I just *have* to tell one more Erin Nicole story, that stays with me after, well, *quite* a few years. I had just finished a stint teaching on the USS Cape Cod and we'd pulled into San Diego, so I got to visit with Erin's parents, two of my favorite people. At the time, Erin's dear old dad was a United States Marine *Senior* Drill Instructor, and he took me, along with his family, for a tour of the Marine Recruit Training Depot. I've told friends of mine that it was like getting a tour of the Bolshoi ballet from Mikhail Baryshnikov, or an Opera House from Pavarotti--the man was completely in his element.
So, we're all loaded up in the family van, Dad and me up front, Mom and three kidsters in the back, and about one block from the house, a plaintive six-year-old's voice pipes up, "*Your* *seat* *belt's* *not* fastened* *daddy*!" I'll note in passing that while Erin Nicole has her Mom's *stunning* great looks, she *definitely* has her father's *extraordinary* gift for vocal projection.
"We're just going a few blocks."
"BUT YOUR SEAT BELT'S NOT FASTENED, DADDY!"
At that point, I think I started biting my lip to keep from laughing. (If I was writing for a sitcom, I'd add a few more lines with the kidster citing Marine regulations and invoking the Commandant's name- but no.) And her dear ol' daddy *did* fasten his seat belt. I do hope that Erin Nicole will be pleased to know that all these years later, I still think of the delightful feisty kidster she was- and when I do....... I remember to fasten my seat belt. :)
Fondest Regards from Uncle Kent