Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day as I remember "My Army Bean Girl"

Autumn of 1964, Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis, Indiana, and the nation is what? -- guess! -- making god-damned war on some little country on the other side of the Earth (like always).

During the three and a half weeks spent in training at Ft. Ben, I developed a crush on a fellow army trainee. We never met and I never knew her name. Assigned to different training companies, the only thing we shared were occasional meals in a mess hall feeding hundreds. Once of twice our glances collided in the hallways outside our classrooms. Those were the high points of my stay at Fort Ben.

Several years later I remembered her in a poem. While obviously no poet, I sometime later shared it with an old friend who confirmed this with his response, "Nice ditty." But what my effort lacked in talent was made up for by the feelings that inspired it.

This is the focus of my Memorial Day, 2009. Hopefully, my army bean girl went on to have a great life and is today sharing this day with her children and their children.

My Army Bean Girl (a tribute "ditty")


Fran said...

Your candid comment rings true~ "making god-damned war on some little country on the other side of the Earth (like always)."

I just posted an editorial written by Leah Bolger... the Veterans for Peace VP who stated the good war/bad war case so clearly. I echo her sentiment.

Where's the Diplomacy?
Ah! I don't need to preach to the choir....

Thanks for sharing the softer side of military life.

xandtrek said...

I'm getting hungry....

Dada said...

Just wanted to note that after posting this -- later that night -- I had a dream.

Now, I can't control what I dream, much less remember them. If I could, I'd probably spend most of my waking hours asleep, dreaming.

But I remembered this one, my "Memorial Day dream." And when I awoke from it, I had to analyze what I had just experienced.

In the dream, I met a girl I instantly liked. As I reached out for her hand and she for mine, we began swaying to the music playing. We danced, closely at first, the attraction we shared pulling us ever closer until we meld into a singularity, oblivious to all about us.

When the music ended, we sat at a table with my antagonist "nice ditty" critic, but my new found "friend" and I were too into each other to acknowledge, much less attend, his presence.

I awoke soon afterward. It took me a couple of hours to come to the above conclusion of a dream that ended all to suddenly.

That's because my 'army bean girl' in the dream was cell phoning the hotel reservation desk for a room!

While the dream ended far too soon, I now realize this was the perfect culmination of a memory I've been carrying around within me these past 45 years.