My followers on Twitter can attest that my movie watching habits can be strange, especially when it comes to movies like Tombstone or Blazing Saddles. All I can say is, if you think my Twitter feed gets strange, you should be at my house when the movie is on.
We were watching Saving Private Ryan last night, and my son (he prefers to be called the Dauphin) was in rare form.
I should explain that his career goal is to become a military historian. I think it all started when we visited a lot of the museums and memorials in the Washington DC area a couple of years ago. In any case, it fits his personality, because he has always been interested the history of battles and wars, not just the what happened, but the why. He just started high school, but he already knows where he’s going and what he plans to study.
He started going on about the M1 Carbine again, and how the ammunition for it was merely an illusion, an urban legend, meant to scare the Nazis. Like Patton’s inflated tanks in England before D-Day.
The bazooka was devised as a way to let German tank crews know where the best American troops were located.
“Here, stand up. You be a Panzer tank. Now, I’ll be a bazooka team.” He tapped me lightly on the shoulder, then he said, quietly, “Hey, Panzer, we’re over here! Here we are!”
When Jeremy Davies came on the screen as the translator Corporal Upham, he said, “You know why Faraday is so nervous? He’s worried that Benjamin Linus is going to show up.”
He once pointed out that John Locke was mayor of Tombstone, Arizona, in 1881, pointing at the screen and saying “Damn you, JJ Abrams.”
His name for the Sherman tank: The Suckie.
It has nothing to do with his Southern heritage.
He promises to develop his own translation of the Edith Piaf song playing on the Victrola. I can’t wait.
His college plans – research the best American History professors in Georgia, and get his BA with them.
Masters at Oxford. Research in Moscow, Paris, and Tokyo.
PhD at Georgetown.
“If you’re going to get a PhD in American Military History, go where it’s all kept.”
He eventually wants to be Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. At least he doesn’t aim low.
The current Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution is Dr. Wayne Clough. As a fellow graduate of Georgia Tech, I plan to write and ask for a short visit with him, when our family returns to DC next summer. It never hurts to ask.
Since he will be 44 at the centennial of World War II, he is planning to be at the centennial events at Pearl Harbor, Stalingrad, Normandy, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. I would love to be there with him.
I hope they’ll let me take my Mosin Nagant to Stalingrad. That would make one hell of a rifle match. The Vasilly Zaitsev Prize.
When he shot an AR-15 for the first time a couple of weeks ago, he fell in love. He’s as much the reason I want to build one as my own desire.
I pointed out that after high school, the US Government would give him one to shoot as much as he wanted. All he had to do was sign up for at least 2 years’ service. He wasn’t keen on that idea.
I have since broached the idea of ROTC in college. That way, he would come out as a Reserve Officer, and get first hand knowledge of military operations.
Plus, as an officer with a US History degree who wanted to be a military historian, he would probably be invited to speak with a lot of the real players in American military history.
He’s considering it.