I sit in the passenger seat of a VW Micro bus as my mother drives us home. Father has the duty and won’t be home till Monday. It is wonderful that dad is back. He was over there in Vietnam. But he was safe. He was on a big navy ship.
I’m a big boy now, 3rd grade. I think back to a day not so long ago when we were still in Virginia, not California.
John and I lay on the hill side. He and I were talking about The War.
“What are you going to do when you are drafted?” The kindergardener me asked.
“I don’t know”, John answers, “I might go to Canada.”
“I’m going to enlist in the Navy before I’m drafted.”, I say.
As kindergardeners we know that war is forever. That we will be going to war. And that we will likely die.
A year later my father is on his way to Vietnam. He’ll be safe. They aren’t shooting at ships. (They were)
But today, I am listening to a song on the radio as we drive towards home. Dad is home safe but he’s not here again. He is an Officer in the US Navy and I’m proud of him.
We pull into the drive way and I ask my mom to leave the radio on so I can hear the end of the song. It finishes and I ask her what the name of the song is. She doesn’t know and she tells me to call the radio station to find out. I go inside and find the radio station in the phone book and call.
The D.J. answers and tells me the name of the song. A 3rd grader knows a song that has touched him to his soul. Years later I call and ask the D.J. to play this song. The D.J. scoofs and tells me it is a horrible song and refuses to play it.
I hope you understand as you listen: