Hey, out there,
My classmates in Romeo Company at The Citadel are beginning to stir and gather. As the country paused to remember the firing on Fort Sumter, it made me remember that I went to the college whose cadets fired the first shots in the Civil War and that two of my classmates in R company were named for southern Generals – Stonewall Jackson Watson and Wade Hampton Williford III.
I spoke at The Citadel library at an event honoring the publication of my friend John Warley’s new novel called Bethesda’s Child. John and I roomed together on The Citadel baseball team and have been lifelong friends ever since those faraway days. I wrote a thirteen-page introduction to his book, and it reminded me of our times on that wonderful team with road trips through the south which still remain legendary to me and John. He and I are going to be doing a talk together next year at the Savannah Book Festival. John and his wife, Barbara, are our neighbors now that Cassandra and I have moved into Beaufort. We have lunch on a weekly basis to reminisce about our time at The Citadel together.
After the talk at The Citadel, John and I went out to a restaurant bar on Queen Street with three of my classmates from Romeo Company. Unfortunately, John Warley was a slovenly uncouth member of Tango Company, the tallest company at the college, but also the dumbest and least military. My “R” Company guys griped all evening that I had loused up the experience by bringing along a “waste from Tango,” but John is silver-tongued and quick, and he more than held his own. The horror of all Citadel wives is to put up with their husbands telling Citadel stories with their classmates that they’ve heard a thousand times before. I admit, there is some repetition at play.
I’d never met Robbie Schear’s wife before, though I knew of her when they dated at The Citadel. Nancy Miller was selected “Miss Citadel” for our senior year and remains a stunning woman today. Stonewall Jackson Watson brought his delightful daughter, Meg, who has a lot better personality than her father ever did.