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12 November 2016


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"I bought ten pounds of roofing nails from a guy who'd spent six years in the Hanoi Hilton." The man he speaks of here was a year ahead of me at VMI. He was in my Staff College course just after the war. In a private moment I asked him how bad it had been. He shrugged, smiled and said that we had been taught to endure at VMI. When he retired from USAF he owned and ran a hardware store in Lexington, Virginia for many years. BTW, he was Jewish and all VMI in every cell in his body. pl


Mr Farrell,

Liked! A lot!

USMC 65-72
FBI 72-96

Russ Wagenfeld

Also liked! a lot!

Lee A. Arnold

I don't think that quotation is attributed to Horace.


God Bless you Sir.



This brought tears to my eyes.


For Mr. Farrell

I never thought that I'd be honored to be called "stupid." Thanks & Semper Fi.

mike allen

I believe Horace was speaking of those who run for public office, and not Soldiers.


mike allen

In Rome to rise to high rank in society you had to be both a civilian official and a soldier. pl


Excellent. Thank you.

The Twisted Genius

That stupid old soldier sure can write. He writes of a cornerstone of our society, of how worthy old men pass down the tenets of honorable living to younger men. And he did it in a way that this stupid old soldier can understand and appreciate. Soldiers. I love that word dearly. It holds so much more sacred meaning than that over used term warriors that is thrown around so widely today..

I remember some of those men. Father James F. O'Dea was the only parish pastor I knew while growing up. He was a Navy chaplain in the Pacific during WWII. For eight years I served mass with him as an alter boy once or twice a week. Mr. Grey, my language arts and literature teacher in eighth grade was an OS2U pilot on a cruiser in the Pacific. I remember his story of evading a Zero by diving to the sea and slowing down to nothing as he leveled out above the waves as he watched the face of the Zero pilot as he dove straight into the sea. He liked us to sing the song "Goober Peas" to him. He taught us the intricacies of the true causes of the Civil War. It was a lesson quite out of place in a New England grammar school. He never told us, but I think he grew up in the deep South.

Later in life, I received the finest military education imaginable from such soldiers as Al Rivers, Chuck Clayton and Doug Miller. All three were former MACVSOG recon team one zeros. And I cannot forget my first platoon sergeant, SSG Livingston and MSG Dimas, my weapons platoon sergeant. They were rocks in guiding the development of a young infantry lieutenant. God bless every one of them. And God bless Allen Farrell.

mike allen

Colonel -

Yes! And some of those that rose to be high ranking civilian officials in Rome were "perfumed princes", just like we have a few nowadays.


PL, thanks for this.

More of same (benedictions and regard in the general direction of Farrell).

James F

A very beautiful essay -thank you.


Allen Farrell, tried to write a comment - Damn how I haTe writers block

A simple thanks is all I got.

David Habakkuk


Out of curiosity, I looked up the Paul Theroux piece to which Allen Farrell links.

(See http://www.nytimes.com/1983/11/27/magazine/the-male-myth.html .)

Another specimen line: ‘It is very hard to imagine any concept of manliness that does not belittle women’.

And Theroux is supposed to be a writer? Has he read any literature?

He might start with Britain’s greatest woman novelist, Jane Austen.

In her last completed novel, ‘Persuasion’, published after her death in 1817, the hero, Captain Frederick Wentworth, is a veteran of the wars at sea against the Napoleonic empire – like two of Austen’s own brothers, Francis and Charles, both of whom ended as admirals. (It was the great disappointment of Francis’s life that, by pure fluke, his ship had not been at Trafalgar.)

What Theroux has actually provided us with is a vivid illustration of the extraordinary combination of intellectual provincialism and arrogance that characterises so much of the modern Western ‘intelligentsia’.

Their own experience of life is commonly extraordinarily limited, and they do not have the intelligence to take advantage of the opportunities which the great literature of the past provides to enter imaginatively into the lives of people very different from oneself.


That stupid old soldier sure can write.

I agree, seems to be a fascinating man behind what is obviously a fascinating use of words.

And now I have to reflect to what extend I was lured into the prose of the man behind the writer via his reviews, based on one or the other obvious gem, into the wider universe of urban dictionaries. I seem to love the more cryptic, the riddle, admittedly. As non-native speaker, that is. ;)


Thank you for this sir, and Mr. Farrell.


I think Paul Theroux ramblings can be safely disregarded, except as examples of the social justice warriors eternal pointless crusade against the human natural survival traits hard wired into our brains by evolution.

As an example of this inane behaviour here, feminists argued that women have a natural right to to wander the streets at any time of day and night, dressed in anything they choose, unescorted, without fear of possible consequences.


I believe he spells his first name "Alan".



Right. Inattention on my part. pl



I looked that name up too among other things.


A couple of days ago I watched a talk show with one of our most prominent feminists in the circle. Subject: Trump. I never really liked the lady, thus I wasn't in the least surprised when she used the phrase: white males.

Now what did impress her about Clinton? Mainly her career, to what extend she had made it to the top. It seemed. Based on that alone she should have been allowed to break the glass ceiling. Along the same lines, the only thing that hindered her last and biggest success should be considered "the misogyny of white males" (scare quote).

But what do I know? Maybe the big right wing conspiracy is really what she feels they are: Driven by misogyny only.

In the lady's case it seems to be ideology versus reality, not always but dominantly. ...


that women have a natural right to to wander the streets at any time of day and night, dressed in anything they choose, unescorted, without fear of possible consequences.

Walrus, I am not a clear cut feminist*, or that is, it is only one facet of what I am as human being.

But I would object to needing a male escorts at night. too.**

Ditto: I never did or would wear matters you could declare clothes you could consider the reason why: "dressed in anything they choose", no matter what time of day. ...

* i am surely "a feminist", as collective label, on some matters, not on others though. ...

** I have stumbled across studies of "psychopaths" (semi scare quote). The setting was (prisoners, that's apparently the usual approach). They had to observe women that had been into some type of male-female encounter troubles before or find them out in a larger test setting.

I didn't take a closer look, but apparently the selected ones with that type of background, were recognized to a higher degree by the male psychopaths versus the average males.

Now of course, you make me wonder. To what extend the arbitrarily invited women wore some kind of uniform clothes. The only thing that left traces was the "wisdom" that women might well allure perpetrators by the way they walk.

Jim Ticehurst

Alan...I Dropped by your Fox Hole to tell you I. Love You Brother...As you Always told me... .UNDER THE COLORS" like so very many Others.. I would like to Share a Poem I wrote with You..Perhaps it will give some Comfort..

Jim Ticehurst

"Unpredictable Seas."..Life is often an Unpredicitable Sea....We Drift Upon..And You and Me...Are Captains of Our Ships....Yet Free...To Wander Far...The World to See..The Best of Captains...Can Run Aground...Lose Their Winds..And Hear No Sound Get Swept Away...To Almost Drown..Yet We Float Ashore..To Be Gladly Found...By Friends..Who Find Us There...Strongly Lift Us From Our Despair..A Welcome Back..From Those Who CARE...The Kind of LOVE That Takes a Skipmate HOME...To a Harbor of the Heart... jim Ticehurst

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