First you may be wondering who Joe is, I usually only write about musicians. Joe was my 2nd cousin. By a strange set of circumstances, I have no maternal cousins, but close to a hundred 2nd cousins. My relatives on this side of my family are all descended from Lithuanian immigrants. It's a big extended family and we are all very close.
My cousin was a retired Naval Aviator. He had served as a Navigator in an F4 crew, off of the U.S.S. Midway. A real live
Top Gun graduate. His passing stings, since he was all too young, at 58 years of age. Since he was 10 years my senior, I always looked up to him as I was growing up.
During the past two years, Joe and I had been collaborating on tracing the family genealogy, and to the surprise of many in our family, making good progress. From here on out, like Maverick, I'll have to go on without the Goose. I do hope to be at Arlington National Cemetery when he is interred in late September.
For those not genealogically inclined, 2nd cousins share a set of common great grandparents. In this case, our mothers are cousins and our grandmothers were sisters.