Mar 07 2012
When I woke up this morning , as I made the coffee and stumbled to my computer-it seemed like it was going to be a good day.
After I got the computer on line-I knew differently. This is a terrible day and so will the days that follow. A widely followed blogger, an able and versatile aviator, and a professional officer-well versed in the literary arts is dead.
I feel bad in a lot of ways-and I feel that there is a big hole in the "community" so to speak-it represents a tragic loss, not just for his family and friends-but for the "discussion' of events.
Now, cards on the table-my blog has a complicated relationship with his-and the words written here about his opinions were not always complimentary. Especially in recent years. I did not agree with his take on national politics-nor did we agree on other things, and we had different views of what the Naval Profession was about..The reasons for that are long, complicated and involved-and had a lot to do with the fact that we were at the same duty station once, on different sides of an intercine Naval Aviation civil war-as well as other issues. I retract or regret none of what I wrote-they were valid criticisms at the time and they remain so today. They were aimed not so much at his content-but at the reactions of his commenters, who contrary to what they believed, could be downright mean and intolerant. At some point down the line I will attempt to explain these issues in greater detail.
Now is not the time.
But there was always deep seated respect-tinged with a more than bit of envy of his new employment. While I had stopped commenting over at his blog a couple of years ago-I still read it everyday. He was getting to fly and do something really exciting-unlike most of us mere non pilots who ended up in retirement walking the floors with cubicles.
Lex, on the other hand, had found a way to break those shackles and return to the skies he so clearly loved. His writing about flying was truly a thing of beauty and I always enjoyed reading his flying stories.
And what Lex could do was fly. As was written in the book "Flight of the Intruder" he put an airplane on, wore it -as a man would wear a well fitting suit- and moved about with precision. That is a unique skill-not given to very many men.
Lex will have the distinction of being mourned by literally thousands of people he never met. While it is no consolation-he at least was in the process of doing something he truly loved. Probably in the grand scheme of things-that's a pretty good legacy in and of itself.