For the burgers though, we didn't use the side firebox, but instead just grilled the meat over the coals. Added a couple pieces of hickory to the charcoal.
Here's another view of the cooker. Was a Father's Day present a few years back.
We also had some strawberries, hummus, grilled onions, 2 kinds of cheese and of course a little bit of alcohol to wash it down . I like rum drinks so I fixed myself a hurricane, my wife had a scotch and soda, my son had some wine, and my daughter and her main squeeze had some beer. Some people come up with the strangest (my opinion only) beers that they like. I had never heard of these.
I am not really a big drinker, but my favorite beer is called "Fat Tire" from a micro brewery in Fort Collins Colorado. I bet Dom Chang has ridden by there.
We had a great time, the weather was almost perfect for a barbecue. A nice relaxing evening.
Part 2: The cemetary
My wife is the 5th of 6 children in her family. I am the 4th of 5. Unfortunately the next oldest sibling for my wife died just before reaching the age of 2 of leukemia. Her family lived in Wellington Kansas at the time that Geoffrey passed away. Wellington is a small community about 25 miles south of our fair city.
For many years, on Memorial Day, we have made the short trip down to Wellington to place some flowers on his grave. For the small town of Wellington, Memorial Day is a big event. The lanes of the cemetary are lined with flags. This is not unusual for many small towns in Kansas, nor anywhere else for that matter. I always find it interesting to look at some of the graves that are adorned with flowers and emblems showing which war the decedent might have participated in.
In our immediate family, there were very few deaths from our country's past wars. My father served in the navy, my wife's father in the army, an uncle was in the Battle of the Bulge and served with Patton. But almost all survived the war, physically.
Mentally is sometimes another matter. It wasn't that they suffered permanently from combat fatigue or whatever you would like to call it. But for many of them, it was very difficult for them to talk about their war experiences. They preferred to keep the feelings and horrors they experienced to themselves.
I remember one Memorial Day about 8-10years ago where members of our church were sort of enlisted to speak about some of their experiences to the audience. One of them talked about flying troops and supplies over the Himilayas from India to China during World War 2. Another landed on Omaha Beach. The experiences they had were varied and geographically very different. But one thing they talked about, and cried about, was the number of friends that they had lost. In many cases these friends were people they had barely met and didn't get to know for very long. Let us also not forget how hard it was on the wives and families of those serving overseas, knowing that every day could bring the possibility of getting one of those telegrams.
I am not a veteran myself. In the 70's, I actually was one of the last people required to get a draft card, but was just a little bit too young to ever get called up. I am thankful about that even though I would have been willing to serve. But the thought of serving scared me.
The rock singer Sting (of the group The Police ) has a line in a song that I relate to very much. It says:
"I never saw no military solution that didn't always end up as something worse."