Monday, May 30, 2016

You Can Leave Your Hat On

I'm a Clevelander. I love this town. I'm not a big sports guy, but I love watching the Indians and the Browns. I've never been a Cavaliers fan, but that's because I almost dislike basketball. When I was an altar boy (another story for another day), the priests would take us on field trips to events like the Cleveland Force Indoor Soccer games (Darth Vader would come out before the team, the Imperial March would play, and everything!). These games were held at the Richfield Coliseum.

Now it's an empty field, but back then it was a giant echo chamber designed to make the 5,000 Cavs fans sound like 50,000.

Times have changed in Cleveland. No longer at Richfield, the games are played in a nice venue right downtown. And there are far more than 5,000 Cavs fans.

One of the big fans is the CEO of the company I work for. This year, as an incentive for folks to root for the winning Cavs, he has bestowed a "jeans day" for after every game the Cavs win during the finals. Our normal dress code is "business casual" (making nooses - er, I mean "neckties" optional), so jeans days are used more as incentives. For instance, we do a fundraiser, and everyone who donates a certain amount are permitted to wear jeans on that day. Things like that.

So, it was really nice that last week, even with the Cavs winning a game earlier in the week (granting us a jeans day), that we were permitted to wear jeans on Friday in recognition of the Memorial Day holiday.

I decided to include with my jeans a special hat (I have more hats than my wife has shoes): A baseball cap with the name of the ship I served on when in the Navy.

There are rules of etiquette that I like to follow when wearing a hat. I guess I'm a bit old fashioned that way. For instance, you can wear a hat into an office building, but you should take it off upon entering an office. Same with a hotel. It's okay in the lobby, or even in the hallways. You should take it off upon entering a hotel room. Get it?

On this day I threw etiquette to the wind and decided to wear the cap all day. This caused me to be the recipient of a few compliments, thanking me for my service. My response was as follows:

"Thank you, but you have Veterans Day to honor us. Memorial Day is to honor those who never came home."

So, as you take time to gather with family and friends to eat burnt offerings of brats and burgers, and even to argue the taboos of religion and politics, please remember that there are a number of gravestones that designate the life of someone who has given that life up for you.

With deepest thanks, and prayers to those families who mourn the loss, I take my hat off to you, and thank you for your service.


 (The title is a reference to the song from Joe Cocker.)

©Emittravel 2016

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