Finding Closure at Spring Game




orevet5Saturday, Michael Dundon and I rode our bikes to Autzen stadium and saw the Spring Game. I had a Rose Bowl flag in my basket, and felt proud of my team. My neighbor, Terrell Turner, played in that Rose Bowl game, and wore #45. Terrell had helped our disabled neighbor up the stairs, and I saw an opportunity to give the Ducks some good press after Lagarrette Blount hit that Boise player. Lagarette was my neighbor at the time, and helped me get a mattress upstairs to my apartment after he saw me struggling with it from his window. He was mentioned in one of the videos that aired on KVAL that also covered my attempt to have a memorial for Hollis Williams in a vacant building on Laura Street, where I erected the first altar of my ministry. There are roses in a vase.

Michael and both were winded as we climbed high into the seats. We sat in chairs set in an isle by themselves. Extra chairs were put there, and Michael pinched one of them to see how soft they were.

“You just pinched Hollis’s leg. He is wondering about you? He’s here, you know.”

Just then there came about twenty old Veterans climbing the steep stairs as if they were on a mountain. We were amazed when we read “WW11 VET” on their hats. These gentleman were old, but, not out of breath. They got in their reserved seat three rows below us. It was their day, because Duck fans honor our Veterans on this day. The spirit of Mr. H was here, he a great Duck Fan and just before he died, a homeless Vet that got into an apartment thanks to the efforts of Maria and Lisa at HUD-Vash.

Now, here come the Marine, a large man with a white cowboy hat. He climbs over the seat to get to his area, with his granddaughter. This causes Jack to get up and come up to sit next to us. The chair that was next to Michael was retrieved after it was taken away, which prompted me to say;

“They took Hollis from me again.”

But, here is Jack, a very engaging human being with a smile on his face, especially after he informed us he was eighty eight years old. A student wth a camera got Hollis’ chair back, and filmed the Vets. He was by Jack’s side threw the first half, and they conversed frequently. When this video appears on the net I will post it. It was Hollis’ dream to make a movie. We shook Jack’s hand, and honored his longevity. Jack was in the Air Force, and guarded our shores in the East.

Now, until Jack sat with us, Michael and I were the infamous Group W bench made famous in the Arlo Guthrie song. I was drafted in 1966, and was classified 4F after seeing the Army shrink. Michael joined the Marines after he broke up with Christine who sold two painting to get him our of jail. His heart was broken. Men joined the Foreign Legion after a woman broke their heart. It is a tradition. The Marines and Michael did not get along, and my kindred went AWOL. He ended up on Ram Dass’ ashram in New York, and was his official chaufer.

When the Honor Guard came onto the field, I got to see what I hoped my uncle’s Trust would pay for. I did not want Hollis to be declared an indigent by the U.S. Government, and buried at the expense of We The People. I adopted Hollis, who had not family to sign the burial contract that is in suspense – as is my voice until this matter is resolved. But, before our collective eyes, there is closure as the America Flag is unfolded, and refolded on the fifty yard line. This is how veterans who have died were honored. I closed my eyes and saw an image of Hollis as clear and cheerful as a bell.

The announcer bids us to shake the hand of the person next to you that served. Michael ad i both shook Jack’s hand and thanked him for his service to our Democracy which allows as many opinions as any nation on earth. For it is not the quality of our victories that atter, but the quality of our peace. In time of Peace we lovers of Democracy truly bloom. I was in the million person anti-war march in Washington in 1971. I always honored those who served, because I believe all Americans ae a special breed of human beings who perform miracles when we arrive a a consensus, when we agree to play fair, fight for what we believe in, and have fun together.

At Hollis’ memorial I came up to Maria and said;

“I want the war in Vietnam to be over. This is what Hollis and I wanted.”

Maria looked puzzled. Yesterday, around high noon, the war in Vietnam came to an end when Jack came to sit on the Group W bench, with Michael and I, and the spririt of Mr. Williams.

We left at half time, and after going down about twenty stairs I realized I had forgotten my Duck flag with the rose on it. I climbed the steep stair again, and saw Jack lean over to get my flag. When he handed it to me he gave me a winning smile. All is well in the Emerald Valley, because WE chose to make things well. For a second I saw Hollis honoring me, he letting me know via Jack, that in me he is well pleased. I had done the right thing.

Jon Presco

EUGENE, Ore. — The University of Oregon will take the field on Saturday for their annual Spring Football Game, once again wearing uniforms that honor the men and women who serve our country.

For the past four years, Nike and the University of Oregon have partnered to create a custom designed uniform worn for the team’s final Spring scrimmage. This year, both the home and away uniforms have unique stories including new nameplates, insignias and patches that tell stories of support and honor. Following the scrimmage, Oregon football players will present their specially-made jerseys to approximately 100 uniformed men and women representing all branches of the military.

Nike’s co-founder and University of Oregon Coach Bill Bowerman’s time in the 10th Mountain Division of the US Army provided inspiration for the white away football uniform design. Bowerman’s division wore an all-white uniform and was trained for mountain terrain and arctic conditions.

The olive home uniform design was inspired by legendary Oregonian Art Miller’s lifetime of military service in the 41st Division of the US Army. Miller played linebacker for the Ducks as a freshman in 1939 before joining the National Guard and being called to active service. Miller served the country for a little more than 29 years and eventually retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He was honored in a pregame ceremony along with other former Oregon football players who served in the military prior to the Ducks’ Sept. 18, 2010 game vs. Portland State.

The new “titanium carbon” finish on the home uniform helmet features a unique fade from yellow to anthracite in order to elevate the iconic Duck wing pattern on each side.

“This is a proud moment for University of Oregon Football program and Nike to give back to the community” said Todd Van Horne, Global VP and Creative Director for Nike Football. “We are proud to honor both Art Miller and Bill Bowerman with these new uniform designs in order to honor Oregon’s men and women of service.”

“Words cannot express our gratitude to the men and women who serve our country and this is why we will continue to salute our armed services as part of our Spring Game,” Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich said. “Obviously we are extremely fortunate that Nike has chosen to play a major role with their innovative uniforms designed for this special day.”

The Oregon Ducks uniform is a complete Nike system-of-dress where the baselayer, padding, jersey and pant work in concert in order to provide the ultimate in lightweight speed and protection. Lightweight padding is integrated directly into the crucial “hit zones” in the baselayer. Innovations include Nike Chain Maille Mesh technology incorporated into the back and under the arms for exceptional ventilation and durability. Nike Flywire technology is integrated into the neckline to reduce weight and provide lockdown fit over pads, increasing sleeve articulation for better range of motion, and integrating new four-way stretch fabrication to provide a streamlined shrink-wrap fit.

Nike Pro Combat Deflex padding eliminates bulk and allows for optimal low-profile lightweight impact protection specifically throughout the crucial “hit zone” between the knees and shoulders. It is also integrated in the hip and knee areas of the pant for crucial impact protection that stays in place.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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