Fire Fly Air Force-Chapter 7

Chapter 7

          The Firefly Air Force grew larger every night. Luke split the training. It was too much for one firefly to handle. He gave Lennie and Jaime a squadron of fireflies to train. Each squadron practiced separately. At the end of the week, Luke called a meeting with Lennie and Jaime.

      “Are your squadrons ready for some games?”

      “What kind of games?”

       Luke explained that each squad would fly in front of the insect audience. By now, thousands of insects gathered in the lawn every night. They crawled all over the shrubs and trees to get a view of the Firefly Air Force practicing their aerobatics.

          Each squad leader taught his fliers the same maneuvers that Luke taught them. They flew straight up in spirals then they dived down toward the ground pulling up just before crashing. They flew in vee-formations, in straight lines, or stacked one on top of the other. All the time their lights blinking or holding steady.

          The three squads competed every week. Their show became better each time. The insect crowds were getting larger too. It was not very long before the insects ate most of the lush vegetation around the show. Soon word got out that the Gardener was upset. The many insects damaged his plants. A Japanese beetle spread the word to everyone that he heard the Gardener say the word “spray.”

          Panic ran through the insect world. A spray would kill thousands of families. Some bugs packed up and moved immediately. Others decided to ride out the storm. They were not going to leave their homes because of a “little spray.”

          Torch heard the rumors too. He began to panic. He had not found Morty Angel and the summer was ending, and now the threat of the spray hung over him. Soon, Torch and the fireflies would disappear until next summer. His new friend Stretch will tunnel deep into the earth to escape the cold, and he will not be able to deliver the message to Morty Angel.

          The vibrations kept coming to Stretch every day. First, it said, “Find Morty Angel,” then it changed to “find Morty Angel and give him the message.” Now it was “This is God, I have a message for Morty Angel.” When Stretch told Torch, he became excited. He became so excited

that his tail light blinked the brightest flash ever. It always blinked extra bright when he was nervous. The bright light caught Stretch off guard. It frightened him. He snapped back into his hole afraid to come out. Stretch did not appear again until the next night.

      “Is it safe to come out? Your light is too bright for me.”

     “Yes, please come out, is there anything new?”

     “Yes,” replied Stretch as he pulled his tail free from the hole, “The vibrations are very clear. I know what the message is.”

     “What is it?”

      “What was that,” asked Stretch? “It is thunder. A storm is coming. Let’s take cover while I explain what the message is.”

To Be Continued . . .

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Grumpa Meets His Match

gran-torinoYesterday, I met my match. I like to refer to myself as “Grumpa” because my disposition is not always cheerful. Peggy and I continued our ‘wild and crazy” days by seeing another movie. That’s two within seven days of each other. The main character in the movie is Walt Kowalski played by Clint Eastwood. Walt clearly owns the title of “Grumpa.”  He’s retired from Ford, and living next to a troubled kid who loves to garden.

The movie is Gran Torino. I thought Slumdog Millionaire was great, but Gran Torino is right next to it. My expectation was to see a car movie. There is a beautiful 1972 Gran Torino in the film, but it is there as a grand possession. It barely moves throughout the film.  Throughout the story, Walt is bugged by a young priest who tells him he should go to confession. The story had me laughing out loud, yet at points it  brought me to tears.  We saw it on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, and it was a beautiful way to begin lent. 

The opening  begins at a funeral mass for Walt’s wife of many years.  Walt moves on to deal with his grief by exhibiting great animosity and hatred for his Hmong-Chinese neighbors whom he mistakes for Koreans. Slowly, Walt, a gook hating veteran of the Korean war evolves into a man who truly loves his neighbor, and is willing to sacrifice greatly for him.

This picture includes all the key elements of a good story. It has drama, intrigue, humor, tension, conflict, love, and compassion. The acting by Eastwood and the supporting cast is  believable and noteworthy. The plot is  a 2009 vintage contemporary drama. The ending is guaranteed to bring one to tears, as it did me.  It is also untypical of what one might expect from today’s society. The symbolism in the final scene was dramatic and thought provoking.

Why wasn’t  this movie nominated for an Oscar? As I watched the credits roll by it became clear to me that Eastwood was being dissed by Hollywood. He is a co-author of the story. He produced, and directed the film. Additionally, he played the  principal role. I believe he bucked the establishment with this performance, and produced a heart warming story with a moral. Another reason might be that the story includes religion in it’s telling. Could it be that the liberal anti-God, hollywood gay loving establishment dissed the Catholic Church too?

Peggy and I have been discussing the film ever since.

We give it four stars.****

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