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Me and My Long Gray Line

I have a Parlor Trick.

“I can name 5 of your classmates.”

Anytime I come upon a USMA grad, I start off with this game. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it freaks people out.  One time it got me a Yankee double header but that’s another story.

Having spent my first 18.5 years at West Point means I know a lot of people. And they know a lot of people. Between all of us we are close enough to reach out and touch Kevin Bacon.

As a teenager, being the Chaplains daughter was a protection (though I didn’t think that at the time.) Getting hit on in the area by a particularly attractive cadet was a thrill until his roommate grabbed his arm and said, “Dude get a clue that’s Chaplain Camps daughter.” sigh. Recently a grad contacted me on social media and said,

“I remember people mentioning the Chaplain had a teenage daughter. I also remember thinking, I like trouble. But that’s a LOT of trouble right there…..”

About 5 years ago, my friend and I hopped in a cab outside the Philadelphia Marriott headed downtown for dinner. A mid 40’s well dressed man wanted that cab to catch his plane. Being kind (but not that kind) we shared our ride. Since i’m Chatty Kathy and possibly armed with a little wine I said, “nice ring. i bet i can name 5 of your classmates.” Although he exhibited real fear and legitimately tried to jump out of the moving vehicle, I eventually assured him I’m not clairvoyant merely that I knew who he was. Former football player, (a really good running back from the 90s) and former guest at our Sunday brunch table. He eventually remembered me as an awkward 12 year old.

He blew off his flight and took us out on the town.

I named 5 of his classmates.

God bless the Long Gray Line.


Jim Backlin ’66 and Chad Llewellyn ’14 taken a few months ago.

#usma #pastorskid #westpoint #family #longgrayline

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