I must preface this story by saying it will make a lot more sense if you read Episode 117 prior to this.(Click HERE) Otherwise.....read on.
During the most recent Veteran's Day, I attended a ceremony at the local high school with my Mom and my two younger sisters. My Dad - "The Cap'n" as my friends and I call him - was going to be part of the ceremony along with the other local Veterans who had served our country. The entire district's student body was present along with a decent turnout of of the community's general public, so it was quite a crowd. There was a big stage at one end of the gymnasium, and each side of the stage was flanked on the gym floor by all of the Veterans in attendance. There were easily 30-40 men and women on each side, and even a few that trickled behind the stage.
It was a very nice assembly, and they gave each Veteran the opportunity to stand up and say who they were, where they served, and then they could add anything else they felt worthy of sharing - after all the it was their assembly. It was all very simple, but yet it was really neat to hear all of the places and times these men and women had served. I should add that it was equally cool to see them all be recognized and thanked for their service. The group of veterans came from every branch of the military, and had individuals from every military conflict going back to World War II.
My Mom, my two sisters and I had sat on the side closest to my Dad so we could see him and maybe get a good picture if possible. So as the microphone made it around my Dad's side, it was pretty easy to see everyone who was talking. However when the microphone eventually made it's way to the far side of the stage, it became a little harder to see people until they stood up. Even then, it seemed like several people on that that side were not always standing up when they spoke (unsure if they were unable or what), so I sat there and listened intently as each person shared their service and story. Then it happened. The gentleman who was next in turn stood up and was in my plain clear sight. When I saw him - even before I could think to myself "OH MY GOD IS THAT WHO I THINK IT IS?" his voice boomed out over the gymnasium P.A.as he announced his name: "UM. I'M RAY COWHERD*!"
Ray. Cowherd. I lost it. Seriously. I sat there endlessly giggling to myself like a total idiot. Why? Because this was the very same guy who not only served as (unintentional) high comedy to me during most of high school, but THIS was also the guy that made me totally die of laughter during my high school graduation. Given the time and place of this whole gathering, I did my utter best to hold it together and not make a disrespectful scene at Ray's attendance, but holy cow my brain was screaming. Ray followed the protocol of the previous Veterans by sharing the branch of the military he was in and what time period he served. Then much to my delight, he felt the need to share some additional info about his days as a former educator in this very high school. He went on to say how he "used to work at this school and had intersected with many people in these halls over the years." Now, I heard what he had just said and I had understood him, but I also thought it sounded A LOT like he said he "had sex with many people in these halls." I immediately looked at my sister - who in turn had looked right back at me with OMG bug-eyes, so I knew she had heard what I heard too. She whispered to me, "Did he just say sex?" I clarified to her what Ray had said, but it was classic stuff.
As I sat there taking in the rest of the ceremony, I realized that Ray Cowherd had once again brought me to tears of laughter in the very same gymnasium where had previously done so more than 20 years ago. Ray, Ray, Ray. You are a legend. Thank you Ray for your service to our country, to our community, and thank you for just being you.
* - Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent
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