I think I just had my best Veterans Day ever. For years I have argued (as Mike Royko used to) that veterans should get Veterans Day off. It has never made sense to me to celebrate Veterans Day by giving bankers and government bureaucrats a holiday. I've always had to work on Veterans Day, and I've had no desire to sneak in a celebration by marching around and saluting Old Glory. Sorry, no offense to patriots, but Veterans Day to me is a day to celebrate not having to march or salute anymore.
Of course, the son of a bitch who runs the Outpost wouldn't let me off, but MSU Billings shut down on Monday. So I took Saturday off -- a rare event during the school year. And I did nothing: watched the Texas A&M football game, read a little German, sat in the hot tub, washed dishes, changed a couple of light bulbs, cooked short ribs with gravy, drank some wine and hot rum, played bridge with friends.
Then Monday evening the wife and I went to the Golden Corral for the free Veterans Day feed. They did it up right: all you could eat, no questions asked (except: "Are you a veteran?"). There was a huge crowd when we arrived, but everybody was cheerful, the line moved right along, and we wound up sitting at a table with a guy who had served in the Air Force in Vietnam and with his father-in-law, who had been in the Navy in World War II. We had a pleasant talk, good food, and I didn't have to pay a nickel.
I've been out for 34 years and finally had an enjoyable Veterans Day. Maybe the war really is over.