27 May 2008

The Magnificent 13

Ft Bragg. 1966. My father's A Team just before deployment to Vietnam. Three men did not return. In memory of their sacrifice. I don't know what else to say. Only, that I look at their faces and remember when they were alive. At a party in my living room with the theme from "The Magnificent Seven" blaring from the stereo as they drank beer and smoked cigarettes . How I wanted to be like them.

07 May 2008

American Imperialist Aggressor

Here's the old man in Panmunjeom in 1971. I though it wise to post this in case he's able to get out of his wheel chair and kick my ass. You never know with these guys. This was a good five years before the "Poplar Tree Incident" where...Well, I'll let my Dad tell it, "The nasty felons of the north attacked our guys with axes and murdered them." So it says on the back of this photo.

Panmunjeom is a serious place. Was then and still is. Even when your father is not in a shooting war they can be assigned to some very dangerous places. You can just see on the bottom left of the picure an extra magazine stuffed down the back of the holster. I assume it's a .45 but he was known to carry a Browning 9mm Hi Powered automatic as well.

This photo is how I remember my father. Starched fatigues with his beloved Topcon Super RE (known as the Super D in the states). After I was 12, he built a darkroom in every house we lived in. He hooked up speakers and would spend hours in there sloshing paper in Dektol and listening to Astrud Gilberto and Ahmad Jamal. I guess it beat reading in the bathroom.

06 May 2008

Funny Dad - - but not at home.

He'd kill me if he knew I was doing this. But he's going thru Chemo so he's not gonna be kicking any one's ass. Especially mine. These were taken in South Korea around 1971. He was with the 2nd Infantry Division. That's a woman's Red Cross uniform and I can't even begin to think -- of what this -- was all about. Except as a grown man I look at these picture and laugh out loud. I wish he did this for us every once in a while. But I guess he's doing it for us now.


My grandparents in Paris while my grandfather was chief announcer for Armed Forces Network Europe. Sometimes these photographs alone are worth the lost friends, constant moving and postings to less glamorous assignments. I loved moving until I hit 14 or so. Before then, my bags were the first packed. "Get me on the road and outta here." I still love to travel and have vivid memories of our moves.

After 14, there's a real issue with leaving. You're still excited about the new place and your Dad's job but you're leaving real friends this time. Relationships with people you'll never forget.

But you see things differently as a Brat. You're in a new place. With an ocean or mountains or cowboys or hippies. And you see everything in a new way. I can stand in a London drug store for hours just looking at the product packaging. I'll look into cars parked on the street in Paris just to see what "they" keep on their dash. Because Brats are not from anywhere - -we're open to anything. I didn't blink when I was offered monkey meat in Panama.

Travel molded me into who I am. Accepting of all cultures, I always know there's two sides. For me, that alone is worth the loss of friends.