Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Good-bye Party

by Pa Rock
The Good-bye Boy

Five people are leaving the unit where I work within a span of a few weeks.  One psychiatrist left yesterday, I leave next Saturday, and my departure will be followed fairly rapidly by the Air Force major who runs our Flight, and two more psychiatrists.

Today we had a going away party for most of the above at Torii Beach.  In addition to grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, there was lots of fresh fruit and a host of goodies brought by people who had come to make certain we were actually leaving.  It was a very nice affair - very hot, and very nice.

Four decades ago I spent four years in the Army - with little or no recognition.  For the past two years I have been an Army employee working on an Air Force base, and today I received a genuine Army medal for my efforts:  The Achievement Medal for Civilian Service.  I was quite impressed.  It came with a nice certificate signed by a bird colonel.  Unfortunately, I don't have a uniform to pin the medal on, but I am tempted to wear it to work anyway.

After the party Murphy and I went on a drive-about over parts of northern and central Okinawa and along the Pacific coast.  He was looking for a particular curiosity shop, which we found, called Sachi's Japanese Antiques.  Unfortunately, it was closed, but the stuff that they just had in the yard was fairly amazing.

We also went to a place called "Pizza in the Sky" which has an amazing view of the area around Churami Aquarium and a big piece of Okinawa coastline as well as Ie Shima island.  Driving back toward Naha we passed the arena where he and Nefredia and I went to the bullfights on Father's Day 2011.

Forty years ago we spent a weekend at an Army resort on Okinawa called Yaka Beach.  The resort is gone now, but we did drive through the community of Yaka Beach while heading south.

As we got back closer to the base we stopped for dinner at the Orange Cafe, a nice place where big house cats roam among the tables as people eat - and occasionally jump up on a table to look around.  (It's nicer than it sounds!)  They have a beautiful player piano which was cranked up and tickling the ivories tonight.

Again, I am still saying good-bye to places from my present and my past which I will undoubtedly never see again.  I feel just a bit of sadness as this chapter of my life closes.

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