Monday, April 22, 2013

Yesterday I wrote about the movie 'Best Years of our Lives'

 and spoke about my father's readjustment.

Mine was considerably different. I had seen it coming since the day I enlisted. I was doing one hitch and getting out. I had never seriously considered making a career out of it.

For the last year I had seved every nickel I could and took no leave. I cashed in 60 days leave when I was discharged and I had a plan.

I moved into a tipi a couple of days after I got out and lived there for my first year, living both off of my savings and my GI bill as I was commuting to school three days a week. I did well fairly well in school, and there really wasn't much of a readjustment.
It was simply just another change of employment when you got down to it.

Life in the tipi was pretty good and in generally pretty quiet with the exception of a couple of incidents.

The big adjustment was moving back to civilization even though I was in civilization several days a week.

The first place I moved into was a condemned house the owner was letting people stay in for a few bucks. There were about six or seven guys living there, mostly recently discharged GIs.

I moved in and slept on a homemade bed in what used to be a dining room. The entire place was a zoo and after a few days of that I decided that the place was too much for me and likely a bust waiting to happen.

Most of the guys living there were potheads or into psychedelics. Saturday breakfast for some of these guys consisted of three beers, two hits of mescaline and a joint.

Only one of these guys had any interest in making things better for themselves. I found that one out early on.

There were three TVs there, two were stacked on top of each other. The top set had a working picture but no audio. The botton one had audio but no picture. You turned them both on and if you were smart enough to have them both on the same channel it was basically operable.

If both TVs were not on the same channel sometimes things got interesting. I sat there one evening and watched my roomates watch 'Sands of Iwo Jima' with a 'Wizard of Oz' sound track once. They were too toasted on psyhcedelics to even notice.

The third TV was in good shape. It had a blown tube. I had done allof the work to get it going again and the tube was on top of it. Allthey had to do to have a good TV was to plug the tube in and put the back on again. Four screws and a tube.

I had done all the work and paid for thetube but had grown disgusted. They could do the rest but were too lazy to.

I immediately called a friend and ditched my firearms with him except for a shotgun that I hid in the trunk of my Volkswagen beetle.

I figured that I'd find another place to live and had one arranged in short order.

It was a Saturday afternoon and I arrived home after shooting skeet in an old sand and gravel pit. As usual, four or five of the guys were sitting there watching the tube. There was a John Wayne western on and for once the soundtrack actually matched the pucture.

The guys were toasted and I sat on the couch watching the movie and cleaning my shotgun. I was disgusted with what I saw and as I was cleaning the shotgun I realized that behind the outside wall that was behind the TV(s) was nothing more than a cliff face. It was actually a safe place to shoot when you thought about it.

Quietly I took a pair of Marlboro butts out of the ash tray, tore off the filters and screwed them into my ears and waitedand watched the movie.

When someone was trying to sneak up on the Duke I slipped a pair of rounds into the shotgun and just as the bad guy was getting ready to shoot the Duke I let fly with both barrels at the TV.

The picture tube, of course, imploded. Glass flew around and everyone's ears were ringing. The guys were agape and in shock and it was almost a full minute before it sunk in as to what had happened. Their heads were reeling with a mixture of just about every brain toasting psychedelic drug available on the streets of the 70s.

"Wow, man! Piccolo just saved John Wayne!" said a brain fried voice.

That was the last straw.I was not going to live around brain dead anymore. I simply got up and left. I think I went to Manitou Springs and found some broad I knew and shacked up with her for a couple of days and then returned and gathered my stuff and left.

I then moved into the third bedroom of a three bedroom apartment that I shared with a couple of college girls in their senior year. It was OK at first, they did my laundry and I kept their Volkswagens running but things got wierd after a while so I left. Leave it at that when I say things got wierd.

From there I shared a place with another recently discharged GI that was going to school on his GI bill. We were in different social circles so we never even saw each other and I wound up living there until I moved to Alaska.

I suppose I consider this last place the place where I managed to merge back into civilization but that is arguable as my life in Alaska proved to be anything but civilized but that's another story.

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