USS Pensacola

This American Flag is an original from the USS Pensacola.
The owner of the place we are renting over here in Belgium served in the Belgian Navy – and since retiring has stayed active as a volunteer, and during a good will visit to the Norfolk Naval Base was bestowed an American Flag from the USS Pensacola.

He hoisted the flag all day on the 4th of July in commemoration of our US holiday.

It was my impression that he did it every year, but was especially pleased this year to have visiting Americans – from Florida no less.

(Eyes light up around here when you tell them you’re from Florida.)

He is of the generation of Belgians with vivid memories of American GIs liberating the country during World War II – The Battle of the Bulge to be specific. He mentioned that it was American GIs that first introduced him as a boy to chewing gum and to white bread, and that the Americans provided medical services in the wake of devastation from the war.

He also expressed concern over the plummeting value of the US Dollar – some of which he owns as part of his financial portfolio.

“Not to worry,” I said – “my financial portfolio is 100 percent US Dollars. My recommendation is to buy them now while you can because the long view is their value is sure to rise”.

Buy low, sell high: that’s an axiom, like many, that’s easier said than done.

In the meanwhile I’ve been trying to buy as little as possible because the weak dollar makes everything 50 percent more expensive than the price tag reads in Euros. Of course there is no escaping drinking water, but I’ve been drinking for free from the tap.
And there is no mistaking good hospitality: this year’s 4th of July will be one that I will remember fondly and with special meaning.

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