Friday, June 13, 2008

Almost Halfway Through The Year

The older you get, the shorter the year seems. Christmas decorations should be out soon. June has always been an interesting month for me. We arrived in California on the 31st of May, 1968 and spent a few nights in a hotel in Santa Maria before we moved into temporary housing on Vandenberg AFB. That would have been June 5th. On the morning of the 6th, I picked up the newspaper to discover Robert Kennedy had been shot. I was twelve and thought that the guy who shot him was wacko, Rosey Grier was a hero (now he knits and does needlepoint) and couldn't believe that Rose Kennedy had lost her first three sons due to violence before she died. My heart went out to her, Jackie, Ethel and all those kids they had. Sirhan Sirhan was dismissed as a raving lunatic and no real investigation into his political motives was ever rationally considered. Stephen Kinzer tries to link Sirhan to the Palestinian situation and he may have some valid points, though I doubt we'll ever know.

Below the fold and several days late (AF Times), was the obituary of Helen Keller. That devastated me. She had been an inspiration to a little girl who was ostracized by most of the people around her because she wasn't like them and at that time there were very few positive female influences in the media. Not only did she help found the ACLU, she was a suffragist (like Frank Baum) and believed in women's equality. Women weren't in the news much at that time unless they did something in the entertainment or fashion world or were murdered like Kitty Genovese and Sharon Tate. Things started looking up in the seventies with Billie Jean King, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.

I graduated in June of 1974 and ran off and joined the Army on June 10th. I started basic training in Fort Jackson, SC on the 20th. That was an interesting summer. On August 9th (mom's birthday) while Nixon was resigning, I was graduating basic and on my way to Redstone Arsenal, AL to start my advanced individual training where I learned to repair the guidance control systems on four different missiles. I can hardly believe it's been 34 years. since I willingly raised my right hand and swore an oath to obey orders and defend this country. I wasn't too good at the first but my heart was in the right place. The Vietnam war was almost over but the all volunteer Army was just getting started.

June 14th has always been Flag Day for me, maybe because I lived on military bases for most of my life and it was celebrated like a mini Fourth of July. Please treat your flags with respect and if they are dirty or tattered find a Boy Scout troop to dispose of them properly. And please, please, don't leave it out in the rain or overnight. It's disrespectful.

The last time I saw my father was on the 16th of June 1991. I had come home for Father's Day and we had our usual great time of drinking really strong margaritas to go with the fiery hot wings I made before dinner. Even when I said goodbye to him I thought something was wrong and went back and gave him one more kiss. He died of a heart attack on the Fourth of July at 5:25 in the morning. He was only 60.

The rest of June has always been pretty quiet for me and for that I am grateful. OMG! I just noticed it was Friday the 13th and that means KFOG is playing Hits from Hell and they've started with William Shatner (he came in first of the worst and is doing It Was a Very Good Year. He said it was because he admired Frank Sinatra. If he really admired him, he wouldn't have done it. At least this time they didn't play MacArthur Park. Oh noes, now it's Terry Jack's Seasons In The Sun and I recognized it from the first note. Achy Break Heart? I'm sort of enjoying my fellow Fogheads choices, I've tried to forget most of these songs. Disco Duck? Why am I recognizing these songs on the first note? We Built This City and now it's You Light Up My Life. Four more to go, how bad will it get?


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