Tear Down This Wall (Brick shoulders)

Eleven, took the Daily Red Pill (DRP) this morning and got better because for it.

The Pax: Squirrel, T-Bone, Berry, Felix, Scout, Rip, CPT D, MadBum, Aruba, Poacher and Chicago Pax Redick (aka Clay Minoff)

The Scene: Upper-50’s, what a great morning to be out in the Gloom!  

Warmup: Started off with some arm circles, cotton pickers and windmills

The Thang:  Mosey over and pick up some bricks

  • 1st round      Brick shrugs              1 min
  • 2nd Round     Reverse fly               1 min 
  • 3rd round       Shoulder press        1 min
  • 4th round       Front raise                1 min
  • 5th round       Lateral raise             1 min
  • 6th round       Upright row              1 min
  • 7th round     Seal clap Merkin Ladder to 7


Belly Aiken Abs

  • The 100
  • 10 Xs & Os
  • 20 WWII Situps
  • 30 Freddy Mercury’s In cadence
  • 40 Flutter kick In cadence
  • 30 Side leg raises (ea side) In cadence
  • 20 Heels To Heaven In cadence
  • 10 Hello Dolly
  • Plank

Had a few minutes left over so we did Seal Clap Merkins to 4 and some Rosalitas.


Prayers and Announcements:  Prayers for Neo as he travels out to Chicago, lifting up his mom as she faces lymphoma.  Let’s all surround Roadhouse as he goes in today for what we all hope to be his last big surgery and for his M as she has seen the man she fell in love with go through some big stuff lately!!

With weak shoulders the BOM gathered ‘round and MadBum prayed us out.


MOLESKINE:  Presidential Memories 

After a recent Q Cpt D told me I had interrupted a meal he and his M were having.  When I rang in, he swiped left and I left a kind, empathetic, caring message of some sort.  His M asked who it was and he said, “Squirrel, the guy who worked with the President’s.”  Her reply, “Oh, I’d love to hear stories about his time there.” To which Cpt said he only knew one.  I thought I’d provide one more.

June 1987.  I was selected to go on a trip to Rome with President Reagan. Ok, not with President Reagan but ahead of and in support to.  I had been at the White House just over a year by that point and was a Radio Tech.  Low man on the totem pole.  When you were a Radio Tech you were almost always at the event sites or building the motorcade.  The sh** jobs….And you got to see some pretty cool stuff.  As the White House Communicators our main mission was to ensure the President could talk to anyone, anywhere at any time. Our second order of business was to install all the radio infrastructure for the US Secret Service and the White House staff so in case of an Emergency Action they could do what they had to do.

Back to Rome – I was at the airport putting radios in the motorcade vehicles.  The motorcade was HUGE.  I don’t recall how many cars, but I was putting the radios in, mounting antennas, tucking cables so people wouldn’t get tangled up in them, loading them with crypto/code, doing radio checks and then moving to the next vehicle.  I got finished about 4 minutes before Air Force1 landed.  I’d sweated through my suit, dripping like I’d just run with Waldorf!  The US Embassy had a van waiting with my toolkit, extra radios, surveillance kits (think agent speaking into his sleeve) and we headed to the Vatican.  My job was to respond if anything was needed.  We arrived to see much Pomp & Ceremony—with Swiss Guards and all, as they waited for the President to arrive.  While the President went to the Papal library to meet the Pope and talk I was able to take in some of the sights of the Vatican, like the Bramante Staircase, the Vatican Gardens and such.  Seeing what I could see as I listened to the radio for some idiot to ask for help because they forgot to charge their battery, or lost crypto or something.  President and Mrs. Reagan headed out and back to the airport as we began the job of taking all the communications down we’d spent the past week + installing.  He came, he left = success.  My job was done…but wait, there’s more!  As we were inventorying all the radio gear, which took FOR-EV-ER…. 

Irving A. Goodman (I A Good Man), our radio lead, got a call…they needed a Radio Tech to deploy to Berlin….NOW.  He looked at me and said…..

No, he didn’t say that, but he did say they need someone to jump to another site.  Isaiah 6:8 was one of my favorite scriptures of the time so I volunteered.  “Get your stuff and get to the airport ASAP.”  I get to the airport and was told me and a Switchboard guy were headed to Berlin.

I had a few days in Berlin before President Reagan arrived.  Long days, long nights getting the radio network in.  When we worked, we worked hard and when we had any time off we had fun.  One of the bennies to the job was access.  A day before the event a couple of us climbed to our radio site and  watched Genesis (Phil Collins) play just beyond the Wall. We had an amazing view of the concert. 

The next day the President was to give his Berlin speech.  My assignment was at the Brandenburg Gate.  Now, if you’re in the RESPECT group you know that what happened in 1987 when Ronald Reagan went to Berlin.  For those who don’t know…President Reagan drove to the Reichstag at 1 P.M., viewed the “Wall” from a balcony and saw the exhibit of the Marshal plan & Germany’s rebuilding.  I was roaming the 1.5k between the Reichstag and the Brandenburg gate ready to fix the radio gear should it break down.  There were tens of thousands of people there for the event…as far as the eye could see there were people.  I watched as he gave one of the speeches for the ages.

“Behind me stands a wall that encircles the free sectors of this city, part of a vast system of barriers that divides the entire continent of Europe. . . . Standing before the Brandenburg Gate, every man is a German, separated from his fellow men. Every man is a Berliner, forced to look upon a scar. . . . As long as this gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all mankind.
    General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate.
    Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate!
    Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

~ Ronald Reagan, 12 June 1987

You know, Ronald Reagan wasn’t just appealing to remove the physical wall itself, but to also remove the invisible-but-no-less-real divide the wall represented between people. Between men.  If Ronald Reagan had been in F3 I’m sure he would have thought, “We’ll leave no man behind, nor will we leave him where we found him….now tear down this wall.”




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