used to go swimming out at the "Lemont quary" back in the late 1950's and early 1960's.

Fri Jun 08, 09:10:00 AM  
Anonymous davee5 said...

Re "we may fight, we may argue, . . ", I sometimes wonder if we as adults do enough of that. It seems that as we mature we acquire a veneer of social skills and excess politeness that can sometimes almost separate us from our friends. I remember some real arguements back in grade school, junior high and high school. Some led to punches. But it never lasted, and I think we may have been better for it. I know we were certainly closer afterwards.

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