Sunday, December 29, 2013

***The Roots Is The Toots- The Music That Got Them Through The Great Depression And World War II…


…Jesus, what the hell, no, what the high holy hell, was he doing in this damn tent, this tent with eight snoring guys, out in the middle of nowhere New Jersey getting ready to get up and do, do what, make his bunk exactly right, all hospital corners like even his mother did not insist upon, quick cold shower, dress and then fall out, fall in, some chow, if you could call it that, although some of the southern boys, and not just them either, thought they had died and gone to heaven, had shoes too, Jesus. Shoes to march the bejesus all day. Lights out, tired lights out at nine, Jesus, and the outside as dark as a cave not even street lights, street cars and other signs of civilization, his civilization.

No he was not built for this, this country boy stuff. He had tried to have a word with his friends and neighbors down at the Olde Saco Draft Board when his number was called about his importance to the civilian end of the war effort but they would not hear a word, thought he was a malingerer. Sure he didn’t, just like half the guys in town, sign up on the dotted line after Pearl but he was thinking, thinking maybe he was a conscientious objector or something like that. Some kind of pacifist like the few Quakers in town. He after all had taken the Oxford Pledge in college. So had a lot of other guys who once the war drums started beating tore the thing up. But Jesus he could have never held his head up in his strictly patriotic working-class town, never gotten another date, hell, maybe been even run out of town on a rail so, yes, he went when his number came up.

He couldn’t believe the stuff they threw at him here in basic training every time he squawked about the crazy stuff they, the drill sergeants they, made the troops do. Took more than his fair share of KP as a result but he was no lifer, he was a citizen- soldier and had rights, and so he squawked. Squawked until one day a guy, Prescott Lee by name, from down south, down in the hills and hollows country, down in coal country, Kentucky, some place like that and in his light southern drawl told him to stop whining, stop being a nuisance, and learn to be a soldier if he was going to be a soldier. He also told him to stop belly-aching so much since he had already lost two brothers at Guadalcanal and a cousin in Italy.

That stopped him cold and eight months later he comported himself not badly, not badly at all, in the Anzio landing …


No comments:

Post a Comment