Trip Log – Day 230 – College Station TX

to College StationFebruary 13, 2016 – Cloudy, 65 degrees

Miles Today: 16

Miles to Date: 11,717

States to Date: 28

To understand the pivotal relationship that College Station TX has played in my life requires suspension of rational thought and action. Are you game?

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 7.56.51 PMBefore I was born, before my parents were married, before my father fought in World War II, Mickey Fallon was a fresh recruit, a wannabe gunner. The army sent him to College Station for a few weeks training. He was enthralled by Aggieland.

My father went on 52 bombing missions over Germany, returned to his construction roots rather than get a GI Bill education, married a beautiful though incompatible woman, and banged out a bunch of kids. I am number four.

imgresThrough my youth, my seat at our kitchen table in Toms River, New Jersey, was crammed against the wall beneath a gigantic map of the United States. A thumbtack marked College Station, Texas. The taller I grew, the closer I got to Texas A&M.

 

My father, despite his own disinterest in college, wanted all of his sons to be Aggies. My oldest brother was accepted and joined the Corps of Cadets. Number Two didn’t have the grades, but my dad arranged for him to go to a Texas junior college that might serve as a feeder. By the time my sister went to a state school in nearby Nacogdoches, there were more Fallon kids in Texas then not. Dad put the pressure on mom to make the move to the Lone Star State. He almost simages-3ucceeded. Mom agreed to leave New Jersey but refused to suffer the Texas heat. So, my parents negotiated a latitudinal meeting point along the 100th meridian, which is how they wound up moving my little brother and me to Norman, Oklahoma in 1973. If you find logic in this process, welcome to my family.

My oldest brother dropped out of the Corps, and then out of A&M completely. My next brother never completed junior college. My sister escaped Texas by marrying her high school sweetheart. Still married 45 years later, she made a good choice.

images-1My father never found his stride in Oklahoma. His business faltered. My mother went to work. She gained confidence. His dream dwindled. I never even applied to Texas A&M. Instead I returned back East, among the elites my father disdained.

Eventfully my parents divorced. Dad returned to New Jersey and married a young woman who made him very happy. Meanwhile all the other people he displaced stayed in Oklahoma or migrated further West.

IMG_6029Today was Aggieland Day at Texas A&M. I spent the morning in Memorial Union surrounded by eager high school students exploring this spirited place. It was easy to see what my father wanted for us. Texas A&M is a place of individual excellence and collective strength; bursting with pride of purpose.

One could discount my father’s dream as a failure; none of his sons are Aggies. But that sprawling map on the wall of my childhood kitchen was my first introduction to the breadth of this amazing country. It triggered the idea that the United States could, and should, be explored. So here I am, seventy-five years after my father came to College Station, enthralled by the Aggies.

images-2

 

Advertisements

About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, theawkwardpose.com is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog, www.howwillwelivetomorrw.com, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
This entry was posted in Bicycle Trip Log and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Trip Log – Day 230 – College Station TX

  1. Dietmar says:

    Paul, This is the best post yet! SO funny! So funny, that I actually had to read it to my wife… Keep on pedaling …. And keep up the humor! Thanks for all your inspiration

    Naughin Notes from Massachusetts

    Dietmar

    >

    Like

  2. Robert Botterio says:

    Good going Bob

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  3. Pingback: Trip Log – Day 359 – Pauls Valley OK to Norman OK | How Will We Live Tomorrow?

  4. Pingback: Trip Log – Day 359 – Pauls Valley OK to Norman OK | The Awkward Pose

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s