Happy Veterans’ Day -Love, Victoree


For Alfredo Prado Hector Stanford, immigrant from Panama; father of the author

There are two branches of serice seldom spoken of except when they are obvious by their absence:the Coast Guard and the Merchant Marines. My dad served in the Merchant Marines as a ship’s chief cook. There were few employment opportunities available dockside in the 50’s for a canal-zone born mestizo immigrant in segregated Norfolk, Virginia.

He went to sea. He saw to it that thousands of they who served on ships were properly nourished. After that last voyage during the Vietnam conflict he was never the same. Living with a family member afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrom was my first real contact with the effect of war. It is why I became a pacafist; why I never followed my brother into the Navy. But, to hear any one of them in spoken of in a dishonoring way, or made fun of, as I heard in this last election campaign season, makes me sad. Today I salute the “taken for granted service” of all who are feeding, provisioning, munitioning, maintaining, and otherwise “taking care” of the servicepeople of all the armed forces. I honor all of the people who launder, repair, refuel and refurbish with honor. and love.

Happy Veterans Day,



Happy Memorial Day, from Victoree


Remembering all them who died; fighting for they who remain alive…

It’s the official beginning of summer. It’s the smell of Angus beef and fresh charcoal; the roar of Rolling Thunder bearing down on Washington, DC. On Memorial Day years rewind to those hopeful summers when we just-graduated, just married and just got a new job. Although broader brimmed hats and forgiving canvas flats are preferred now,¬†Memorial Day still summons the shades of other times when promises were sealed with a pinky swear. I remember the classmates who never became fathers and grandfathers:

On the 30th of May

We honor those today

Who gave their best

And stood the test

In lands far away.

It is a day dedicated to memory. As you remember on this day may those memories–bitter or sweet–be sign posts of more meaningful, hopeful, positive tomorrows.

Memorial Day Blessings,