While the press was out


covering Sarah Palin’s ghost written vendetta settling book, troops in the state she bailed on was hosting 44 at Elmendorf AFB.

Apparently some Army Reservists are in Philadelphia this week, en route to Iraq. I found this out in my barbershop, Maxamillion’s Gentlemen’s Quarters Barber Parlor?. Max’s is a kind of unique barbershop in these times: no cell phones, no rap music, no cursing. It’s an intentionally modest, but sharply fitted parlor with wooden floors, burgundy leather classic style barber chairs and matching trim at each barber station, right on Chestnut St. between 20th and 21st here in Philadelphia. An Army Reservist from Fort Hood was getting his shoes shined when I walked in. He had been to Max’s shop before (and it isn’t rare for out of town-ers to be semi-regulars). Before the shootings at Fort Hood he had taken his wife to Austin for a bit of a vacation before he shipped out. I asked him what he thought of Austin,he said he loved it and would recommend it to anyone. He chopped it up with us a bit and then after the complimentary shine was done, and right before he was about to leave pulled out his camera to take some pictures to send back to his friends back home.

“They don’t do it like this anymore”. He used to go to a nice shop back home, where they did it like Max’s, but he returned to find it shut down after the owner died and his son couldn’t maintain the business. He had told his friends about Max’s and this time, wanted them to see it for themselves. He took some pics on his digital camera to send home (Max’s shop is swagged out), and then said goodbye. Max dapped him up and thanked him for his service, a few of us wished him good luck. At my gym later that day, all service men and women worked out for free. You could recognize the new faces in the gym as soldiers coming in a slow but steady stream, wearing camouflage getting in a jog on the treadmill or going to lift some weights. To see them around and about, heading to Iraq, the last bit of America they got to see was Philadelphia. Hope they enjoy bit of it, and I hope they pay for nothing.

In Alaska, Obama talked about spending more money on troops and their families away from the battlefield during and after wars. Recession, Deficit or not, we can definitely afford that. I’m glad 44 is making that a priority.