Mar 07 2012

A tragic loss

Published by at 4:07 pm under Memorials

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.

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12 responses so far

12 Responses to “A tragic loss”

  1. Chapon 07 Mar 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Well said, sir.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. Seksueelon 07 Mar 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Well put, Sir.  Says something of a man to have the respect of his friends, but even more so to have earned a bit from one's sometime adversary.  Thoughtful and passionate, the both of ya's.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  3. JRandomqon 07 Mar 2012 at 5:08 pm

    This is a sad, sad loss.  I guess it's a cliche, but he died doing what he loved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. oklsoon 07 Mar 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Skippy-san, I've enjoyed your holding Lex to account. Your arguments, while I often disagreed, were well reasoned. I like your free wheeling verse and your expressions of how we aviators speak…F-bombs. I'm a Navy brat who spent some high school years in Japan, go YO-Hi and returned there in the Reserves (C9 VR) and in my commercial aviation career. Captain LeFon-Lex is a great loss to our community and will be greatly lost. 
    I enjoy your posts from "Old Europe." I'm a Med Aviator (VA-37 Sara-Maru mid 70's) and spent many Reserve dets in Sig and Rota. R/ Moe T.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. Ron Snyderon 07 Mar 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Lex made my life richer and me a better person in the four or five years I followed, and on occasion, commented on his blog.  Wish I would have met him in person.
    Though probably little if any consoloation for his family or his military comrades -not a bad legacy for a man.
    While I was USAF -Fair Winds and Following Seas Mr. LeFon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. Buck Buchananon 08 Mar 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I disagreed with his politics and many of his stances on national defense.
    That said I still respected him and enjoyed his writings.
    As you said, he will be missed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. Jeopardyon 08 Mar 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Well said.

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  8. Quartermasteron 08 Mar 2012 at 6:15 pm

    I know that Lex didn't back down from what he said either. None of the commenters over at NepLex do either, and I is one of them. But, quite gracious of you above. Quite so.
    I will append, if you had a case in your comments you would not have gotten the reception you did. Our resident Loony Leftist, Fliterman, has had a home there for some time. I met him the same place and time I met Lex, and like him quite a bit anywayz.
    I got a chuckle out of the intolerant part. That really is a pretty good joke. Lex would have gotten a chuckle from it as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  9. Skippy-sanon 09 Mar 2012 at 12:13 am

    And that's kind of the point isn't it? Everyone has a case-and a right to be heard without the herd trying to trample the guy. Perhaps Lex may gave gotten a chuckle out of it-but it was still nonetheless true.
    As I said, however, there's a lot more to it than that-and a backstory about the TOPGUN folks that someday bears telling. We both lived that adventure on different sides of the lines.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  10. bobbleon 09 Mar 2012 at 9:05 am

    QM –
    I think Skippy is spot-on with his "intolerant" mention.  Let's face it, at Lex's place, if you don't/didn't toe the party line on what the commenter's general consensus was (which typically followed Lex's lead), you could easily find yourself on the receiving end of some considerable verbal abuse.  I believe Lex always made an honest and concientous effort to keep things civil, but it did on rare occasion get away from him (and I don't believe it was due in any way to any fault of his own, only that the comments were coming fast and furious).  I know, I got hit with some of that flak once or twice.  I always enjoyed Lex's postings, but found myself sometimes in disagreement with his sentiments on the topics of US public education and LEO behaviour.  But anyone who has spent a bit of time there would know it could be (not always, but 'could be') an uphill struggle to submit oppositional comments.  That certainly didn't stop me from visiting (and commenting).  Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

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