Respite 16\Second Pint PP

31454092992_64d062ed12_cI picked up Knee Deep’s Breaking Bud tonight. Given the name, I expected something out of the marijuana family of flavors and scents: resin, pine, skunky. But this is a straight up grapefruit IPA. -10 for the name, Knee Deep, although the beer is good. There’s a wave of sweetness before the bitterness pulls you under and that bitterness even resembles the grapefruit dollop in the nose.

If only there weren’t so many of these damned grapefruit beers…

Former astronaut John Glenn died last week and of all the losses this year, that one has hit me second hardest.

When I was a child, I wanted to be an astronaut. There wasn’t anything particularly noble about this desire: my life on Earth was pretty lame and I felt certain that space held a better life for me. I had all the assuredness of a boy of seven and…at some point the adults in my life disabused me of this notion. They weren’t trying to be cruel; just pointing out that as someone with very bad eyesight, I was unlikely to be a pilot, which was a requirement (at the time) for being an astronaut. Still, my love of the Space Program remains and I was saddened when the US decided to no longer have manned space launches. In part, because I wouldn’t get to see one.

Astronauts symbolize many things in America but most of all, I think, they symbolize that “ever forward” notion that we have. A moment of success in the American Dream, a point on the line where we really were as great as we aspired to be. Not for one person but for everyone.

I think most of us still aspire to be great. I don’t believe that my country has suddenly decided that being great is no longer a goal that is worthy of us. We hope to be great, somehow.

We have not had someone articulate a vision for that future, though. The past is what some people are trying to cling to, because nobody is providing them with a goal for the future; be it solving hunger, curing cancer, eliminating poverty, reversing climate change…the list of tasks is there! It involves work that is ceaseless and requires great minds and sacrifice but most importantly, a dream. A dream worth having.

And a dream worth having is one that inspires everyone. John Glenn knew something about that, as someone who became a hero of the nation during a time when we were hoping for just such a dream. His presence became so valued, President Kennedy didn’t let him go into space again, fearful of what would happen if we lost such a man. Mr. Glenn had reservations about this-he always wanted to go to space again-but he shouldered that burden so that millions of Americans could see what was possible. What we could do when we were at our best.

Let’s honor him by finding a dream for the future.

This Second Pint goes to Planned Parenthood.

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