Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Kokomo Vietnam Reunion part 3..more from The Boar's Nest

Got a call early yesterday afternoon for the Celina High Athletic Department...due to the heavy rain they were moving the game from Celina Stadium to the Track field at the High School.  Lucky for them they did, the heavy rains continued off and on throughout the afternoon and the game...the field became a muddy mess by the time the Wapakoneta and Celina JVs finished their game.  After a 0-0 stalemate in the first half, Wapak took advantage of several turnovers and a big return to pull away 26-0.  Hardly a true test of football skill at any level.  Tonight I stay in Celina for an 8th grade contest....hopefully at the stadium, since it is drying off, because the track field looks like a war zone at this point.

Kokomo Part 3

After settling in a the Boar's Nest Campsite, the sun quickly changed to clouds as the afternoon progressed.  We grabbed some food at the free tent, one of the local churches provides(refusing any donations from the campers).  Another church does the same for breakfast, working their free fare before the official opening of the event on Friday, where the vendors sell their food and snacks.

We were preparing for DJ Carl and his Old Time Rock and Rock Show.  Carl was the hit of my short stay last year...he was again going to play his thousands of CD Classics under the stars this year...however a fly in the ointment came in the form of rain...no outside music with the downpour, however the officers of the HCVVO gave Carl and the attendees the keys, as it was, to the clubhouse bar, and Carl moved his music inside, where he would spin the CDs until 1am.

The music poured, some home made concoctions were sampled, and some of the old geezers even got out on the dance floor...I watch the show, and played a little pool.  Drank a few beers, and sampled some of the stuff in fruit jars.  Everclear topped with a dozen or so varieties of fruit.  Unlike last year, I took it slow this Wednesday night, and got through the night, without staggering back to the Nest.  This year we piled 6 of us on and hanging off a golf cart, and make out way back to "Sweetie Pie" and our various beds in her domain.

The skies cleared overnight leaving us with 40 degrees overnight and a cool north wind for the day Thursday.  On this day we would swap stories with a group of guys from the Marines, and Army Infantry.  Our biggest kick was telling "Tommy" from the Army. "Our Air Force Cop Vietnam War Stories".  We watched as he looked in amazement of our stories of warm beds, clean sheets, hot food, and hot showers.  By the time we added our stories of Steaks on an open pit, movies in Air Conditioned theaters, and cold beer, he had us rolling with his facial changes and comments...finally telling us~"I was in a different War than you guys, I was lucky to have a canteen of water".  We convinced him that our stories were true(and they were, even though maybe stretched a bit)...all-in-all that hand full of Marines and Army grunts became pretty close to the Boar's Nest crowd that Thursday.

As the sun finally peeked through the clouds, and the north wind died down...we headed out for more entertainment in the form of Russell doing his one man musical act, then following on stage a group called the Lemon Wheel, of 4 girls and 5 guys played various music, most from out era, until 11:30 or so.  Tom McCandless and I were the last to survive, and we headed back to camp to finish off the beers in my cooler, swapping stories with the Bay City, Michigan, neighbors, before hitting the sack.

I would be remiss to try to tell you that this is all fun and games however.  There are still wounds that may never heal, and some memories, unlike mine that are mostly pleasant, are not the stuff of fun and games.  War is war, and not all glory for many.  One of Tom's buddies Don Davidson, who camps just east of the Boar's Nest, is a great guy...but one that, like the Marines and Army guys we hooked up with, has a different view of the War in Vietnam, and the America we came home to.  His poem that he penned several years ago, and left at "The Wall" in DC is listed at the bottom of today's post.

More tomorrow~photos and stories

back later>>>>

Photos from Kokomo...(1)"Sweetie Pie" greets all who pass by the "Boar's Nest" on the south side of the Howard County VV Grounds...glow sticks of one sort of the other always show the way.  Santa and his helper Carl The DJ Elf...(2) Carl, Santa and a dozen or more others spent Friday afternoon collecting for the VA hospital and rest home nearby, all proceeds go to make sure forgotten veterans of all wars and not forgotten by their brothers and friends.(3) Me, on Wednesday night taking a small sip of "Apple Pie"...I'm sure more than a few have been sneaked up on by this concoction of Everclear and other special ingredients.  (4) Our new found friends from the Army and Marines gather as the Thursday entertainment begins....(5) Tom, the Boar's Nest leader and "Tommy" our new found Army buddy who the Air Force Sky Cops drove just a little nuts with our stories of our lives in Vietnam...as he said, "You guys were in a different war".   Below~(6) Don Davidson sits in his golf cart in the afternoon sun, (7) and his poinent poem telling of his views on Vietnam

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