I grew up on military bases throughout the country. Like all boys, we played good guys and bad, although usually I favored the good. Coaxing me into an afternoon of baseball or hiking the Southern California hills didn’t take much unless a book grabbed me first.
When the time came for rites of passage, Herb and I, my best buddy and roommate from high school, joined a Marine Corps college program. Herb left school early, even though those were the days of limited options for guys our age. A year or so after graduating, I stepped onto a sweaty tarmac not far from where Herb died.
Thirty one guys and I flew days and nights over the mountains trying to keep the world safe for….well, that’s not really true, is it? The only reason any of us ever went into those mountains at night to scared ourselves silly was for buddies. Some of them, we never knew existed before that long night. The phrase “launch emergency medevac” at two in the morning haunts me today. I think somewhere that damn radio is still whispering in the night when the monsoons blow and the clouds hide the rocks. .
I traveled on to grad school and spent a while wandering. Lots of us did. Some found their way back, others did not. An nice, electric model replaced the old Smith Corona portable. If you read “Synonymy”, you caught me during that period of my life. I did a bit of teaching on the reservation in New Mexico and some years with the cops, flying commercially, and even a few as a manager. The Smith was finally traded for a Zenith and a Mac, and then a PC that still travels at the bottom of my duffel. I’ve often wondered if the Smith is in someone’s closet or on the shelf of a thrift store in Bangkok. I’ll never know.
There’s a box of short stories and some old novels at home. Numbers one through four are there. Number five and six, Marsh Island and Blind Marsh, were published last year by AEC Stellar, Levant Mirage by Pearl River Publishing in 2015. Joshua Tree will see the light of day early in 2016 with a cast of characters from an earlier life. Bequeathed and Tin Soldiers are electrons zipping around inside my laptop, and looking for a way out. No fear though, I’ve got their number memorized, and it’s 2016 and 2017.
All the best,