Thirty years ago today, I graduated from the University of Mississippi and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. Seems like only thirty days ago--not thirty years. I hadn't really mentioned this particular milestone to anyone in the family, but Miss Brenda, wonder woman that she is, knew the significance of the date.
About ten years ago, Ole Miss bricked in a Walk of Champions leading from the plaza in front of the student union and across the Grove toward Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. More importantly for me, the walk also begins in front of what was McCain Hall--named for Senator McCain's father--housing the Naval ROTC unit from 1949 to 1988. I spent more of my time, and learned the most valuable lessons of my college education, in that building than in any other during my four years at Ole Miss.
As a fund-raiser, the Ole Miss "M" Club, sells (at a steep price) and places personalized bricks in the walk. On a game weekend a few years ago, I casually remarked to Miss Brenda and one of my sons that I'd like to see The Colonel's brick in the walk someday. To be honest, I didn't expect that particular wish to be granted--I daily wish out loud for things to my family that rarely get granted.
This morning, Miss Brenda asked me to take her to lunch in town at our favorite sandwhich place. After lunch she told me to drive through the campus, and then told me to park next to the Union. She had her camera with her and I dully figured that I'd have to stand around while she took pictures of squirrels, blades grass, or odd tree bark formations--there's a long story behind that...grist for another post. So, I got on my phone and started conducting business.
When I finally got off the phone, Miss Brenda said, "Let's take a walk down memory lane," took my hand and started down the Walk of Champions. At the end of the personalized bricks she stopped and I looked down to see...THE COLONEL'S BRICK!
Now that it's there, I'm not sure I like the idea of being trampled on by the masses.