Monday, April 13, 2015

Grateful People

“Thank you for your service.” We hear that often when we travel. And it’s all because of a hat. The one my veteran of the Vietnam War husband wears. Our daughter-in-law gave it to him for Father’s Day one year and it’s rarely off his head in public. Let me list a few encounters.

Dallas – We were waiting in line at the ticket counter in Dealy Plaza – where President Kennedy was assassinated over fifty years ago (in the Plaza not at the counter). The place is sanctified now and the window from which Lee Harvey Oswald took aim is sealed off with Plexiglas. But the Book Depository—all museum-ed up— is an eerie reminder of the era. So, anyway, as we stood there a young man tapped John on the shoulder. “May I pay for you today, sir?” This very respectable looking young man, as it turns out, was also former military and we were kind of awestruck that he offered to pay for an old codger’s entrance to the museum.

McMinnville, Oregon – We needed something to drink about mid-way home after visiting the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum Campus where there are enough aircraft to supply a small army. Beautiful place but almost two hours from  home. Our son, the driver, suggested we stop and before  we could blink he’d spotted a sign for Dutch Brothers Coffee. It’s tiniest drive-in place I’ve ever seen, just big enough for the Blond Squad of three young women to serve from windows on each side of the building. As she handed our beverages through, our server, I’ll call  her Heidi, spotted “the hat,” and made a point of saying, “Thank you for your service, sir.” The man bobbed his head “you’re welcome,” and off we went chalking up another encounter. #82, I think. 

Charles Lindburg's plane at the museum - so cool!

Portland Airport – Two guys sat across from us as we sighed and twitched waiting for our boarding call. I smiled as one of them sat down and that must have been the signal that we were friendly forces. The older of the two men leaned in. “What’s a Seabee?” He wasn’t asking me. He was asking “the hat.” And he got an earful when Mr. Vietnam spewed forth. Turns out we were sitting across from a father and son, both ex-military and the father had just barely missed going to ‘Nam himself. Interesting.

There have been numerous other such encounters and it makes us both realize how aware people are these days. I only rarely read t-shirts and hubby wears “the hat” mostly to cover his bald (and getting balder) head. But I think these people who approach us have the right idea. I’m going to start reading chests and heads a bit more and giving commentary. A good idea.

People can be so nice sometimes, don’t you think?


  1. Yes, there are a lot of nice people in this world... and the way people talked to "the hat" shows that we all have a lot in common.

    1. Yup. Gotta love those hat talkers! Thanks for stopping by, Cindy! =0)