25 May 2009

12 April 1966

Awards Ceremony in the Central Highlands

My father passes out awards to the top graduates of a political indoctrination class. I wonder where these men are today and what the last 43 years were like for them. These thoughts conjure up lots of others. Most not good. But today is for memories. Good and bad. It's helpful to remember all veterans and not just ours.

14 May 2009

To grandmother's house we go...

Another Polaroid. Somewhere in Arlington. Sometime in the 60's.

This picture says a lot about my sisters. And unfortunately me.

This was my paternal grandparents home in Arlington. Grandfather had retired from the Army as a Sergeant Major and was working as a civilian for the federal government. Grandmother forever influenced my politics by telling me Republicans were evil and the only hope for our country was to keep the Democrats in office. I still believe her.

My father took this picture and it may have been his last visit with his parents before leaving for Vietnam. My sisters were very close growing up. They still are. My little sister is deaf. No one is really sure when or how it happened. We know it was shortly after she was born but it took years before we knew she was deaf. We knew there was something wrong. We didn't know what. I look back at this time and remember confusion and a not too sympathetic or helpful Army. And that pretty much defines my role. Too selfish to care and too lazy to make an effort. My main concern was getting my hair to part to the right.

I treasure the memories of these visits to Arlington. It seemed normal.

13 May 2009

Army Brat Vacation

A Polaroid. Somewhere in Mexico. Sometime in the 60's.

It appears I already know the position of Parade Rest and my sister knows Attention. My other sister declines to pose due to an interest in the goat. I loved going to Mexico as a kid. The food, the people, the candy. Man, it was like a dream. We never vacationed much as a family. That was usually saved for a transfer. If we moved from Ft Sill to Ft Bragg - - that was the vacation.

There was one vacation not associated with a move. Six Flags over Georgia. My father was miserable. Rides, crowds, lines, screaming kids... leaving the, "No Sticker!" note on the car... He called it, "chicken shit." --I'm amazed he did it.

12 May 2009

The Bus Station

John Vachon's Bus depot, Washington D.C. 1951

This image never fails to stop in me in my tracks. Whatever petty thoughts I'm having run for the hills to make room in my brain and my heart for this couple. I know exactly what they're thinking. And I would love to know what happened to them because I feel like I know them. I guess in a way I do.

05 May 2009

Movin' on...

I live under a moving cloud. Never in my adult life have I ever thought I would be one place for long. There's always the knowledge - - not an idea or clue or anything else - - but the concrete knowledge I will be moving on. I'm never sure when or how or why. But I do know it'll happen. Pretty much the only constant in my life since I was 18 has been USAA.