Thursday, April 28, 2011

My dear friend Cara wrote a nice little piece about Queen Elizabeth and it made me think of the two years I lived in England, and my feelings about the country and the Royals. I suppose I am an anglophile. I loved living in England and most everything I came in contact with there.

I remember being shocked at warm beer served in the pubs, and now, almost 25 years since my first pint, I still can’t stand most American beer.

My wonderful wife still doesn’t understand why I love British comedies; she just doesn’t get the humor. I personally can’t stand the American version of “The Office”, but will roll on the floor watching my dvds of the original British version. Sheila knows what I’m talking about there!

As for the Royals; I’ve always admired Queen Elizabeth. If her actions during WWII weren’t enough, then the way she has served her nation as Queen speak volumes of her character. I don’t necessarily agree with a monarchy per se, but I do respect how she has handled her position.

I remember being given the day off of work for Charles and Diana’s wedding, so a few of us went down to London town to check it out. WOW Talk about pomp and circumstance! I can’t even begin to describe the atmosphere that day. Of course, we were young GIs loose on the big town, so there were a lot of pints involved, so a lot of the day was lost…

I remember being in London on July 20th, 1982 when the IRA detonated two bombs killing four members of the Blues and Royals, seven of their horses, seven members of the Royal Green Jackets, and injuring over 50 others; both civilian and military. We had left Hyde Park an hour or so before the explosion, and learned of it when we entered a pub. The carnage we saw that day on the “telly” in that pub still stick in my mind.

I’ve visited England several times over the years, and I never get tired of it. As a self-proclaimed history buff, I love touring the country and just experiencing it. I still remember being 19 years old, standing at Warwick Castle and suddenly realizing how lucky I was to be a hick cowboy from a small mountain town in Colorado, and actually seeing places I learned about in high school history. Many people I went to school with still to this day, have rarely traveled outside our valley, let alone clear across the Atlantic.

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