Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Date with Fate - post 1 - Semi vs Old Four-door Ford

11 July 2007

Date with Fate - post 1 - Semi vs old four-door Ford

This entry was posted on 7/11/2007 1:30 AM and is filed under Fate Fairies.

It must speak to passing 50 years old. I never pondered it much 20 years ago. That slide into mortality consciousness one realizes with age. It happens one day without fanfare. You suddenly have an epiphany one day as you step back out of an intersection to avoid a car and say to yourself, "Woe, I could of just died here." There have been so many of these instances in my life, I feel it begs visiting them.

Hence begins, "Fate Fairies." You know the fate fairies. Those spiritual trouble makers that answer to what ever god you carry with you. If you are lucky they are preoccupied with minutia like hiding your car keys and wallet and other such nonsense. Mine, however seem to act as if they smoke pot and party all night - then only to show up for work and spend a great deal of intellectual resources figuring out ways to almost kill me but not succeeding. My fate fairies seem to bask in orchestrating perennial near misses for me with the after life - or what ever you would like to call the place one goes after your services are no longer needed here on earth - make up your own name for it.

One of my first vivid memories is of mom and dad heading home as we drove out of Janesville back to the farm. Highway 26 north of Janesville has always been notorious. It must have been around 1960-61 or so. Dad had to get back home to do the never ending farm chores. We had probably been to Janesville to see my Mom's mother. Grandma lived alone in the house my grandfather built on the near north side of Janesville. He had died in the mid-1930s. My Dad headed out of town on the then narrow, two-lane, hilly, State Highway 26. All I remember is Mom hollering at him to look out. An eighteen wheeler roared over the hill in our lane as it passed a car. In those days the trucks and cars were built like tanks - iron welded to iron. Wrecks often looked like film footage from war movies - heaps of iron and steel with a tire or two sticking out. Also, in those days the road shoulders did not always exist like today. Dad flung the old Ford four-door (we never owned a new car) into the ditch. Some of those old ditches were deep. The old Ford held, the semi passed within inches, and Dad slung the car back out into the lane. I do not remember the conversation on the rest of the 14 mile ride home to the farm. I never remember the instance ever, I mean ever, being brought up again as long as either one of my parents were alive.

This week's Wisconsin soldier to remember is Corporal Jesse L. Thiry, age 23, of Casco, Wisconsin. Jesse was in the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.  Corporal Thiry was killed by hostile fire in Anbar province, Iraq, on April 5, 2004.  Casco is a small town just north east of Green Bay. Thiry died in Fallujah, where a mob attacked, killed, and mutilated four U.S. contractors just the week prior.  Jesse was the fourteenth Wisconsin military member to die in Iraq. At the time of Thiry's death, 631 U.S. service members had been killed in the Iraq war.  According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Thiry had been in Iraq less than a month when killed and was part of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force's mission of occupying Fallujah, Ramadi and other cities about 30 miles west of Baghdad. At the time it was one of the areas of Iraq with the most intense fighting during the U.S. military's 11-month deployment in Iraq.  The Journal Sentinel also mentioned that Cpl. Thiry was a Marine weapons instructor in Quantico, Virgina. He transfered to an assignment that would take him to Iraq just eight months before he was scheduled to leave the military. Jesse Thiry is survived by his mom and dad Susan and Randy Thiry and seven siblings. He is the fourth of eight children and a graduate of Luxemburg-Casco High School where he wrestled and ran track. He entered the Marine Corps shortly after graduation.

3,607 Americans have been killed in Iraq since Spring 2003.

26,558 U.S. troops have been wounded in action in Iraq since Spring 2003.

76 Wisconsin soldiers have been killed in Iraq since Spring 2003.

108 journalists (several nationalities) have been killed in Iraq since Spring 2003.

Soldier of the week, military casualty, and journalist casualty information sources: Committee to Protect Journalists;; and, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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