You’ll look proud, but I’ll look prouder
Tonight we’re settin’ the woods on fire.”
The first time I heard that song was with my mom, dad and another couple, as we had gone out to eat. I was eight years old at the time. Going out to eat was something my family seldom did. It was Saturday night, and we were eating at Bert and Finn’s Truck Stop just a bit north of Shelburn, Indiana. You can see my family had fancy dining habits if and when we ate out. Yes, Bert and Finn’s Truck Stop.
I remember that song being played constantly on the jukebox. My mom made some comment about it and the man from the other couple commented on how a number of folks must like the song because it was number one last week on the TV show Your Hit Parade. Now you surely don’t remember that show; Snooky Lanson, Gisele MacKenzie and Dorothy Collins. With the Russell Arms orchestra.
But what I most remember about that evening was not the evening of dining out, but what had taken place earlier. On that day, my older brother, Daren, seventeen years old, had left the train station in Terre Haute, going to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, to begin his basic training. The other couple also had put their son, Dean, on that same train headed to the same location. It was the time of the Korean War. I call that war the forgotten war. Sadly, too many do not remember that time or the cost of lives.
Now, as an adult I realize going out to eat was not the main reason for us being together that evening. I think two families wanted company, wanted to be together in like situations. I was a young child at the time, and when I think back to that day, I think it was the first time in my life I cried. I mean really cried over something that hurt, other than bumps and bruises.
I look at my grandchildren today and wonder what it is they will cry over? That day, two couples were wanting support and to share in their sadness.
“Pity the man who falls and has no one to pick him up.”
August 28, 2012