Once many years ago back when Bush 41 was president I finished a transpacific voyage when the ship I’d been teaching on, the U.S.S. Cape Cod, pulled into San Diego and I had the chance to visit with some of my favorite people in the whole world: Mark and Barbara and their beyond adorable three children. One of the high points of that trip was when Mark did the “take-the-family-to-work” thing. He took me and the rest of his family on a tour of Marine Recruit Training Depot San Diego where he was serving as a Chief Drill Instructor. When we were all bundled up into the van, I heard a six-year old voice sounding from the far back seat, “Your seat belt’s not fastened, Daddy.” After a pause, I heard that voice a whole lot more stridently, “Your seat belt’s not fastened, Daddy!” I thought, “That has got to be one of the bravest and bossiest six-year olds I have ever heard in my entire life.”
I hope Erin Nicole will be pleased to know that, more than 20 years later, every time I drive downtown on the Columbus freeway I can hear her six-year old voice in my ear making the same observation. Even after all this time, Erin Nicole is a good influence on me.