On one of my favorite yahoo groups Serro_Scotty_Camper_Enthusiasts, someone posted one of those give you shivers stories you hear from time to time. A lady bought a 1966 Serro Scotty still taped up and new-kept in a garage when the man who bought it did not return from Vietnam.
Immediately we were all awash with the excitement of the rare find and the sobering reality of what lead to such a discovery. I like old things because they have stories to tell, and this one was of a life left unfinished.
In my current midlife crisis phase I am struggling with the material vs. the non material constantly. I can't seem to pick a house or a profession or a diet I can live with. Yet in 1966, a young man wanted to go camping when he came home and today a group of us (who also like to go camping) remembered that.
I was six, going on 7 in 1966 and most of my life happened AFTER 1966. I've been camping alot, and several times I almost gave up on life. I'm thinking now about the Vietnam Memorial, and all those people who never got to go camping again.
The Vietnam War was finally concluded on 30 April 1975, with the Fall of Saigon. The war claimed 58,000 U.S. combat dead and the lives of between 2 and 5.7 million Vietnamese, a large number of whom were civilians. Although exact numbers are difficult to verify, the disparity in deaths illustrated the overwhelming superiority of U.S. firepower.
58 thousand lives ended, and how many other's destroyed? I've met several people who were never the same when they came home. You can see and do what they saw and did, at any age, and especially a young age, without some damage. I can't even comprehend the number of Vietnamese (a large number of whom were civilians). I have met many former Vietnamese citizens who fled, and are still fleeing. Seems those soldiers left a few bundles of joy behind, who are now unwelcome, often in both places.
My own little Scotty was born during the Vietnam war, I wonder what tales it has to tell. In 1972 I was drawing a bead on puberty, madly in love with horses, Jackson Browne and completely dissatisfied with the size of my breasts vs. the size of my neighbors. I know the both of us, Scotty and I, have wracked up a few miles since 1972.
By the way, I still love horses, Jackson Browne and am completely dissatisfied with the size of my breasts in relation to the size of my stomach.
To all the sons and daughters who pay the ultimate price so that I can sit safely and muse on these things-I say Thank You.