The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

the face of my Father

October4

sometimes people listen to me (even my fourteen year old daughter Haley Anne). and, when they, that “collective they” do, sometimes they hear me talk about “remembering the face of my father”.

I do use that “device” for both my earthly and heavenly father. but, today, it’s about Dad.

I’m doing so because I’m remembering him. it’s the best way, I think, to honor someone – by recalling something they did that’s worth comment. and, in the case of the description that follows I think this comes in the form of something I believe happened, and ironically, only a few men would have witnessed, but was likely a defining moment for the man most of us can never be.

over the course of a life, and in this case, it was my young life, we pick up on things about the people around us. I was lucky, just enough perhaps, to have Dad in my life for most of twenty five years. in that sophomoric period of my existence my perspective had to be skewed by perception and lack of some information. but, my sense of circumstances leads me to an image of my Dad in a tough spot.

imagine this… or, this is what I picture the sort of man my father was…

Col. Clifford D. Cork USAF

it’s likely 1969 and Dad is serving one of his tours of duty in Viet Nam. eventually he would become one of the youngest Air Force officers of his era to command a Wing of B-52’s (Stratofortress) /1 under the vaunted Strategic Air Command (SAC), but also do it from the navigators chair. the B-52 was capable of altitudes that exceeded 35,000 feet. it’s monsoon season, so his plane has travelled across the storm-tossed sea dropping down through unimaginable weather, hitting turbulence that lifted and dropped the aircraft 3000 feet at a time, turning the crews stomaches from twisted knots to mush. Dad had to take turns puking into a bucket between his boots that are all but frozen to the deck, and fight his own mind-numbing fear to speak calm commands to his pilot through his air mask/ helmet radio. his primary objective (other than to lead under what he taught me was: “being a steely-eyed-missile-man”), was to use a set of simple tools (i.e. rulers, pencils, and maps) and his brilliant mind to form complex calculations that would guide his crew with pin-point accuracy to drop their payload on the right target – and, not innocent civilians.

B-52 Damaged During Turbulence

Dad once told me, something to the effect: “there were times when we were bouncing up and then down so hard and fast that all I could think of through the screaming groans of the tortured wings was that they would shear right off the fuselage”.

I knew my Dad, sort of. I don’t, and sincerely, believe he was a brave man. in fact, I understand there was much in life he feared (i.e. the loss of my Mom, and poverty). however, his courage is unfathomable. he put himself in that situation countless times, and did it better than most men that shared that chair with him (many of the B-52’s built saw service in excess of fifty years).

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

_________________

1/ Dad was one of the few SAC officers that also commanded a Missile Wing (silos). this made him unusual both in his spheres of responsibility, but his incalculatable ability to learn and lead.

by the way…

in January of 1964, a B-52D carrying two nuclear bombs suffered a structural failure in flight that caused a fire to break-out on-board. apparently over the course of emergency maneuvers the tail section sheared off. four crewmen ejected successfully before the aircraft crashed near outside of Lincoln, Nebraska. several crewmen perished. the pilot was unable to eject, and died in the aircraft. both weapons were recovered. this was one of several incidents caused by failure of the vertical stabilizer.

my Dad was part of that crew. so, there is some perspective for you, that my Dad had to carry with him going forward. and, that is another story that’s currently percolating in my head. I remember that day… I was watching television and I saw my Dad’s face appear on the screen just as my Mom took a telephone call from “the wives network”. I recall her hollow: “oooh God, …Cliff”. But, Dad came home. He always smelled good.

riddle, or paradox, or what ever

September20

Someone pointed me to a link showing a couple of religious leaflets that they’d found. It’s all quite interesting, in a flagellating kind of way, I suppose.

a leaflet

It took a lot of effort to load one of them into this post, and I’m not at all, not all, I tell you, convinced it’s worth the effort. And, after all my work, it’s still grainy, almost like some form of pornography, and difficult to read – let alone fathom. Just use your imagination. You have, after all seen hundreds just like  it. And, if you haven’t, it’s no true tragedy. I say this because, after all, it’s a religious artifact. God will live on, one way or another, well past the point the bloody leaflet is dust.

Why are things like this called “leaflets”, any way?

In any event, I don’t really understand something about the evangelist logic illustrated in things like leafllets and religious artifacts, in general. In their analogy (use your imagination here – or, perhaps you’ve decided to, otherwise, take a nap, especially if Georgia is playing in an American football game), I’m a terrible felon standing in front of a judge; I’m guilty of murder and theft, among many other crimes. I should probably go to prison, as I’m clearly a danger to society.

Yet evangelists would posit that a monetary fine would pay for my crimes, and it doesn’t even have to be me who pays it. Jesus will apparently pay the fine, and I can leave the court that very day. I suppose I’d have to promise to pay him back – but as they point out in the first part of the leaflet, I’m a liar as well as a thief. I am man, after all. Apparently, and according to those ferocious evangelists, God made man to sin, and not made man capable of sin, which puts a different spin on everything.

Perhaps it’s all a form of cosmic riddle.

The key to freedom, as it were, is accepting Jesus.

So, if I do pay Jesus back, by being his friend (or, at least asking him over for a play date), I get to go to heaven. Although I remain a sinner even when I’m friends with him.

Why would Jesus want so many evil friends? Unless it’s to make him look all the more noble by association.

I understand the “evil friend” question is where everyone is going to pounce on me, with a love of course.

The more I find out about Christianity, as a religion, as opposed to simply coming to grips with a mighty God, and how I make that work for everyone around me (truth and light, reflecting and representing, etc. /1), the stranger it seems.

Paradox(?) you might pondering a this point… Well, perhaps it’s that point where you must face the difference between faith, religion, belief and discernment. It’s after all, why God gave you a brain – and, made it larger (not necessarily better) than a dog /2 or chimpanzee’s (cats don’t count, ever.).

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

________________________

1/ I could hyperlink to many examples of my prior work on these topics. However, they’ve become copious in number. So, it’s a lot of work. And, if you actually cared (and, I understand many of you do, and will, ultimately), you’ll search and sort them out. All you need is the desire and proactive nature to utilize the search feature offered to the left of this post.

2/ One of my favorite posts: Sammy: The best argument I ever knew for Dogs in Heaven has now been read over 4,000,000 times. It’s being read in schools (one teacher told me it’s how he gets around the ban on religious (ouch) information. That’s fine. It’s kinda like being a pirate. Certainly a Prudent Gentleman.

Off topic: I think it’s funny that spell check doesn’t correct the word ‘kinda’.

What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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