Friday, June 3, 2016

When I Was Young LBC 06/03

This weeks topic was my suggestion. What was I thinking?   Simple actually -

My friend Ron Ryan has told me stories of his youth and his memories of WWII, London and the Blitz. Since he shared those stories with me that song has always made me think of Ron.

When I was young the world was in turmoil. Has it not ever been thus?? While the Viet Nam war raged and the US reinstated the lottery, one night my friends Dave Hitchcock, Dave Wegenka and I were at a drive in movie. It was an important night - lottery numbers for every birthday were about to be announced. Mine was in the low thirties. In other words, I was going to be drafted. At the time I was in college playing football. People from my high school class that I knew had already been killed in Viet Nam.  I figured that was how fate would deal with me. But, it seems there was no place in the military for 6'2 285-lb defensive linemen. I failed the physical. Too big t o be a soldier. I was both ashamed and relieved.  I corresponded regularly with several friends in the military during their tours in Viet Nam and their letters increased both my shame and relief over the years. To be honest I am not sure I ever got over those feelings.

When I was a senior in HS playing football there was a sophomore that made the varsity football team. Dave Langdon is his name. He served in Viet Nam and became a police officer in our town - Hayward - and served both with honor, courage and dignity. Dave is the type of man who helped make the good old USA the good old USA. He is a man I have admired for years. This song is for him

I met my wife Lynn at a New Years Eve party in 1968. That apparently sealed my fate as we were together pretty much from that night until her death in 2014 as a result of Huntington's disease. That event and the 10 years spent watching her struggle and die pretty much convinced me the so-called loving God was a sham. I could not be a God-fearing man again. Ever again. What happened to Lynn could NOT be the work of a kind, loving God.  If you choose to have faith in him, that is your choice.

So now here we are -I am no longer young. As my friend Audrey says, I am circling the drain. My family is mostly dysfunctional - although my son shows signs of figuring things out. Me?  You know his one

Unfortunately time seems to be running out. 

TMI? Too personal? Sorry  about that but it has been a long week. As Popeye (who I never liked) said, I am what I am. To that I add take it (me) or leave it (me). Now it 's time to see what Rummy and Lin have to say about this topic.


  1. The U2 song says it all for all of us. I have met some Americans transiting via India to and from the USA during the Vietnam years and your shame and regret comes as a surprise. It was not your fault that you were too big! I can relate to your angst viz Lyn. You were a good husband. I think that almost all modern families are dysfunctional to a lesser or greater degree. It is a measure of the times that we live in.

  2. If family dysfunction is caused by these times then I fear optimism for the future is misplaced.

  3. To some extent, I think that your take is right.