Delta Bravo (Day Fifty-Seven)
It’s interesting the way that slang and descriptive phrases can develop. Particularly fascinating when it happens over time, and because of its overuse as well as the varience in the people using the phrase, or slang. Please allow me to share with you the evolution of ‘Delta Bravo’.
I can’t remember when I started saying it, or who I’d gotten it from, but long ago I started to describe certain aspects of a ‘job well done’ as ‘dirty business’. It’s one of those slang phrases that sorta means the opposite of its literal translation; to describe something as ‘dirty business’ means that you’re giving the person or event high praise. For example, when Kevin and I were treated to the helicopter ride in St. Louis, and the pilot did loops and ‘reverse-G’ maneuvers, we described it as ‘dirty business’. Next, the world of sports through a curveball (this is a great pun, here) at the phrase. When a job is well done in any game involving a ball, the iteration has become ‘dirty ball’ or dirty balls’. An example would be “did you see the USA Women’s Soccer squad last night?? Dirty Balls!’. Or, “Well, maybe they’d have had a chance if Derrick Rose wouldn’t have gone ‘Dirty Ball’ and get a triple-double.” You see? The next iteration occurred this summer when spending 8-15 hours a day (some on the bike, some off) with Kevin Mincio and his military background. He kept getting confused between ‘business’ and ‘ball’ and realized that he could sum them both up by using the military standards of abbreviation, or code. So…’Delta Bravo’ was born. And, it can refer to anything of quality, whether it’s a person practicing performance excellence or a beautiful sunset. It’s allowed for some great observations. Thanks for listening to more ‘Deep Thoughts with Matt Sauri’.
Back on the road again, and I really can’t say enough about the Brown family and what they showed us in Lexington. They are a remarkable bunch, and that’s a wild understatement. They are, perhaps, the finest group of people that are related to each other that I have ever met. Carla, Damon and their sons, Clayton and Sheldon. One thing that makes them so special is that they’re magnetic in terms of their personalities and demeanor, yet you can expect them to take the high road, time and time again. I mean, I’ve met individuals who do this, of course, but it’s rare to find four of them living under one roof. Sorta gives me hope for the human race, these Browns of Lexington.
Sheldon just turned twelve and he has a phenomenal sense of humor. He manages to possess this while having impeccable manners, which is rare indeed for such a young man. He is an outstanding athlete, and he works hard to get even better; I don’t want to jinx him with this, but let’s just say that he seems to get a lot of wins when he applies himself. And he always applies himself. He is a baller.
Clayton is fifteen; he has grown two full inches since the last time I saw him, which was at our chance meeting Houston at the Final Four in April, 2011. He would rather be on a gold course than anywhere else (except maybe fishing) but he’s also a sports nut. He took a year off from playing the best game out there, which is lacrosse; but, he gave me his promise and commitment that he was going to pay again this year, as we both agree that it would be rude not to do so. Thanks for your promise and commitment, Clayton! Being one of those guys from Kentucky, I know I can count on you to follow through! It’s great to see him messing with his little brother, who is just going to do it right back. But…they know when to stop, too. If I had sons instead of daughters, I would want them to be just like Sheldon and Clayton.
Carla, their mother, is kind, thoughtful and on the ball. I think that she is secretly Wonder Woman, because there is such quality that goes on around her. Her hospitality is unmatched, and she’s just one of those people that you can count on, period. From an ethics standpoint, she runs the show. From a point of enthusiasm and interest in the lives of those around her, she is a rock. Should have heard her helping Sheldon plan his week of training for a triathlon (who does triathlons at 12 years old, anyway?? What a baller…)
Finally, we arrive at Damon Brown. Damon is an attorney in Lexington and I’d bet the reason for his obvious success is that he’s so likeable and trustable. You just ‘get him’ right away. He may be the most grounded person I’ve ever met. His humility is amazing, and he just plain does the right thing when no one’s looking. There are some people who just wander recklessly through life. Others are aware of ‘Karma’ so they base many of their decisions on it, doing things a certain way to avoid calamity or hopefully set themselves up for some sort of future success. Damon is neither. He’s just going to do a quality job with integrity, every time, because that’s just what you’re supposed to do. It’s what life is about.
Anyway, the course: Day Fifty-Seven showed us the first signs of a changing terrain; hills turned to foothills and while everything was still bathed in shades of green, their canvas rose much more dramatically. As we get closer and closer to the Appalachians, we are seeing the steeps come out. Seemingly having volcanic origins, the rocks are exposed in places that show a stark diversity in their makeup; shale, slate and limestone are often just inches apart, and in one stretch their exacting layers were exposed due to the blasting that must have gone on over a hundred years ago to make way for the roads. When the road would bend down and around, we’d see Kudzo everywhere, it’s vinelike limbs just taking over patches of its forest neighbors’ lots. That’s one thing that was up front in letting us know that we were fast approaching the East Coast, because that’s the only place you’ll see Kudzo.
It was the most fun day in a long time; we were accompanied by Steve Camposan (you’ll be hearing lots about this guy; he served with Jesse Williams and Mince in Iraq, did bootcamp with Mince and that’s just scratching the surface of his relevance) as well as Damon Brown. We were a great riding team, and enjoyed the terrain as if we were twelve year olds (no offense, Sheldon). The air at the beginning of the day was cool and there moments of quiet smiles as we rode amongst wildflowers as well as laughter listening to some of Campo’s unfiltered stories of stateside fun and deployed plight.
When we finished the day, we pulled into our hotel, and Damon started putting his stuff away. I felt that it was the right thing to do to give him one of my jerseys, because he is the kind of stand-up guy who would represent it well. He is one of a kind.
While I was giving it to him, Kevin was standing off to the side when a car pulled up. The man in the car said that he had seen Kevin on TV and that he liked what we were doing. Then (NOTE: there is NO BAD ending here, so don’t be scared), his six-year old daughter reached down on the floor, and said, “look – my daddy has a gun!’. She had pulled out a handgun that was in a holster. It had been lying on the floor of the car. Apparently that’s legal to do; you can have firearms out in the open. Not sure if it’s OK to have your child waving them in front of a stranger, though! Kind of reminded me of a sign we saw in Missouri advertising a store whose products were liquor and guns. Not sure if this is the most responsible business model in other parts of the world, but it seemed to work in Missouri.
Anyway, Kevin scolded the guy a bit and it ended without incident.
Kevin and I looked at each other as our new friend, Damon Brown, was pulling away. We laughed, because we said the same thing at the same time, and our slang took a new turn.
Damon Brown. Delta Bravo.
For the Families of the Fallen…To the Limit!
Care Creates Community,