Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend, 2009

For the past fifty years I have had this thing about realizing, in the last year of the decade, that the previous ten years are almost past; that the present numerical decade is about gone.

I thought about this during my graduation from high school in June 1959. "Yikes," I thought, "It was just 1956 and now the decade is almost over. Surely the next decade will not go by as fast." Well, as we all know, the decades actually go by faster.

So here it is the last year of the first decade of the twenty-first century and I don't care. For the first time, I say, let those years rip. I realized the outcome. I realize that the next ten years, if I am lucky enough to see them all, will find me less mobile and more painful...perhaps. But, so be it. For once, I do not care that we are into the years 201x.

This has come to my attention and I have been thinking about this quite a bit as I work on my latest book-like writing. I started my recollections on January 1958, rather arbitrarily. It was the middle of my junior year at NeCaHi, I had just turned 16, and it was, when I started, 50 years ago. My goal is to write this piece as a year by year reminiscence up to December 1968. Hmmm; I wonder what happened in that month and year?

This ten year period, 1958-1968, is significant since I graduated from both high school and college; served in the Navy; met Aleene and got married; and both Jeff and Amy were born. But also during that time I came of age; the Civil Rights Movement was at its peak and I learned from that. Also, the Vietnam War came and consumed the energy of our generation and how it shaped me. Well, you see there is lots to talk about.

I am about half done. It has taken me a year to get this far and there is a lot of work left; editing alone takes hours to smooth out the ramblings and then pick and choose what I want to keep.

But, as the this decade winds down and we celebrate Memorial Day, I plan to go to the city park near us on Monday (this will be the fourth year) at 11:00 a.m. and observe the ceremony there. During that time I will reflect on the service of others that I have known, think about the trips to Graceland Cemetery as a youth and the things we did on my first Memorial Days. Yes, the Indy Race will be run on Sunday, but in my thoughts Maurie Rose and Bill Vukovich will be racing that day. Mostly, I will reflect on what it means to be a veteran in 2009.

Enjoy your holiday everyone....

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