gu photo

Gus after his commission as a second lieutenant, March 1951

4

Augustus’ Point of View

Augustus attended the classes he had that day with fair spirits, but left them feeling as though his brain had been wrung like a rag and then made to sprint a half-mile track. So many projects he had due in these last couple weeks of the semester and he’d barely made a dent in any of them. Of course, he only had himself to blame, but this understanding was about as comforting as having a thorn lodged in your foot. He sighed, running a hand roughly through his hair and then slipping his hands into his pockets to shield them from the chilly air.

Autumn was rapidly giving way, a fact he suspected Gemma would be pleased to see. She had always enjoyed the cold. How many mornings of the first snowfall would Gemma excitedly wake Augustus up and drag him out into the front yard? During how many frigid evenings would Gemma insist on sitting out back by the pond, enthusiastically chatting as the icy night air nipped at their faces? And when would he get the chance to see her so carefree again? He frowned, decidedly unsure, but also finding his mind returning not for the first time to the conversation they’d had over breakfast: “He lets you get close and then he walks away. That’s what he does.”

Why would she say that? Since when did doing something once become indicative of some sort of troubling pattern? And then there were Isaac’s words, sincere and steadying: “Why would I do that when I never wanted to leave you in the first place?”

Gus’ heart clenched, which brought about another disconcerting statement his sister had made: “And to be frank I’m not certain that you ever completely recovered from that.”

He kicked a small pebble out of his path, finding the words as irksome as they’d been when he’d first heard them. Never completely recovered?

Ridiculous.

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2

The West Wing was in full swing when John was at Georgetown. Occasionally in the show, President Bartlett would give a speech at GU and they’d film it there. Once I was on the phone with John and he said he was watching them film scenes on the front lawn—I think it might have been Zoe graduating from GU. Here are photos I found of when John went to see the cast in a panel discussion at GU.

I wish life would imitate art and we could switch presidents.

4

A few days ago I was going through photos of Gus and noticed that his watch was upside down. At first I thought it was a fluke, until I realized I couldn’t find a photo of him with his watch not face-down. I did some digging and found a bunch of sources that said some pilots wore their watches on the inside of their wrists, so they could read them more easily when flying.

From photos of the Mercury Seven, it seems like Gus is the only one who did that (or always did it; maybe the others did but wore them regularly when on the ground). Anyways I thought that was a cute and very Gus-like thing to do :’)