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This memoir is about the need to do something, anything, in the face of madness.
A lot of history had gone down between my enlisting in the Navy Air Reserve in March of 1968 and arriving in San Diego in September of 1969 to find out where on Earth I would be stationed.
This short story is “… memory and metaphor that seeks release onto the printed page.”
This memoir occurred years after I left the service, just months after finally graduating from NTSU. A man needed a friend. I was honored to be that friend.
“Welcome back,” I said.
His eyes reddened, and he gave me a strained smile. “Thanks, I guess.”
— The photograph is a promotion still from the movie Apocalypse Now.
French Fries & Ketchup is a Richard Brautiganesque short story from 1976 published in The green Fuse, ©1976 Department of English, North Texas State University.
TV lives on souls and time.
This memoir describes my amazing first few days at VRC-50, a US Navy squadron based at NAS Atsugi near Yokohama, Japan. The photo above was taken of me in front of my barracks in the fall of 1969.
Hill spoke: “Smitty, come the revolution, you’re gonna have to go up against the wall.”
I looked at him askance before returning to inspecting the empty lockers. “Well, you wake up cheery,” I said.
This memoir is a fugue-like description of my very first and very last days in the US Navy and the impact a gentle and humorous corpsman had on me. The photo is of me as an old salt walking on the gangplank of the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga in 1971.
While the Navy clearly owned our asses, Ferguson’s name game allowed him to attain a certain freedom. Plus, it got laughs, helping us avoid stewing over the near future.
Photograph 2013 – Transco Tower waterfall in Houston.
Photograph 2012 – My mother, Gloria Smith, at 88 with three of her great grandchildren: Eliana, Sachi and Adeline. Mom is now 92 and has been presented with two more great grandkids. I posted this for emotional, not artistic reasons.
Photograph 2012 – Both of these people are one of a kind. Jamming at a party in Stuart Kraft’s studio. Miss you, Stu.
Photograph 2009 – Dotty loved this pondlet, when it had water in it. She would swim in circles and bark. We visited this pond after hikes and trail work so the dogs could wash off the poison ivy. The inevitable poison ivy. See This Post for what we learned.
Photograph 2012 – Amy and I were bringing much-needed income to Galveston after the hurricane. Everyone was getting back on their feet, but it was still pretty desolate in places. In addition to gorging on seafood and laissez le bon temps rouler, we also spent time traipsing through the wilder areas looking at birds. Here’s the bird […]
Photograph 2010 – Amy cutting a rug (or gravel) at the eponymous Dallas hangout. That’s our friend Ella St. Claire in the background.
Photograph 2006 – I learned so much from this man. Farmed into his very late 80’s. Here he is, literally going over the hill.
Photograph 2009 – Dotty loved our neighborhood’s 4th of July parade. Loved it! Mabel would go wherever Dotty went. As cheerful and loyal a pair of comrades one could ever hope for.
Photograph 2016 – Can you tell which is which?