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Today, at Fort Rosecrans, a grave is filled...

...and a chair is empty.

May the road rise up to meet you,
may the wind ever be at your back,
May you find old friends waiting to greet you, there on the outside track

We're gathered together old times to remember,
'tis but for ourselves we would grieve,
So we'll sing you a chorus and bid you farewell - fair winds and a following sea.

We'll sing of 'The Leaf' and 'The Parting Glass',
we'll raise up our voices in song,
No sadness today for the one who has passed, celebrate with a voice glad and strong.

A catch in the throat, a tear in the eye,
but no funeral dirge will this be,
We'll roar 'Auld Lang Syne' as a victory song - fair winds and a following sea.

And those of us left here will miss a true friend,
who shared with us good times and bad,
Raising a glass to your memory we'll say: “We've known you – why should be we sad?”

We honour a life that was lived to the full, we honour a spirit, now free.
You'll long be remembered, whenever we say: “Fair winds and a following sea!”
You'll long be remembered, whenever we say: “Fair winds and a following sea!”
Fair winds and a following sea, Sailor.

Bosun, Pipe the Captain away.

Neptunus Lex, Departing.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam 

Neptunus Lex


If only the tears would stay in my eyes.  May God ease our grief and grant us peace.
Lex's passing has left a horrible, aching wound in my heart.  And I am sure it is worse for his wonderful family who shared him with his readers.

Lex's wisdom, wit, and unsurpassed writing skills had brightened my days for such a long time that it was as if he was a brother, a best frrend, and a trusted mentor, although we never met except in cyberspace.

May God bless Lex and his family, and comfort all of his friends.

The only good news seems to be that many of the old gang have assembled over at  and that items from Lex's prodigious pen are being recycled, rationed out slowly, for our enjoyment. 
USNI Press is looking at publishing Rhythms.  I don't know how that project is progressing.

While I realize I'm tacking into the wind here, I decline to play 'Taps' or any other dirge, for I prefer to remember Lex (and all my other acquaintances who have moved on to their next incarnation) as he lived.   So long as we remember them, and speak of them, and honor them and what they stood for ... they're not dead. They just ain't here n'more.

"Fair winds and a following sea, Sailor."  

No more need be said. 

 It was a beautiful day on the hill today. Cloudless and fine visibility, but a bit of dust in the air nonetheless. More words than this I simply can't offer, but to echo wolfwalker's.

'til next we meet.

Chris H.


Armorer, thanks for that embed of the of my all time favorite pieces, and the only song I could every sing without dogs howling.

 I was at the office in WNC at 1300 PDT, but my heart was at Ft. Rosecrans. Yeah, it was dusty at the office too. They need to replace the AC filters quite badly.
Not so many tears for me lately, just the occasional moan or groan. I usually manage to suppress that when other people are nearby. 

The Captain was a very generous Great Soul. Hell, he even put up with _me_!
What wolfwalker said... hoist a glass and toast an aviator who went west.
Thanks for the Music. It helped a wee bit.
Good Job, Army!
 Yes, there is a very hard and  awkward, but respectful sense of “The Empty Chair”. I heard  the story from Dr. Jerry White, he was the head of the NASA Gemini Program. He shared a narrative between astronaut Gus Grissom and a college student. The college student asked Grissom,  “Are you afraid when you are in the capsule awaiting launch?” Grissom pondered for a moment before answering. He said, “ Let me see if I get this right. I am sitting on top of a hopefully guided missile, built by the lowest bidder, about to launch. You are asking me, ' Are you afraid?' My answer to you would be  this, 'If you are not afraid, then you don't have an accurate assessment of the situation. It is important to understand the role of  fear. It is not the fact that you have it, but what it causes you to do, this is the important thing.”

Historical note: NASA was doing testing on an ' all–oxygen environment within the capsule'. Tragically, there was a fire inside the capsule killing Grissom and his collegue. This  was the time before they had explosive bolts holding the hatch.

Let me be very clear, “The Empty Chair” lives in a world of 2 realities, the first being the fact that Lex is gone and there is no way of getting around it. But the 2nd truth is equally important, Lex still lives in the hearts, minds, spirits and writing of all of us. Both concepts are equally true and in balance with one another. But for each of us to remember him and acknowledge him in our own way, is very important. Lex, we all say, THANK YOU, to you and your family, for all the to have done.  To Lex's family, we thank you for sharing him with us.

We should not fool ourselves, Lex had an “Accurate Assessment" of the risks and still believed that it was the best choice. The outcome makes no difference in the choice.
God Bless, Lex. Never met you on this side, but maybe on
Fiddler's Green, hey?
Now that everything is quiet around here, I decided to sing the Navy Hymn all by myself. I do alright with it until I get to the last, or Aviation verse. Then I just break up into sobs, and moans and groans, etc.  Oh God I miss Lex!
Dammit John.  Thanks.

Tears still come at odd times.

Wolf, I think Lex would have appreciated Taps.


The Captain was the kind of man you would naturally want to follow.  He didn't need to lead you, you WANTED to go.  That's part of his legacy, and part of what touched us all.  A man everyone could learn from and a role model for all men.  Sail on, sailor.