A memoir of musings, allegories and adventures covering my inspired life...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cooley Deal

So on a recent trip to Alaska with my father, I had an experience I’ll never forget. Well, I had TONS of experiences I’ll never forget, but THIS one in particular REALLY sticks with me. It was the realization of the vast span of the amazing life of my dad, Charles Murphy Miller. I mean think about it…he was born BEFORE the television was an appliance which could be purchased for the home! And now…here we are, in the twenty-first century…and he’s STILL so cutting edge! Okay, so maybe not “cutting edge”, but he sure does give it his best effort…


Picture it: A chilly summer day in Valdez, Alaska 2010, picturesque views from our RV campsite of an eagle’s nest, a glacier pool, and mountains as far as the eyes could see.

My dad and I were sitting in lounge chairs. I, with my laptop resting upon my legs as I uploaded that day’s photo journal of sites; Dad, sipping his diet coke in intervals between tales of mayhem back in the day with his good ole buddy, Daniel T. Cooley. And that is how we will refer to him for this story, because it is important that you understand that, although my father was commonly known as “Chuck” among his Marine friends, he refused to reference his dear friend without using his full name, middle initial separation included.

“Boy me an’ Daniel T. Cooley was in a MESS uh trouble then!” or “That Daniel T. Cooley just grabbed that son-of-a-gun and ran!”

Anyway, a brief period of silence induced by a man lost down memory lane was suddenly broken by his peaked curiosity. “You still savin’ pictures?” he asked. “No,” I replied, “just checking my Facebook for a sec.” Leaning over he made his next inquiry, “What does it do?” So I proceeded to explain to my father the revolution of social media and the convenience it provides when one wishes to stay in touch with friends and family far away. I showed him how you can upload photos, drop someone a message, follow their day to day goings on, etc. His response to the wealth of knowledge I had just shared? “Well, I wonder….what my friend Daniel T. Cooley is up to. I hadn’t seen ‘im for at least 35 years. He may even be dead by now. Abby…look on that there Spacebook and see if you find a Daniel T. Cooley.”

“It’s FACEbook, Dad,” I corrected, “but it may be worth a try.” It was only a matter of minutes before I was staring at a list of people…four to be exact, Dan Cooley, Daniel Cooley, Dan theMan Cooley, and Daniel T. Cooley. Of course none of them had a picture that was usable for identification purposes, but dad chimed in anyway, “It’s THAT one! I know it for sure! He ALWAYS goes by Daniel T. Cooley. Nuthin’ else. That’s him alright! Text ‘im and tell ‘im Chuck is trying to see if he is the same Daniel T. Cooley that skinned 3 rabbits with his bare hands on a bet in Okinawa, Japan after the bar brawl.” So I messaged this stranger, word for word as I was instructed. And wouldn’t you know it wasn’t 10 minutes before I had a notification that Daniel T. Cooley had replied to my message. His reply read “Abby...thanks...glad to know he is doing good...I don’t get on FB much…does Chuck have a Skype account? tell him setting up Skype is a lot easier than running a Jetcal on a J65 engine! So he should be able to figure it out! Anyway, I'll look forward to talking with him on Skype.”

Well obviously I don’t need to explain how I was instantly setting up a new Skype account for my dad, all the while explaining yet ANOTHER social media concept to him. And then…ring…ring…ring…”Huhllo?!”

Dad: “HELLo!”

DTC: “Huhllo?!”

Dad: “HELLo!”

DTC: “Huhllo, CHUCK?!”

Dad: “HELLo!”

Me: “Dad! Say SOMETHING else, PLEASE!”

All the while I’m making screen adjustments…sound was working well (as well as can be expected when the Skype session is between two battle-proven, hard-of-hearing men over 70), but no picture on his end yet.

DTC: “Huhllo CHUCK?!”

Dad: “Yeah! How you doin’ Daniel T.?”

And then the video stream from Okinawa, Japan fades in. A withered man with receding hairline white as snow and a crooked solid white beard is peering through some lenses at his long lost friend, my dad. It was Daniel T. Cooley…in the flesh. My dad looks at his friend a moment…then turns to me and says, “Man, he looks soooo OLD!”

OMG... “DAD!” I returned in a strained whisper, “He can HEAR you!”

Alas…I was wrong…the conversation went on without a hitch. Although the sound was working on Skype, good ole Daniel T. Cooley apparently needed a new hearing aid. All was well with THIS friend connection.

So very proud of my dad, for not letting the technology advancements scare him into submission.