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Phil in the Blank A column by Phil Custodio

Memorial memories

May 28, 2014 - After a good Memorial Day weekend, I'm ready for summer to start, hot weather and all.

Spring was a good preseason for my running this year. I ran in the Chuck Keegan Race for the Kids' 5K in April and Angel's Place Race's 10K a couple weeks ago.

Both were kind of chilly, but my times were good for me. At least I think so for the 5K, because I didn't keep a time on that one. The 10K, though, I finished in about 55 minutes, just under a nine-minute-mile pace. This is about a minute-per-mile improvement over my performance in the Back Roads Half Marathon last November.

Now starts summer training in the heat. I got a taste of that last week, with its sunny afternoons. Keep them coming I got a new running belt for that, with two water bottles attached and a pouch about the right size for my phone. I do love gearing up for stuff.

I also caught a Memorial Day weekend movie blockbuster "X-Men, Days of Future Past." I read the original comic back in 1981, courtesy of my brother's collection. I may have even asked permission to read that one.

Images from the comic story stuck with me ever since, though many didn't make it into the movie. A city bus pulled by a team of horses in dystopian New York City. Wolverine's adamantium skeleton, lying bare on the ground after getting zapped by a sentinel. A silhouette of Storm, impaled by a spike thrown by a sentinel. The original comic is set in 2013, "the future" at the time of publication, so far off for an 11-year-old in 1981 I couldn't even imagine it. The actual future has no superpowered mutants flying around, but also no giant purple robots blasting everything in sight.

Of course, I remembered the reason for Memorial Day with the American Legion Post 63 and everyone else at the parade and ceremony in Lakeview Cemetery.

I was impressed with the Clarkston Junior High School students, reading their essays and reciting the Gettysburg Address.

The teachers there do a great job with their history lessons, with this as well as inviting World War II veterans every year to speak to students.

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